How Does Credit Card Travel Insurance Work? - NerdWallet Australia (2024)

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  • What is credit card travel insurance?
  • Types of credit card travel insurance
  • Getting free travel insurance with a credit card
  • Is there a catch with credit card travel insurance?

Travelling is a normal part of life for many Australians. As an adventurous nation, the annual overseas trip is a familiar ritual for many. Travel insurance is essential for international travellers to protect the journey and prevent unexpected financial costs. From accidents and emergency medical care to missed flights, lost baggage and coverage for belongings, credit cards with travel insurance may help safeguard your next adventure.

What is credit card travel insurance?

Travel insurance is available through online providers, travel agents, insurance brokers, other insurers (private health, home and car), and even credit card companies. Most banks, including the Big Four and smaller institutions, offer complimentary travel insurance with some types of credit cards.

Whether you’re travelling with expensive camera gear, have a pre-existing condition or have little ones in tow, using a credit card overseas that comes with travel insurance can offer the peace of mind that you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Although Australia has a strong public health system, the government doesn’t protect you while overseas. So, travellers are responsible for hospital bills and return flight costs if injured or sick.

Many travel credit cards include international travel insurance. Some banks also offer paid coverage for those with more extensive needs. Before choosing a policy, you’re best to check what is covered, any limits, excesses, and exclusions, and then discuss any pre-existing conditions. With the right insurance, you and your family could have coverage for unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance, cancellations, travel delays, and lost luggage and personal belongings.

Banks provide policies from partner insurers (similar to how banks have partner airlines for frequent flyer programs). For example, NAB’s travel insurance provider is Allianz, whereas ING partners with Auto & General.

If you don’t have a credit card with travel insurance, you may be able to purchase a policy from your bank. For example, CommBank has a handful of credit cards with complimentary international travel insurance for cardholders, their spouse and accompanying children. It also offers standalone policies that customers can buy independently.

Types of credit card travel insurance

Credit cards come with various protections, including international travel insurance, overseas transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and rental vehicle excess insurance.

Keep in mind the most common insurable events:

  • flight cancellations and delays
  • missing a connecting flight
  • medical treatments and emergency care
  • lost, damaged or stolen luggage/personal items
  • trip cancellation before departure.

It’s essential to do your due diligence because every bank and insurer will differ in coverage. If you’re applying for a credit card to access complimentary travel insurance, make sure you check what’s covered (and how much) before submitting an application.

For instance, Westpac offers certain cardholders access to these four insurance types. If you hold an Altitude Platinum card, you’re eligible for up to three months of international travel insurance, overseas transit accident insurance to cover injuries or death, rental vehicle excess insurance up to $5,500 and interstate flight inconvenience insurance for cancellations and delays. There are, however, caveats — such as purchasing the tickets on your credit card or prepaying $500 off your travel costs to your eligible card.

It’s helpful to check the definitions of the primary travel insurance policies to see which ones apply to you. In most instances, a broad international travel insurance policy suffices. For example, the CommBank travel insurance covers rental vehicle insurance, so a separate policy might not be necessary.

Getting free travel insurance with a credit card

Most banks offer complimentary travel insurance with select credit cards. Start your research with the Big Four banks.


ANZ Platinum and Black credit cards come with international and domestic travel insurance, including five on the market.

What does it cover?

  • overseas emergency medical and dental expenses
  • cancellation and additional expenses
  • loss or damage of luggage and travel documents
  • accidental death and permanent disability
  • loss of income
  • personal liability.

Domestically, cardholders enjoy protections for:

  • cancellations
  • travel delays
  • luggage delays.

Most policies cover similar travel requirements, but it is essential to check the limits, excesses, and terms and conditions. Review policies for pre-existing conditions and age limits and cover for specific activities while overseas, such as adventure sports.

How to activate and claim

Activate your travel insurance and make a claim online through the ANZ-Allianz portal.


