With the number of Aussies embarking on international holidays growing by the month, eligible Westpac credit card customers can benefit from the additional cover for epidemics and pandemics at no additional cost if they are diagnosed with COVID-19.

Westpac notes this cover includes overseas emergency medical assistance, medical evacuation, as well as cancellations and additional expenses. 

Westpac Managing Director Consumer Finance Steve Rubenstein said the world has changed over the last two years and with borders now open, we have updated our credit card complimentary insurance to give customers additional peace of mind when travelling overseas.

“We are seeing our customers spending more on airlines, travel agents and hotels, as Australians get back to one of their favourite pastimes," Mr Rubenstein said. 

“While international spend across our credit and debit cards has rebounded significantly, it’s not yet at 2019 levels. We anticipate this could change over the July school holidays as Australians escape the winter and reconnect with families and friends abroad."

The insurance is underwritten by Allianz, and customers will have to read the product disclosure statement as quite often complimentary travel insurance differs to retail policies.

Accounting for recent overseas arrivals and departures data published by the ABS, Westpac Economist Ryan Wells said many Australians are enacting their planned and paid for trips, with roughly 400,000 residents departing for short-term trips in April.

"Despite significant downward revisions, the number of Australians departing for a long-term trip remain at twice its pre-pandemic level, likely reflecting the pent-up demand, particularly among young Australians, to travel and/or work overseas on a longer-term basis," Mr Wells said.

Credit card payments data for May published by the Reserve Bank revealed 8,469,600 credit card purchases were made overseas in May, to the value of $1,502,400,000.

Debt continues to fall, down to $17.5 billion in May - a $300 million fall from April.

Image by Pascal Meier via Unsplash