There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is always free travel insurance. Reduce the stress from your next holiday and save money by using a credit card with complimentary insurance.
Travelling overseas always involves a lot of planning, but there are some emergencies that you may not know how to plan for. Free travel insurance can provide cardholders with peace of mind, plus a host of insurance cover while travelling. Depending on your card and eligibility, cardholders can take advantage of a variety of covers with complimentary insurance.
In order to get the most value out of your complimentary insurance, compare your options and read the terms and conditions to ensure you know exactly what you’re covered under.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card Offer
The HSBC Platinum Credit Card comes with a complimentary insurance package including transit accident insurance and international travel and medical insurance to protect you and your family when travelling.
- $149 p.a. annual fee
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $40,000 p.a.
Jacob from finder.com.au addresses common questions about Complimentary travel insurance on Credit Cards
What is free travel insurance?
Instead of calling it ‘free travel insurance’, complimentary travel insurance is a more accurate term to describe the insurance that comes with some credit cards. This credit card may charge an annual fee or come with other expenses, so although the insurance is complimentary, it technically comes at the cost of the card. Complimentary insurance can save cardholders the time and money that comes with organising external insurance, not to mention drastically reduces any inconvenience should unforeseen emergencies pop up while you’re overseas.
What are the types of complimentary travel insurance?
Different credit cards provide different levels of complimentary travel insurance. It is important to look at the terms and conditions of the card to ensure all the basic travel insurance covers are provided.
Different types of complimentary travel insurance are:
- Medical and hospital expenses incurred overseas. This cover will vary according to which card you use, so make sure to look at the overall cover and limits to gauge the adequacy of the cover. General exclusions usually involve pre-existing conditions, conditions covered by a private medical fund or government funds, or is not administered by a medical professional.
- Loss or damage to personal property. This cover usually has a maximum limit and will generally require the submission of a policy report before you are approved for a claim.
- Cancellation of travel arrangements. If you often book in advance or have to change plans, this cover could be of benefit to you. It covers accidental death of a relative, sudden illness of a family member, occurring of natural disaster at the destination or near your normal residence, etc.
- Travel inconvenience cover. Additional meals and accommodation costs are covered if the delay of flight is more than a few hours. Flight cancellation, delayed flight boarding and loss of luggage are also covered within this.
- Transport accident cover. This provides cover for any accident during travel and also covers any loss in departure and destination terminals.
- Legal liability cover. Some cards also provide legal liability cover which can settle or defend a claim in case of bodily harm or damage of property caused to someone other than cardholder.
These are only some of the insurance covers available, so make sure to do your research to find the card and insurance cover that suits your needs most.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of travel insurance credit cards?
- Indispensable covers provided. In today’s age, travel insurance is very important for any traveller. Going to a different country with different customs, medical coverage, and security can make overseas travel insurance invaluable. Travellers can use a standalone travel insurance cover or take advantage of complimentary travel insurance. Standalone covers are often quite expensive, so using complimentary insurance could help you save on travel costs.
- Save time. The credit card in this case is acting like a single online account on Google or Facebook. Travellers need not worry about a host of different issuers from which they would take extra insurance cover and also take care of their payments, billings, and more. The credit card provides the requisite cover without any need for extra application, which can help reduce the time and effort that usually goes into comparing and choosing travel insurance.
- Cover for family. Most of the cards will also cover the family within complimentary travel insurance, so long as their travel costs have also been paid using the card.
- Single point of contact. It is beneficial to have a single point of contact which can assist you in every way while travelling abroad. Your credit card issuer and insurance could be your one stop shop for everything from stolen luggage to injuries while overseas.
- Sporadic travellers. Unless you’re going to travel and make use of the insurance regularly, this type of card may not be the right one for you.
- Higher price tag. This cover will generally be available in cards which have a higher annual fee, such as platinum and gold credit card offers.
What should I be wary of?
Some cards will offer different covers, so it’s important to read the fine print to know exactly what you’re entitled to under your complimentary travel insurance. Some of the factors you’ll want to take into account include:
- Adequate cover. Make sure that you’re eligible for the cover and that the terms and conditions on offer suit your particular needs.
- Time of travel. If you don’t travel regularly or for long periods of time, you may want to downgrade and choose a less expensive option.
- Terms and conditions. While this may be a tedious practice, reading the terms and conditions is crucial to ensure you understanding the opportunities and boundaries of your insurance. If you have any doubt about your cover after referring to such documents, you may wish to contact the issuer directly to confirm any queries.
- Payments. Most complimentary travel insurance cover require cardholders to pay for all, if not a percentage or amount, of their travel costs using the card. Again, make sure to consult the terms and conditions to confirm these requirements.
How to compare complimentary travel insurances
As there are many options available for credit cardholders and frequent flyers, you may want to base your decision on your own financial situation as well as some of these contributing factors:
- Costs. The higher the cost of the card, generally the higher the range of cover and additional benefits (such as concierge services, VIP airport lounge access etc). Customers can look at their cover requirements to find the ideal cover within their budget.
- Restrictions. All insurance covers come with restrictions and exclusions. Again, read the terms and conditions to confirm what you’re eligible for or restricted to. For pre-existing medical conditions for example, you may need to apply for additional cover which may come at a fee. Other restrictions, such as the requirement of purchasing your travel costs with the card, are important to consider to ensure you know how to activate your cover.
- Benefits. The benefits will vary according to both the user and the card. Lower fee card will have basic cover while higher fee cards might offer a wider range of coverage with higher levels of expenses covered. You will need to consider your own needs in order to evaluate which card will offer greater value.
Looking for more comprehensive travel cover options? Review policy options from Australian insurers
While credit card travel cover can provide great savings, it does not always meet the cover requirements of some travellers. If you are after more comprehensive policy options, you might like to review standalone policies from Australian Travel Insurance issuers. Finder has access to a number of exclusive deals and promotion codes to help you receive great savings on your policy.
If you travel regularly, a credit card with complimentary travel insurance could help you save time and money on your next trip. As the level of cover as well as the eligibility requirements will vary according to the card and insurance issuer, it’s important to compare your options and read the terms and conditions in order to find the insurance that suits your needs most.Back to top
Frequently Asked Questions
I will be travelling overseas for the first time with my partner. Which is the ideal card to get complimentary travel insurance?
In this case it is advisable to have complete cover for you and your partner throughout your travel. This might require that you book your tickets through the card. You might like to go for a Platinum card which can cover all your medical expense and provide cover for luggage, rental car, accident and more.
Do I need to stick with my higher cost card if I will not be undertaking any travel for next few years?
You can always switch to other cards to save costs. Features like complimentary travel insurance generally cost extra fees which makes the maintenance of these cards expensive. Customers can switch to a lower cost card if they feel the chances of overseas travel are non-existent in the near future. One can switch back to higher level card if there is any need for complimentary travel insurance.
I find the terms and condition for the card too complex. How can I decide on a card without reading every document?
It is always advisable to read the terms and conditions before finalizing a card. However one can narrow down the basic cover required in a card and then compare those features. The most important covers required by travellers are medical cover, bag and luggage cover and travel cancellation cover. Customers can look at the insurance limit for these covers to make a decision. In case any other unforeseen circumstance happens like damage to other’s property while driving, etc. it is advisable to first call the firm to get their advice.
Usually when the fees are higher there is more to be gained in extras and bonuses. The credit cards in this comparison do offer complimentary free travel insurance. Read terms before you go ahead.