CommBank has seven credit cards (and the World Debit Mastercard) which include international travel insurance. You, your spouse and up to 10 accompanying children travelling with you are covered.

What does it cover?

  • overseas medical benefits
  • accidental death — overseas funeral, cremation and body repatriation
  • cancellation costs
  • baggage and personal goods
  • travel delays
  • rental vehicle insurance
  • travel services provider insolvency
  • loss of income
  • hijack and kidnapping.

How to activate & claim

Activate your insurance in the CommBank app or NetBank. You can make a claim online or by calling Cover-More, CommBank’s partner insurer.


NAB customers must hold and use a personal NAB Signature, Platinum or Premium credit card or NAB Platinum Visa debit card. Spend $500 on trip-related expenses, and you could be entitled to free travel insurance for your spouse and any children travelling with you.

What does it cover?

  • overseas medical and dental expenses
  • cancellation and additional expenses
  • luggage and personal items
  • extra travel cover, including delays
  • rental vehicle damage and theft excess
  • accidental death and loss of income
  • personal liability and legal expenses
  • kidnap and ransom.

How to activate and claim

Activate your travel insurance and make a claim online through NAB’s partner insurer, Allianz. You can make a claim via the NAB-Allianz portal.


Westpac operates a two-tier structure for international travel insurance. Six credit cards fall under level one, and four under level two. Level one cards offer up to six months’ coverage, while level two provides up to three months. You must prepay $500 of your travel costs on your credit card and hold a return flight ticket. Allianz provides Westpac travel insurance.

What does it cover?

  • overseas medical expenses, including hospital, ambulance and repatriation costs
  • stolen, damaged or lost luggage
  • cancellation costs
  • rental vehicle access
  • travel document theft, loss or damage
  • personal liability, up to $2.5 million.

How to activate and claim

Activate your travel insurance and make a claim online through Westpac’s partner insurer, Allianz. If you’ve already returned home, call Allianz Global Assistance.

Is there a catch with credit card travel insurance?

Getting a credit card with complimentary travel insurance can save you hundreds on your next overseas trip. The partner insurers are well-known names with comprehensive coverage. Just be aware of the potential temptations of holding a credit card, especially if you’re trying to build your credit score, pay off debt or prefer to travel with your savings.

Credit cards with travel benefits, like insurance or airport lounge access, are some of the best in the category, so long as you’re confident using one.

» MORE: What is consumer credit insurance?

Frequently asked questions about credit card travel insurance

Do I need to activate credit card travel insurance?

You must activate the insurance before you leave Australia. If you’re a CommBank customer, for example, start your insurance in the CommBank or NetBank app. It’s worth locating and printing your travel insurance policy before your trip.

Is credit card travel insurance enough coverage for travel?

In most instances, travel insurance should provide adequate coverage. If you have pre-existing conditions or specific requirements, it’s worth speaking with multiple providers.

About the Author

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a freelance reporter, journalist, and cultural commentator. She covers culture + society, travel, LGBTQ+, human interest, and business. Amanda has written stories about planning for retirement for…

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How Does Credit Card Travel Insurance Work? - NerdWallet Australia (2024)


How does travel insurance work with a credit card? ›

Credit card travel insurance protects you from some unforeseen circ*mstances that may disrupt your travel plans. If your credit card includes travel insurance, you may be reimbursed if your travel is affected by weather, health issues or certain kinds of emergencies outside your control.

Do I need travel insurance for Australia from the US? ›

You are not required to have travel insurance to visit Australia, but it is strongly encouraged. Australia's government travel authority says, “If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel.” Medical care in Australia can be expensive for travelers and visitors.

Does my Visa card cover travel insurance? ›

Use the Visa insurance service for safe and comfortable travels. Holders of Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, Visa Platinum Business and Visa Signature Business premium cards will be automatically insured when traveling.

