Chase Bank’s Sapphire credit cards offer the best travel insurance protection, according to a study conducted by WalletHub, an online credit card research company.
Chase’s Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards received the highest scores for luggage and travel accident insurance, and the highest cumulative scores overall, 92.9 percent and 87.5 percent respectively. Coming in third was Citicorp’s Thank You Premier Card, with an 85.2 percent cumulative score.
WalletHub compared the travel insurance coverage offered by 64 credit cards from the 10 largest issuers, based on offers, terms and conditions as of June 20, 2018.
Cumulative scores were based on a weighted average for travel accident insurance, luggage insurance, eligibility cost and extra coverage. Twelve individual metrics were measured for those three categories. The maximum score attainable for a card in the report was 100 percent.
The company noted how credit card travel insurance can reimburse cardholders in the event of cancelled trips, missed connections, lost or delayed luggage, or even death, but coverage amounts and restrictions vary widely based on the type of card, issuer (e.g. bank) and the card network it is affiliated with (e.g. American Express, MasterCard or Visa).
For example, WalletHub found that 93 percent of cards offer travel accident insurance, providing an average of $413K in coverage, while 46 percent of cards offer trip cancellation insurance, providing an average of $3.35K in coverage.
Lost luggage is less common, with only 39 percent of cards offering protection, averaging around $3K in coverage. Delayed luggage insurance can be obtained on one out four of the cards WalletHub reviewed, and fewer than one in ten cards offer travel delay insurance, providing an average of $500 worth of coverage.
“So, you don’t want to exclusively rely on plastic before looking into the details of your policy,” author and senior researcher Alina Comoreanu wrote.
WalletHub’s study also shows that there can be significant differences between the best coverage, and the typical credit card travel insurance. For example, when it comes to lost or delayed luggage, the average policy offers $1,250 for lost luggage and nothing for delayed bags.
But the best policies offer $3K for lost luggage and $500 for delayed luggage.
For these policies, “if your checked or carry-on luggage is permanently lost, stolen or damaged by the common carrier, the benefit may refund the purchase price of the missing items or the cost to repair the damaged items.”
Additionally, “if your checked baggage is delayed on a trip, the benefit may reimburse the cost of necessary personal and business items until your baggage arrives.”