Free insurance is a popular credit card feature that can protect you when you travel and also when you make purchases with your card. If you are already using your credit card, it can save you time and money as long as you get the appropriate cover in place.
Use this guide to compare your options when it comes to credit cards with travel insurance. Plus, learn what you should look out for in the policy terms and conditions.
Free travel insurance refers to the insurance cover that is included with some credit cards. The travel insurance could be an included feature of the card, but that doesn’t mean it’s exactly free. Technically, it comes at the cost of the card, which includes interest rates and other charges such as an annual fee. Some travel insurance covers can only be activated once you’ve met specific spend requirements, as well.
Having said that, complimentary or included insurance doesn’t have its own fee, which means it is at “no extra cost”. So, this type of credit card add-on can reduce the cost of any unforeseen emergencies that may pop up while you’re on holiday.
What are the types of free travel insurance?
Different credit cards provide different levels of free travel insurance. It is important to look at the terms and conditions of the card to ensure you know what you are covered for and how much coverage applies. The cover will vary according to which card you use and the policy itself, so make sure you look at the overall cover, coverage limits and any excess applicable to decide if it’s suitable for your trip. Different types of free travel insurance include:
Medical and hospital expenses incurred overseas. This insurance helps cover the cost of medical fees and hospital bills if you require emergency treatment when you are overseas. Generally, exclusions for this type of travel insurance include pre-existing medical conditions, conditions already covered by a private medical fund or government funds, or treatment that is not administered by a medical professional.
Loss or damage to personal property. This cover is designed to offer you compensation for your luggage and other personal items are lost, damaged or stolen. It usually has a maximum limit per person, per trip, and will generally require the submission of a police report before you are approved for a claim.
Cancellation of travel arrangements. This insurance usually covers travel cancellations that may be due to unforeseen circumstances such as the accidental death of a relative, the sudden illness of a family member, or a natural disaster at the destination or near your normal residence.
Travel inconvenience cover. With this insurance, additional meals and accommodation costs are covered if the delay of flight is more than a few hours. Flight cancellation, delayed flight boarding and loss of luggage may also be covered.
Transport accident cover. This provides cover for accidents during travel or when you are boarding or leaving a commercial aircraft, cruise ship or bus. It may also cover any loss in departure and destination terminals.
Legal liability cover. Some cards also provide legal liability cover which can settle or defend a claim in case of bodily harm or damage of property caused to someone other than the cardholder.
What if I’m over the credit card travel insurance policy’s age limit?
If you’re over the age specified for full coverage with your credit card’s complimentary insurance, it may still be possible to get limited coverage. Contact the insurance provider directly to find out your options. Alternatively, you may want to buy a policy designed specifically for people aged 65 or older.
Examples of credit cards with travel insurance in Singapore
What should I be aware of when comparing free travel insurance?
Some of the other factors you’ll want to take into account with complimentary credit card travel insurance include:
Eligibility and activation of insurance. Make sure that you’re eligible for the cover and that the terms and conditions of the policy suit your needs. Credit card providers also usually require you to activate the policy in some way. For most cards, you will “activate” or become eligible for insurance by purchasing your return travel ticket using your credit card. Others may require you to log in to your account online and fill out a simple form to activate your policy before each trip.
Length of travel. Most credit card complimentary travel insurance policies will cover trips of between three and six months in length. Make sure you consider the specific coverage length offered by your card when you first start planning your trip. If you plan to travel for longer, you may be able to request an extension (for a fee).
Levels of coverage. Some credit card companies provide travel insurance for several cards and offer different levels of coverage based on the account you have. Different claim limits and excesses may also apply, so make sure you check what level of coverage your card offers when referring to the insurance policy booklet.
Terms and conditions. While this may be a tedious practice, reading the terms and conditions is crucial to ensure you understand the opportunities and boundaries of your insurance. If you have any doubt about your cover after referring to such documents, you may wish to contact the insurance provider directly.
How to compare credit cards with free travel insurance
If you’re interested in getting a credit card with complimentary travel insurance, make sure you also consider the following factors:
Annual fee. Credit cards that offer a lot of perks, including complimentary insurance, tend to have higher annual fees than low rate or no-frills options. While these benefits can offset the cost of the annual fee, remember that they will only add value if you actually use them. Explore your options with credit cards that have no annual fee.
