Credit Cards with Free Travel Insurance

Compare credit cards with complimentary insurance for domestic and overseas travel including your luggage and car rental.

0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee.
Annual fee refunded – a potential saving of $99 a year (conditions apply)
Earn 1 Rewards Point for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases and choose your own rewards.
Comes with Apple Pay.
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Credit cards come with different features and benefits that make them more attractive to their target audience. One common offering is travel insurance.

With travel insurance credit cards you enjoy some degree of insurance cover when you travel, usually both locally and overseas. It is important to know that credit card companies provide varying travel insurance products. You need to ensure, therefore, that you carefully analyse the cover provided by each credit card so that you get the maximum benefit based on where you travel to, and what you do there.

Putting your holiday or business trip on your credit card will also often insure you against loss as a result of flight cancellations and other problems with your trip.

Some credit card travel insurance providers will cover travel you for trips of up to six months. Others are only designed to cover you for brief holidays and business trips. Most will cover you for loss of luggage, overseas emergency medical costs (watch out for restrictions) and personal liability whilst abroad.

The benefits of travel insurance credit cards over buying a standard travel insurance policy

  • Nothing to pay: The obvious benefit is that the travel insurance is free. Card issuers usually describe the policies as ‘complimentary’. It means that the cost of the insurance is built into the annual fee and/or covered by the profit they make from other charges to both cardholders and merchants.
  • Multi-trip policy: While it is possible to buy travel insurance for a specific short period, say 30 days commencing on the day of your departure, most, if not all credit card travel insurance policies are annual, multi-trip policies. This means that you can travel many times per year and still be covered by the one policy. You don’t have to remember to take out insurance, as long as you activate the policy (see below).
  • Generous cover: You also might get more cover on a complimentary policy. Travel insurance policies available for purchase have a broad range of cover periods, pay-out limits and exclusions. Credit card travel insurance is normally positioned at the generous end of the market. This is especially true for travel insurance on platinum and black level credit cards.
  • Travel insurance is just one of the benefits: Many card issuers offer a fairly comprehensive suite of insurance products for their customers. This credit card insurance ‘portfolio’ may include purchase protection cover, extended warranty, public transport accident insurance and even protection against buyer’s remorse if you recently paid too much for a product now offered at a big discount.

Important points to remember about credit card travel insurance

  • Read the fine print: You may be provided with a product disclosure statement when you sign up for your credit card. If not, the card’s web page will usually have a link to a PDF file giving details about the cover. Underwriters have different interpretations of key insurance concepts so what is covered with one provider may not be covered by another. If there are any exclusions (e.g. age limits, pre-existing illnesses, or no cover for personal items left in an unattended vehicle) you need to be aware of them.
  • Activate the policy: There are very few credit cards with travel insurance cover that is automatic. You will usually be required to either pay your travel fares in full using your credit card (e.g. airfares for all family members going on the trip) or spend a target amount with the card (e.g. $500) on trip fares or other prepaid expenses.
  • You don’t need to tell the card issuer or insurer that you are going away: While there’s no need to tell your bank that you are going on a trip, because you are covered once you have fulfilled the policy’s activation conditions, it’s still a good idea to let them know that you are going overseas (unless this is a regular occurrence) so that they don’t immediately suspect fraud and suspend your card when the overseas transactions begin to appear.

Compare some of the leading credit card travel insurance providers below and get your next trip covered.

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international travel insurance
interstate flight inconvenience
personal item theft cover
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Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Exclusive Offer
APPLY BY 26 oct 17
EXCLUSIVE OFFER
80,000 + Bonus 20,000 Qantas or Altitude Points. New cards only. Min spend and T&Cs; apply.
$200 off the first year annual card fee (bringing the fee to $195).
2 complimentary passes per year to use at over 700 VIP Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.
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HSBC Platinum Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 oct 17
14 reviews
0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee.
Earn 1 Rewards Point per $1 spent.
Annual fee refunded – a potential saving of $99 a year (conditions apply)
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Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 in 3 months.
Earn 1.5 pts per $1 spent on card purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers.
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ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 oct 17
15 reviews
75,000 points when you spend $2,500 in 3 months.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
75 Bonus Status Credits when you buy and fly return with Qantas by 28th Feb 2018.
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Receive 50,000 points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
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Receive 50,000 points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months. Conditions apply.
A complimentary domestic return flight every year with travel insurance and entry into Virgin Australia Lounges.
Good points earning rates. Up to 2.5 points per dollar spent on purchases with Virgin Australia. 1.5 pts per $1 spent elsewhere.
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Citi Rewards Platinum Card Balance Transfer Offer
APPLY BY 31 jan 18
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
One-off 1.5% balance transfer fee applies.
Reduced annual fee of $49 p.a. in the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).
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St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card
APPLY BY 22 nov 17
6 reviews
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. Reverts to cash advance rate. (2% balance transfer fee applies).
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 12.74% p.a.
Complimentary insurance for overseas travel for 6 months.
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American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
APPLY BY 30 nov 17
Receive 100,000 points when you apply by 30th Nov 2017, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 business loyalty bonus points when you spend $100,000 every 12 months from the card approval date.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
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Enjoy $250 back when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days of approval.
Up to 55 days on purchases.
$99 p.a. annual fee.
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No
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
Start your holiday with a $200 Travel Credit every year.
Range of travel insurances including overseas medical emergency expenses, travel cancellation cover and more.
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0% p.a. Balance Transfer for 22 months*
$99 p.a. Annual Fee is refunded each year if you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases.
0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee.
$99 p.a. annual fee will be credited back each year for customers applying between 5th May 2017 to 31st October 2017 and who spend $6,000 on eligible purchases in 12 months.
Earn 1 Rewards Point per $1 spent.
High credit limits available for bigger spenders.
Insurance package available including extended warranty, purchase protection, guaranteed pricing, transit accident and international travel insurance.
Get additional cardholders at no extra cost.
Visa payWave for faster contactless purchases.
Comes with Apple Pay.

