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The Best Credit Cards Offering Insurance On Award Travel

To the point Looking for the best credit card in Canada offering insurance on award travel? Here are the best credit cards.

Credit cards insurance reminder

We can’t repeat it enough: keep the documentation sent with your credit card. This includes the insurance coverage booklet.

Various insurance benefits

Ideally, you have to refer to it before deciding to use this card to book your trip!

Indeed, all credit cards have several coverages related to:

  • age of the credit card holder
  • insured persons
  • destinations
  • trip duration
  • out-of-province absence duration
  • type of car rented (even stating excluded car brands)
  • flight/baggage delay duration

But for reward program users, the essential part is the definition of what is a “covered trip.”

Actually, you’ll find there the coverage conditions of your credit card insurance!

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Various insurance coverage conditions

Some credit cards will require that you:

  • Charge at least 75% or the full trip costs to your Card (read: without using miles and points)

This is the case, for example, with the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite*:

assurances 75 scotia passeport
  • Credit Cards Associated Programs

This is the case, for example, with the American Express® Gold Rewards Card: you are covered for a trip paid by redeeming Membership Rewards points earned under the Membership Rewards Program provided any applicable taxes are charged to the Card (but this is not the case when you have redeemed points from another program like Aeroplan or AIR MILES).

assurances amex or

While other cards will only require that the full or partial cost of your trip has been charged to the account.

For example, this is a quote from BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®* Insurance:

assurances bmo world elite
Aeroplan or AIR MILES

The “partial” cost of a ticket can, therefore, be the taxes paid on an Aeroplan or AIR MILES award travel!

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General rule: use a card associated with a program

As a general rule, we recommend you to use:

  • an AIR MILES credit card to cover an AIR MILES award travel
  • an AEROPLAN credit card to cover an AEROPLAN award travel
  • a Membership Rewards card to cover a Membership Rewards award travel
  • and so on for each program

So, if you use the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, you will be covered if there is a problem related to your AIR MILES award travel.

Here is the insurance note of this card regarding award flights booked with miles (AIR MILES in that case):

assurances bmo world elite am

Special rule: credit cards covering all situations

But with some rare credit cards, you are covered even if you only charge a part of the trip to the credit card!

So you can redeem Aeroplan miles, charge taxes to your credit card and be covered by your credit card insurance!

Four credit cards stand out from the competition in Canada:

With both BMO credit cards, you are covered, in all circumstances, whether the full or partial cost of your trip has been charged to the card.

Regarding National Bank credit cards, you are covered in most of the circumstances, whether the full or partial cost of your trip has been charged to the card. However, baggage delay insurance requires that the full cost of the flight was charged to the card. The same is true for car rental insurance.

On the other hand, coverage will generally be more generous than BMO’s. And an undeniable benefit for people aged between 65 and 74:a medical-hospital insurance coverage outside the province of residence is included.

Note that the Desjardins Odyssey® World Elite® Mastercard has similar insurance to the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® ones. However, for most of its insurance, Desjardins’ credit card requires that the full cost o has been charged to the card.

Credit Card Review

Check out this post for a review on the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard.

It’s up to you to make your choice based on your needs!

To help you, here are two tables listing the main insurance coverages offered by these credit cards.

BMO Insurance

Here is a summary of insurance coverages of the BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®* and the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

Insurance Coverage
Medical/hospital insurance
Out-of-province-of-residence
up to $2,000,000
per person (see details on age and duration)
Trip Cancellation Insurance
(before departure)
up to $2,500
per insured person
Trip Interruption Insurance
(after departure)
up to $2,000
per insured person
Departure flight delay insurance
(over 6 hours)
up to $500
per account
Baggage insurance in case of delay
(over 12 hours)
up to $2,000
per account
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance up to $2,000
per account
Vehicle rental insurance Vehicle valued up to $65,000

theft of personal effects up to $2,000

Purchase protection in the event of theft or damage
(90 days)
up to $60,000
Extended warranty doubled up to an additional 1 year
Insurance booklet BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

The BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®* and BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* have different coverage for emergency medical care while travelling depending on:

  • the person’s age
  • the length of the trip
Age Maximum trip time frame
less than 64 21 days
65 to 74 Optional coverage
75 years or older no coverage

You can request to BMO for an optional 31-day Medical Protection.

National Bank Insurance

For most insurance included, the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® and the National Bank’s World Mastercard® are among the only credit cards in Canada to cover you even if you only charge to it a part of the cost of the trip.

The following expenses will be reimbursed (…) provided that a portion or the entire cost of the trip was charged to the account

National Bank of Canada

For travel insurance, only baggage insurance in case of delay and vehicle rental insurance requires that the entire cost was charged to the card.

Insurance Coverage
Medical/hospital insurance
Out-of-province-of-residence
up to $5,000,000
per person (see details on age and duration)
Trip Cancellation Insurance
(before departure)
up to $2,500
per insured person
Trip Interruption Insurance
(after departure)
up to $5,000
per insured person
Departure flight delay insurance
(over 4 hours)
$250 per day
(up to $500 per person)
Baggage insurance in case of delay
(over 6 hours)
up to $500
per person
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance up to $1,000
per person
Vehicle rental insurance Vehicle valued up to $65,000

theft of personal effects up to $2,000

Purchase protection in the event of theft or damage
(180 days)
up to $60,000
Possibility of tripling the manufacturer’s warranty up to 2 additional years
Insurance booklet National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard®

National Bank’s World Mastercard®

The National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard and the National Bank’s World Mastercard® offer different levels of protection for Out-of-province-of-residence medical/hospital insurance according to:

  • the person’s age
  • the length of the trip
Age Maximum trip time frame
54 and under 60 days
55 to 64 31 days
65 to 74 15 days
75 years or older no coverage
Up to 60 days

Few credit cards offer coverage of up to 60 days. Also, people aged 65-74 get 15-day coverage.

Conclusion

As always, we advise you to carefully read each credit card’s insurance booklet before making a decision. Don’t hesitate to contact your credit card issuer for clarification if in doubt.

Here are posts you can check out about specific credit cards insurance:

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