The best travel insurance credit cards in Canada for 2024

Canada’s best credit cards for travel insurance

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. 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. 

Best no fee card for travel insurance 

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. 


Rogers World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rate: 1.5% cash back on all purchases; 3% cash back on all U.S.-dollar purchases
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn $25 welcome bonus in cash back rewards upon first card purchase within 3 months of receiving your card.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000

Best travel insurance card for lounge access

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 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 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.


Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $150 (waived for the first year)
  • 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

Best travel credit card for medical insurance

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 plans, busses, taxis, trains and cruise ships.


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 70,000 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

Another perk offered by the BMO Ascend: You get delayed and loss baggage insurance. So 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. Coverage for you and your family to the tune of $5 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.

Best travel card for snowbirds and other seniors

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. 


National Bank World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Earn rate: 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: 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

Best for travel insurance for road trips 

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.


BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

  • 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 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

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.


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 $1,100 in value, including up to 135,000 TD Rewards Points and no annual fee for the first year. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by March 4, 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

More of Canada’s best credit cards:

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