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Most bank cards include insurance and assistance cover to help you in the event of an emergency abroad (transport/repatriation, advance payment of hospital expenses, loss or damage to luggage, civil liability, etc.). 

Your bank card covers you, your spouse and your children. It can also cover your dependent children under the age of 25, and relatives listed on your tax return.


Limited duration of bank card coverage



This cover is limited to short stays of less than three months. As a general rule, it is only valid for 90 days (three months). Beyond that, you won't benefit from any health and assistance coverage abroad if you haven't taken out international health insurance.

Ceiling limit


This ceiling can be quickly reached and exceeded, especially if you use a standard card. A single day of hospitalization in the United States can cost several thousand euros:

  • Visa and MasterCard: €11,000
  • Premier and Gold cards: €155,000

If you're a MasterCard or Visa cardholder, you won't benefit from any baggage loss or damage cover, while your Visa Premier or MasterCard Gold card will only cover €800 per event.


What are the limits of my credit card?



Whatever your type of bank card, a deductible of €50 to €70 will be applied for each event, for both insurance and assistance.

What to do before you leave?


The most important thing is to check your card's guarantees and exclusions on your card's website.


To summarize: the insurance cover provided by your bank card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) enables you to deal with certain emergency situations, such as an unexpected illness* or accident*, provided that the event in question does not have a major impact. However, reimbursement ceilings are often far too low to cover medical expenses in countries where healthcare is very expensive (e.g. the USA, Canada or China).


* Unexpected illness: a sudden and unpredictable deterioration in the state of health of an insured person, certified by a health professional, which necessitates surgery or treatment and cannot wait for return or repatriation to the country of origin.

* Accident: any unintentional bodily injury suffered by an insured person and exclusively attributable to the unforeseen and sudden effects of an external cause (sprain, fracture, etc.).


Our recommendations



Here are our recommendations:

  1. If you're going abroad for more than three months, and want coverage equivalent to that in your home country, we recommend that you take out international health insurance.

  2. You should also consider insurance that covers repatriation/assistance, provident insurance, legal assistance and/or personal liability. These coverages are not included with a standard MasterCard or Visa card, but they are essential if you live abroad.

  3. At MSH, we offer international health insurance solutions to meet your specific needs (age, family situation, country of expatriation) and offer high coverage limits, so you can travel abroad with confidence and peace of mind.
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