Score some free travel insurance

Score some free travel insurance

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s real! You can actually score travel insurance through a platinum credit card, at no cost. But how I may hear you ask? By choosing a platinum product with inbuilt insurance with no annual fee.

When looking to cut costs on holidays travel insurance is all too often the first cost to go, leaving many travellers, and especially young budget travellers at risk. If you were thinking about giving travel insurance a miss, inbuilt insurance on a credit card might be the answer.

Mozo researchers ploughed through the fine print of 27 premium credit cards from 8 major providers with inbuilt travel insurance to find out how they measure up and whether the insurance really has you covered if something goes wrong when you’re far from home.

It was during that study that we came across something unheard of – something truly for nothing from a credit card provider.

There are a total of four $0 annual fee credit cards offering inbuilt travel insurance at no cost and what’s interesting to know is that some of them have travel insurance offerings equivalent or even superior to premium cards that come with triple figure price tags.

Check out the kinds of travel insurance you can get with Zero “extra” spend:

Inbuilt travel insurance on $0 annual fee cards

Bankwest Zero Gold

Bankwest Zero Platinum

HSBC Premier World MasterCard

Westpac 55 day Platinum Visa

Underwriter

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Purchase Rate

17.99%

17.99%

19.99%

19.59%

How much of holiday must be paid for on card?

Minimum $500

Minimum $500

90% of return overseas ticket

Minimum $500

Excess *

$250

$250

$200

$250

Who’s Covered?

Spouse and dependents up to 21

Spouse and dependents up to 21

Spouse and dependents up to 21

Spouse and dependents up to 25

Medical

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Emergency Dental

$2,000

$2,000

$750

$2,000

Repatriation

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Cancellation **

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Total Luggage

$10000 per person, $15000 total

$20000 per person, $30000 total

$25000 per person, $40000 total

$20000 per person, $30000 total

Accommodation and travel

$475 per person, $1100 total

$475 per person, $1100 total

$500 per person, $900 total

$500 per person, $1100 total

Rental vehicle

$2,250

$3,000

$3,000

$5,500

Resumption of journey

$5750 per person, $15000 total

$5750 per person, $15000 total

$7500 per person, $14000 total

$5750 per person, $12500 total

*  (No excess payable for replacement of documents, credit cards, travellers cheques or emergency replacement of clothes and toiletries) ** Unlimited except for travel agents fees which vary by provider. Details current as at Jan 2014. Source: mozo.com.au

A quick glance at the table reveals that the most comprehensive inbuilt insurance you can get (for literally nothing) comes for free on the Westpac 55 Day Platinum Visa and all you have to do to active your insurance is use the card to pay for $500 of your trip.

Of course there are both inbuilt and stand alone policies that are more comprehensive – but as something for nothing (and provided you never have an outstanding balance on the card so as to encounter that 19.59% interest rate) you’re looking at a really good deal.

Inbuilt Travel Insurance Myths Busted – what you need to know about in-built travel insurance

1. Annual fees don’t reflect value for money. The size of the annual fee you pay has no correlation to the comprehensiveness of the policy on offer.

2. Excess will be higher. When put side by side with a stand-alone policy, inbuilt insurances come with a higher excess usually about $100-$150 more expensive ‘per claim’ than a stand-alone policy.

3. Dental coverage is limited. Inbuilt insurance policies come with limited caps on emergency dental. If you want more than $2000 in emergency dental from inbuilt insurance, choose an NAB card or a stand-alone policy. (The cheapest annual fee you can pay to score an NAB product with that policy attached is NAB’s Velocity Rewards Card with $150 Annual fee.)

4. Big ticket payouts don’t exist. You won’t find high-level travel insurance perks and cover for things like; Emergency companions, hospital cash allowances, accidental death, permanent disability, loss of income, personal liability, pre existing medical conditions and dangerous sports and activities on an inbuilt travel insurance policy.

5. You have to put some holiday spend on the card to activate the insurance. Make sure you tick the boxes to activate your travel insurance – this usually involves spending a certain amount of your travels or return flights.

6. Don’t leave valuables in your car. Personal property left unattended in a motor vehicle will get less cover.

7. Assume nothing, read your policy. Travel insurance policy fine print does tend to drag-on but its well worth taking the time to read and check the exclusions.

We expect the offer won’t last forever … but for now inbuilt insurance on a $0 annual fee card is certainly the most affordable travel insurance in town.

Score some free travel insurance was last modified: October 7, 2015 by Kerry Lotzof

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17 Comments - Write a Comment

    1. Mozo

      Hi there,

      The period of cover varies between credit cards but most providers offer at least 3 months worth of Travel Insurance. However, some providers such as HSBC only provide cover if you purchase return overseas travel tickets (i.e. ticket from and returning to Australia) prior to leaving Australia so it’s imperative that you take the time to read the fine print before travelling.

      Team Mozo

      Reply
  1. I am considering upgrading my no fee Blue Visa with BoQ to their platinum Visa purely for the travel insurance. Hubby and I travel overseas twice each year and our policies generally run at $500 each trip. The BOQ platinum visa has a yearly fee of $200. I have read and re-read the terms carefully and absolutely nowhere can I find a specified amount or value of the airfares/cruise to be charged to the card in order to validate the insurance. Are you able to confirm this information? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Yes David,

      Complimentary travel insurance on premium Bankwest and Westpac is only offered when you purchase return overseas travel tickets on the cards. Different credit card companies have different requirements so please read the product disclosure statement if your credit card is issued by a provider other than Bankwest and Westpac.

