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How to activate free travel insurance cover on your credit card

Kelly Emmerton

Wednesday 03 April 2019

One of the biggest perks of having a premium or travel friendly credit card in your pocket is the complimentary travel insurance that comes with it. While it’s a great freebie, the fine print can be a killer and there would be nothing worse than being mid-trip and finding yourself wondering just whether or not you are covered.

You can stop scratching your head! To ensure your travel insurance is activated before you jetset overseas, we’ve rounded up the major Australian credit card providers who offer complimentary credit card travel insurance for personal credit cards along with their activation requirements.

CommBank

Underwritten by: Cover-More

Eligible Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards:

  • Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards Credit Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Gold Credit Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Gold Credit Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card
How to activate:

To be eligible for complimentary travel insurance on your CommBank credit card, you need to:

  • Have a return ticket from Australia

Once you meet this criteria, there are two options. 

Do nothing: CommBank’s base travel insurance cover is automatically applied, so you don’t have to lift a finger. But base cover only covers you for hospital expenses, emergency medical assistance and personal liability.

Activate comprehensive cover via NetBank, the CommBank app, or Cover-More: to access many more benefits like cover for your luggage or cancellation fees, before you travel log into your Netbank account and follow the prompts to activate your free cover. You can also use the CommBank app or call Cover-More on 1300 467 951. You have to do this each time you travel to be covered under an activated travel insurance policy; if you forget, you’ll go back to base cover. 

What prepaid travel costs count? There are no hoops you have to jump through to activate your cover; it’s automatically activated for 12 months from when you make the booking for your trip.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yep, as long as they are travelling with you (the cardholder) for the duration of the trip, and, for activated cover, have met the above requirements.

NAB

Underwritten by: QBE

  • NAB Premium Card
  • NAB Low Rate platinum Card
  • NAB Flybuys Rewards Card
  • NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
  • NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card

How to activate: NAB offers a range of insurance plans and cool perks on its credit cards and each one is activated in a slightly different way. For your overseas travel insurance plan, you need to:

  • Have an eligible card
  • Have a return flight from Australia
  • Before leaving for your trip, spend $500 on your prepaid travel costs

What prepaid travel costs count? Your return flights, transport, accommodation or tours DO count, but travellers cheques or foreign currency DON’T. To qualify, you need to use your card or card details to purchase these items - just using the account linked to your debit card (e.g. BPay or PayPal) won’t activate your travel insurance plan.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes, but remember that they will also need a return ticket for the trip and a $500 spend each on prepaid travel costs, paid on your eligible card.

ANZ

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible ANZ Credit Cards:

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
  • ANZ Rewards Platinum
  • ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures
  • ANZ Low Rate Platinum
  • ANZ Platinum
  • ANZ Frequent Flyers Black
  • ANZ Rewards Black
How to activate: At $250, ANZ has one of the lowest thresholds for activation. To activate your ANZ travel insurance, all you need to do is:
  • Have one of the above eligible cards
  • Use it to purchase just $250 of your prepaid travel costs
  • Have a return flight from Australia

What prepaid travel costs count? This can include flights, other transport, accommodation or tours for you and your spouse or dependent children. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your reward points towards your $250 payment.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? As long as they are travelling with you, have a return ticket and $250 of their prepaid travel costs have been paid on your ANZ card.

Westpac

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible Westpac Credit Cards:

  • Westpac Earth Black
  • Westpac Altitude Platinum
  • Westpac Altitude Black
  • Westpac Low Fee Platinum
  • Singapore Airlines Westpac Platinum
How to activate: It’s easy! To activate you must have:
  • A return ticket
  • An eligible card
  • Paid for $500 of your prepaid travel costs with that card before leaving Australia

What prepaid travel costs count? Your return flight, accommodation, other travel while you’re away and any tours that might be on your itinerary can be included in the $500 figure.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? You bet! Just as long as they also have a return ticket and $500 of their travel costs have been paid on the card as well.

Keep in mind that with Westpac’s complimentary travel insurance, there will be slightly different benefit limits if you’re using a Black or Platinum A card than there is using a Platinum B or Gold card. For example, on the former, you’ll get up to $5,000 on each item of lost or damaged luggage, while on the latter you’ll only get up to $3,500.

American Express

Underwritten by: Chubb

Eligible AMEX Credit Cards:

  • Qantas AMEX Ultimate
  • Qantas AMEX Premium
  • AMEX Platinum Edge Credit Card
  • AMEX Velocity Platinum Credit Card
  • David Jones AMEX Platinum
  • AMEX Explorer Credit Card

How to activate: Your travel insurance cover starts when you:

  • Buy a return ticket from Australia
  • Pay for the full fare of that ticket with your AMEX card or by redeeming Membership Rewards points with one of AMEX’s 10 airline transfer partners.

