Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance

This page compares the travel insurance benefits provided automatically by various ultra-premium travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Amex Platinum, and US Bank Altitude Reserve.  For full details about each card’s coverage, please consult each card’s benefit’s guide:

Overall Summary

The following chart summarizes travel insurance provided automatically by each ultra-premium card. Cells in green indicate best in class coverage, yellow indicates good coverage, red indicates worse than peers coverage.  “Pay partial” means that you can get full coverage even if you pay only part of your transportation costs with this card.  For example, you could pay just the taxes and fees for an award flight.  Or, you could pay part of a cruise with gift cards and the rest with the credit card.

Chase
Sapphire
Reserve
Citi
Prestige
Amex
Platinum
USB Altitude Reserve
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Primary Primary
outside US
Secondary Primary
Roadside Assistance 4X per year limit
No $ limit
No freq limit
No $ limit
4X per year limit
N/A
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Pay partial Can pay partial, but then coverage limited to amt paid
N/A Pay in full
Trip Delay 6 hour delay
Pay partial
6 hour delay*
Pay partial
N/A
6 hour delay
Pay in full
Lost Luggage Pay partial Pay partial Pay in full Pay in full
Baggage Delay 6 hour delay
Pay partial
6 hour delay*
Pay partial
N/A N/A
Travel Accident Insurance Pay partial Pay partial Pay in full Pay in full
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation $100K limit
Pay partial
$100K limit
Pay partial
No set limit
No pay requirement
$10K limit
Pay in full
Emergency Medical and Dental $2,500 limit
Pay partial
N/A N/A N/A

Click on any of the above links for more information.

* 3 hours until 7/29/2018. Citi does not count missed connections as delays.

Based on the above chart, we can conclude that:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve has the best all around coverage
  • The Amex Platinum card is great to have for its emergency evacuation and transportation benefit. There is no need to pay for travel with this card in order to get that benefit.
Caution: I’m far from an expert on this stuff. I did my best to read through the benefit guides to figure out what was covered and when, but I can’t promise that I got all of the details correct.

Summary by coverage type

Each of the tables shown below summarize the benefits available with each card.  With each type of coverage, I’ve listed whether you must pay for travel with the card in order to get coverage.  In all cases, it is OK to pay with points rather than the credit card directly (e.g. you can pay with Ultimate Rewards points for Sapphire Reserve coverage; ThankYou points for Citi Prestige coverage; or Membership Rewards points for Amex Platinum coverage).

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Primary? Yes Outside US No Yes
Limit per claim $75K $75K* $75K $75K
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit 100% 100% 100% 100%

* $100K until July 29, 2018

Roadside Assistance
(Towing, jump-start, tire change, lock out service, fuel delivery)
Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Limits $50 per service; max 2 gallon fill-up, 4X per year;
Max tow 10 miles, max 2 gallon fill-up Max tow 10 miles, max 2 gallon fill-up, 4X per year N/A
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit
None None None N/A

 

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Limit per person, per trip $10K $5K N/A $2K
Max per trip
$20K $5K* N/A $2K
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of travel arrangements
Can pay partial trip, but then payout limited to that amount N/A Entire fare

* Unlimited until July 29, 2018

Trip Delay Reimbursement Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
# hours delay required 6 6* N/A 6
Max coverage per person per trip $500 $500 N/A $500
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of common carrier transportation Any part of common carrier transportation N/A Pay entire common carrier transportation

* 3 hours until 7/29/2018. Note that delays caused by missed connections do not count.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat
Max coverage per person per trip $3K $3K $3K ($2K for checked bags)
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of common carrier transportation Any part of common carrier transportation Full cost of transportation

 

Baggage Delay Reimbursement Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
# hours delay required 6 6 N/A N/A
Max coverage per person per trip $500 ($100 per day) $500 N/A N/A
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of common carrier transportation Any part of common carrier transportation N/A N/A

* 3 hours until 7/29/2018.

Travel Accident Insurance Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Max coverage per person per trip $1M $1M $500K $500K
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of common carrier transportation Any part of transportation Full cost of transportation Entire common carrier fare

 

Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Max coverage per person per trip $100K $100K No set limit $10K
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of trip Any part of trip None “charge a trip” (I think this means pay in full)

 

Emergency Medical and Dental
Sapphire Reserve Citi Prestige Amex Plat Altitude Reserve
Max coverage per person per trip $2,500 N/A N/A N/A
Amount required to pay w/ card to be eligible for benefit Any part of common carrier transportation N/A N/A N/A

 

American Express Platinum Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Coverage

It’s important to note that this coverage is part of the Amex “PREMIUM GLOBAL ASSIST HOTLINE”.

Detailed benefits of the hotline can be found by clicking here.

There is no requirement to pay for any part of your trip with your Amex Platinum card to use this benefit.

Here are the relevant terms from the above linked document:

Premium Global Assist Hotline can help you prepare for your trip with customs information and more. While you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home, coordination and assistance services such as lost passport replacement assistance, translation services, missing luggage assistance, and emergency legal and medical referrals are only a phone call away. Plus, we may provide services related to emergency medical transportation assistance. Card Members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers. Additional restrictions apply, see below.

