is yours enough or do you need extra coverage?

A significant proportion of Australians own one or more credit cards. But is the travel insurance often included with this popular payment method enough for your next trip abroad?

The last payment data published by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) revealed that more than 13 million Australians held credit card accounts, while there were 17.5 million credit cards in circulation in June 2022. It is the equivalent of almost one credit card per adult.

Many credit cards offer a range of rewards and additional features, including travel insurance. Every Australian should consider travel insurance when venturing overseas. Many incidents can occur at any time and disrupt your travel plans. It is therefore a good idea to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances such as travel delays and cancellations, accidents and injuries, extreme weather events, global pandemics, civil unrest, etc.

When you could be happy to use your credit card for vacation expensescomparing your travel insurance options can provide you with more comprehensive and specialized coverage.

How does credit card travel insurance compare to standalone providers?

Travel is back on the cards for many Australians. In preparation for your next adventure, we’ve compiled a basic checklist to roughly compare the differences between credit card travel insurance policies and the coverage offered by stand-alone providers.

Making up

Credit card travel insurance

Autonomous travel insurance

Cost

Usually included in your card fee or can be free

Prices vary depending on the policy you take out and the level of cover provided

Subscribers

Generally the same as stand-alone insurers

Guarantors generally certified and accredited

Excess

Tends to be higher than standalone

Tends to be lower than credit card policies

Duration of cover

Usually up to six months

Usually up to 12 months

Coverage scope

Generally only offer coverage for international travel, but policies vary

Typically offer national and international coverage

Personalized cover

Generally basic coverage

Most allow for tailored coverage

Coverage for lost, stolen or damaged property

Generally excluded

Usually included

Coverage of ancillary activities

May not be included

Can be included for a cost

Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions

Generally excluded

Cover may be available

Awards

Included in your expenses

Usually no benefits

At first glance, it appears that standalone travel insurance policies offer a greater degree of flexibility and coverage for travelers. However, the above information should only be used as a guide in choosing the best policy for your needs.

What should you take into account when taking out travel insurance with a credit card?

Activation

A number of credit card companies will require you to activate your travel insurance policy before embarking on your trip. You may also be required to book return travel within Australia, as a one-way trip may not be covered. Check with your card issuer for details.

Excess

Excess fees for credit card policies are usually higher than for stand-alone insurance. Some card providers require a deductible of up to $500 when you make a claim, while standalone policies generally limit excess amounts to $100.

Family coverage

If you are traveling as a family, it may be beneficial to compare standalone travel insurance packages. Some credit card policies only apply to the primary cardholder and may not cover children or other family members. Others might apply a “minimum spend per person provision” to unlock coverage for additional travellers.

Additional activities

You can choose to participate in extracurricular activities such as renting a motorbike, skiing, canyoning, renting a boat, bungee jumping, attending music festivals, etc. Often these activities are not covered by credit card travel insurance. Finding a tailored solution that encompasses these efforts can be more beneficial.

Expensive items

When traveling, it may be useful to bring high-value personal items such as cell phones, jewelry, laptops, cameras, and hearing aids. Credit card travel insurance can be basic and generally does not cover these items.

Cash

Although we don’t use it often at home, when traveling cash can still be king depending on your destination. For this reason, credit card travel insurance can be useful as policies typically cover up to $500 in the event of cash being stolen from your person, while stand-alone providers typically offer coverage up to $200. .

For more details and to see what’s on offer, compare a range of credit cards that include free travel insurance.

Every travel insurance policy is different and it is advisable to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to determine all relevant details relating to your particular deal. The PDS describes the level of cover provided in each scenario where you may be able to make a claim.

Compare credit cards with free travel insurance:

P&N Bank Visa Platinum

Auswide Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard

Balance transfer

Earn 20,000 bonus reward points and pay 0% annually on balance transfers for 14 months

Macquarie Bank Platinum Card (Macquarie Rewards)

Bonus points

Receive 20,000 Macquarie Rewards bonus points

Macquarie Bank Black Card (Macquarie Rewards)

Bonus Points

Receive 20,000 Macquarie Rewards bonus points

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