Know Risk

Travel is always a risk. We've all been there. Dozing uncomfortably in the airport because your flight was delayed, arriving at your destination to find out that your bags never arrived, or a last minute emergency keeping you from going on that long awaited vacation all together. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, over 35,000 flights will be cancelled this year and more than 5,000 diverted to other airports. While these inconveniences may sometimes be inevitable, losing money doesn't have to be.

Travel insurance can help protect your investment, in case a cancelled flight or an emergency prevents you from taking the trip you planned. Unfortunately, many travel insurance policies are too pricey to justify themselves, and inflate the cost of your trip anywhere from 4% to 8%. This is where travel insurance credit cards come in. These credit cards offer a variety of options of coverage, and to make your search easier, we've identified the top 5 cards that offer the best travel insurance benefits.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®:

This card is the best for travel accident coverage, covering up to one million dollars in damages. It also offers up to a $300 annual credit for travel purchases, a fee credit for special access services like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and luxury airport lounge access.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:

This card not only offers a large sign-up bonus, but also covers up to $10K per trip in trip-cancellation, trip delay coverage of up to $500 per ticket, and $3k in lost luggage coverage.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card:

This card is best for loyalty airline rewards combined with travel insurance. According to WalletHub, with this card, "customers who qualify for a Visa Signature card will get access to travel protection benefits including travel accident insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services."

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

This card is the best for loyalty hotel rewards with travel insurance. This card also has interesting benefits like a free night stay at a participating IHG hotel each year you're a cardholder. It also offers coverage for trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and purchase protection against damage or theft.

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card:

In addition to travel insurance, with this card, get 10,000 bonus miles per $25,000 spent. Other travel benefits include a free first checked bag for you and one companion on the same reservation, priority boarding and two United Club passes.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

Getty Images/Maria Stavreva

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