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Travel Insurance and Credit Cards

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Hey friends,

I am doing an arround the world trip (Europe/sthAmerica) trip early next year. An inexperienced flyer, I am trying to save money on travel insurance by getting a credit card with insurance.

Having a little trouble comparing policies-one bank in particular said they wouldn't send out the uinsurance policy details unless I was already a card holder.

Is the insurance offered by these cards enough for my trip? or are they substandard to the insurance offered by my travel agent?

Currently I am comparing (or at least trying) qantas AMEX gold, ANZ gold and Citibank gold.

Also the most expensive thing I plan to take on the trip is my SLR camera ($2500).

Any help would be great - cheers,
 

Mal

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Keep in mind that the "travel agent" insurance policies are rebadged/resold policies from one of the big travel insurers in the country.

It'll never be as cheap as you can find elsewhere....


Now as for CC insurance. Yes it tends to be good, but I'm not sure whether your SLR would normally be covered. You also tend to have to put a lot/all of the trip purchase price (airfare etc) onto the card.

You can also often find the insurance policy details hidden away on the website. (Sometimes listed under the card details).

I'm not going to recommend any particular card - I'll leave that to others.
 

JohnK

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theorangekombi said:
Is the insurance offered by these cards enough for my trip? or are they substandard to the insurance offered by my travel agent?
I am not an expert but in my opinion travel insurance offered by credit cards is very basic and inadequate. I think it would be better if you purchased separate comprehensive travel insurance for your trip. You can get an annual policy for ~$340/pa.
 

adrian

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I have had ANZ Gold for around 7 or 8 years now, and am very happy with it. The card by itself doesn't have an awards program (although you can pay extra to join an ANZ program, but from memory it isn't great). The biggest benefit is you only need to spend $250 towards your trip on the card, any time prior to departure, to be covered. This can include hotel bookings or airline bookings. In the past, I have paid $250 of my fare on this card, and the balance on my Citibank card (which gives me points) - the travel agents or airlines don't always like using 2 credit cards, but they will do it eventually.

The coverage itself is quite good, and covers spouses/partners also. It will also cover you for business travel.

The annual card fee is around $80 or $100, from memory.

I pretty much keep this card exclusively for the travel insurance benefits, and put the minimum $250 of travel expenses on it. I have another card or two I use for the awards programs.

I'm very happy with it, although I have never had to make a claim on it, so can't vouch for that part of the service.

Is wise to read the PDS carefully, as the insurance company telephone staff have given me wrong advice in the past (regarding requirements for travelling partners). The PDS isn't too hard to follow though.....
 
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Hey everyone thanks for your thoughts on this subject,

I thought I would let you know what I have found out. Basically Travel Insurance offered by credit card companies varies greatly between cards and is generally not as comprehensive as stand alone policies. Amex appears to be particuarly bad and Citibank won't actually send you a copy of the policy unless you are already a cardholder.

A really helpful page to have a look at is Guide: Travel Insurance - moneymanager.com.au which gives general advice of what to look at when getting insurance and includes some advice on credit card policies.

In the end I took adrian's advice and got an ANZ gold card. It has basically no benefits apart from the travel insurance but is as far as I can tell as good as a stand alone policy - actually the girl I talked to GCU (who underwrite this policy) said that in some cases it is better than their non credit card travel insurance policy.

And yes in the end it will cover my SLR camera so long as it is not valued at over $4000. Pretty good for a annual fee of $89. As adrian also pointed out you only need to pay for $250 of your trip to activate your insurance for you and any family member traveling with you. So you could book your flight with a points card and book $250 of your accom with the ANZ gold and your entire trip would be covered.

The only catch I can see is that you can't travel for more than 4 months and you must book from australia - ie book a flight whilst overseas and you're not covered.

Cheers,
 

coco50

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theorangekombi said:
Hey everyone thanks for your thoughts on this subject,
theorangekombi said:
And yes in the end it will cover my SLR camera so long as it is not valued at over $4000. Pretty good for a annual fee of $89. As adrian also pointed out you only need to pay for $250 of your trip to activate your insurance for you and any family member traveling with you. So you could book your flight with a points card and book $250 of your accom with the ANZ gold and your entire trip would be covered.

BTW, what does one do with an expensive camera if travelling to the LOTFAP now in the light of recent events? I always used to carry mine on in my little Qantas bag. But checked in baggage to LOTFAP must be either unlocked or with TSA approved locks which = unlocked. And some of the baggage handlers throw the bags around like a Wally Lewis pass (plenty of knock-ons by the receivers).
 