Please note that any assistance provided by this benefit cannot be in violation of U.S. economic or trade sanctions.

Premium Global Assist Hotline Toll Free: 1-800-345-AMEX (2639) Direct Dial Collect: 1-715-343-7979

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance In the event that the Card Member or another covered family member (your spouse or domestic partner, dependent up to age 23, or age 26 if full-time student) traveling on the same trip itinerary as the Card Member becomes injured or ill while traveling and is seeking or has sought medical treatment, the Premium Global Assist Hotline medical department can assess the medical need for transportation and provide the service.

A medical evacuation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member from point of illness or injury (when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility) to a more appropriate medical facility or to a hospital near the person’s home as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician. The Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, in consultation with the local medical service provider or facility, will determine whether such transport is medically necessary and advisable. The event must be within the first 90 days of the trip and cannot be a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is any sickness, illness, or injury that has manifested itself, become acute, or was being treated in the 60 day period immediately prior to the start of a trip. The person needing evacuation may need to complete a medical information release as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (a “HIPAA Release”), or provide authorization for next of kin to complete the release. Emergency transportation services in connection with the medical emergency may also be provided to a covered family member pursuant to the full Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance Terms and Conditions at the end of this document. Subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. Please see full Terms and Conditions at the end of this document.

Very Important: Any costs for medical transport not authorized and arranged through the Premium Global Assist Hotline Program are solely the responsibility of the Card Member and such costs will not be reimbursed. Premium Global Assist Hotline does not cover medical expenses (with the exception of cost incurred during the transport) nor transportation of personal possessions including luggage.

Repatriation of Mortal Remains In case of death of a covered Card Member or covered family member (your spouse, dependent up to age 23, or age 26 if full-time student) while traveling with the Card Member, the Premium Global Assist Hotline medical department can provide the necessary administrative services to effect the transportation of the mortal remains back to the person’s principal place of residence or place of burial, whichever is closer. As an additional benefit, Premium Global Assist Hotline can pay for the cost of the transport and, subject to approval, the cost of a coffin or other encasement of the remains suitable for travel.

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tinaNick ReyesCiti Prestige trip delay devaluation: from 3 hours to 6 hours - Frequent MilerGreg The Frequent MilerTomT Recent comment authors
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[…] Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and Amex Platinum).  You can find the comparison page here: Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance.  In response to my post analyzing this comparison, a number of readers asked me which cards cover […]

ucipass
Guest
ucipass

This is some really good stuff. I am actually thinking about keeping the CSP just for the partial payment coverage for award tickets. Thank you!

ranova
Guest
ranova

Please add USBank Altitude Reserve!

Thanks

Dave @ MilesTalk
Guest

Really great stuff but one comment on CSR medical: I recently tried to use while away and had paid for my rental car w CSR but not the airline tickets. Was advised that only ‘common carrier’ charges count and paying for the rental car did not count. So it’s not quite ‘any part of trip’.

Rick
Guest
Rick

The CSR does not require you to be 50 miles from your home to receive the roadside assistance benefit. You only need to be away from home.

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[…] is able to offer and/or with portal rewards or mileage offers. You’re giving up some of the Travel Insurance you might have when booking with premium cards, but the savings might outweigh those benefits for […]

ed
Guest
ed

Compare the coverage for the free B of A Merrill card

TomT
Guest
TomT

Can you please add the travel insurance from the City National Bank Crystal card to this comparison?

John
Guest
John

Does Roadside assistance only apply to rental car? How does it work or use it? What if I have Roadside assistance with my personal insurance? Which should I use for rental car or personal car? Thanks.

TomT
Guest
TomT

I suggest also mentioning the Chase Ritz-Carlton (RC) card since it MOSTLY shares the same Travel Insurance benefits with the CSR. Sometimes the RC card has better coverages, other times the CSR is better. The full RC card benefits can be found at https://www.chasebenefits.com/ritzcarltonVW1

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[…] Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance […]

tina
Guest
tina

Wonderful coverage on these benefits. Are these additive? Say I pay for a trip with the Reserve card for a Galapagos trip and need evacuation. Can I use the $100K chase and $100K amex platinum to cover a $200K medical evacuation?

Nick Reyes
Editor

The Amex Platinum has no set limit and you don’t need to have paid for the trip with your Platinum card to get the coverage. In a sense, I guess that it might be possible to pay with your CSR and use the $100K Chase coverage as well, but the Platinum card would theoretically cover the entire $200K evacuation fee.

Here’s a story VFTW shared about the Platinum card covering a $275,000 medical evacuation.

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2017/05/10/know-benefits-amex-platinum-medical-evacuation-claim-award-ticket-saves-275000/

I can’t think of other situations where additive coverage could work unless you were able to somehow split the cost of a flight over two cards or something? I’m not sure how you would go about doing that, so I’m not sure I can think of a way where they would work addititvely.

tina
Guest
tina

Wow! Thanks for that clarification. So even if I paid for a Galapagos cruise, and used award flights with the tax etc using my chase card and need evacuation the Amex platinum will cover evacuation fees. That’s amazing. Between the two cards I don’t see why I would ever have to buy trip insurance.