Many travelers, both frequent and infrequent, are vaguely aware that their credit card may protect travel investments. This protection is often marketed as free benefits offered by the credit card companies to make your life a little easier. But do these benefits really cover travelers fully?

We've done our research and we believe comprehensive travel insurance is the best option for any traveler whether they are traveling in the U.S., to the U.S. or outside of the U.S. Let us explain:

Pre-Existing Conditions

While most credit cards that offer travel protection also offer travel accident assistance (closely related to travel medical insurance), they restrict this coverage from customers with pre-existing conditions. So if you had a medical test done that revealed an irregular rhythm in your heart, then any related illness or injury while you’re traveling, like a heart attack or chest pains, will most likely not be covered by your credit card insurance.

The same could be said for a comprehensive plan, but several plans provide a pre-existing condition waiver which removes the pre-existing condition exclusion. Provided the traveler purchases the plan within the specified time period after their first trip payment, is medically fit to travel and meets all other coverage requirements, the pre-existing condition waiver can help to ensure reimbursement for a covered illness or injury while traveling.

Long-Term Travel

Sometimes, travelers take extended trips. Most credit cards will not cover trips that last longer than 60 days. If you are planning on taking a trip that lasts a full season or semester, your credit card may not give you adequate protection.

You can purchase a comprehensive plan that is specifically designed to protect a traveler during longer trips. These plans have trip interruption and travel medical coverage to protect travelers during their extended time away.

Medical Evacuation

Not all credit cards will provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation, but all comprehensive travel insurance plans offered on InsureMyTrip do. It’s an incredible benefit that will help to get the traveler to the most appropriate hospital for their covered illness or injury.

Unlike credit card insurance, some comprehensive plans may allow for “hospital of choice” coverage. This benefit may allow the traveler to be evacuated to a hospital near their home if the attending physician deems it necessary and they are medically fit to be transported. Medical evacuation costs can be pretty substantial, and the right plan can help with this cost.

Credit Card Choice

Not every card has travel protection benefits; does yours have it included? For the most part, you’ll find that the high-tier cards include the benefit. So, if your credit card is a “Sapphire”, “Signature”, “AAdvantage” or any of the “best” cards – you probably have this benefit, and most likely an annual fee. If your card is missing those words, you should look closer at what’s included with your account.

If you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan, you will never have to wonder if you have the benefits. You’ll know what is included and excluded because each plan comes with a detailed certificate that outlines this for you. Even better, if you purchase your plan from InsureMyTrip, you’ll have access to incredible representatives that can answer any question you have on that plan!