Credit card travel insurance

By Staff Writer
If you are going on holiday you might have thought about taking out some travel insurance, in case anything goes wrong. But did you know, if you pay with your credit card, chances are you will have automatic cover from your bank?

Travel insurance helps to keep you covered for those unplanned events that happen when travelling. What if you miss your connecting flight, and need to get home? Maybe you decided to be adventurous, and ended up hurting yourself and have to visit a local doctor?

Travel insurance can cover you in these circumstances, and just give you peace of mind on your holiday. 

We look at the big four – Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and First National bank – to see what they offer in terms of travel insurance.


Absa says that their credit cardholders receive automatic travel cover of up to R2.5 million,which is a basic cover provided when an international travel ticket is purchased on the credit card.

The travel insurance is available to all Absa credit cardholders up to the age of 75 years.

However, there is a special Absa Travel Insurance package available to senior travelers between the ages of 75 and 85, who no longer automatically qualify for the automatic travel insurance.

Absa says that the automatic cover includes the following benefits:
  • Emergency medical and associated expenses- this covers the cost of seeing a doctor, being hospitalised, medical evacuation and repatriation. Absa also ensures that approved medical fees are covered should an individual fall ill or have an accident abroad.
  • Personal accident cover- financial protection against disability and death.
  • Absa travel assistant- this is a helpline service available 24 hours a day, which provides access to various assistance services, including transmission of urgent messages, legal assistance, embassy referral, emergency travel and accommodation requirements and loss of travel documents.
If you think that won’t cover it all, then there is additional top up cover. “The optional top-up cover and senior cover ensures that one gets comprehensive travel insurance with all the benefits of an automatic cover, plus a host of other added benefits,” says Absa.
Benefits include:
  • Emergency and associated expenses – this covers additional emergency medical expenses as a result of illness or injury, medical evacuation, repatriation or transport to medical centre expenses, and emergency medical expenses as a result of any pre-existing medical condition
  • Personal accident cover- (accidental death and permanent disability)
  • Trip cancellation or curtailment
  • Baggage cover (loss/theft of or damage to personal baggage)
  • Personal money and loss of passport
  • Travelling inconvenience benefits
  • Personal liability
  • Legal expense and advice
  • Hijack and wrongful detention
  • Petcare (veterinary costs)
For more information, click here.


As a Nedbank cheque or credit cardholder under the age of 75, you are entitled to automatic travel insurance for both local and international travel when you purchase the full cost of your travel tickets on your Nedbank card.

“You will receive cover for emergency medical and related expenses as well as personal-accident cover. The cover also includes various assistance service benefits, such as legal assistance abroad and a 24-hour medical emergency assistance helpline,” says Nedbank.

Cover starts at R25,000 for domestic travel, and goes up to R3 million depending on the type of Nedbank card you have.

If you need extra cover, Nedbank has three options: cover for an extra 30 days, for 31 to 90 days, or for trips lasting 91 to 180 days.

For international additional cover, the prices range from R475 to R1653 depending on the option you choose.

For more information, click here.

First National Bank

First National Bank (FNB) Credit Card offers two types of travel insurance – Standard and Comprehensive Global Travel Insurance.
Silver and Gold Credit Card holders benefit from standard travel insurance with the option of purchasing top-up travel insurance. The Consumer and Business Platinum, and Private Clients Credit Card holders benefit from Comprehensive Global Travel Insurance.
The basic automatic travel insurance with FNB covers you for 90 days’ worth of travel, as well as:
  • Up to R175,000 for local cover and up to R10 million cover for international medical expenses (depending on the type of card you  have),
  • Personal liability cover of up to R2.5 million,
  • And cover in the event of personal accidents, cancellations, travel delays and lost, stolen, or damaged baggage.
If you want to get extra cover, such as extra baggage or medical aid cover for a single traveller, travelling for up to 30 days, you can expect to pay a premium between R300 and R550 extra on travel insurance.

FNB also offers seniors cover for those aged between 71 and 85. Cover starts from R350 for up to 30 days and you can be covered for 90 days if you pay R750.

For more information on FNB travel insurance, click here.
And click here for the seniors cover. 

Standard Bank

Standard Bank offers automatic basic travel insurance every time you buy your travel ticket on your Standard Bank MasterCard, Visa card, or Cheque card. This travel insurance is for people under the age of 76, and covers trips up to 90 days.
There are also policies in place for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Furthermore, if you are over 76 then there is senior travel insurance for you.
This covers:
  • Up to R1 million in personal accident costs,
  • Emergency medical and related expenses cover,
  • As well as assistance services.
However, if you require more cover – such as lost baggage, or travel delays cover, or even just cover over a longer period of travel, then you can purchase additional cover with Standard Bank. For a trip one to 15 days long, for a single traveller, it will cost a premium of R312.

For more information on Standard Bank travel insurance, click here.

Justmoney says:

When comparing the big four it appears Absa offers the most money in terms of international cover. However, it’s best to check whether you in fact get that amount of cover. Not all the banks give you the highest band of coverage available – it usually depends on the type of credit card you have. So high net worth individuals that sport the banks’ more exclusive cards will typically get awarded more cover than a client who qualifies for the most basic of credit cards.

Remember to ask lots of questions about the type of cover you will get. Just because the travel cover is free when you buy your tickets with your credit card doesn’t mean that it’s all the cover you need. If you know you’re going to do some dangerous sports – anything from bungee jumping to skiing – check that the bank’s insurance will cover you.

If you find that your credit card’s travel insurance won’t cover you for what you need, contact your bank to see if they offer top up cover. Remember to compare your bank’s travel cover offerings with any of the other products out there in the market. You may get more cover for less if you speak to other insurers.

Travel insurance tips:
1.       Make sure you’re covered from the start. If are a senior (over the age of 70) you may not qualify for the basic cover offered by your bank. Call your bank to find out if they have seniors cover – you usually have to pay extra for this.
2.       Cover for domestic and international travel differ. You typically get more cover if you travel abroad. Read the terms and conditions of your insurance carefully or contact the bank if you’re uncertain about the amount you are covered for.
3.       Find out what exclusions apply. Usually pre-existing medical conditions are excluded. If you’re pregnant you may also not be covered.
4.       Find out if there are any travel exclusions. FNB, for example, will not provide you with cover should anything go wrong if you are travelling in any single engine aircraft or helicopter.
5.       If you want to engage any risky sports find out if it is covered. If it isn’t ask your bank if it will be covered under special sports extension cover.
6.       Remember that any injury resulting from alcohol or substance abuse may not be covered.
7.       Keep the claim details of your travel insurance at hand so that it can be found by family and friends should anything happen to you.

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