No one wants to get sick while traveling. Not only does it ruin all chances for some relaxation, but you’re also away from home, your warm bed, and all things familiar, which amplifies the misery.
Whether you’re just visiting another city or traveling in a foreign country, the doctors, facilities, and even the medications you’re accustomed to aren’t within reach. This is when the right credit card can step in to make all the difference in the world.
Expect the Unexpected
Going to new places is exciting, and can bring with it fresh experiences, foods, and cultures. No matter the excitement, though, you’re still subject to the same illnesses and injuries that you could encounter back home.
Add to that the fact that you’re also being exposed to foreign germs and unfamiliar foods, and you’re susceptible to any number of medical issues. This could range from a tummy bug to a food allergy, virus, or any number of other issues.
Going Home Early
Cancelling a trip, or going home early once you’ve arrived, is frustrating for everyone. But if you’re sick or injured while traveling, it might be the best option.
Cards like the Citi Double Cash offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage for this exact situation. If you need to stay home, or go home early, the card will reimburse each covered traveler for up to $5,000 in prepaid expenses. So even if the resort says its fee is non-refundable, you’ll still be covered.
Break your leg skiing on the side of a mountain and need to be Medevac’d out? Suffer a heart attack in a third-world village and need to get to a specialist STAT? You’re in luck.
Emergency transports can cost tens of thousands of dollars, especially in the form of flights. Thankfully, the Citi Prestige and the Chase Sapphire brand will all cover you for up to $100,000 in medical evacuation expenses.
Need Medical or Dental Care?
You may have excellent health and/or dental insurance back home. But if you’re traveling, you may have trouble finding a doctor in-network, or using that coverage at all.
Hospitals in other countries may require prepayment for treatment if you’re a foreign citizen, or domestic care may cost you more simply because you can’t get a provider who is in your insurance network. Carrying the right card can help cover these expenses.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll be protected for up to $2,500 in medical or dental expenses, anytime you travel more than 100 miles from home. Of course, there are some stipulations: your medical/dental need must occur within the first 90 days of travel, and it cannot be a preexisting condition.
Otherwise, it’s good to know that everything from antibiotics to a cracked tooth can be covered when you’re traveling.
Finding the Care You Need
You’re in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar doctors, and maybe even an unfamiliar language. No matter the barriers, your credit card can help you get the care you need, when you need it.
The concierge services offered by products like the Platinum Card from American Express can help you find doctors, pharmacies, dentists, and even transportation, to ensure you get the right care.
Need to make it to an embassy in a foreign country? They can help get you directions or coordinate a car. Having trouble with the local language barrier? They can provide you with a translator. Need to get an urgent message to loved ones? Their concierge service agents are happy to help.
Like health insurance back home, you hope that you never actually need to use your credit card’s “sick” benefits, especially when traveling far from home. However, it’s great to know that the plastic you choose to carry today can literally be your lifesaver tomorrow.