Anyone planning a trip overseas knows how important travel insurance can be, but before sorting through travel agent or online quotes it may be a good idea to turn to your credit card.

Many credit cards now come with complimentary insurance, particularly for travel overseas, which could save you a lot of money on planning expenses.

While more basic card options are less likely to offer this extra, anyone with a gold, platinum or rewards card probably does have the chance to take out international travel insurance for free.

But just like features, terms and conditions will vary between credit card offers and providers, so will the requirements of the insurance.

Most credit card providers will be partnered with an insurance company to offer the complimentary extra, for example, Zurich Australian Insurance Limited provides the complimentary insurance for eligible Bankwest, Citibank, HSBC and St George credit cards.

ANZ, on the other hand, has an insurance deal with Chartis Australia Insurance Limited, so the policy details may be quite different depending on which insurance company your credit card is aligned with.

Credit Card Travel Insurance Tips

Before choosing to go with a complimentary credit card travel insurance option it is a good idea to read up on the insurance policy to make sure you are covered for what you need.

Some of these offers may only be applicable to the cardholder, while others may not cover certain activities, like skiing or snowboarding, which are a planned part of the trip.

There may also be high excesses that need to be paid upfront if you do need to make a claim, but that will generally be the case with most insurance options anyway.

The following points are helpful to keep in mind when looking at the complimentary insurance policy:

  • Who the insurance will cover
  • Any age, health and other personal eligibility factors
  • The amount of coverage and the excess costs
  • Any location exclusions; and
  • Credit card requirements to access the offer

Just like credit card rewards, which you earn as you spend, complimentary insurance may be conditional and require a certain amount of travel-specific charges be placed on the card.

The ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum, for example, requires at least $250 worth of overseas travel expenses be charged to the card before the trip commences if cardholders would like to access the complimentary insurance.

While putting travel expenses onto a frequent flyer card will lead to more points anyway, it is still a good idea to consider the conditions and know that you will be covered for what you need.

Complimentary travel insurance provides another opportunity for cardholders to save money by choosing a frequent flyer credit card that provides the best coverage every time.