Best credit cards in Canada for travel insurance 2023

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Canada’s best credit cards for travel insurance in more detail

If you’re planning to travel this summer, you’ll need travel insurance if you plan to go out of province. These days, many of the credit cards available include some kind of travel insurance. While that’s a great selling feature for these cards, savvy Canadians know that not all insurance is created equal. There are a few kinds of coverage you actually need when travelling, like emergency medical and trip cancellation or interruption. Theft or baggage loss protection is a useful bonus, too. As to which travel credit card offers the right combination of features for you, that will depend largely on the type of traveller you are and the perks you’re most likely to use. For instance, if you’re a frequent flyer, you might want a card that offers an extensive travel insurance package, plus a great points system or lounge access. If you’re into road trips, a card with travel insurance and roadside assistance might be more your speed. We’ve rounded up the cards that offer great travel insurance for any type of globe trotter. But first…

Travel insurance on credit cards: How does it work?

Every insurance package is tailored to a specific card and program but in general, the process is simple. You’ll usually have to book your travel on that credit card but different cards have different rules. For example, some say you need to book 100% of your trip on the card while others don’t have that stipulation. Read your documents to determine your responsibilities. Once you book, you’ll automatically have access to the included coverage. You don’t have to notify the credit card company that you’re traveling or call to activate the coverage. That said, we always recommend that you read the documentation from your credit card company. 

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Best no fee card for travel insurance 

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

At a glance: If you want a travel insurance credit card without committing to an annual fee, check out the Rogers World Elite Mastercard. Not only does this no-fee card include valuable travel and rental car insurance with perks like free Boingo Wi-Fi and access to airport lounges, it’s also a cash back card. This means that for every $1 you spend on the card you’ll get back 1.5% (or 3% if it’s in U.S. currency). And, new members will get a $25 welcome bonus applied to their account as soon as they make their first purchase. 

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 1.5% cash back on all purchases; 3% cash back on all U.S.-dollar purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Earn $25 cash back when you make your first purchase within the first three months of receiving the card
  • Additional benefits: Out-of-province/out-of-country emergency medical insurance; trip cancellation/interruption protection; rental car collision/damage coverage; access to over 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges in over 100 countries with Mastercard Airport Experiences; free Boingo Wi-Fi at over 1 million hotspots worldwide; and Mastercard Travel Rewards
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000

Best travel insurance card for lounge access

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card*

Scotia Passport Visa Infinite

It would be hard to overstate the perks of lounge access, particularly during a pandemic. And for frequent flyers, having a place to grab a drink, sit comfortably and enjoy some downtime can be the difference between a punishing and apleasant journey. When you use this card for your travel expenses, you get just that: a worry-free haven. The Scotiabank Passport Travel Visa is a top-notch travel card in its own right, offering a solid suite of travel and car rental insurance coverage. It has some nice perks, too, like the ability to earn Scene+ points and bonuses, including an annual 10,000-point top-up when you spend $40,000 in that year. And, cardholders receive complimentary Priority Pass membership plus six free international airport lounge passes per year, so you’ll always have somewhere to put your feet up.

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases; 1 Scene+ point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points ($400 value). Offer ends 30 April 2023.
  • Additional benefits: Travel insurance including emergency medical, trip cancellation or interruption, flight delay, delayed or lost baggage, and travel accident protection; hotel/motel burglary insurance; rental car collision loss/damage insurance; no foreign transaction fees; and Visa Infinite privileges
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000

Best travel credit card for medical insurance

BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard*

BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

At a glance: Canadians are privileged when it comes to healthcare, so it’s no surprise we want to travel with robust medical insurance. While many credit cards offer medical coverage of up to $1 million, the Ascend World Elite Mastercard doubles that , offering $2 million in cover for up to 21 days of travel—on unlimited trips per year. It also includes car rental collision loss and damage waiver insurance, so you’ll be reimbursed for damage or theft of your rental car for trips up to 48 days. You’ll also get travel accident insurance, which covers you and your spouse and dependants for up to $500,000 on passenger plans, busses, taxis, trains and cruise ships. Another perk: You get delayed and loss baggage insurance. So you’ll be reimbursed up to $750 per insured person if your bags are lost or damaged. And if your checked bags are delayed more than 12 hours, you’ll get $200 to purchase essentials, too. Coverage for you and your family to the tune of $2 million provides a lot of peace of mind, while a free lounge membership in Mastercard Travel Pass, provided by DragonPass, plus four free passes a year, gives you literal peace when travelling. Cardholders earn BMO Rewards points when using the card, which can be applied to travel, merchandise, cash redemption and even a contribution to a BMO investment account.

