Can You Rely On Credit Card Travel Insurance?

Credit cards often offer travel insurance if you book your holiday using the card, but do those policies offer enough protection? Australian Business Traveller examined the policies currently on the local market, and concluded that you'll get a good deal for damaged possessions and lost cash cover, but need to check carefully to make sure the policy is activated and that it covers the length of your trip.

Another trap which isn't always obvious is that you might not actually be covered for items lost during your travels, even if that seems like one of the key reasons to have travel insurance. As the review explains:

Most credit card travel insurance policies we looked at specifically exclude lost items — meaning that they only cover theft or damage. Look out for wording like: "we will not pay for items left behind, forgotten, or misplaced".

Hit the full post for recommendations on cards to use, cards to avoid and other pitfalls, and tell us your best and worst credit card travel insurance finds in the comments.

Best and worst credit cards for travel insurance


    I still use them, but I am seriously thinking of changing it in the future. The only claim I made with them was refused. Because of a family emergency I had to cancel part of my holiday, change flights, etc. The reason they gave me is that my family was not Australian and did not live in Australia. So what? I AM Australian, but because of this technicality, they did not cover any of my losses.

      My card: ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum

    Also, read the fine print of your CC providers policy to check the requirements to be met to qualify for the insurance.

    Ended up buying last minute travel insurance the trip before last when most, but not all of the travel tickets had been bought on the CUA Gold Mastercard (which is technically a Citibank card). Since my wife was organising the trip at the time and didn't have access to my CC, she paid for the deposit from a different account.

    This recent trip, called up to notify I'd be using the card overseas and to ensure that since the tickets were all bought on the CC, that the insurance policy was activated. Since my wife now had her own CC for my account, I was told that both her and I were covered. When I pointed out that we'd paid for 3 tickets, and that our daughter was traveling with us and we wanted cover for her too, the phone-monkey said she needed to have her own CC linked to the account to be covered. When I asked if Citibank were in the habit of issuing CC's to 4mth old babies, he said she had to be at least 18 years. Despite working my way up the food chain, Citibank would not budge on extending the cover to a minor who's travel had been purchased in full on the card of a parent.

    At the end of the day, at the frequency we travel, taking out family travel insurance policies when needed worked out cheaper than the premiums for the CC, and since this was their 5th strike anyway, we switched when we came back.

    this is true they did not cover any of losses.

    I won't purchase insurance through my credit cards - Too many horror stories from my colleagues. Go through a third party when it comes to cancellation or medical insurance, like an Atlas Int. policy from Lloyd's.

    Most Credit Cards that offer travel insurance do it through reputable insurance companies. But if you get travel insurance through someone dodgy like Columbus Direct you will be much much worse off.

    My advice is that don’t rely on this so called free credit card travel insurance. I have been paying my overseas trips by my NAB premium Visa which is attached to CHUBB travel insurance for many years. I never made a minor claim until 2 month ago when I canceled a family holiday due to the health reason. The claim has been circling in CHUBB through different staffs for almost 2 months and rejected by different officers for different reasons. You should check details of the policy brochure before you travel. Beware that the simplest policy with a few lines description is the trickiest one because they can extend millions reasons based on this two lines policy. The worst thing is that you feel under protection but actually not.

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