credit card travel insurance

Standalone vs. Credit Card Travel Insurance – Can you rely on your ‘free’ credit card cover?

Maybe you have a business trip coming up in the near future; or, perhaps you are going overseas for the holiday season. Many travellers nowadays are forgoing standalone travel insurance in favour of their gratis credit card travel insurance. But, can you rely on your ‘free’ credit card cover?

Complimentary credit card travel insurance is a standard feature of most gold or premium credit cards – noticeably absent from standard credit cards. However, according to independent insurance expert Allan Manning, “free travel insurance that comes with credit cards is very basic cover at best.”

“I’ve got credit cards like most people, but I always buy my own insurance. It’s a very important purchase. It can cost you everything if you get it wrong,” says Manning.

Overseas medical cover can be incredibly expensive. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), daily hospital costs in Southeast Asia regularly exceed $800, and can cost in excess of $10,000 in Europe. Evacuation costs in America can exceed $300,000; and DFAT has recorded medical evacuation costs exceeding $60,000 in Bali.

Other considerations include lost or stolen luggage, liability cover, accidental death or disability, and expenses if you incur a financial loss due to delays, cancellations or rescheduled arrangements.

Consumer advocacy group Choice are keen to point out that ‘free’ insurance isn’t necessarily free, as you end up paying for it through higher annual fees.

“Just having the credit card isn’t enough: usually insurance only applies when you buy your tickets with it. In some cases you also need to have a return ticket booked before you leave, which might be a dampener for explorers looking for more open-ended adventure,” says Finance journalist Daniel Graham.

Travel insurance is an even more pertinent issue for regular business travellers. Standard Travel Insurance is not robust enough to suit the regular business traveller – let alone basic credit card travel insurance. Frequent business travellers can benefit from an annual Travel Insurance policy that covers you for trips taken within that policy period.

Corporate travel insurance is usually a more cost-effective option for regular travellers and can be customised for small business owners and staff through to large corporations that require Travel Insurance coverage for their employees while travelling Domestically or Internationally.

For more information on Corporate Travel Insurance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Our Privacy Policy has changed. Please take some time to read it here.