Interest rates. Standard variable interest rates on credit cards with travel insurance range from about 15% p.a. to 25% p.a. Make sure you factor in the potential cost of both the purchase rate and cash advance rate – especially if you have to purchase your travel to activate the policy or if you think you may carry a balance from time to time.
Travel insurance policy details. The type of coverage, eligibility and activation requirements are all important factors to consider when you’re comparing cards that offer travel insurance. Reading through the policy details provided for each credit card you consider can help you choose a credit card that will offer the right level of coverage for you.
Currency conversion fee. If you also plan to use your credit card overseas, make sure you check the currency conversion or international transaction fee. This is usually a charge worth 2-4% of each transaction made in another currency, so the costs can quickly add up. You may even want to consider cards with 0% foreign fees for overseas spending to help keep your additional expenses in check.
Rewards. There are many rewards credit cards that also offer complimentary travel insurance. These products earn points for your everyday card spending, which could then be redeemed for flights, fare upgrades or a wide range of other rewards.
Other extras. Credit cards that include travel insurance may also provide complimentary insurance for purchases, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and price-matching services. Some top-end platinum and black cards also provide travel benefits such as flight vouchers and airport lounge access that can add even more value to the card you choose. Just remember to consider the card costs when factoring in these perks.
The pros and cons of credit cards with travel insurance promotions
Provides essential travel cover. If you’re travelling overseas, you’ll need to organise travel insurance. Complimentary insurance could provide you with the cover you’ll need if you run into an unforeseen emergency while overseas.
Save time and money. If you decide to take advantage of your card’s complimentary insurance, this can save you the time and money required to organise external cover.
Cover for family. Most credit cards with included travel insurance will also cover your spouse and any dependents travelling with you, providing they also meet the activation requirements of the policy.
Higher price tag. Most credit cards that offer complimentary travel insurance are premium products that have high annual fees when compared to other options. Plus, you may be required to use your card to pay for a certain amount of the trip to activate the insurance.
Less value for infrequent travellers. If you only travel every now and then, the cost of the annual fee could outweigh the value you get from the complimentary insurance. Before choosing this type of card, consider how frequently you will use it and whether a standalone policy could be more cost-effective based on your travel habits.
Exclusions and excesses. Just as with any insurance policy, there are exclusions and excesses that may apply for complimentary credit card travel cover. Always read the policy documents beforehand, so you know what you are covered for and how much you will have to pay if you need to make a claim.
Looking for more comprehensive travel cover?
If you’d like to receive more comprehensive cover than your card’s complimentary insurance, you can compare comprehensive standalone policies from travel insurance issuers in Singapore for more options.
If you travel regularly, a credit card with complimentary travel insurance could help you save time and money on additional expenses. As the level of cover and the eligibility requirements will vary according to the card and insurance issuer, it’s important to compare your options and read the terms and conditions so you can feel assured you have a card with enough insurance for you.
Frequently asked questions
Credit cards with free travel insurance can be a great benefit. However, if you decide that the travel insurance included with your card doesn’t cover everything you’ll need, it may be more suitable to opt for a regular travel insurance policy. Our guide on travel cover can help you compare your options and find the right policy to suit your needs.
Most credit card travel insurance will cover you and your partner, but you will need to consider the length of your trip as well. More premium cards will offer a greater length of coverage. On the question of which card is ‘best’, that’s up to you to decide because everyone has different personal circumstances.
If you’re not planning to travel in the next few years, it may be worth considering credit cards that offer value in the form of lower rates and fees. If the savings you get from a lower-cost card outweigh those of your current card, you could find that it’s better to switch and simply buy travel insurance whenever you need it.
It is always advisable to read all the terms and conditions before choosing a card. One way to help you to compare deals could be by focusing on the key policy details. You might quickly check the policy details for these covers before making a decision, and then take your time reading over the policy in full for your chosen deal. Another option is to call the enquiry number in the credit card policy booklet and speak to a customer representative. This gives you the chance to ask any specific questions you may have.
Generally speaking, when it comes to travel insurance the most important travel insurance cover to look out for include medical and hospital, luggage cover and trip cancellation cover.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. She's also one half of the Pocket Money podcast. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone. Sally has a first-class Honours degree in Communications and Media Studies (majoring in Journalism and Professional Writing) from the University of Wollongong.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.