Card-based travel insurance - is it good enough?

10 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Aug 2018

Total posts 25

I've always assumed that the travel insurance I get through my credit card means I have nothing to worry about so long as I put the ticket on my card (ANZ Frequent Flyer Black).

A colleague's recent overseas health emergency has inspired me to do some due diligence and actually read the Ts&Cs.
Obscure as the language is, the coverage looks fine to me, unless I've missed something.
(My main two concerns: if I have an expensive health emergency overseas am I properly covered? And when I rent a car in Australia is the damage excess covered?)
It all looks good to me, and I've concluded that I don't need any additional cover.
As a final sanity check, I wonder if any users of card-based insurance on this forum have had any experiences to suggest otherwise?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 25 Nov 2016

Total posts 93

It probably is if you are satisfied with it after reading the T&Cs. That said I’ve never relied on it only. I get a medical only policy for the trip, the CC policy covers the other things. Not that expensive. Travel insurance companies will ask you when putting in a claim if you have a CC based policy and will contact them to offset any payment.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 384

1) always read the T&Cs to ensure the policy meets your needs 2) With some cards - the insurance is free but not automatic. E.g. CBA Business Plat MC - you need to log in to NetBank, advise of overseas travel - then you go through a small process to activate the travel insurance and generate pdf receipts and policy.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Oct 2017

Total posts 39

I've stopped relying on my ANZ Black FF for hire cars in Aus. Excesses are going up and up, but the card hasn't caught up. From memory it was $5k (you'll need to read the policy to check/confirm) and half the time these days I seem to be in cars which have $6k excesses.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 181

As with any insurance, you need to read the T&Cs, but if you're happy with them, then yes, card-based insurance is just as good as any other insurance. A few little things to be aware of:

  • Make sure that you meet the criteria to "activate" the insurance. Every card is different; with some insurances you need to spend a certain amount (say, $500 or more) on your trip to activate it. With many others you need to pay for your return flight using your credit card (so if you pay for one or more legs using frequent flyer points, the insurance won't activate).
  • Make sure that anyone travelling with you is covered by the insurance. Many CC insurances cover the primary cardholder only.
  • Be aware that if you have to claim, there will be more hoops you'll need to jump through. In addition to all the proofs and documentation around the claim itself, you'll also need to prove that the insurance was activated. This may well involve sending through your credit card statements, tax invoices for the flights, etc.

The only claim I've had to make during the past five years was for a medical emergency. The claim was through the travel insurance provided through my NAB credit card. The claim process was long and painstaking, but once we did put through the claim they paid up within a week or two.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

You need to read the T&C's.

And ensure you meet them (eg. Minimum spend on card, or all travel).
As above excess matching on car hire can be an issue and some exclude higher end cars.
Plus often less coverage for items than with paid policies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Nov 2014

Total posts 23

I’ve just read the T&C for the ANZ Card Insurance which will come into effect from October this year. I notice that insurance cover will cease if you are hospitalises overseas for more than 12 months. In other words it seems you would be on your own from this point if you were really seriously injured or unwell. This is a major change from previous versions which didn’t have this limitation.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Jan 2019

Total posts 14

I used to never rely on credit card insurance, always taking additional paid policies. Until last year, when one of my flights was cancelled due to and airline going bust, requiring me to book a last minute alternative flight. It turns out that my paid policy did not cover me for this event at all, leaving me around $1000 out of pocket.

It seems cheaper paid policies are not substantially different to credit card policies.
I now rely on credit card insurance most of the time, unless I take a longer trip to Europe or the US, in which case I invest in a more expensive paid policy.
Don't be tempted to use low cost insurance, you might as well just rely on your complimentary credit card insurance.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Apr 2017

Total posts 181

I've never had any claim denied from any insurance issuer, card based or otherwise. Just triple check your conditions and you should be good.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Aug 2018

Total posts 25

Thanks all - useful perspectives, much appreciated.


Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 114

For o/s I always take out a 3rd policy and don't rely on the cc insurance.

One thing I'd suggest is consider taking out an annual 3rd party travel insurance policy. As it turned out, in the past 12 months we've had 2 extensive O/S trips, and 3 domestic ones. All for personal reasons. I just took out an annual policy and it covered everything we needed as a family for around $800 a year.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Card-based travel insurance - is it good enough?

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