Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards In Canada 2019

Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards In Canada 2019

Insurance is the unsung hero of credit card perks.

We all know cards can earn you rewards for your regular spending and give you access to exclusive, VIP events...but what about the times your card is there for you when you're in need?

True, we hope we'll never have to use it, but insurance is sure nice to have when life ends up a little less than perfect.

The best part? You don't have to sacrifice great earn rates, low annual fees, or huge sign-up bonuses to get the best insurance coverage. Some of the best insurance cards are also some of the best cards in Canada, period.

If "peace of mind" is one of your favourite credit card perks, then you've come to the right place.

Let's take a look at the best credit card insurance packages on the market.

2019 insurance credit card rankings

We've compared all 189 credit cards in our database to find the best insurance package possible – so you know you're getting the best of the best, regardless of compensation and without bias.

Note: The "Welcome Bonus" when presented as a dollar value is calculated by combining all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions.

The top 3 Canadian insurance cards in detail

But don't just take our word for it – find out why the best is the best.

1st place: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

With great, flexible travel rewards and 12 types of insurance, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card comes out on top.

Why you want it

  • For every $1 you spend on gas, groceries, restaurants, and entertainment, you'll get 4 Scotia Rewards points.
  • Get 1 Scotia Rewards point on every $1 you spend everywhere else.
  • Kick-start your point collection with a 15,000 point welcome bonus – worth about $150 in travel.
  • Use your points on flexible travel rewards that you can book anywhere, anytime, with any provider – plus get access to Scotia Rewards Travel Service and a 24/7 Concierge to help get you there.
  • The lowest annual fee and income requirements of our top 10 insurance credit cards.

This card will have you covered on every purchase you charge to it, plus 9 other travel insurance coverages.

It's the only card of our top 3 to offer price protection, which will reimburse you in the event that you pay full price for something that goes on sale soon afterwards.

Another amazing perk is the fact that if you're over the age of 65, it'll still cover you for 10 days of emergency medical insurance when travelling. Most cards use this age as the cut-off point for coverage.

Related: Do You Have A Plan For Your Aging Parents?

And to top it all off, it has a reasonable annual fee of $99 and low personal income requirements of $12,000.

Downsides

American Express isn't accepted as widely as Mastercard and Visa, so you may run into some roadblocks there.

2nd place: Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard

Though it only offers 11 types of insurance, the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard gives you high amounts of coverage.

Why you want it

  • Earn 1.5% in BONUSDOLLARs on your first $20,000 spent annually, then 2% on everything after that.
  • Exclusive Desjardins perks, like concierge service and access to the Odyssey Lounge.
  • Get an annual 20% bonus on BONUSDOLLARs collected when you're a Desjardin Credit Union member.
  • Enjoy discounts on participating Hertz locations worldwide.
  • High-value insurance package, including mobile device protection.

If you want your insurance coverage to go above and beyond in terms of dollar value, this card is a great choice. With up to $1,000,000 in travel accident protection and unlimited trip interruption protection, you'll be set.

Plus the mobile device protection is a pretty rare treat – not to mention super useful for our fragile little super-computers.

Take a closer look at what insurance it offers here:

Downsides

Of our top 3 cards, this one has the highest annual fee – and no welcome bonus.

And as a World Elite Mastercard, you'll need a minimum personal income of $80,000 or $150,000 household.

3rd place: BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

If you collect Air Miles, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard may be almost irresistible.

Why you want it

  • Get the best Air Miles credit card BY FAR – earning you 1 mile for $10 spent on every purchase.
  • A huge welcome bonus worth about $606 – enough for a medium-haul flight.
  • Receive an exclusive 15% discount on Air Miles flights within North America.
  • Relax in airport lounges worldwide with Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided By LoungeKey, plus get 2 complimentary passes every year.
  • An extensive insurance package that includes 14 of the 16 types possible.
  • Experience all of this for free for the first year.

Air Miles is one of Canada's absolute favourite reward programs – and you can't get a better earn rate anywhere than this card.

Related: How To Earn And Redeem More Air Miles

But first, let's start off with the huge welcome bonus – get 1,000 miles after your first purchase on the card, then another 2,000 more after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

To put this in perspective, you'd need to spend $30,000 to get these miles normally. Suddenly $3,000 doesn't sound so bad, huh?

And beyond your earn rate, you'll get this fantastic insurance package:

All for a $120 annual fee – that's waived for the first year.

Plus, if you use your Air Miles towards travel rewards, as long as any taxes and fees are paid with the card, the insurance will still cover your trip.

And since it's a Mastercard, you can use it at Costco to really rack in those points.

Downsides

Though lower than the Desjardins card, this annual fee is a bit higher than our #1.

And the high minimum income requirements may restrict you – you have to earn at least $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

Still not sure what insurance card is best for you?

Sometimes the best card in Canada isn't the best for you. So what are you looking for?

Best insurance package on a no annual fee credit card

If you want some great insurance for free, you actually have a couple pretty good options.

Related: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards In Canada 2019

First up is the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, which offers an impressive trio of decent rewards, a welcome bonus (quite rare for a no fee card), and a beneficial insurance package.

With 7 types of insurance, even including travel accident for up to $1,000,000, you can feel safe with this card in your wallet:

Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases (up to $5,000 annually), plus get 1 point for every other $1 spent on eligible purchases.

This will get you about $325 in rewards every year, based on our average spending of $2,000 a month.

Plus start out ahead with a welcome bonus of up to 5,000 points.

Still not convinced that a no fee card can deliver great insurance?

Why not check out the Scotiabank American Express?

This card will get you 2 more insurance coverages than the MBNA card, plus exclusive access to Amex perks, like Invites and Front Of The Line.