What prepaid travel costs count? This one is very specific - only the full fare of your return trip counts towards activating your AMEX travel insurance cover, but it is the only cost you have to pay to activate the cover.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? No. Your spouse and dependants would be considered additional cardholders, who aren't covered by American Express's complimentary travel insurance cover.

Bankwest

Underwritten by: Cover-More

Eligible Bankwest Credit Cards:

  • Bankwest More World MasterCard 
  • Bankwest Qantas World MasterCard
  • Bankwest More Platinum MasterCard
  • Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
  • Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
How to activate: It’s pretty simple - you’ll be automatically covered once you:
  • Buy a return ticket before leaving on your holiday
  • Pay at least $500 of your prepaid travel costs on your eligible card, or by redeeming Bankwest More Rewards points.

What prepaid travel costs count? Your return flight as well as other travel during your trip, accommodation, and other items on your trip itinerary can all contribute to the $500 spend requirement.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Once you are eligible, they are too, as long as they’re travelling with you for the duration of the trip. The fine print is that they also need to individually meet the above criteria, with a return ticket and at least $500 in prepaid travel expenses on your eligible card.

HSBC

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible HSBC credit cards:

  • HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
  • HSBC Platinum Credit Card
  • HSBC Premier World MasterCard
How to activate: There are just two simple steps:
  • Buy a return ticket for your trip
  • Pay for 90% of it with your eligible HSBC card

What prepaid travel costs count? Only the cost of your return ticket counts toward activating your travel insurance policy.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes, but they need to activate their travel insurance in the same way you do - by paying for 90% of their return ticket on your eligible card. They’ll also have to be travelling with you for the duration of the trip.

St. George

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible St. George Credit Cards:

  • St. George Amplify Signature
  • St. George Vertigo Platinum (formerly Platinum visa credit card)
  • St. George Amplify Platinum
How to activate: To activate your St. George travel insurance cover, you’ll need to have:
  • Purchased a return ticket for your trip
  • Paid $500 of your prepaid travel expenses with your eligible St. George card

What prepaid travel costs count? Accommodation, flights, other travel, and tours can all contribute to the $500 sum.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? They’ll be covered as long as they are travelling with you and meet the criteria by having a return ticket and $500 of their prepaid travel expenses paid on your card.

Citi

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible Citi Credit Cards:

  • Citi Prestige
  • Citibank Rewards Credit Card - Signature
  • Citibank Rewards Credit Card - Platinum
  • Emirates Citibank World MasterCard
  • Emirates Citibank Platinum MasterCard
  • Citibusiness Gold Credit Card

How to activate:  To get your insurance up and running, you’ll need to make sure:

  • Your overseas trip does not last more than 6 consecutive months (3 months for Citibusiness Gold Credit Cardholders)
  • Your travel ticket was purchased using an eligible Citi credit card

What prepaid travel costs count? Only the cost of your overseas travel ticket counts towards activating your insurance policy.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes, as long as they’ve met the same eligibility requirements as the cardholder, which means paying for their ticket using the Citi credit card, and they’re travelling with you for the entire trip.

General rules to remember:
  • Pre-existing medical conditions aren’t covered under most of these policies. If you’re travelling with a pre-existing medical condition, you might have to think about purchasing a stand alone policy which suits your needs.
  • Unless it's specified (like with AMEX or HSBC) you don’t NEED to pay for your return ticket with your credit card to be eligible, but it’s a good way to spend a chunk of the required amount.
  • The period of cover generally ranges from 3-6 months, but it’s important to check your particular policy, as you often won’t be able to extend complimentary credit card travel insurance the same way you would a stand alone travel insurance policy.
  • Most of the time, there’s no need to tell your bank that you’re travelling - your cover is automatically applied once you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • For spouses or dependent children to be covered, they usually need to be travelling with the card holder for the duration of the trip. Check your policy for an exact definition of who qualifies as a dependent, because the age limit sometimes changes from policy to policy.
  • A lot of these travel insurance policies have age limits - for many you must be under 80. If you or someone you’re travelling with needs seniors coverage, take a look at our handy guide, here.
  • The same rules as any other travel insurance policy will generally apply here. This means you should make sure you know the benefits, excess, limits on age, or special exclusions that apply to your particular policy.


We hope this guide has helped answer the common question posed by many a credit card holder - “How do I activate my cover!?”. If you’re not convinced complimentary credit card insurance is for you, check out our credit card travel insurance vs stand alone policy travel insurance guide for some extra information.

And while you’re here, why not checkout our guide on travelling with credit cards to find out how to make the most of your credit card while jetsetting overseas.

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