American Express Premium Cards Now Provide Travel Coverage, But Don’t Expect Them To Tell You About It

by joeheg

In September 2019, American Express surprised almost everyone by announcing that, starting in 2020, their premium cards would provide travel coverages including trip cancellation and/or interruption and trip delay. This was major news because up until now, American Express cards did not provide any type of trip coverages, even on their ultra-premium cards. If you had an AMEX Platinum card, you had to choose between earning 5x Membership Rewards on airfare with no coverage or 3x Ultimate Rewards with a Sapphire Reserve but getting trip protection coverage.

Even more interesting was that American Express announced their new coverages just days after Citi announced they were eliminating all of the trip protections from all of their cards. AMEX was apparently going to make a major play to capture that spending.

Or that’s what you’d think. American Express cards have provided coverage for tickets purchased after January 1, 2020, but unless you know about it, there’s been no publicizing of this change to cardholders.

In fact, the new coverages aren’t even showing up on American Express’ website for cards that offer it.

Trip Cancellation & Interruption Coverage

Trip Cancellation & Interruption Coverage is now available for the following American Express Cards

The cards cover up to $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per card per 12 month period.

You must charge the full amount of a Covered Trip to your Eligible Card or in combination with your Eligible Card and accumulated points on your Eligible Card or redeemable certificates, vouchers, coupons, or discounts awarded from a frequent flyer program or similar program.

A requirement is that the coverage is only good for round-trip travel and all travel must be charged to the card. The period of round-trip travel may consist of roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip and one-way tickets with Common Carrier(s).

Full details of the coverage can be found on this website.

Trip Delay Coverage

AMEX cards offering trip delay coverage are listed on this website. There are two categories of coverage. The premium American Express cards offer up to $500 of coverage after a 6 hour or longer delay:

Complete details of this coverage can be found on this website.

These cards offer up to $300 in coverage after a 12 hour or longer delay:

Here’s the website with the coverage offered by these cards.

For both categories, you must charge the full amount of a Covered Trip to your Eligible Card or in combination with your Eligible Card and accumulated points on your Eligible Card or redeemable certificates, vouchers, coupons, or discounts awarded from a frequent flyer program or similar program.

Why keep coverage a secret?

You’d think that American Express would be letting their cardholders know about this new coverage, but nope. When looking at our cards that should have this coverage, the only one that mentions anything about trip delay or trip cancellation coverage on the cardholder benefits page is the AMEX Green Card with this mention of the new trip delay coverage.

Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 2.34.02 PM

Our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card doesn’t mention either coverage and neither does the American Express Gold Business card.

That begs the question, why offer coverage that you don’t tell people about? I’d think AMEX would want people to know about this. It would make sense as this makes their cards more competitive with other premium cards in the marketplace.

Final Thoughts

I’m at a loss for explaining why AMEX isn’t hyping these new coverages on their cards. Particularly with the American Express Platinum cards that earn 5x Membership Rewards for airfare purchases, they are now one of the best options to pay for airfare. The Hilton Aspire pays 7x Hilton points for airfare purchases so that could be a good option if you’re looking to accumulate Honors points. Even the AMEX Green card earns 3x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchases and now offers trip delay coverage. A 12-hour delay is never fun but $300 can pay for your meals and hotel room for an overnight stay instead of having to sleep at the airport.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


boardingareaflukie January 22, 2020 - 12:51 pm

I had just purchased an international itinerary through AMEX Travel. During the booking process it offered, for a fee, insurance for generally the same coverage stated above. You had to click a specific “decline” button to decline it and not be charged.
It seems I have the coverage stated in this article, but I’m concerned if something goes pear-shaped and I try to take advantage of this coverage, they’ll claim I specifically “declined” the coverage.

Luke Vader January 22, 2020 - 1:12 pm

Maybe Amex is still toying around with this benefit, and may still fiddle around with the terms (e.g. 12-hour delay vs. 6 hours for benefits to kick in, etc.)? In essence, a cost-benefit analysis to see whether they should increase, decrease, or change benefit terms, or to change/limit the premium cards on which it is offered.

Otherwise, you’re right, it’s odd that Amex is not trumpeting this benefit more loudly.

joeheg January 22, 2020 - 2:23 pm

I could see that but they’re already differentiating their products by offering better coverage for the more expensive cards.

Bleisureist January 22, 2020 - 10:52 pm

Amex definitely wants to sell their trip insurance product, for sure. They might also still be working on the marketing plan.

jamie albies January 23, 2020 - 7:29 pm

I just purchased the additional trip insurance with the Delta Reserve card. The trip is for my whole family and wasn’t cheap. I’m guessing this is why they are laying low with this news?? Pissed people like me.


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