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Travel Insurance (Credit Card + Medical Abroad Insurance)

Wondering if anyone uses their credit card for travel insurance. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that comes with Trip insurance. On careful review it does not cover insurance if needed abroad. I purchased Wenderwell a Medical Insurance Plan called Safe Travels Outbound that covers $500K for medical and hospitalization. It also included Trip Delay, Dental, Emergency Evac, Repatriation of Remains, Baggage, Baggage Delay plus other items. Total cost for 2 was $350.

Question - wondering what other people with credit cards do and if anyone has had experiences with plans such as this one?
I am wondering if I am over-thinking this or missing something in my decision process to make sure we are covered.

Posted by
7727 posts

I would just observe that if you need coverage, then pay for it, and know what you are getting. Medical (including evacuation) is different than just "travel insurance", though many companies will package all together.

To my knowledge, Credit card travel insurance usually only covers things charged on the card, and related expenses. So you might have some recourse on an airline ticket, reserved hotel, museum tickets, etc.; as long as you put it on that card, but only to the amount that you can't if the airline gives you a credit, don't expect to be paid for the ticket, same if the hotel is able to be cancelled at no cost, etc.

Posted by
8656 posts

I do use the trip insurance associated with my credit card, Chase Sapphire Reserve. It has pretty extensive coverage wherever I travel. My medical for urgent and emergency care is covered worldwide through my Medicare advantage plan, and I have a Medjet policy for medical evacuation.

I also try to mitigate risk by always making hotel reservations that have free cancellation.

Edit to comment on Paul’s post: It is always a mistake to assume what is and is not covered without reading the policy. For example, my entire trip is covered as long as I charged any portion of the trip to my card. Reading any travel insurance policy carefully is key.

Posted by
1508 posts

There was a post on this board recently where the poster said a relative of his was on an easy hike in Switzerland on a trail when he suddenly had a heart attack. The first responders said he needed to be evacuated to the hospital by helicopter because the time delay going by land could put his life at risk. The relative thankfully survived the heart attack. After the bills arrived, the medical costs came to about $250,000. Thankfully again, the poster wrote he made sure his relative bought a good travel insurance policy for the trip which paid for everything — the evacuation by helicopter, all medical costs and losses from the emergency. The biggest risk when traveling is having an accident and the costs of medical treatment. The financial risks grow exponentially if there’s a need to be evacuated by air to get to a hospital for life-saving treatment. And that can happen to anyone from seniors to 30-somethings and kids.
The American Express Platinum card does include MedEvac, but the big loophole is that medical treatment is not covered.
Depending on where I’m traveling, I buy Generali policies which have generous coverages for MedEvac, hospitalization, and medical expenses (I’m too young for Medicare). Generali policies also cover the costs of most non-refundable expenses of the trip ( the trip is usually over after a serious medical emergency)
so hotels, non-refundable transportation tickets and nonrefundable car rental costs will be refunded by the policy. It covers the expenses in case you need to return home due to an unexpected death back home of a close family member. And, as a bonus, those in your travel group —be they friends or family— can also have their trip costs refunded if they choose to accompany you safely back home.

Posted by
1594 posts

If you have medical insurance at work, check the terms. I was pleasantly surprised that it covers emergency health needs overseas.

Posted by
5164 posts

When I looked at my Chase Sapphire coverage a few years ago, I saw that preexisting conditions were not covered. Many purchased travel insurance policies cover preexisting conditions if purchased within a short time frame of booking the trip. Yes, you need to read the fine print, and with our USAA- related travel insurance, that's 60 pages.
Good luck!

Posted by
31 posts

Hello. You state that your Chase Sapphire Preferred does not cover you when abroad. I read through the benefits book and I did not see an exclusion for international travel coverage. I am now worried and will call the benefits department tomorrow. Did you mean they don't cover medical claims or medical evacuations?
I will look at the Wenderwell plan.

Has anyone used Allianz and if so what was your impression as far as coverage and customer support?


Posted by
8656 posts

Marty. The same with Pat’s post. Claims about no pre-existing conditions or no international coverage are not true for my coverage through Chase. Read your benefit book, talk to your representative and find out what you are covered for directly.

Posted by
650 posts

Pat: USAA's medical insurance is 60+ pages long?!!

That's our travel insurance too. I hope we don't need to use it, so we don't have to read all of those pages.

Posted by
866 posts

We are currently trying to get Chase Sapphire to cover our trip interruption. This has been going on since the end of April when I tested positive for Covid, six days into our RS Portugal tour. It has become nothing but a source of extreme frustration. I have now filed a complaint withe the Federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau but I’m not sure that will have much leverage. It’s hard to believe someone like the Points Guy recommends this card as the best for trip interruption services. Apparently he hasn’t tried to get a claim paid.

Posted by
7576 posts

I don't have a Chase Sapphire Card, but I suggest you check whether the limitation on pre-existing conditions coverage refers to medical treatment costs, as well as to Trip Cancellation or Trip Delay.

You have to read every word of a Travel Insurance policy to know what you are getting.

