How to activate free travel insurance cover on your credit card

woman holding phone and credit card which gives her travel insurance

One of the biggest perks of having a rewards card or travel credit card in your pocket is the potential for complimentary travel insurance.

While it’s a great freebie to have, the fine print on credit card travel insurance can really get you. There’s nothing worse than discovering mid-trip that you aren't adequately covered.

To ensure your travel insurance is activated before you head overseas, we’ve rounded up the major Australian credit card providers who offer complimentary travel cover for their credit cards, as well as how to activate the included travel insurance.

NOTE: Before signing up for a new card, always read the terms and conditions and get across what's covered. Most included travel insurance will exclude pre-existing conditions, and may not cover for additional activities like cruise cover or snow sports.

Collage of a couple studying a map as they fly across the globe with their free travel insurance.

American Express

Underwritten by: Chubb

Eligible American Express Credit Cards:

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

  • Buy a return ticket from Australia.
  • INTERNATIONAL: Pay for the full fare of that ticket with your American Express card or corresponding membership points.
  • DOMESTIC: Spend at least $500 on accommodation or the full transport fare for domestic trips on your American Express card or with corresponding membership points.
  • You must be a resident of Australia, a current American Express card holder (or their spouse or dependent), and are 79 or younger at the time of purchase.

What prepaid travel costs count? This one is very specific - only the full fare of your return trip counts towards activating your travel insurance cover, including flights and cruises. For domestic trips, you will need to either spend the entire cost of your return fare (bus, train, flight, cruise, etc) or at least $500 in domestic accommodation costs to activate your travel insurance cover.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? This will depend on the type of card you have, as certain cards will cover your spouse and dependents under the age of 22. 

Commonwealth Bank

Underwritten by: Insurance provided by Zurich Australian Insurance Limited through its agent Cover-More Insurance Services. 

Eligible Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards:

How to activate: Activate cover with the press of a button via NetBank, the CommBank app, or directly with Cover-More.

What prepaid travel costs count? Cover is automatically activated for 12 months from when you make the booking for your trip. However, if you're trying to activate mid-trip keep in mind a three day waiting period applies.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes, your spouse and up to ten children are covered as long as they are travelling with you (the cardholder) for the duration of the trip.

NAB

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible NAB Credit Cards:

How to activate: NAB have range of travel insurance plans on their 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 trip booked from Australia.
  • Before leaving Australia, spend $500 on your prepaid travel costs on the eligible NAB credit card.
  • Be an Australian resident and under 91 years of age at the time of departure.

What prepaid travel costs count? Your return flights or boat trip, transport, accommodation and tours DO count, but travellers cheques and foreign currency DON’T count (check T&Cs for further information). To qualify, you need to use your NAB card or card details to purchase these items – using the account linked to your debit card via BPay or PayPal won’t activate your travel insurance.

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

Westpac

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible Westpac Credit Cards:

How to activate: To activate travel insurance on your Westpac credit card, you'll need to have:

  • A return ticket to Australia booked before you leave
  • An eligible Westpac card
  • Paid for $500 of your prepaid travel costs with that card before leaving Australia

You must also be under 81 years old and an Australian resident.

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? Yes, as long as they also have a return ticket and $500 of their travel costs have been paid on the Westpac credit card in question, and are travelling with the cardholder for at least 50% of their travel time.

ANZ

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible ANZ Credit Cards:

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
  • ANZ Rewards Platinum
  • ANZ Rewards Black
  • ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures
  • ANZ Platinum

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
  • Be under 81 years old

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.

Citi

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible Citi Credit Cards:

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.
  • Your travel ticket was purchased using an eligible Citi credit card or via the associated frequent flyer program.
  • If you're purchasing with frequent flyer points, you must spend a minimum of 15,000 points accrued on a Citi Card or through Citi Rewards over a 12 month period prior to buying your travel ticket. 

What prepaid travel costs count? Only the cost of your overseas travel ticket is relevant to your travel insurance policy activation.

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 eligible Citi credit card. They will also need to be travelling with you for at least 50% of the trip.

HSBC

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible HSBC credit cards:

The HSBC Low Rate Credit Card does offer domestic travel insurance, but not international. 

How to activate: There are two simple steps to activating travel insurance on an HSBC credit card, which are:

  • Have a return ticket for your trip
  • Spend at least $500 with your card on prepaid travel costs before you leave.

You will also need to be an Australian resident.

What prepaid travel costs count? In the $500 you need to spend towards your trip, you can include your return tickets and prepaid accommodation costs.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes, but they need to activate their travel insurance in the same way you do. They’ll also have to be travelling with you for at least 50% of the trip.

St. George

Underwritten by: Allianz

Eligible St. George Credit Cards:

How to activate: To activate your St. George travel insurance cover, you’ll need to make sure:

  • You've bought a return ticket to Australia for your trip
  • You've paid $500 of your prepaid travel expenses with your eligible St. George card
  • You're under 81 years old and an Australian resident

What prepaid travel costs count? Accommodation, flights, other travel, and tours can all contribute to the $500 required to activate your included travel insurance.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Your spouse and any dependents are covered as long as they are travelling with you at least 50% of the time and meet the criteria of having a return ticket, $500 of their prepaid travel expenses paid on your card, and are under 81 years old. 

Bankwest

Underwritten by: Cover-More

Eligible Bankwest Credit Cards:

How to activate: You’ll be automatically covered as long as you hold one of the eligible Bankwest cards. Keep in mind if you're over 80 years old you won't have access to complimentary medical cover. 

What prepaid travel costs count? There are no minimum prepaid travel costs required to activate your cover. You can see your complimentary cover through either the Cover-more or Bankwest apps. This policy only covers the basics. You do have the option to upgrade to a more comprehensive cover for an added premium.

Are my spouse and dependants covered? Yes! Once you are eligible, they are too, as long as they’re travelling with you for the duration of the trip.

People walk across a pink map of Europe.

Don’t forget these important rules!

Our mantra here at Mozo may as well be, “Always read the product disclosure statement”, as this will tell you what the inclusions/exclusions are of your chosen policy.

Here are some things to keep in mind about your travel insurance policy if you activate it through your credit card:

  • 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 standalone policy that 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.
  • 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. It might be helpful anyway, to prevent foreign charges being flagged as fraudulent!
  • 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. (Otherwise, check out our guide to family travel insurance).
  • A lot of these travel insurance policies have age limits, usually up to 80 years of age. If you or someone you’re travelling with needs seniors' coverage, take a look at our handy seniors guide.

Ready to jet-set? Here’s a pre-trip travel document checklist to get you started.

Head to the best travel insurance hub for more expert tips, or find more of the best credit cards for some year round picks. 

Meanwhile, if complimentary travel insurance isn't enough, start comparing standalone travel insurance policies below.

Compare travel insurance policies - last updated 19 June 2024

Search promoted travel insurance below. Advertiser disclosure Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

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