      Reply
  2. You mentioned min spend of $500 to qualify for the travel insurance. But the fine print implies you have to pay for the return tickets with the card on top of the $500 prepaid travel costs. Can you confirm whether this is correct?

    ” … cardholder automatically becomes eligible for this International Travel Insurance when they meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
    1. they purchase a return overseas travel ticket before leaving Australia; and
    2. they spend at least A$500 on their prepaid travel costs (i.e. the cardholder’s travel costs that they pay for before leaving Australia, which includes the cost of their return overseas travel ticket; and/or airport/departure taxes; and/or their prepaid overseas accommodation/travel; and/or any other of their prepaid overseas itinerary items); and
    3. they pay these costs by one (or a combination) of the following methods:
    • by charging to their eligible credit card account; and/o…”

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Hana, you don’t need to pay for the flight plus $500 extra on the credit card. To be eligible for the insurance you have to spend a minimum of $500 of your prepaid travel costs (which can be made up from a combination of things such as flight, accommodation, car rental, tour) on the card. Where it states that you need to have a return overseas ticket, this means that you need to depart from and return to Australia so one-way trips are not eligible as part of the insurance. I hope this clarifies the issue.

      Reply
  3. Thanks. If I buy a return ticket from say from Perth to Singapore using the card and use my frequent flyer points for ticketing Singapore to New York return would I have fulfilled the condition of having a return ticket and be covered for the US part of my trip? Similarly if I paid for the return ticket to Ireland on the card and make a side trip to Germany not using the card to pay for the tickets, would I be covered in Germany?

    Reply
  4. Hi there,

    My wife and I are going to US and Canada tour, I have the Westpac Platinum B card, I’ve paid $1000 on my Visa Platinum card to the travel agent for part of the tour cost. Are we eligible for travel insurance? Do I need a separate receipt for my wife and me?

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Hi Hanh,

      To be covered by Westpac, there are two things you’ll need to do:

      1. Both you and your wife must have a return overseas travel ticket

      2. You must pay atleast $500 per person of your prepaid travel on your card. This can include “prepaid overseas itinerary items” like your tour.

      So to answer your question, yes you should be covered as long as that $1000 you’ve paid to your travel agent is $500 for you and $500 for your wife’s prepaid travel.

      No you don’t need a separate receipt for both of you, as long as both your names are on the tour travel itinerary and Westpac can see that you’ve prepaid using your card you will be covered.

      I hope that helps,

      Mozo Team

      Reply
  5. Hello,

    It seems I am not the only one who has seen this fine print about return travel tickets. I have a westpac Black card which is supposed to give me 6m free insurance however I have bought a one way Trip from Brisbane to Bali…and another one way trip from Bali back to Darwin then Brisbane. I intend to pay for accommodation also.
    1. I believe I may need ‘return tickets’, not the tickets I have purchased.
    2. I thought I only needed to purchase up to $500 and my wife would be covered also. She is a joint card holder.
    3. Can i prepay $500 in accommodation costs or is it all based around the ‘return ticket’ and if you don’t have that you do not have insurance.

    Appreciate your assistance, sneaky stuff like this I don’t need to find out in a Bali hospital.

    Regards
    Bill

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Hi Bill,

      Yep we all know how tricky the fine print can be! So to answer your questions:

      1. We have just spoken to Westpac and yes you would be covered for the tickets you mentioned above, as long as you have pre purchased those flights before you leave Australia.
      2. You and your wife will both be covered as long as you spend $500 per person on the credit card.
      3. Yes if you prepay $500 per person in accommodation costs, you will be covered. You don’t need to purchase the ‘return tickets’ with your credit card but you must be able to show the insurer that you have return tickets for both you and your wife.

      I hope this helps.

      Mozo Team

      Reply
  6. Hi,

    I’m a little late here- but is the $500.00 pre travel purchase limited to tickets or tours or car hire? What if I purchased a suitcase and other travel items to that price point? Is there a list of items that qualify?

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Hi Macks,

      Generally speaking prepaid travel purchases refer to expenses like overseas accommodation, rental cars, tour costs etc. However, we would suggest giving your credit card provider a call to double check, as they may have a broader range of prepaid travel purchases that will activate your insurance.

      Thanks

      Mozo Team

      Reply
  7. hi
    we have bankwest platinum credit card. We have 5 people in our family and need to claim on insurance and i am confused by the fine print. Our return tickets did not cost $500 pp so we only put $2256 on our card to pre pay for our trip and paid cash for the rest. we meet the requirement of buying a prepaid return ticket but am unsure what the $500 pp requirements are. Do you think passports, suitcases or purchasing USD to pay for our arrival taxes in bali would qualify. We have already returned form our trip and need to make a claim but I am concerned we have misread the fine print and just got stuck in the bali ash cloud for 8 days. Obviously 5 x $500 is $2500 so I am a tad concerned what this will mean for us.

    Reply
    1. Mozo

      Hi Lisa,

      We’ve just spoken to Bankwest and unfortunately the items you listed above are not included in what they consider “prepaid travel expenses” towards your trip. Instead it is things like your flights, accommodation and tours in the country you’re visiting. You can ring Bankwest’s travel insurance hotline on 1800 785 918 for more info.

      I hope this helps.

      Mozo Team

      Reply

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