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances (21.99% in Quebec), 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 on travel, 3 points per $1 on dining and entertainment, 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Additional benefits: Access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots, BMO concierge service, extended warranty and purchase protection; travel medical insurance for you and your family of up to $2 million on trips up to 21 days; car rental collision loss and damage waiver insurance; travel accident insurance for you and your family up to $500,000 on passenger plans, busses, taxis, trains and cruise ships; delayed and loss baggage insurance; and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.
  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000

Best travel card for snowbirds and other seniors

National Bank World Elite Mastercard*

Image of National Bank World Elite Mastercard

At a glance: Canadians work hard all their lives, often with the idea that they’ll travel once in retirement or semi-retirement. The thing is, many insurance companies radically increase premiums or even refuse coverage to older applicants. Travellers with the National Bank World Elite Mastercard in their wallet have 15 days of emergency travel insurance included, even if they’re over 65 years old. The card’s inventive travel fee reimbursements system can cover you for travel-related costs like airport parking, seat selection, and checked baggage fees. This card’s rewards program lets you earn points on purchases that can be redeemed for travel or merchandise, or used for financial products like registered retirement savings plan(RRSP) or tax-free savings account (TFSA) contributions, or mortgage or line-of-credit payments.   

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.49% on cash advances, 22.49% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: Earn up to 5 points per $1 on grocery and restaurant purchases; 2 points per $1 on gas, electric vehicle charges and recurring bill payments; and 1 point per $1 on everything else.
  • Welcome offer: earn 70,000 rewards points ($560 value).
  • Additional benefits: Up to $150 each year in refund for travel expenses on airport parking, seat selection, check-in fees, airline ticket upgrades and access to airport lounges worldwide; free and unlimited access along with a guest to the National Bank Bank World MasterCard Lounge at Montréal-Trudeau airport; comprehensive travel insurance coverage for up to 60 days; out-of-province-of-residence medical/hospital insurance, departure flight delay insurance, baggage insurance in case of delay, theft or loss; vehicle rental insurance; mobile devices insurance against theft or damages for up to 2 years; and medical, general and legal assistance; purchase protection in case of theft or damage.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000

Best for travel insurance for road trips 

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard*

At a glance: Many travel credit cards focus on air travel but for the road trippers among us, we’ve selected the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard. This card is solid—top to bottom—with the highest cash back rate in the country with 5% back on groceries, plus 4% back on transit, 3% back on gas and electric vehicle charging; 2% on recurring bill payments, and 1% back on everything else. These earn rates will easily offset the $120 annual fee for a typical spender, but the other included benefits make this a must-carry card for those who want to take the highways and byways. First, cardmembers are covered by the BMO World Elite Total Travel and Medical Protection package, which includes collision damage waiver benefits on rental cars and eight days of out-of-province and out-of-country emergency medical benefits up to $2 million. Plus, it includes a free, basic membership in the Dominion Automobile Association and the benefits of its BMO Roadside Assistance Program.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 5% cash back on groceries, 4% back on transit, 3% back on gas and electric vehicle charging, 2% on recurring bill payments, and 1% back on everything else
  • Additional benefits: Complimentary Roadside Assistance Program; BMO World Elite Total Travel and Medical Protection; 25% off at National and Alamo for car rentals; and Mastercard Travel Rewards program.
  • Welcome bonus: Get up to 10% cash back in your first three months and have the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000

Best travel credit card with trip cancellation insurance

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card*

TD First class Travel Visa Infinite

At a glance: Trip cancellation insurance is more important than ever since the pandemic started. Our pick for the best travel insurance credit card with trip cancellation insurance is the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, which offers up to $1,500 per person. This, along with the included medical insurance, common carrier travel accident protection, delayed or lost baggage coverage, and travel assistance, should help you rest easy as you plan your travel. As a cash back card, it will also let you earn while you spend, 8 TD points per $1 spent via Expedia For TD, (and 50% more points for purchases at Starbucks). This is a welcome addition to any traveler’s wallet.

  • Annual fee: $139
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 8 TD points per $1 spent when you book travel through Expedia For TD; 6 Points per $1 on groceries & restaurants; 4 points per $1 spent on recurring bills; 2 points per $1 spent on everything else; 50% more points at Starbucks
  • Welcome bonus: Not available to display at the moment., Quebec residents, please click here.
  • Additional benefits: Travel insurance package, including medical insurance, trip cancellation or interruption, common carrier travel accident, and delayed or lost baggage coverage; travel assistance; up to $1,000 in mobile device insurance; auto rental collision/loss damage protection; Priority Pass membership discount; savings at Avis and Budget
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000

More of Canada’s best credit cards:


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