Before I get into my analysis of Travel Insurance, I want to explain my reference to Abound Owners from here on out. Regarding the email Marriott Owners received which stated The Marriott Vacation Club Destinations® Exchange Program is now called Abound by Marriott Vacations™, when I refer to Abound Owners, I am referring to Marriott Owners and now includes Vistana Owners.
Insurance is complex and is heavily monitored to ensure all claims are qualified before they send payments for damages. Frankly, I have never enrolled in any travel insurance in my almost 30 years as a Marriott Owner. I travel frequently, and have never needed to be compensated for lost luggage, medical issues, or cancelled flights – knock on wood. But considering the state of the frequent airline flight cancellations, the potential of major delays, or even the climate and civil disorder going on worldwide, I am considering changing that pattern and enrolling for travel insurance for next year.
What’s great about Travelex, the insurance Marriott uses for Abound Owners, is that you pay a fee (or use Club Points) for ALL travel in the use year of your points. It also covers you as the owner, and up to 7 traveling companions. The fee is $199 for ANY owner status for the year – the more you travel using Club Points, the more value you get out of the insurance. Now let me be clear, I am not an insurance agent, nor claim to tell you specific benefits will be covered depending on your personal situation. I gathered the following information from the documentation of Travelex, which you should review carefully yourself before purchasing.
You can access Travelex documentation here: Travelex Insurance
I also called Chase regarding my Chase Marriott Boundless credit card for Travel Benefits I qualify for with no additional fees. And I logged onto my American Express Marriott Brilliant credit card account to find the Travel Benefits I qualify for with no additional fees. From what I found, I created the following table to compare the coverage of specific travel benefits for Travelex (Abound), and the two Marriott credit cards I own. Again, you should contact your individual provider to verify whether the same benefits would be available for you.
|Benefits||Travelex (Marriott)||Chase Boundless Card||Am Ex Brilliant Card|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to $10,000/year||Not Covered||$10,000/trip or $20,000/yr|
|Frequent Traveler Benefit||$200||Not Covered||Not Covered|
|Trip Interruption||Up to $10,000/year||Not Covered||$10,000/trip or $20,000/yr|
|Missed Connection||$1000||Not Covered||Not Covered|
|Trip Inconvenience||$300||Not Covered||Not Covered|
|Baggage Delay||$1000||$500/person||Not Covered|
|Sporting Equipment Delay||$2000||$500/person||Not Covered|
|Security Deposit Protection||$2000||Not Covered||Not Covered|
|Accident & Sickness||$25,000||Covered, but Unknown amount||$5,000/person|
|Car Rental Collision||$35,000||Covered, but Unknown amount||Covered, but Unknown amount|
Other considerations you need to be aware regarding Marriott’s Travelex insurance.
- This insurance – Travelex — does NOT cover tours or cruises reserved through MVC or Abound.
- Travelex is NOT the same insurance as the Marriott Bonvoy insurance.
- The $199 covers the Club Points USE year, not the travel year. There has been confusion among owners who have contacted me regarding what this means. Trips taken using Banked or Borrowed points will not be covered. For example, if I use 2022 points to travel in 2023, that trip will not be covered for 2023. Or if I borrow points from 2024 to travel in 2023, that trip would not be covered for 2023 insurance. As one owner put it, “if you purchase insurance every year, you don’t have to worry about the ‘use’ year issue”.
No question in my mind that Travelex covers more potential unexpected or unanticipated events that would affect your vacation than what you get through your credit cards. And Travelex will reimburse maintenance fees — credit cards will not. The question you need to answer for yourself is whether the additional protection justifies the $199 fee. In any event, if you purchase Travelex Insurance – I highly recommend, let me say this again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do not use Club Points to do that. Unless the points are expiring and you can’t use them any other way, spend the $199 for the insurance. It is a terrible value if you use Club Points – only 25 cents per point. Not a good way to MAX your ownership. And be sure you are very familiar and understand the travel protection you will be receiving.
Ask questions and study the documentation – again the link to Travelex is Travelex Insurance