Travel Protection Benefits of Amex Cards

6
1256

Accidents happen. Delays occur. Baggage gets lost. The more you travel, the more you’re exposed to these kinds of risks. Conveniently, many of the travel credit cards you guys already carry offer protection against these kinds of risks.

If you’re looking to open a new travel credit card, chances are travel protection benefits won’t be your number one criteria on which you’ll call judgement. But if you travel often and on expensive trips, then it should at least be a consideration. That is why I decided it would be more beneficial for our readers to be informed about the travel protection benefits of the most popular cards with big sign up bonuses and the highest reward earning potential, as opposed to cards ranked purely by the best travel protection benefits package. Not that those two things are mutually exclusive.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Travel Protection Benefits Offered by American Express Platinum

The following benefits apply to the cardholder, any additional authorized cardholders, their spouse or domestic partner, and any dependents under the age of 23–unless otherwise noted.

Baggage Insurance Plan

Each covered person can get up to:

  • $2,000 in coverage for damaged, stolen, or lost checked baggage
  • $3,000 in coverage total for damaged, stolen, or lost carry-on and checked baggage

If you are a New York state resident, the cap on the max coverage for all covered persons on one trip is $10,000.

Coverage of high-risk items, like jewelry, sporting equipment, photographic or electronic equipment, and computers and audio/visual equipment, is limited to $250 per covered person.

Do you have to have paid for the trip on your card to qualify? Yes, the entire common carrier fare, either directly on your card, via the Amex Travel Portal (Paying with Points), or by airline miles transferred from Membership Rewards + award/taxes fees with your card.

Note that this is secondary coverage, so you’ll be reimbursed only after you’ve filed a claim with any primary insurance and/or the transportation provider.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If your rental car is stolen or damaged (and the car isn’t worth more than $75,000 when new), you (and only you, the primary cardholder or authorized user) can receive coverage on whichever of these circumstances applies/is lesser:

  • the actual cost to repair the Rental Auto
  • the wholesale Book value minus salvage and depreciation costs
  • the purchase invoice price of the Rental Auto minus salvage and depreciation costs

If you or your passengers are injured in an accident in the rental car, your each covered for up to $5,000 in medical expenses. If the cardholder is killed or dismembered in an accident in the rental car, they are covered for up $200,000. If a passenger is killed or dismembered in an accident in the rental car, they are covered for up to $20,000 each.

If you or your passengers have any personal property damaged or stolen, you each entitled to up to $1,000 in coverage, with a cap at $2,000 in coverage total.

Coverage is limited to 30 consecutive days from when the car was originally rented.

Do you have to have paid for the trip on your card to qualify? Yes, the entire rental cost, either directly on your card or by paying with Membership Rewards. You also must decline the car rental company’s insurance.

Note that this is secondary coverage, so you’ll be reimbursed only after you’ve filed a claim with your primary car insurance.

Travel Accident Insurance

Each covered person can get up to $500,000 in reimbursement for accidental death or dismemberment.

Do you have to have paid for the trip on your card to qualify? Yes, the entire common carrier fare, either directly on your card, via the Amex Travel Portal (Paying with Points), or by airline miles transferred from Membership Rewards + award/taxes fees with your card.

Travel Protection Benefits Offered by American Express Business Platinum

The baggage insurance plan, car rental loss and damage insurance, and travel accident insurance are the same for the Business Platinum as listed for the personal Platinum.

Medical Evacuation

One of the benefits of the Amex Platinum card is a “Premium Global Assist Hotline”, which, among other conveniences in emergency situations, provides complete coverage of any medical evacuation/transportation costs. You must consult the designated physician of the hotline and get their approval before moving yourself or family member, however.

This coverage applies to you and your spouse/domestic partner, any dependents under the age of 23, or any full-time student dependents up to age 26.

Travel Protection Benefits Offered by the Premier Rewards Gold Card & Business Gold Rewards Card

Travel protection benefits offered by the Premier Gold Rewards Card & Business Gold Rewards Card are similar but not nearly as good as what’s offered by the Platinum cards. Differences are listed below.

  • For both Premier Rewards Gold Card and the Business Gold Rewards Card, baggage insurance only covers up to $1,250 for lost/damaged carry-on bags, $500 for checked lost/damaged checked bags.
  • For both Premier Rewards Gold Card and the Business Gold Rewards Card, car rental loss and damage insurance only covers cars worth less than $50,000 when new. There is no coverage for medical expenses nor lost or damaged property involved with the rental like there is with the Platinum cards.
  • No coverage for medical evacuation under the “Global Assist Hotline” benefit–card member can call hotline for advice about where to move a person, but is ultimately responsible for all costs.
  • For the Premier Rewards Gold Card, travel accident insurance covers only up to $250,000 for death or dismemberment:

  • For the Business Gold Rewards Card, travel accident insurance covers evens less–only up to $100,000 for death or dismemberment:

Bottom Line

In general, the travel protection benefits offered by even the most premium Amex card, the Platinum, are not nearly as good as Chase nor Citi cards. There are less types of protection offered in general, the car insurance is secondary and not primary, and to qualify for coverage with existing benefits you must pay for the entire trip either directly on your card or with Membership Rewards. Putting just a portion of your trip on the card won’t cut it.

I think the lack of trip cancellation, trip delay, or baggage delay insurance on the Amex cards makes them inferior to options offered by Citi and Chase because those are the more commonplace mishaps when traveling.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Over in Juan-Les-Pins having a PERFECT CHEAP Time great Hotel $100 per nite w BK .
    THANKS SCOTT

    Can u do a Post on Travel Ins u pay for I have it (AIG) BUT I want the Best Deal as always

    CHEERs

  2. Thank you! Finally an objective review of the lack of travel benefits offered by Amex, with even the ‘premium’ Platinum Card lacking in that department.

    So many other bloggers try to push the Platinum for its 5x on airfare but traveling is a lot more complex than just getting as many points as possible.

    I’ll sacrifice the extra 2 points for the reassurance of having trip delay/cancellation insurance.

    There are even few-free cards that offer those basic protections.

    • The importance of travel protection is certainly a personal issue. Rewards matter more to some, others want the security of knowing they’re covered. Always best to be totally informed either way!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.