Thudd

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Aug 22, 2006
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Robert Barlow said:
BTW, what does one do with an expensive camera if travelling to the LOTFAP now in the light of recent events?
That's a thorny little question. I just spend some time poring over the PDS's of various travel insurers to see how the insurance offered by a CC company stacks up against a standalone. The answer is: it depends. Some policies don't cover additional items (cameras, computer gear, jewellery) if they're in checked baggage whereas others don't specify a type of carriage for your items. That goes for both standalone and CC insurance. The catch for all of them is that you're only insured for the current value of your camera - so that $5000 piece of kit you bought 2 years ago might be valued at a fraction of that now.

The bottom line as I saw it was that if you're a casual or tourist traveller who doesn't carry a fortune in luggage (eg expensive clothes, laptops) then the insurance offered by CC companies is adequate and covers all the basics that you need - medical, repatriation, lost baggage, emergency supplies and accomodation, cancellations - at reasonable amounts that compare well with standalones. For me, that makes the card-offered insurance a good deal as the only expensive gear I carry is my camera kit and because its > 1yr old (and I picked up a number of lenses 2nd hand) then I won't get full replacement value on it with any policy and I have no intention of flying to the LOTFAP any time soon.

If you've got other needs though - rental excess, physical activities (eg bungy jumping), higher and more comprehensive luggage coverage, not buying all the travel on the card - then you're really better off with standalone cover.
 

NM

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Robert Barlow said:
BTW, what does one do with an expensive camera if travelling to the LOTFAP now in the light of recent events? I always used to carry mine on in my little Qantas bag. But checked in baggage to LOTFAP must be either unlocked or with TSA approved locks which = unlocked. And some of the baggage handlers throw the bags around like a Wally Lewis pass (plenty of knock-ons by the receivers).
As far as I know, cameras are no prohibited as carry-on items for travel to the USA. Only new restriction in the last month is that relating to liquids and gels. So unless your camera is in a liquid or gel form, you should be able to carry it onto the aircraft.
 

Gulliver

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Sep 5, 2006
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I'm just shopping around for best value creditcard for accumulating FF points and free travel insurance obviously fits into that.

My Ezy Mastercard had something they referred to as travel insurance, but it only covered medical expenses. My point: you *must* read PDS before making a decision.

I'm most interested in the Earth+ card at the moment. Any oppinions on it's travel insurance? (Or any other points, but I'll find the correct forum to post in for other details.)
 

Thudd

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Aug 22, 2006
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Gulliver said:
I'm most interested in the Earth+ card at the moment. Any oppinions on it's travel insurance?
See my post earlier about this - it's relevant to the Earth+. My wife & I decided to go with the Earth+ rather than the standard Earth because the insurance suited our needs. It's certainly generally not as comprehensive or offers as much compensation as a standalone policy, but for our needs it is sufficient and that means an extra couple of hundred dollars saved each year on travel insurance - not a huge amount but better off in our pocket than theirs.
 

Addisongreen

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Sep 11, 2008
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Does anyone have any thoughts on the CBA Platinum Card travel insurance? It seems to have pretty comprehensive cover through Zurich. It states that it covers me and immediate family travelling with me for upto 12 months as long as I have a return ticket. I then don't have to spend any money on the card whilst overseas and I will still keep the insurance.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

pyffii

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Have you paid for the family as well on the card because as I understand the T & C the insurance is only activated after using the card to purchase airfares
 

JohnK

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Does anyone have any thoughts on the CBA Platinum Card travel insurance? It seems to have pretty comprehensive cover through Zurich. It states that it covers me and immediate family travelling with me for upto 12 months as long as I have a return ticket. I then don't have to spend any money on the card whilst overseas and I will still keep the insurance.
I don't know about this particular travel insurance policy but there have been posts on AFF about people who have had negative experiences with complimentary travel insurance offered by credit cards.

There are excesses to be considered with most complimentary travel insurance policies. Sometimes they take longer to processing claims. The customer support may not be as good regular travel insurance companies. If any of these are an issue then you need to reconsider the worthiness of complimentary travel insurance.
 

Addisongreen

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Sep 11, 2008
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Thank you to everyone that replied so far! The tickets are purchased on the card. Wife already covered by company for any travel and so am I under my work policy to a certain extent (separate but together if you get my drift). Just reading the policy document, there seemed to be better coverage on certain items under th CBA Platinum Card than via the current work policy for anything that happens outside of "work". Used the ANZ Gold travel insurance policy before and was happy at that time just have never had to use the CBA Platinum one before and I will be back and forth (but gone from Aust) for at least the next 12 months?
 
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