Could your travel credit card be there for you in your time of need?
When it comes time to look for the perfect travel credit card, many people focus on fun features such as airline lounge access or the ability to earn free trips. And, the best credit cards often do provide great travel perks and the chance to fly for free by earning miles for spending.
But when you decide to compare credit cards, remember that travel cards can also provide other cardholder benefits that may not be as fun to think about. However, they’re just as important — if not more so.
The following benefits could be there for you when things go wrong and potentially save you from financial loss and unnecessary stress.
1. Rental car insurance
Many credit cards offer something called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), which provides coverage for loss or damage to a rented vehicle in the event that it’s damaged, or stolen.
You don’t want to end up being responsible for covering the car’s costs in the event something goes wrong. A travel card that covers rental car insurance can help make sure that doesn’t happen. While you can buy this type of insurance from a rental car company, it’s an added cost that you won’t need to incur if you look for a travel card that offers it as a cardholder perk.
2. Lost or delayed luggage coverage
Some credit cards are also there to help their cardholders in the event that baggage is lost or delayed.
Your card may provide you with a set amount of money — such as up to $100 per day — to pay for necessities in the event that your luggage doesn’t arrive at your destination when you do. This baggage delay insurance often covers both the primary cardholder as well as family members or other guests on the trip — as long as the vacation was paid for with the credit card.
Some cards also offer lost luggage coverage, which can reimburse you for the entire value of your lost bags and the items in them — up to a set amount per covered passenger. That way, if your bags never turn up at all, you won’t have to worry about paying to replace everything since your cardholder benefits will provide the funds you need to buy back your lost possessions.
3. Trip interruption or cancellation insurance
If a covered catastrophe prevents you from taking your trip at all, your card may also shield you from financial loss if it offers trip interruption or cancellation insurance. Typically, you are eligible for a refund for most prepaid travel-related expenses if your trip can’t go forward due to:
- Bad weather
- A serious illness
- The death of a family member
- Other unexpected disasters
Most trip interruption or cancellation policies exclude certain reasons for canceling, such as if you become sick as a result of a pre-existing medical condition. But this coverage can still be fairly comprehensive and help to ensure you don’t end up out a lot of money on nonrefundable vacation purchases if something goes wrong.
While no one likes to think about travel plans going astray, the reality is that these things can and do happen. The good news is, if you have a travel card with good perks, your credit card company will be right there to help you when problems arise. Any financial damage you’ll incur should be minimal thanks to these travel credit card benefits.
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