Is it worth getting travel insurance for Australia? ›

Whether you experience a travel delay or a medical emergency, travel insurance for Australian vacations provides valuable protection for expensive trip costs. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, reimbursem*nts recoup losses for trip cancellation, lost baggage, unexpected medical treatment and more.

Does your credit card cover trip cancellation? ›

The coverage provided by your credit card will depend on the date of cancellation/interruption of your trip and the expenses incurred as a result of this trip. For trip cancellation insurance, you could: be reimbursed for the non-refundable portion of your travel expenses (up to a certain limit).

What is the difference between credit card travel insurance and travel insurance? ›

Important: While travel insurance policies may be more comprehensive than credit card protections, it has limitations. They typically won't cover non-essential medical expenses, high-risk sports or activities, or pre-existing conditions — at least without paying for add-on coverage.

Can you use US health insurance in Australia? ›

Plan to Have Insurance

Most U.S. medical insurance plans do not include coverage outside of the United States – including U.S. Medicare.

Do you need insurance for tourist visa Australia? ›

Generally, you don't need to hold health insurance to be granted a visitor or business visitor visa for Australia. However Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) means you can enjoy your trip, knowing your health insurance will help pay for the essential treatment you're most likely to need in Australia.

Do you need travel insurance for Sydney Australia? ›

Health and Safety

It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation. Stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and apply sunscreen regularly due to Australia's strong UV rays.

What is not covered by travel insurance? ›

Reasonably foreseeable events. Known storms, epidemics, acts of war. Travel restrictions imposed by government authorities. Pre-existing conditions, unless the Premium plan is bought within the window for coverage.

Is Allianz travel insurance good? ›

We at the MarketWatch Guides team awarded Allianz Travel Insurance 4.1 out of 5 stars based on our provider review methodology. Named our pick for concierge services, Allianz offers 24/7 travel assistance through a multilingual team, which can help policyholders with travel and coverage issues while abroad.

Do you have to activate travel insurance? ›

It's important to activate your international travel insurance as soon as you've booked your trip to receive comprehensive cover. Choose Activate Travel Insurance and complete the form (make sure you choose continue on the second screen).

What is the best travel insurance for Australians? ›

If you're after the most coverage for the best value, these comprehensive policies are worth a look!
  • Chubb Australia – Prestige Single Trip policy.
  • Freely – International Travel Insurance policy.
  • InsuranceandGo – Gold policy.
  • Tick Travel Insurance – Top policy.
  • World2Cover – Top policy.
5 days ago

Which travel agency is best for Australia? ›

Best Australia Tour Companies
  • G Adventures. 10 trips to Australia. Age Range: families, 18-35, 35-55, 55+ ...
  • premier. Intrepid Travel. 71 trips to Australia. ...
  • Trafalgar. 4.6. 43,406 reviews. ...
  • premier. Collette. 5 trips to Australia. ...
  • premier. Explore! 4.6. ...
  • premier. Exodus Travels. 3 trips to Australia. ...
  • premier. AAT Kings. 4.7. ...
  • Contiki. 4.7.

Which health insurance is best for visitors to Australia? ›

When you're covered by Bupa's overseas visitors cover, you can enjoy your time in Australia with greater peace of mind. We're Australia's Number 1 health insurer for overseas visitors cover^ and have a range of quality overseas visitors covers that help meet visa requirements.

How to make a claim on credit card travel insurance? ›

How to make a claim. If you're making a claim on your International Travel Insurance the easiest way to claim is by using the online claims portal. For claims relating to any other type of cover (including Domestic Travel Insurance), please contact our team via email or phone.

How does travel insurance pay out? ›

In most scenarios, travel insurance reimburses you for your covered financial losses after you file a claim and the claim is approved. Filing a claim means submitting proof of your loss to Allianz Global Assistance, so that we can verify what happened and reimburse you for your covered losses.

Does travel insurance really pay? ›

If your trip is canceled for a covered reason, a policy will often reimburse airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, tours, cruises and other prepaid, non-refundable expenses.

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