Free domestic travel insurance, commonly referred to as complimentary insurance, is a feature available on many credit cards – typically rewards-based credit cards.
It entitles you to varying levels of insurance when you book domestic travel using your credit card. While it is referred to as ‘free’ or ‘complimentary’, it’s usually compensated by a premium through the card’s annual fee. However, it could still be cheaper or simpler than taking out a standalone insurance policy.
What does free domestic travel insurance cover?
There are often variances in what’s covered by individual credit cards, but free domestic travel insurance generally includes:
- Luggage cover: For loss, theft or damage to personal items
- Luggage delay: For essential items purchased in the case of luggage being delayed or misplaced
- Cancellation fees: Covering costs incurred rearranging or cancelling flights due to injury, accidents, extreme weather, unforeseen circumstances etc.
- Flight delays: To cover accommodation expenses required in extended flight delays
- Personal liability: For instances when you accidentally cause injury or damage to another person or their property
- Rental vehicle cover: For excess payments incurred on a rental vehicle’s insurance if an accident or theft occurs
- Additional expenses: Covering miscellaneous travel and accommodation expenses incurred if you’re no longer able to travel
Which banks offer credit cards with free domestic travel insurance?
Many lenders offer a card that comes with free domestic travel insurance. It’s best to look for a comparison website to weigh up the vast array of options.
What are the pros and cons of credit cards with free domestic travel insurance?
While free domestic travel insurance is an attractive credit card feature, it’s often compensated in a larger annual fee and certain exclusions apply. Always read the terms and conditions, and be aware of the other ‘cons’ below.
- Frequent travellers can save on travel insurance
- You can often get the same benefits as standalone policies, for less
- It takes the hassle out of comparing travel insurance policies
- Different card options mean you have control over your coverage and how much you spend
- Many policies also cover your spouse and children when they travel with you
- Your card policy will cover you for the same price at any age, unlike standalone policies which can charge higher premiums for younger or older travellers
- A range of destinations are covered for the same price, unlike some standalone travel policies
- A wide range of terms and conditions can mean you’re not covered for certain things or situations
- You’ll typically pay a higher annual fee to cover the ‘free’ insurance
- To be eligible for the travel insurance, you often have to activate your policy or use your card in a certain way – so always check your card’s terms and conditions
- If you travel infrequently, it might not be worth paying the higher card premium
- Certain exclusions and excess payments can still apply, hitting you with unexpected costs
- Credit card travel insurance policies generally cover trips of a certain length (e.g. up to 31 days or three months)
- Standalone travel insurance policies can be more extensive (e.g. offering broader insurances up to higher amounts)