Promotion: Credit criteria, fees and charges apply. Read the terms and conditions before making a decision.

 

Q&As about Travel Insurance Credit Cards from Customers

Q: Do all credit cards have complimentary travel insurance cover?

No. The higher your annual fee, the more likely it is that your card will have travel insurance. Rewards points and frequent flyer points cards also tend to have travel insurance since many of the points redemption options involve travel. But cards with a lower, or zero, annual fee may not have any travel insurance benefits.

Q: What is covered by my credit card travel insurance policy?

You will need to read the details in the product information booklet (either a printed copy or a downloaded PDF file) to find out exactly what is covered, and what the payout limits and conditions are. Some of the items commonly covered are:

  • Emergency medical expenses while travelling overseas
  • Loss, theft and damage cover for luggage and other personal belongings
  • Compensation for unavoidable trip cancellation or missed connections
  • Compensation for delay, e.g. delayed flights
  • Car rental insurance excess waiver (mostly while overseas only, but some policies cover this in Australia as well)
  • Accidental death or permanent disability, loss of income
  • Personal liability while travelling
Q: Who is covered by my credit card travel insurance policy?

Again, this varies from card to card. The primary cardholder is invariably covered if there is a travel insurance policy in place. The vast majority of policies (but not all of them) also cover the cardholder’s spouse and children when accompanying the cardholder, provided the policy activation conditions have been met for all persons travelling. Many cards also have cover for supplementary cardholders, which means that a spouse who is a supplementary cardholder is still covered, and children accompanying the spouse are still covered, when travelling without the primary cardholder. Accompanying extended family members, such as parents or siblings, would not be covered (unless they were a supplementary cardholder). Check the product disclosure statement to find out what your particular policy covers.

Q: What is the maximum trip length allowed on my credit card travel insurance policy?

Although there is usually no limit on the number of trips covered in any year, there is a limit on each trip’s duration. For trips within Australia there is often a 14-day limit, and the trip must involve interstate air travel. Overseas trip cover generally allows for longer periods of cover, from 30 days to as long as six months. Once again, the insurance information booklet or product disclosure statement will have more information about this.

Q: How do I activate my credit card travel insurance policy?

Most credit card travel insurance policies have some kind of activation condition, involving travel spending using the credit card. For domestic travel insurance (interstate flight inconvenience cover) you will usually have to pay the airfares in full for everyone needing to be covered. Overseas travel policy activation normally has either the same airfare payment condition, or a target amount (e.g. $500) to be spent using the card for the trip’s prepaid expenses (fares, accommodation, tour or activity costs, etc.) before departure. Rewards and frequent flyer points cards sometimes accept activation where the airfares were purchased with points.

Q: Is the credit card issuer also the insurer behind the policy?

No. The card issuer will have made a master agreement with an insurance underwriter (e.g. ACE, Allianz, QBE) to provide cover for its cardholders.

Q: How do I make a claim against my credit card travel insurance policy?

You will need to make a claim directly with the insurance underwriter, although your card issuer’s service centre will usually help you to get in touch with them if you don’t have the contact details with you while travelling. But it is a good idea to take the policy and insurer contact details with you (or have them available on your mobile device). The insurance underwriter’s product disclosure statement will often provide a list of emergency contact telephone numbers for popular overseas destinations. If you need to make a claim but do not need financial, legal or practical assistance through the policy while you are away, you can wait until you return home before you contact the insurer. Retain any paperwork that you will need to support your claim, and don’t wait too long: there will be a time limit after your return during which you must make your claim.

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