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Free travel coverage

The perks offered by credit cards frequently include free travel insurance benefits. But the coverage provided by these plans can be uneven. One card may spell out that it provides insurance for lost baggage, but another may not. With some cards, you'll have to dig deep into the fine print to figure out what exactly is covered when you travel.

"Will a card cover you if you have a trip interruption or if you are injured? That's the kind of thing that somebody would have to look for," says Linda Kundell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, a trade organization.

A 2007 survey conducted by the association concluded that credit card plans offer only very limited coverage for flight cancellations, medical emergencies and travel delays.

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