The best travel insurance credit cards in Canada for 2024

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Best credit cards for travel insurance by category

If you’re one of the nearly 80% of Canadians planning a trip outside your province or territory this year, you’re going to want to use a travel credit card with solid insurance. The types of coverage you’ll need—and the perks and benefits that are most valuable to you—will depend on the type of trip you’re taking, so we’ve broken down our favourites into categories.

Best travel insurance credit cardsWhy we love it
Best travel insurance credit card overall
National Bank World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee: $150
Emergency medical coverage for trips of up to 60 days (15 days for seniors over 65), plus solid trip cancellation and car rental insurance, and more
Best card with an annual fee (honourable mention)
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
Annual fee: $150
Emergency medical coverage for up to 21 days—on unlimited trips per year
Best card with an annual fee (honourable mention)
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee: $120
BMO Roadside Assistance Program benefits through a free, basic membership in the Dominion Automobile Association
Best card with an annual fee (honourable mention)
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
Annual fee: $139
Trip cancellation insurance of up to $1,500 per person
Best travel insurance credit card with no annual fee
Rogers Red World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee: $0
Get six types of travel insurance coverage without committing to an annual fee

Best travel insurance credit card overall

At a glance: The National Bank World Elite Mastercard doubles the insurance coverage you get with many other cards, including many on this list. Not only does it offer a wide range of insurance coverages—from emergency medical to trip cancelling, baggage delay and car rental coverage—but the coverage amounts are also impressive (case in point: $5,000 in trip cancellation coverage). Most notable is the duration of emergency medical coverage, including for seniors over the age of 65.

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National Bank World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 on grocery and restaurant purchases; 2 points per $1 on gas, EV charges, recurring bill payments and travel booked through À La Carte Rewards; and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome offer: You can earn up to 40,000 rewards points. Must apply by August 15, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000
  • Recommended credit score: 760 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.49% on cash advances, 22.49% on balance transfers

Pros

  • Travellers with the National Bank World Elite Mastercard get $5 million in emergency medical coverage for trips of up to 60 days, which is three times longer than many other top-tier travel insurance cards.  
  • With other cards, the coverage period for travellers aged 65 and older is typically very short, around 3 to 5 days. With this card, seniors are covered for trips of up to 15 days—more than three times as long—until they reach the age of 75. 
  • The car rental insurance coverage applies to rentals of up to 48 days, which is longer than most other cards. 
  • You’re covered against inconveniences during your travels, with above-average trip cancellation coverage of $2,500 and trip interruption coverage of $5,000. 
  • The card’s inventive travel fee reimbursements system can cover you for up to $150 annually for travel-related costs like airport parking, seat selection, and checked baggage fees.
  • Cardholders have unlimited access to the National Bank Lounge at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal.

Cons

  • This card doesn’t come with travel accident coverage, which means you wouldn’t be covered for injuries that occur while travelling on a common carrier, such as an airplane or train. 
  • The annual fee of $150 is higher than some other cards in this category.
  • The income requirements are high, at $80,000 personal or $150,000 for the household.

Honourable mentions: Best travel insurance cards with an annual fee

At a glance: It would be hard to overstate the perks of lounge access. When you use this card for your travel expenses, you get just that: a worry-free haven. The Scotiabank Passport Travel Visa Infinite is a top-notch travel card in its own right, offering a solid suite of travel and car rental insurance coverage. Those under 65 get up to 25 days of travel medical insurance, which is impressive compared to some other cards on this list. If you’re aged 65 or older though, you are only covered for three days. The card also boasts coverage for trip cancellation, flight delays, lost baggage, rental car collision/ damage, accident insurance and more.

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Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Earn rate: 3 Scene+ points per $1 spent at Sobeys stores; 2 points per $1 on groceries, dining, entertainment and transit; 1 point per $1 on everything else. Plus, pay no FX fees
  • Welcome offer: earn up to $1,300 in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived. Offer ends July 1, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000
  • Point value: 1 Scene+ point = $0.01 when redeemed for travel, store purchases and food and drink at Cineplex and Scene partners
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 700 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • Comes with complimentary Visa Airport Companion membership and six lounge passes per year, good for more than 1,200 lounges worldwide.
  • You won’t be charged a foreign exchange fee on purchases made in other currencies.
  • This card has a good insurance offering that includes up to 25 days of travel medical insurance for those under 65 years of age plus trip cancellation, flight delays, lost baggage, rental car collision/ damage, accident insurance and more.

Cons

  • Travelers aged 65 or older are only eligible for three days of travel medical insurance.
  • The rewards on offer here are lower than what’s offered with some other premium credit cards.
  • The $60,000 personal or $100,000 household income requirements will be out of reach for some.

