Stephen and Diane Snell had planned their first cruise after three years of no sailings for the end of 2022.

But the couple in their 70s, who had booked a cruise to New Zealand between November 25 to December 8 with Princess, were in shock when they found out the cost of insurance.

“I did a shop around online and got a quote from Allianz, NIB and HCF which quoted me exorbitant amounts. I was quoted $840 by NIB, $1,222 by HCF and $679 by Allianz for a cruise departing from Sydney and returning to Sydney,” said Mr Snell.

“We almost decided to cancel. And this would be the case for many baby boomers looking to travel. We are just getting charged so much by travel insurers who seem to be price gouging.”

The Snell’s were at their end’s wit. But Mr Snell found a loophole which could help ensure cruisers get Covid cruise travel insurance for departures from Australia.

“We had a friend who had a Citibank Platinum card. They were told by the bank that because they had paid for the full amount of the cruise, that they were eligible for Covid covered travel insurance. And the travel insurance offered by Citibank is underwritten by Allianz.

“We too had found a Citibank Platinum and found their insurance policy is underwritten by Allianz. So, we spoke to a fabulous consultant who found out we were covered, as we had paid for the cruise. We just had to adhere to the eligibility criteria as well as as a pre-exisiting medical condition questionnaire before we were given the policy.

“But otherwise, it pays off to keep investigating and check all your options with your credit card before settling on a travel insurance policy.”

Mr Snell and his wife had planned back to back cruises in America next year. But due to family matters and the huge cost of travel insurance for overseas cruises, he and his wife have decided to cancel their holiday.

“We got extremely lucky with our Australia to New Zealand voyage. But for our international trip, the insurance was going to cost us $10,000.”

Mr Snell’s policy specified the following eligibility criteria:

You and the other travellers are eligible for cover under the group policy issued to Citi on the basis that you have disclosed to us that you satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • you are the cardholder of a Citi issued Prestige Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Rewards Card, World Card or Citibusiness Gold Card; and
  • you and the travellers listed below reside in Australia and your journey commences in Australia; and
  • travel is for no more than six (6) consecutive months when the cardholder holds a Citi issued Prestige Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Rewards Card, World Card and for no more than three (3) consecutive months when the cardholder holds a Citi issued Citibusiness Gold Card; and
  • before leaving Australia the overseas travel ticket for each of the travellers listed below was obtained by one or a combination of the following methods:
    • charging the cost of the overseas travel ticket to the account holder’s card account; or
    • obtaining the overseas travel ticket under the Citi Travel Program; or
    • obtaining the overseas travel ticket via the cardholder’s airline frequent flyer program, provided that a minimum of 15,000 points were transferred to that frequent flyer program from points earned on a Citi Rewards, over a 12 month period prior to obtaining the overseas travel ticket; and
  • each of the travellers listed below (other than the cardholder) are travelling with the cardholder for at least fifty per cent (50%) of the period of cover provided to the card holder for the cardholder’s journey

A spokesperson from Citibank responded to Cruise Passenger and said, “The customer must read and understand the eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that may apply based on their trip and their individual circumstances. This is something we cannot confirm, so we cannot confirm if they have cover and the ins and outs of the cover.

“As an overall rule we state there is no explicit cruise cover under the Citi Complimentary insurance policy such as what you get when you purchase a retail travel insurance policy and they ask if you are taking a cruise where you need to add on a cruise pack. There are certain provisions for cruises as part of the Citi Complimentary insurance policy under its international insurance policy, but it must be looked at in conjunction with the eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that may apply, so it is not a broad yes there is cruise cover.

“Also to be clear, there is no COVID cover.”

Please note: Not every credit card has the same cruise cover on their travel insurance policy. Be sure to check with your bank and credit card provider about what they can offer you.