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“Free” Travel Insurance That Comes With Your Credit Card: Here’s What It Covers (And Does Not Cover)

Do you know what free travel insurance entails?


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What do these popular cards –– UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card, Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card – have in common? Free travel insurance.

Though these credit cards (and others) offer free travel insurance, is it really sufficient for the coverage you’ll need? We find out what the typical free credit card insurance covers and excludes, and whether you should consider getting separate travel insurance on top of it.

Read Also: Here Are 5 Important Factors Singapore Travellers Need To Know When Buying Travel Insurance

What Is Commonly Covered By Your Credit Card’s Insurance?

Free travel insurance typically includes basic coverage but the extent of coverage varies a lot from card to card. Here is a closer look at the travel insurance coverage of 3 popular air miles credit cards:

UOB PRVI Miles AMEX Citi PremierMiles Visa DBS Altitude Visa Signature
Personal Accident Coverage Up to $500,000 Up to $1,000,000 Up to $1,000,000
Emergency Medical Assistance Up to $50,000 Up to $100,000 None.
Travel Inconveniences None. – Baggage delay
– Baggage loss
– Flight delay
– Trip cancellation
– Trip Interruption
None.
Insured Persons Cardholder-only – Principal and supplementary cardmember
– Accompanying legal spouse
– Accompanying children
– Cardholder
– Cardholder’s Spouse
– Cardholder’s Dependants

 

In some cases, the insurance coverage extends to dental treatments arising from accidents, travel inconveniences and even accompanying spouses or dependents of the cardholders. However, this is not guaranteed.

Typically, most cards only include the bare essentials – personal accident coverage or permanent disablement benefits.

Read Also: How Young Working Adults In Singapore Can Enjoy Adequate Insurance Protection For Less Than $150 Per Month

Common Exclusions And Limitations You Need To Know About

UOB PRVI Miles AMEX Citi PremierMiles Visa DBS Altitude Visa Signature
Age Limitations Not specified. 21 to 75 years old. None.
Trip Cap (days) Not specified. Up to 93 days. Up to 30 days.
Round Trip
(To Qualify)
Not specified. Yes. Not specified.
Offered On Redemption Tickets Yes. Yes. None.

 

Age Limitations

For most banks, you typically have to be above 21 years of age to qualify for free credit card travel insurance. In certain cases like Citi PremierMiles Visa cardholders, there is an upper age limit for cardholders.

Your credit card’s free travel insurance may also allow you to make claims on accompanying legal dependents. However, do note that age limits may apply to these dependents. In some cases, your child may not be qualified for free travel insurance because they have started working or are above a certain age.

Excluded Pre-Existing Conditions

Most complimentary credit card travel insurance excludes individuals with pre-existing medical conditions from redeeming the free travel insurance benefit. For example, UOB PRVI Miles AMEX cardholders are not eligible for free travel insurance if they have pre-existing conditions in the 12 months prior to the commencement of the trip.

Trip Limitations

The policy wording of your credit card free travel insurance may include the maximum duration of the trip you can claim for. It can be as short as 30 days to as long as 93 days.

It’s also important to note that some cards only allow you to redeem free travel insurance if you are buying round-trip tickets. Free credit card travel insurance may thus be unsuitable for trips of an indefinite length.

Eligibility On Redemption Tickets

Sometimes, credit card issuers require you to charge the full amount of the fare to your card. For some banks, they also do not allow you to redeem free travel insurance if your fare was paid for in miles (whether in part or full).

For instance, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card includes this in its policy wording:

Some keywords to look out for in your policy information include “full fare”, “100% of the fare”, and “entire fare”. In cases that you are unsure, you can call up the customer service hotline of the respective card issuer.

Read Also: 8 Awesome (And Free) Christmas Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones

Should You Still Get Standalone Travel Insurance?

Your free credit card travel insurance may be sufficient for you if you’re just looking for basic coverage, or travelling to a country that you frequent or even have relatives residing in. Alternatively, you may decide to beef up your coverage if you are travelling to high-risk areas or countries that are relatively volatile on the political and social front.

Additional travel insurance coverage may be for you too if you prefer a conservative level of risk management while overseas, or if you require and adventure cover or rental vehicle excess because of the nature of your trip.

Besides reading the fine print and policy wording, find out which insurance company is the underwriter so you can better understand the claims process, difficulty and duration. This will help you better plan your insurance coverage for your trip.

Ultimately, remember that there is no obligation to make use of the complimentary travel insurance, especially if you think it is too much hassle for a really narrow benefit.