Ask Finder: Does my credit card travel insurance cover trips that start overseas?
Can you still get the complimentary insurance that comes on an Australian credit card when you book flights that leave from other countries?
I’m an Australian citizen currently living in Japan and I’m planning a holiday to Hawaii. I was going to use my HSBC Qantas Platinum card to make the booking and I’m just wondering if this will activate the complimentary insurance, even though I'm not leaving from Australia?
The quick answer is no, as almost all credit card insurance policies require your trip to start and end in Australia for the insurance to be activated. Unfortunately, this means you won’t be eligible for the travel insurance offered on your HSBC credit card when booking a return flight from Japan to Hawaii.
In your case, you would need to use your HSBC card to book return travel that leaves and arrives back in Australia to activate the policy, which is underwritten by Allianz Australia. The policy document also states that it’s only available for “cardholders who permanently reside in Australia”, which means you won’t enjoy this benefit at all while you live in Japan.
Most other credit card insurance policies have similar requirements, including cards from American Express, ANZ, CommBank, Citi, NAB, St.George and Westpac.
The policy from NAB, for example, states that you must use your card to pay for at least $500 of your transport and/or land content costs (i.e. flights, car hire or accommodation) before you leave Australia. However, it does allow you to get cover for one-way trips of up to 90 days through most NAB cards, with a higher limit of up to 180 days if you use a NAB Signature credit card. This cover is underwritten by QBE.
In comparison, Citi’s policy (underwritten by Allianz) states that you can book either a return ticket (to and from Australia) or a one-way ticket from Australia. However, with one-way tickets, you’re only covered for up to 31 days.
The bottom line is that complimentary insurance on an Australian credit card isn’t suitable when you’re living overseas. Instead, you can look at travel insurance for expats to give you peace of mind. Ka Huaka'i Maika'i (Bon Voyage!).
Ask Finder is a regular column where Finder's expert writers answer your questions. All rates and fees are correct at time of publication and we only give general advice.
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