To help you make the right decision, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of credit card travel insurance, what it covers, and what it doesn’t cover. We’re also going to look at which credit cards offer free travel insurance – from American Express, all the way to Westpac.
Which credit cards offer free travel insurance?
In the past, only premium credit cards offered incentives such as free travel insurance. Nowadays however, standard credit cards, rewards cards and frequent flyer cards often offer complimentary insurances as well.
Scroll down for our list of credit cards currently offering free travel insurance.
What to be aware of when choosing a credit card with free travel insurance
When credit card providers offer ‘free’ features such as insurance, it can often mean the card is more costly in fees and interest. Just as you would do when comparing rewards cards, think about what you are getting from the card, and how much you are paying for those features. (Find out more about making the most of your rewards card here.)
The key to choosing the right credit card – in any circumstance – is making sure it offers value for money. Think about what you are getting from the travel insurance, what cover it offers, what exceptions there are, and how often you are going to use it.
What are the benefits of credit card travel insurance?
The main benefit of credit card travel insurance is the cover it provides. Your credit card provides you with travel cover, so you don’t have to buy standalone travel insurance, which should save you money – and the hassle of looking for cover.
Depending on your insurer, you could be covered for medical costs, travel delays and cancellations, lost baggage and personal belongings, and lost money and travel documents. You may also be covered for flight ‘inconvenience’, transit accidents, and car rental excess.
Here are the main types of insurance available on credit card travel insurance (bear in mind that most of the travel insurance is for overseas trips only).
- International/Overseas Travel Insurance: Travel cancellation, overseas medical expenses, lost luggage or travel documents, accidental death and disability, missed connections, personal liability and more.
- Interstate Flight Inconvenience Insurance: You’re usually covered if, during an interstate flight, your luggage is lost or delayed or if you have to cancel or amend an interstate flight due to serious illness.
- Transit accident insurance: Covers you if you or members of your family die or are seriously injured in an accident while travelling.
- Rental Excess Cover: Reduces your excess payment if you made the car hire on the credit card, but usually only if you took the comprehensive insurance option.
In order to make the most out of your credit card travel insurance, be sure to read the terms and conditions of the cover, and find out about any possible exclusions.
- Always remember the free insurance will only be activated if you purchase the item on the card, for example the full price of the air fare or the holiday. (Find out more about booking travel and accommodation on your credit card here.)
- Always read and understand the terms and conditions closely before relying on the insurance cover, all of the banks use reliable insurers but there are still subtle differences to be found.
- Supplementary card members are often NOT covered unless they’re an immediate family member. So a friend or colleague who has an additional card on the account may not be covered.
Find out more about credit card travel insurance and what it covers here.
American Express Credit Cards
American Express cards provide extensive free travel insurance options. The most important difference is the domestic cover – most other providers don’t offer this. American Express free travel insurance is provided by ACE Insurance. The Platinum card has 18 different insurance benefits including roadside assistance and hijack cover.
|American Express credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Up to 2.5 million on medical expenses, travel cancellation cover up to $10,000, personal liability up to $1 million, baggage, money and document cover varies
Flight delays, missed connections or luggage delays – pay outs vary according to the card range
Up to $400,000
ANZ Credit Cards
ANZ’s four platinum cards all feature free travel insurance. The travel and medical insurance covers a trip of up to 6 months. Interstate flight inconvenience covers you for return flights purchased for up to a 14 day period, and transport accident insurance covers plane, bus, ferry or train journeys when you’ve bought the full fare on your ANZ Platinum card.
|ANZ credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Frequent Flyer Platinum
Up to 6 months for a minimum trip purchase of $250
Return flights up to 14 days – trip cancellation,
Up to $350,000 for injuries on plane, train, ferry or tourist bus
Reduced excess for hiring on the card
Low Rate Platinum
Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA and St George Credit Cards
Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St George all provide the same products under different branding, and therefore the same insurance cover. All cover is for the main cardholder, their spouse and dependent children.
|Bank Of Melbourne, Bank SA, St George cards||Overseas Travel Insurance||Domestic Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Up to 6 months
Up to 14 day return trips flight & luggage delay,
Plane, train, ferry or tourist bus
Citi Credit Cards
All Citi credit cards shown on this site are regarded as premium and include international travel insurance. The Signature and Prestige cards are more comprehensive than the Platinum cards in terms of domestic cover – there is no domestic flight inconvenience insurance included on those.
|Citibank credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Up to 6 months
The cardholder and immediate family are covered if entire trip paid for on the card
Included in travel insurance if you have taken comprehensive insurance on the rental
Up to 14 day return trips
Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards
Commonwealth Bank credit cards’ free travel insurance is only really extensive on the Awards Platinum card option. The other credit cards provide overseas travel insurance but not interstate flight inconvenience or transit accident insurance. The cardholder’s spouse and dependent children are automatically covered.
|CommBank credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Trips up to 3 months
Limit of $2250
Low Fee Gold
Trips up to 6 months
Diners Club Credit Cards
Diners Club (yes it still exists) offers extensive free travel insurance as it’s a premium credit card offering. It offers cover for the card holder, spouse and dependent children for all items, the cover of which is provided by Zurich Insurance.
|Diners Club credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Unlimited medical cover (with some small conditions) Up to 3 month trips
Up to 14 day trips, loss of items, cancellations, delays of 4 hours or more
Up to $250,000
Up to $2,250
HSBC Credit Cards
With HSBC credit cards’ free travel insurance, the most important note to consider is that it applies to cardholders only (not spouse/family etc.) so may be more suited towards the international business traveller.
|HSBC credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
Unlimited medical cover + up to $20,000 for belongings
Limit of $2250
NAB Credit Cards
NAB credit cards’ free travel insurance covers the cardholder and their immediate family, it is limited however, if you or another family member is 75 years old or older. NAB does include some interesting additional extras; domestic hotel burglary insurance, while kidnappings and hijacks are also covered.
|NAB credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
All actual incurred medical costs, up to 6 months trips
Up to 14 day trips – lost baggage cover and food allowances up to $200 per person
Up to $500,000 per person, though may be some limits on non-card holders
Up to $5,000, no excess payment required
FlyBuys Rewards Card
Qantas Rewards Premium
Velocity Rewards Premium
Virgin Credit Cards
Virgin credit cards only provide free overseas travel insurance on their premium High Flyer card, but do provide transit accident insurance on the Flyer Card. Insurance is applicable to spouse and dependent children too.
|Virgin Money credit cards||International Travel Insurance||Interstate Flight Inconvenience||Transit Accident Insurance||Rental Excess cover|
up to $500,000
High Flyer Card
Unlimited medical cover, up to 16K personal/business effects
Up to 14 day trips, up to $3,000 for cancellations
Up to $2,250
All in all, there is a huge range of options to consider. If you are travelling with family and book the whole trip on the card, there are good options to save yourself a lot of money on separate travel insurance – if you’re sure your credit card has you covered. Always check the terms and conditions thoroughly.