Credit card purchase protection

How to safeguard your credit card finances with complimentary purchase protection insurance.

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Purchase protection is a common complimentary credit card perk, especially when it comes to black, platinum and gold cards. Sometimes, you can also add this feature to standard credit cards for a fee. Inclusions will vary from card to card, but purchase protection usually offers insurance for up to three months when products bought with your card are lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.

Purchase protection provides you with extra value and greater peace of mind when paying with plastic. Unfortunately, many shoppers haven’t learned to tap into the full benefit of credit card purchase protection. This page explains what purchase protection is, how it works and how you can make claims under this insurance feature.

What is purchase protection and how does it work?

Purchase protection is a type of insurance that provides coverage on new items you buy using your credit card. While the terms and conditions vary between cards, purchase protection usually includes the following factors:

  • Eligible purchases. Not all items are eligible for purchase protection. Perishables or consumables are often excluded from cover. Motor vehicles and vehicle parts could also be excluded. Most other retail purchases will generally be covered, but you should carefully read the specific terms and conditions of your coverage in your credit card product disclosure statement to find out exactly what applies.
  • Insurance cover. Purchase protection typically protects new products you buy with your credit card against theft, loss or accidental damage. Some policies only protect items that were purchased in Australia.
  • Insurance term. Purchase protection usually covers items for up to 90 days or 3 months from the purchase date, but can extend up to 6 months with some insurers.
  • Claim limits. This also varies among insurers and cards, but it is typically limited per claim (eg, $10,000 per claim) and per year (eg, up to $50,000 per account per year).

How do I make a claim for credit card purchase protection insurance?

The claims process differs depending on your credit card provider and the underwriting insurance company, but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Contact the insurance company. Depending on your insurer and policy, you may have to file your claim within a certain time frame. For example, you may need to make a claim within 30 days of your item being stolen, lost or damaged.
  2. Provide details of the claim. To make your claim, you have to show that the item was purchased using your credit card within the eligible period of coverage.
  3. Submit any supporting documentation. Apart from original receipts, you may also need to provide other relevant documents such as police or incident reports.
  4. Wait for a response. Your claim will usually take up to 14 business days to be assessed, after which you will be notified of the result and reimbursed if successful.

Comparison of credit cards with purchase protection

Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 36 months
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee), ​an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Citi Clear Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer and first-year annual fee discount.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months with a 1% BT fee.
St.George Amplify Platinum
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Receive 80,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
Get $200 travel credit per year to spend on eligible flights, accommodation, car hire and more. Plus, earn up to 3 points per $1 on eligible spending.

American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Citi Rewards Card - Velocity Points Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, complimentary travel and purchase insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Other types of complimentary credit card purchase insurance

Some credit cards may also provide the following complimentary insurance covers for your purchases:

  • Extended warranty cover. This extends the warranty cover for items purchased using your card, meaning that you can enjoy extended warranty protection beyond the manufacturer’s warranty period.
  • Price guarantee schemes. This offers price protection so that you may be able to claim the price difference for an item purchased on your card if you find it in another store nearby at a lower price within a certain period of time.
  • Refund protection insurance. Refund protection ensures that you can still get a refund on items purchased using your card even if the merchant refuses to process a refund.

Other factors to consider when comparing credit cards with purchase protection insurance.

When considering purchase protection insurance, here are some other factors you should keep in mind:

  • Claim requirements. Time limits may be imposed forcing you to make your claim within a certain number of days after losing or accidentally damaging a new item. Certain documents may be mandatory as well, so you may need to make a police report immediately in order to make a claim for your stolen or missing item.
  • Claim limits. Most policies have an annual cap on purchase protection claims as well as a cap on each individual claim. You may wish to look into protection for international purchases if you travel or shop online a lot.
  • Annual fee. A credit card that offers complimentary extras such as purchase protection is likely to have a higher annual fee than a no-frills card. This may outweigh the benefits of complimentary extras if you rarely or never use them.
  • Purchase rate. When considering any credit card, interest rates are very important, especially if you are someone who carries a card balance. You may find that cards with complimentary freebies often charge higher rates.
  • Rewards. If earning rewards with your card is important to you, you should consider factors such as the points earn rate and rewards redemption program.
  • Cash advance rate and fee. If you withdraw money using your credit card or use your card for cash equivalent transactions, including gift or shopping vouchers and gambling, you may be charged extra fees.
  • Other complimentary extras. With increased competition among cards, the list of complimentary extras grows longer all the time. You should seek out perks that you’ll actually use and enjoy, since you’re indirectly paying for them in the card’s annual fee.

Compared to travel-specific perks like airport lounge access and complimentary travel insurance, purchase protection insurance is something that most people can enjoy on a day-to-day basis. When deciding if it’s something that you actually need, it’s important to consider the costs of the card and whether this feature will be worth it in the long term.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    LeonieOctober 25, 2016

    I live in Sydney, Australia. I purchased Japanese hotel accommodation via an online travel company last April. Our holiday had now begun but when I arrived at the hotel today I was told that the company had gone broke and had not paid the hotel and therefore my money was gone. Travel insurance told me that they would not pay am now wondering if I have any protection from visa as I paid on Visa platinum card. Accommodation cost about $1000 which I can’t afford to lose!!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayOctober 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Leonie,

      Thanks for getting in touch and I’m sorry to hear about your current situation.

      It would also be best if you get in touch with your card issuer so they may be able to help you resolve the problem. Though please note that the protection benefit for credit cards will depend on the type of card you have.


    Default Gravatar
    JoanneSeptember 8, 2015

    I paid for an item 8 months ago on my HSBC Platinum card but as yet it has not been supplied. Can my card’s purchase protection assist?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallySeptember 9, 2015Staff

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      There are a few factors that may affect your eligibility. As such, it’s ideal to check the terms and conditions or contact HSBC directly to confirm what you’re covered under.

      Please see page 50 of the terms and conditions PDF I’ve sent to your email together with HSBC’s contact number.

      I hope this helps.



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