Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.
Almost 7 years ago at the Chicago Seminars I talked to a long time NWA/ Delta flyer from Minnesota who was, at the time, one of the main Delta speakers at the event. He was brilliant in the way he used SkyMiles to the absolute maximum value and I learned so much from him. But this post is not about history or the once amazing value of SkyMiles but about something else he said.
We were talking about travel cards and points and specifically Delta Amex cards that offer no travel insurance at all. Back then I would simply purchase all my Delta tickets with my Delta Reserve card (ridiculous today – I know) as it was a way to help me reach my yearly spend goals for bonus MQMs etc. Earning 2x SkyMiles, back then, had real value and I gave up any travel protection for the points. Even today many make the same choice with say their non-Delta Amex Platinum cards. I asked him what he did and he said he did not care that whatever card offered or did not offer protection.
Wait – really? Why? Then he then said something that has stuck in the back of my mind for years and every time I fly or buy a ticket and more. He said:
Like most of us I have seen Delta, and others, bug me to buy insurance for a single trip at the final payment step. Same thing goes for cruises etc. But one that covers you for the year? Yep!
- Trip Cancellation $2,000 / year
- Trip Interruption $2,000 / year
- Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage $50,000 /year
- Emergency Medical Transportation $500,000 /year
- Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000 / year
- Baggage Delay $2,000 / year
- Travel Delay $1,500 / year
- Travel Accident Coverage $50,000 / year
- Collision/Loss Damage Insurance $45,000 / year
- 24-Hr Hotline Assistance
This is clearly WAY more than I could ever expect from a travel card and it hits a bunch of personal issues I may face and could save my “bacon” in the coming years.
For example, when weather is bad (think days of delays like Delta had a while back) this is going to be huge. Same goes for bag issues or other travel delays. Beyond that there are other important bits for me.
I scuba dive and have paid for DAN dive insurance each year I dive. With this plan I have medical coverage as I always dive with a Dive Master never below 120 feet (and we always do).
My amazing USAA automotive policy does not cover me when I rent a car say in Grand Cayman and the add-on insurance can be as much as the rental cost. With this I am covered (still excluded Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, cars that retail over $75,000 and rentals longer than 45 day rental).
I am becoming a “frequent floater” in the past few years and this year will take 5 (some short, some long). While reading up on cruising I have come across nightmare after nightmare of the cost of medical treatment onboard or along the way (or to get home). This peace of mind alone, to me, is worth this policy.
I could go on and on for me personally but the bottom line is this is a buy it and forget it (until you need it) and covers me for any tickets, or cruises or car rentals, I buy while I have the coverage in place. No need to call or add – it is just automatic. Any other coverage I have is still in place unless this is needed.
Gosh, I should have done this annual travel protection plan years ago but I am happy I finally made this wise move! – René