Many credit cards offer travel insurance when the full cost of your ticket is charged to your credit card. However, what if you used points, and only used your credit card for the taxes and fees? Today’s Sunday Reader Question is: what credit cards provide travel insurance coverage for Aeroplan tickets?
Note: This in no way constitutes as legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Always speak to a lawyer and/or an insurance broker before making insurance decisions.
For credit cards that offer travel insurance protections, there is often a clause that states that the entire cost of your travel must be charged to that card to have coverage. If that credit card has an associated points program, it usually states that you can also pay with that card’s points program and still be eligible.
For example, the RBC Infinite Avion (this is not a referral) insurance policy states:
This Certificate of Insurance provides coverage whenever you have paid your transportation fare for a trip on a common carrier with your RBC credit card and/or RBC Rewards® points, prior to any injury resulting in any loss for which a claim is made under this Policy . If only a partial payment was made with RBC Rewards points, the balance must have been paid with your RBC credit card for this Certificate of Insurance to be effective. (RBC Insurance and Protection Booklet)
Under this policy, if I used the RBC Infinite Avion credit card to pay for the taxes and fees for an Aeroplan award ticket, I would not be covered. The insurer sees Aeroplan points as a form of payment, and therefore, there is no coverage as the entire cost has not be charged to your card (although I think contra proferentem would apply to the benefit of the consumer, although that’s a legal debate for another day).
Some credit cards provide explicit coverage for award tickets. For example, the CIBC Aerogold Infinite Visa (this is not a referral) provides:
“Full Fare” means at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the Common Carrier Ticket price on offer, which was charged to Your Card. Full fare is extended to include a Common Carrier Ticket obtained through the redemption of points from the Card travel reward program. (CIBC Insurance Certificate)
Under this policy, there would be coverage for an Aeroplan award ticket, so long as the taxes and fees were charged to your credit card. This coverage seems to extend for the flight delay and baggage insurance, out of province emergency travel medical insurance, common carrier accident insurance, and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.
The CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege Card (this is not a referral) offers similar coverage.
The TD Visa Infinite Card (this is not a referral) provides coverage under the definition of a “covered trip”:
[A covered trip is] for which the full cost has been charged to your account, and/or using your Aeroplan miles
COVERED TRIP means travel on a Common Carrier, the fare for which is fully charged to your Account, or paid for either in full or partially using your Aeroplan Miles. If your Aeroplan Miles have only partially paid for your Common Carrier fare, the balance of that fare must be fully charged to your Account. (TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Cardholder Agreement and Benefit Coverages Document)
Note that it seems that the Aeroplan account associated with the credit card has to be the account from which the points are used for payment to provide coverage. That is, if Ms. X uses her credit card to pay for the taxes and fees for an Aeroplan ticket for her spouse, Mr. Y, but the points are coming from Mr. Y (nor Ms. X), there would be no coverage.
There are reports of coverage under the AMEX Aeroplan cards, however, I cannot find a certificate of coverage for that product line, so I cannot independently confirm whether or not Aeroplan award tickets would be covered. If anybody has access to that policy and would be so kind as to send it to me, I can update this post.
There are a number of credit cards that provide coverage for Aeroplan award tickets. They may however not be worth it, as the card itself may be very expensive, otherwise a poor product, or have too many coverage exclusions. Always READ YOUR POLICY (over, and over again), speak to the insurer, and consider your flying habits to check if those cards are worthwhile. If you’re like me and travel on a number of different award programs, it may make sense to buy coverage that would apply regardless of how your travels were paid for. Also, always check what coverage you may have available from your work, school, or any other insurance you may have.