Maximizing Travel Insurance with the American Express Platinum Card

by joeheg

Did you know that the American Express Platinum card is the best option for earning the most points when paying for airfare directly with the airline? You can earn a remarkable 5X Membership Rewards points on the first $500,000 you spend, along with the same 5X when booking airfare with AMEX Travel.

In the past, I’ve used my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which has remarkable travel coverage. However, since I’m considering canceling the card when it’s up for renewal, I’m looking for alternatives for where to shift my airfare spending.

Here’s a breakdown of the travel insurance provided by the AMEX Platinum card.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

Trip cancellation and interruption insurances cover you in situations where you are unable to travel or when a trip needs to be cut short.

NerdWallet provides a good explanation of the differences between these two insurance coverages.

Trip cancellation coverage applies in situations where you cancel your trip before it starts. If you haven’t left yet, and you have to scrap your plans for a covered reason (such as an injury or illness), you can get some or all of your trip expenses reimbursed through trip cancellation coverage.


Trip interruption insurance, on the other hand, is about when something happens during your trip. Let’s say you’re on a trip and you suddenly have to get home to deal with a death or injury in the family. Trip interruption insurance will cover this situation, recompensing some or all of the remaining expenses in the trip.

With the American Express Platinum card, the maximum benefit amount is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive months.

The coverage is written in legalese, so it’s difficult to parse when you have coverage.

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.

In the end, if you pay for your flights with the card, you should be covered for the non-reimbursable expenses if you need to cancel or cut your trip short.

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip delay insurance is easier to understand.

Coverage is provided that reimburses an Eligible Traveler for reasonable additional expenses (including but not limited to meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items) incurred for a Covered Trip that is delayed more than six (6) hours, if the Covered Trip delay is caused by a Covered Loss.

Covered losses include:

  1. Inclement weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from traveling or continuing on a Covered Trip (e.g. severe weather that delays the scheduled arrival or departure of a Common Carrier)
  2. Terrorist Action or hijacking.
  3. A Common Carrier’s equipment failure, as documented by the Common Carrier
  4. Lost or stolen passports or travel documents.

Amex Platinum cardholders can receive up to $500 per loss and 2 claims per 12-month period. The same requirements apply to receive coverage.

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.

Baggage Insurance Plan

This insurance covers you for the loss or damage to your bags. Coverages are different for carrying bags, and once you’ve checked bags with the carrier.

  • $3,000 for your items while transporting them to the terminal or once in the terminal and aboard the common carrier.
  • $2,000 for items once checked with the common carrier.

There’s also a $1,000 line item limit for expensive items like jewelry, electronics, wearable technology and photo equipment.

Unlike the other coverages, this one requires you to pay the entire cost of the trip with your card. Flights booked with miles will not qualify for coverage.

However, other loyalty programs (i.e., Non-American Express) do not qualify on purchases redeemed in part or full towards the fare or pre-arranged travel cost. An example would be Common Carrier Frequent Flyer Miles point redemption.

Final Thought

The travel protections offered by the American Express Platinum Card are decent, but it lacks coverage for delayed baggage which would reimburse for essentials if your bags are delayed. However, most people prioritize having trip delay and trip cancellation/interruption coverage as these are bigger expenses. The question is whether it’s worth sacrificing some coverage to earn extra points.

If you’re planning an international trip, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance, as it will usually cover most unexpected events that may occur. However, for domestic trips, whether or not you need extra travel insurance depends on the non-refundable expenses and whether you can afford to cover any losses that may arise. In my opinion, the coverage provided to AMEX Platinum Card members is sufficient for most travel. However, if you’re going on an expensive trip, it’s probably best to purchase separate travel insurance instead of relying on what’s provided by your credit card.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

UnitedEF April 20, 2024 - 8:26 am

I thought paying just the taxes on award tickets with amex doesn’t afford you any type of coverage? That was the big differentiator with CSR vs amex plat


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