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 $5 million in coverage for up to 21 days of travel—on unlimited trips per year. You’ll also get travel accident insurance, which covers you and your spouse and dependants for up to $500,000 on passenger planes, busses, taxis, trains and cruise ships.

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BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Earn rates: 5 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases; 3 points per $1 on dining, entertainment, and recurring bill payments; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn up to 100,000 points
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000
  • Points values: 1 BMO Rewards point = $0.0067 when redeemed for travel
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances, 23.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • The Ascend World Elite Mastercard offers $5 million in coverage for up to 21 days of travel—on unlimited trips per year.
  • With the delayed and loss baggage insurance you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 per insured person if your bags are lost or damaged, and if your checked bags are delayed more than 6 hours, you’ll get $500 to purchase essentials, too.
  • Includes membership in Mastercard Travel Pass and comes with four free passes annually.
  • You can get a discount of up to seven cents per litre at Shell when you pay with this card.

Cons

  • After your first four lounge passes, you’ll have to pay US$32 per visit.
  • This card has an annual fee of $150, which is higher than some other cards in this category.
  • The income requirements are high, at $80,000 personal or $150,000 for the household.

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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. 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 $5 million. Plus, it includes a free, basic membership in the Dominion Automobile Association and the benefits of its BMO Roadside Assistance Program.

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BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Get a $50 Cash Bonus upon approval on ratehub.ca
  • Annual fee: $120
  • 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
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in your first anniversary
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000
Get a $50 Cash Bonus upon approval on ratehub.ca
  • 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.
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances, 23.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • 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 $5 million. 
  • Includes a free, basic membership in the Dominion Automobile Association and the benefits of its BMO Roadside Assistance Program.
  • At 5%, this card has the highest cash back earn rate on groceries in Canada.
  • Lets you earn cash back in frequently used categories which you can redeem on demand.

Cons

  • Although this card offers extremely competitive earn rates, there are low monthly caps on bonus categories: $500 in groceries, $300 in transit, gas, and EV charging, and $500 in recurring bills. Any purchases over these monthly limits will earn at the 1% base rate.
  • The income requirements are high, at $80,000 personal or $150,000 for the household.

At a glance: The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite offers up to $1,500 per person in trip cancellation insurance. This, along with the medical insurance coverage, common carrier travel accident protection, delayed or lost baggage coverage, and travel assistance, should help you rest easy as you plan your travel.

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TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

  • Annual fee: $139 (annual fee rebate—conditions apply to qualify)
  • Earn rates: Up to 8 TD Rewards points per $1 on travel; 6 points per $1 on groceries and restaurants; 4 points per $1 on recurring bills; and 2 points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: You can earn up to $800 in value, including up to 100,000 TD Rewards Points and no Annual Fee for the first year. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by June 3, 2024. Plus, you get an annual birthday bonus of 10% of your previous year’s points (up to 10,000 points).
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000
  • Point value: 1 TD Rewards point = $0.005 when redeemed for travel via Expedia For TD or $0.004 when redeemed through other providers and websites
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • Cardholders can get an annual $100 credit when they book with Expedia for TD.
  • Cardholders get an annual birthday bonus of 10% of their yearly purchases back as TD Rewards points. 
  • There are no travel blackouts, restrictions, or expiry on TD Rewards Points.

Cons

  • You have to book with Expedia for TD to get the $100 travel credit.
  • There’s a cap of 10,000 TD Rewards points for the birthday bonus.
  • The minimum personal annual income is $60,000 and the household income is $100,000.

Best no-fee travel insurance credit card

At a glance: If you want a travel insurance credit card without committing to an annual fee, check out the Rogers Red World Elite Mastercard. Not only does this no-fee card include valuable travel and rental car insurance with perks like free Boingo Wi-Fi, 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 2% if you’re a Rogers, Fido or Shaw customer).

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Rogers Red World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rate: 1.5% cash back on all purchases, or 2% back for Rogers, Fido and Shaw customers; 3% cash back on all purchases in USD
  • Welcome bonus: You can This card does not have a welcome bonus at this time.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • Cards with no annual fee usually don’t come with travel insurance, but this card comes with six types of coverage, including emergency medical for up to 10 days, and car rental theft and damage coverage for up to 31 days. 
  • You can earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases (or 2% if you’re a Rogers, Fido or Shaw customer). Plus, with 3% cash back on transactions in U.S. dollars, you’ll save on foreign transaction fees, too.
  • Whereas most World Elite cards come with an annual fee, the Rogers Red gives you World Elite benefits like discounts on Booking.com and free Boingo Wi-Fi at no cost.

Cons

To be approved, you’ll need a personal income of at least $80,000 or household income of at least $150,000.


How does credit card travel insurance 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. 

More of Canada’s best credit cards:

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About Keph Senett

About Keph Senett

Keph Senett writes about personal finance through a community-building lens. She seeks to make clear and actionable knowledge available to everyone.