Save on holiday costs and travel with peace of mind when you have a credit card with complimentary insurance.
Complimentary insurance is a popular credit card feature that can cover you when you travel overseas and also when you make purchases with your card. If you are already using your credit card, it is an easy way to save time and money organising separate insurance. While complimentary credit card insurance can save you money on buying cover upfront, there are still eligibility requirements to meet before you are protected.
Use this guide to compare credit cards that offer complimentary insurance; the different types of complimentary insurance offered by credit cards; what you need to do to get cover and how to make a claim. We also outline what you need to consider when comparing credit cards that offer complimentary insurance so you can choose an option that suits your needs.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card Offer
The American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card offers a low interest rate on purchases. Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you apply online and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership.
- Annual fee: $149 p.a.
- Purchase rate (p.a): 2.99% APR for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% APR) on purchases
- Cash advance rate: 21.95% APR
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $50,000 p.a.
Compare credit cards with complimentary travel insurance
You can usually find complimentary insurance gold, platinum and black credit cards. These cards often include a range of extra perks that standard products do not have, so they may have higher annual fees that reflect this. However, the savings you may receive from your complimentary insurance could potentially outweigh the cost of the card, which is a consideration when comparing your options.
Types of credit card complimentary insurance
Depending on the credit card, you could get complimentary cover for any or all of the following:
- Overseas travel insurance. This type of insurance offers comprehensive cover for trips overseas, usually including: emergency medical and dental costs; loss or theft of personal belongings and trip cancellation. The potential savings and convenience of complimentary overseas travel insurance makes it one of the most popular options for cardholders, but policies can vary significantly between providers.
- Transit accident insurance. Another form of travel insurance, this complimentary credit card cover is often advertised separately to overseas travel insurance. It insures you against accidents that may result in bodily harm or death when you are travelling on licensed buses, trains or flights.
- Interstate flight inconvenience insurance. This domestic travel insurance offers cover for flight changes or delays when you are travelling within New Zealand.
- Purchase protection insurance. Offered on both premium and mid-level credit cards, purchase protection insurance can cover the cost of theft, accidental damage or loss of items paid for with an eligible card. Usually, this insurance is valid for up to 90 days from the time of the purchase.
- Extended warranty insurance. This cover offers an extension on the manufacturer’s warrant for eligible items purchased in New Zealand. Usually, this insurance doubles the warranty, up to a maximum period of 24 months. For example, if you bought an item with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, the cover would allow you to receive insurance for a total of 24 months.
- Best price guarantee cover. Also known as a “buyer’s guarantee”, this insurance refunds the difference in price if you buy an item and then find it at a lower cost somewhere else (in the same geographic area). Usually, you have 21 days from the time of the purchase to submit a claim; and will have to provide proof of the lower price.
Are you eligible for complimentary credit card insurance?
The eligibility requirements for complimentary credit card insurance vary depending on the specific policy, the provider and the insurance company involved in underwriting it. You can find specific details in the provider’s Credit Card Insurance Booklet. But in general, the most common conditions include:
- Spending requirements. Whether it is travel insurance or purchase coverage, you usually have to pay with your credit card to be eligible. For example, if you want overseas travel insurance, you may be required to pay for some or all of your return ticket with your credit card before you leave. Similarly, if it is purchase cover, you will have to buy the relevant item with your card.
- Policy activation. In some cases, you may also have to “activate” the included insurance to be eligible for cover. For example, BNZ Gold credit cardholders have to activate their travel policy by paying a minimum of $500 travel costs with their card; or use Airpoints to pay for the return flights and charge any other related costs to their Gold card, eg surcharges.
- Age requirements. This typically relates to travel insurance, where people over a certain age (e.g. 80) may not be eligible for cover.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Similar to most standalone travel insurance policies, pre-existing medical conditions usually aren’t covered by complimentary overseas credit card insurance. However, depending on the insurer, you may be able to get approval for a pre-existing medical condition through an extra application. Fees usually apply for these requests and not all credit card insurance allows it, so check the insurance policy booklet to see if this is possible for any card you are considering using.
- Partners and/or dependent children. Usually complimentary travel insurance covers your spouse and/or dependent children that are travelling with you and meet the eligibility requirements.
How to make an insurance claim
The claim process for complimentary credit card insurance products varies depending on the provider and the insurance company that has underwritten the policy. In general, you will need to submit your claim directly to the insurance provider over the phone, online or by completing and posting a claim form.
As with standalone insurance policies, claims must be made as soon as possible after the incident and within the specified timeframe to be eligible for cover. You may also be asked to submit supporting documentation for your claim, including:
- Your credit card statement showing the relevant purchases required to activate the policy (ie a travel ticket)
- A copy of a police report, if you are claiming for lost or stolen items
- Proof of ownership for lost, stolen or damaged items
- Flight itineraries and letters from carriers detailing delayed flights or unexpected events
Policy details to check before applying for complimentary credit card insurance
If you are interested in taking advantage of complimentary credit card insurance, make sure you consider the following policy details:
- Eligibility requirements. Review the details of what you need to do to get cover and consider whether or not you will be eligible based on your circumstances. For example, if you have already paid for a trip overseas and then get a credit card that offers complimentary insurance, may not be eligible for cover on that particular trip.
- Cover limits. All complimentary insurance policies limit the amount of money available for specific claims. For example, a purchase protection policy may limit cover to $3,000 per claim. Consider the type of cover you want and your plans to decide if these limits suit your needs.
- Excess costs. If you make a claim against a complimentary credit card insurance policy, you may have to pay a specified amount before you are entitled to get any money back. For example, if you submit a claim for emergency overseas medical costs, you may have to pay $500 (once approved) for the claim to be processed. This is known as the excess, and is common with travel insurance (both overseas and domestic).
- Cover period. Complimentary credit card insurance policies offer cover for a limited amount of time. For travel insurance, this could be anywhere from a few weeks to 12 months, and for purchase covers it could be 2 weeks to 3 months. It is important to consider this cover period before you choose a credit card (or use the insurance) so you know what cover will work for you.
- Exclusions. As well as looking at what cover is provided, make sure you are aware of what isn’t covered by a complimentary credit card insurance policy.
- Claim period. There is a limited timeframe for you to submit a claim for complimentary insurance cover. For example, with a “best price guarantee”, you may only be able to make a claim within 21 days of the original purchase; and with overseas travel insurance you may only have 30 days from the time of the incident to submit a claim. Ideally, you should always aim to submit a claim as soon as possible, or at least contact the insurer to advise them of your situation.
How to compare credit cards that offer complimentary insurance
If you want a credit card that offers complimentary insurance, make sure you also look at the following features.
- Interest rates. With most complimentary insurance policies requiring you to spend money on your card, it is important to consider the interest rates that could apply to ensure it is affordable to use the card for insurance.
- Annual fee. Credit cards that offer complimentary insurance often have higher annual fees than more basic products. While the insurance can help offset this cost, it is only really worth it if you actually make use of the complimentary cover available. In other words, paying a high annual fee for a credit card with overseas insurance usually won’t be worth it if you rarely travel.
- Foreign currency fee. Most credit cards apply a fee of between 2 to 4% for transactions made in a foreign currency. This charge is particularly important to consider for credit cards that offer overseas travel insurance.
Complimentary credit card insurance is a popular feature many people look for, but it is important to understand the conditions and requirements surrounding these policies so you can use them to your advantage. Remember to read the complimentary insurance policy booklet for specific cards before you apply and compare a range of options so you can choose a credit card that offers value based on your circumstances and needs.