COVID-19 has devastated the travel industry and disrupted many travel plans around the world. Having to cancel a vacation or postpone an important trip indefinitely is not only frustrating, it can also be costly. Can the travel insurance benefits offered with your credit card cover the costs?
Most American Express cardholders enjoy some form of travel insurance benefit, although it varies by card. Read on to learn more about what travel insurance benefits are available with each Amex card and how they can help you cover unexpected travel expenses.
Amex travel insurance types vary by card.
On January 1, 2020, American Express removed travel accident insurance and roadside assistance from its card travel insurance benefits. Fortunately, the issuer has replaced them with possibly more valuable protections: trip delays, trip cancellations, and trip interruptions. Each advantage is offered on select maps.
What does American Express Travel Delay Insurance cover?
Trip delay insurance covers expenses caused by delays as a result of:
- Weather conditions preventing the continuation of the trip – for example, if your flight was postponed due to bad weather.
- Attack or theft
- Carrier equipment failure confirmed by the airline.
- Stolen or lost passports or other travel documents
This type of travel insurance covers expenses such as meals, hotel accommodation, medicines and personal items.
Amex cards that include travel delay insurance
What does American Express trip cancellation and interruption insurance cover?
If a trip you booked using an eligible Amex card is interrupted or cancelled, American Express may reimburse you for non-refundable round-trip tickets. This can include everything from airline tickets to train tickets, as well as tickets you have booked through a tour operator, and more.
Please note that your trip must be canceled or interrupted for one of the following reasons in order to be covered:
- Accidental injury, illness or death
- Severe weather
- Military orders
- Attack or theft
- Jury duty or subpoena that cannot be suspended or waived
- Traveler’s house turned uninhabitable
- Quarantine imposed by a doctor for health reasons
Tip: Please note that if you are canceling your trip because you are still worried about COVID-19, you may not be eligible for this coverage. According to a coronavirus FAQ posted on the company’s website, “American Express travel insurance only covers the specified covered causes. Fear of contracting the coronavirus is not a cause covered by an American Express travel insurance certificate/policy.”
The maximum refund amount is $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per year. This coverage is secondary, meaning it only takes effect after any other applicable policy offers a refund.
Here is a list of American Express cards that offer this travel insurance:
- American Express Platinum Card
- Business Platinum card from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles American Express Backup Card
- Delta SkyMiles American Express Reserve Business Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
What does American Express baggage insurance cover?
Another valuable travel insurance benefit available to some Amex cardholders is baggage insurance. This is also secondary coverage, meaning you may be reimbursed after your carrier reimburses you.
The level of protection depends on the card, with premium cards offering more coverage.
|Map||Hand baggage||Checked Baggage||High risk items||Combined maximum (hand luggage + check)|
|American Express Platinum Card||3000 dollars||2000 dollars||1000 dollars||3000 dollars|
|Business Platinum card from American Express||3000 dollars||2000 dollars||1000 dollars||3000 dollars|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||3000 dollars||2000 dollars||1000 dollars||3000 dollars|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*||3000 dollars||2000 dollars||1000 dollars||3000 dollars|
|American Express® Gold Card||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|American Express Gold Business Card||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|American Express Green Card*||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express*||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
|Delta SkyMiles® American Express Backup Card||$1250||500 dollars||$250||Do not exceed replacement cost|
What does loss and damage insurance cover when renting American Express cars?
If you rent a car during your trip and pay for it with an eligible Amex card, you may be eligible for a refund if the car is damaged or stolen. Premium cards like the Platinum and Business Platinum cards offer coverage up to $75,000. Other American Express cards that provide this benefit can cover up to $50,000.
|Map||Car rental coverage|
|American Express Platinum Card||$75,000|
|Business Platinum card from American Express||$75,000|
|Delta SkyMiles American Express Backup Card||$75,000|
|Delta SkyMiles American Express Reserve Business Card||$75,000|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||$75,000|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*||$75,000|
|American Express Gold Card||$50,000|
|American Express Gold Business Card||$50,000|
|American Express Green Card*||$50,000|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express*||$50,000|
To calculate the amount needed to cover the repair, Amex compares the actual cost of the repair, the wholesale book value of the vehicle, and the invoice price. The most cost-effective option is the amount of compensation.
Please note that the policy only applies to rentals up to 30 consecutive days and not all vehicles are included. For example, the policy does not cover commercial vehicles, certain types of vans and trucks, cars over 20 years old, limousines, and certain other types of vehicles. Also, this benefit does not apply to car rentals in Australia, Italy, New Zealand and other countries subject to US sanctions.
It is very important to read the Benefits Guide carefully as in many other cases damage to your rental car will not be covered. And be aware that, like other travel insurance benefits offered by American Express, its rental car insurance policy is secondary to any other insurance coverage you may have.
What American Express Global Assist Offers
Last but not least, American Express cards offer a Global Assist hotline that can provide cardholders with valuable information and travel advice. This may include translation services, assistance with missing luggage, medical referrals, and more.
You can call the hotline toll-free at 1-800-333-AMEX (2639).
If you have an Amex premium card such as Platinum or Business Platinum, you have access to the Premium Global Assist hotline. It offers the same assistance as the basic version, but may cover some services in full. For example, he can reimburse the cost of medical transportation.
The following Amex Shared Cards also offer Premium Global Assist:
- Delta SkyMiles® American Express Backup Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
You can call the Premium Global Assist Helpline at 1-800-345-AMEX (2639).
How to apply for travel insurance with American Express
Before you can claim using Amex travel insurance benefits, you must first use your main policy or apply with your regular carrier. Please be aware that the coverage provided by your American Express card is secondary, meaning you will not be reimbursed until you have exhausted your other policies first.
After that, file a claim with Amex as soon as possible. Check your Benefits Guide to find out how long you have to apply and review the terms of your policy.
You can apply using the following numbers and websites:
- For baggage insurance claims: 1-800-645-9700 or online.
- For rental car insurance claims: 1-800-338-1670 or online
- For insurance cases of delay, cancellation and interruption of the trip: 1-844-933-0648
American Express will then provide you with claim forms and instructions for submitting proof of loss. You can find examples of documentation that may be required in your Benefits Guide.
Which card is best for getting American Express travel insurance benefits?
Premium cards like the Platinum card offer the most comprehensive travel insurance benefits of any American Express card. If you travel a lot and want the highest level of protection, this type of coverage can justify the high annual fees. On the other hand, if you only travel occasionally, it may make sense for you to find a travel credit card with a lower or no annual fee and invest more in your basic travel insurance.
Please note that some Amex cards do not offer all of these benefits, so be sure to check the terms and conditions of the card before applying.
If you are an Amex cardholder, you will find that the card issuer can help you in many situations while traveling. With an abundance of travel insurance perks on a set of cards, American Express is a great addition to your wallet wherever you go. Make sure all major travel purchases are listed on your respective card and always read the terms and conditions in full to be aware of the benefits it offers. Thus, you can count on these benefits in case of unforeseen circumstances.
*All information about the American Express Green Card, American Express Business Green Rewards Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been independently collected by CreditCards.com and has not been verified or approved by the issuer.