Credit card insurance: limitations while you travel

You are travelling and think your credit card coverage will be sufficient? Here is an explanation to fully understand the limitations of credit card insurance and the importance of purchasing international travel insurance coverage. There are two types of coverage: non-medical coverage (baggage, trip cancellation, delay, civil liability) and medical coverage (death/disability, emergency medical expenses, medical repatriation, etc.)

Your credit card abroad

Each card has its own particular terms and conditions. Be aware of the benefits and limitations of your own. Ask the right questions - Do you have to pay for the whole trip with your credit card to be covered? - Are you covered for pre-existing medical conditions? Does the coverage vary based on your age? What is the stability period? - What is the maximum travel insurance coverage amount for medical expenses? Is there a deductible? - If you decided to extend your stay, would your coverage be extended? Are there any conditions? - What is the maximum number of days covered for one trip? - Is trip cancellation and interruption coverage offered with this plan?

Who your credit card covers

Most credit cards cover the cardholder, the spouse and the children, that is: an unmarried child or grandchild of the insured or his spouse, who is over 15 days of age or under 18 years of age, or a full-time student of age 24 and under. To be covered, they must be travelling with the cardholder.


To be eligible to benefits, you generally must pay for the whole trip with your card (depending on the banks) and these benefits very often come as an option for an additional charge, or may be limited to a maximum amount of coverage. It is essential to contact the insurer before incurring medical expenses abroad. Otherwise, the insurer may decide to limit the amount refunded for unauthorized expenses. Generally, if your account is outstanding, you might no longer be eligible for any benefits.

Coverage limitations

- You are insured only for trips whose duration is equal to or less than the number of days indicated in the table of coverage. With the Odyssée Desjardins credit card for example, someone 59 years of age or less is entitled to coverage for 48 days; from 60 to 64 years of age, the maximum is 23 days; from 65 to 75 years of age, the maximum is 15 days and from 76 years of age and over, there is no coverage for medical expenses. - The relative amount of trip cancellation insurance is usually set to a maximum, in many cases to $2000. - Baggage coverage allows for a compensation only in the case of checked baggage by a common carrier. - It is not possible to cover pre-existing medical conditions that have not been stable in the 6 months prior to the departure date.

The advantages of purchasing travel insurance with APRIL International Canada

- You will take advantage of a personalized coverage, useful advice and great customer service from our expert agents. - The baggage insurance coverage protects your baggage and personal effects in case of theft, loss or damage during your trip or return trip. - By purchasing trip cancellation coverage, you are covered for a great number of reasons for cancelling and the maximum amount insured is much greater. - You can get coverage for your pre-existing medical conditions that are unstable. - You can travel as many days as you want, without limitations pertaining to your age.

For more information on travel insurance offered by credit cards:

For details on the benefits and exclusions specific to your Desjardins credit card, please visit For any other card, please refer to the travel insurance section on your bank website.

Date of publication November 26, 2014

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