Check out its insurance package here:

Interested in some rewards?

The Scotia Amex will get you a straightforward 1 point for every $1 spent, plus a 5,000 point signup bonus.

I want the best travel insurance

Since travel insurance is such a big part of the credit card insurance package, it's not surprising that our #1 card comes out on top for travel insurance too.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has you covered with 9 different types of travel insurance, on top of the 3 purchase insurance it also offers.

And don't worry if you're over the age of 65 – this card gives you 10 days of emergency medical coverage.

All for a low $99 annual fee.

Related: Comparing The Top 12 Travel Sites – Who Does Vacation Packages Best?

I want the best purchase insurance

If you don't travel that often, then travel insurance won't be much help to you – but chances are you buy stuff, right?

That's where purchase insurance comes in.

And only the best purchase insurance cards will give you 2 years of extended warranty and 180 days of purchase protection.

One of those cards is the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard which comes with an impressive collection of insurance above and beyond your purchase coverages:

Plus you'll get an impressive welcome bonus that lets you earn 5% cash back in your first 3 months (up to $4,000 spent). Once that ends, you'll get 1.5% cash back on all your purchases – no restrictive categories or limits. And you can redeem your rewards any time you want.

Don't quite meet the high income requirements of a World Elite Mastercard?

No problem, a lot of us can't. Why not check out the National Bank Platinum Mastercard instead?

You'll get the same great purchase protection for only $89 a month and no income requirements:

As for your earn rates, you'll get 1 point for every $1 spent – as straightforward as it gets.

Are you carrying a credit card balance? This card offers 3.90% interest on balance transfers for 6 months.

The most insurance

If you simply want the most insurance coverage you can get, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard offers 14 out of 16 available types of insurance in Canada:

No surprise it's one of our top rated cards.

Great rewards

If you want to earn some great rewards on top of having great coverage, our #5 card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card, has the highest average rate of return out of all 5 – coming in strong at 3.36%.

Here's its great insurance package:

If you're an Aeroplan collector, this will seriously help your earn rate.

You'll get 1.5 miles for every $1 you spend on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore, and Air Canada purchases made with the card (capped annually on the first $100,000 across these categories). Then, get 1.25 miles for every other $1 spent.

Related: Which Grocery Store Has The Lowest Prices?

You'll also get a whole suite of perks that will have you feeling like a VIP in no time at all. The first of which is the huge welcome bonus of up to 50,000 points – that's enough for 2 long-haul roundtrip flights.

To translate that into real-world terms, your welcome bonus is worth about $1,250...suddenly the $399 annual fee looks like a steal.

Just keep in mind it has an income requirement of $200,000 to qualify.

Get more details here:

I want a credit card with car rental insurance

Renting a car can be expensive on its own…and the insurance they offer certainly doesn't help the price any.

But did you know with the right credit card, you don't actually need rental car insurance?

Take the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, for example.

Not only will you get the most credit card insurance in Canada, you'll also get 3 types of rental car insurance that will cover you for up to 48 days.

Don't meet the high income requirements required for a World Elite Mastercard?

No worries, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard also gives you great rental car coverage – and it has no annual fee or income requirements. The only downside is it'll only cover you for up to 31 days (which is still quite a bit of time).

Both cards will give you:

  • rental car theft and damage,
  • rental car accident (up to $200,000), and
  • rental car personal effects insurance (up to $1,000 per occurrence).

So what card with great insurance will you go with?

Any of these cards catch your eye?

What kind of insurance are you more likely to look for? Purchase or travel?

Let us know below!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

Editorial Disclaimer: The content here reflects the author's opinion alone, and is not endorsed or sponsored by a bank, credit card issuer, rewards program or other entity.

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Comments

Ken Swan
Ken Swan's picture

I really enjoy your informative site. A good idea for me, and I am sure many others, is, what to do with all the various airlines points credits.

I hate to see them vanish but while they total a lot, individually they are not.

EG: South African Airways, 12,000 points. Cathay Pacific, 6000 points, American Airlines, 5000 points, Alaska Airlines, 4000 points.
and others. Over 35000 in total.

Ideas?

April 24, 2019 @ 4:08 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Ken, that's a great question.

The ideal way to deal with your airline points that are spread across several programs is to look into transfer rates. But this is a pretty rare perk, so the reality is you won't be able to do this most of the time.

Another way to deal with this is to avoid it in the first place – focus your efforts on a single (or a couple) airlines. Getting a credit card associated with the airline of your choice can skyrocket your earn rates, whether you fly on them every time or not.

Finally, some point programs let you pay for part of your flight, so having only a couple thousand points may still get you some money off. Or they let you redeem for gift cards for relatively small amounts of points – which may be your best bet to get rid of some straggling points.

If you want to do some more reading, this is a great resource for Canada's reward programs: https://creditcardgenius.ca/blog/best-loyalty-rewards-programs-canada/

Hope this helps!

April 30, 2019 @ 5:48 pm
Peter
Peter's picture

I’ll bet a good number of your subscribers would share my interest in Canadian credit cards that offer out-of-country medical coverage for those over 65, 70 or even 75. Do those even exist? The Ontario government’s just-announced curtailment of OHIP coverage abroad would likely increase interest in this type of product.

April 24, 2019 @ 11:27 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hi there Peter, creditcardGenius.ca has written an article about this outlining all the credit cards on the Canadian market that offers travel insurance for people over 65.

You can find the link for it here: https://creditcardgenius.ca/blog/travel-insurance-for-over-65/

That being said, there aren't many credit cards, if any, that offer insurance for people over 75, unfortunately.

April 30, 2019 @ 10:14 am

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