Posted by
8656 posts

Well, first of all, the Points Guy gets a commission for recommending various credit cards. I think that is his top interest.

Secondly, Did you have all of the requested documentation available or has that been part of the issue of getting your claim paid? If you don't mind sharing what the biggest issue seems to be, it will help others know what decisions to make in the future.

Posted by
281 posts

I have the same Chase Prefered credit card.
There are many benefits but not medical insurance which is not a thing for these cards.
The devil is in the details. No pre existing conditions for the trip cancelation and interruption.

Most people don't read them and they make it difficult to understand. Ofter there are specific timelines and reporting requirements.
I always read through any insurance details. It is a timely process but worth knowing what I am actually covers for .

Here is the link to all the details as provided from Chase/Visa.

Posted by
866 posts

Carol, they sent us a long list of documents required. We have sent them back all the required documents including a letter from the Rick Steves organization that was very detailed stating the tour dates, the total cost of the tour, the reason we were required to leave the tour, the amount they refunded us, the difference. We have gotten nothing but a run around from Chase, stating this or that document wasn’t received. We’re frustrated with sending the same documents over and over only to have them say again they’ve received this but not that. The last conversation with their “examiner” was not pleasant with another “I’m sorry you’re frustrated but we really need to receive all the documents” not hearing that we have emails stating they have received the individual documents they’re now saying the haven’t received and then an assurance that the supervisor would call which of course still hasn’t happened and we will have to call once again.

Another point that people should be aware of is Chase is NOT going to reimburse you for anything that was not paid for in advance by their card, including any hotel fees or medical expenses. The fine print says this and we found that out last year with another Covid experience in Italy.

Posted by
866 posts

Just to update, our claim for trip interruption with Chase Sapphire has finally been approved. To summarize, make sure you ‘email’ Chase all requested documents together at one time. Do NOT mail them. Include a letter from the RS group that describes the tour, dates, refund given, amount remaining. They are extremely helpful and know what needs to be in the letter. Be persistent, do not accept when they tell you that such and such document was not included. Keep track of dates and names of agents talked to when you call. There seems to be a tendency to make the hoops you need to jump thru frustrating enough that you’ll give up. Don’t! We pay for this service thru their high fees!

Posted by
8656 posts

Margie, thanks for coming back and sharing your experience with us. I'm hopeful I won't ever have to file a claim, but learning from you about what worked and didn't work will certainly be helpful if I do.

One thing that does get confusing is Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve. Their coverage is a bit different between the two cards. I agree that reading through the benefit book in advance is a great idea..

Posted by
866 posts

Ours is the Reserve. And yes, read the fine print carefully but it still can be confusing. And, unfortunately even at times for their agents.

Posted by
3 posts

This has been great feedback and I think I have written the fine print of the insurance coverage several times. It became clear that we are not covered for medical issues abroad. So we purchased additional medical insurance thru Wanderwell Insurance coverage where they had insurance from Nationwide administered by Trawick International. For $350 it includes $500K in medical and hospitalization, 4K for trip delay, dental, $500K for medical evacuation. I think our only current exposure would be if we had COVID prior to leaving for the trip. (Note this insurance only applies upon departure)

Margie I am sorry you had to go through hoops to have you claim taken care of. Thank you for sharing your story and teaching us about your incident.

I think my learning is to purchase trip/medical insurance as soon as making an initial deposit tp cover any pre-existing conditions. FYI Medicare and Supplemental only cover up to $50K. Personally, I think that leaves me exposed as we had a trip where my wife was horseback riding and my wife broke both arms. Thank goodness we where both working at the time and covered by our company insurance.

Insurance is all about risk so when in doubt buy up.
Please continue to share your experiences on this post so we can all learn more. We leave in about 30 days for our first RS tour.
Happy Travel and Happy Memories

Posted by
318 posts


I recently broke my ankle in Portugal and had to fly home to California for surgery. UGH. I had purchased year-long travel and medical coverage through DAN (Divers Alert Network) and they use Generali as their insurer. I will note that my Generali policy does limit or not cover pre-existing issues so it might be worth calling them (I did as I have pre-existing conditions).

I will tell you that their customer service for help once injured wasn't great but they did ultimately pay to fly myself and my husband home in business class (as I had to have my leg elevated). They paid for ground transportation from SFO to my home (about 3 hours). They refunded me about $3000 of additional costs for hotels, tours, etc that couldn't be refunded. My ER bill in Portugal for 5 xrays, 4 hours of care with 3 orthopedic surgeons, and an EKG was $157 of which my US health insurance will reimburse me $57 since it was an emergency. Despite many hassles, I will buy insurance from DAN/Generali again (if they will have me).

I also was refunded for a trip that I was unable to initiate due to ankle rehab. Turkish Airlines refunded all but $270 per person plus the cost of our seat selections ($702 total). Because I had used my Bank of America Travel Rewards visa, I was able to get all of that refunded through Broadspire (the company that handles claims for this visa). Don't know if/what they might have covered for medical services.