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American Express Cards: Travel Insurance Benefits Guide [In-Depth]

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Whenever you book a segment of a trip, you’ll often see an option to purchase travel insurance to protect your adventure. That can often be a good idea, especially if you’re planning a bigger or more expensive trip (though you may be better off getting insurance from a third party instead of the travel provider).

But did you know that a lot of different credit cards come with their own travel insurance benefits? This is a great feature that’s included in the cost of your annual fee, but it’s one that many people don’t realize they have or know how to use.

In this article, we’ll look specifically at the Amex travel insurance benefits included with several of their cards, including what’s covered, what isn’t covered, and when you should consider purchasing additional insurance. Keep in mind that terms may apply and enrollment may be required, so ensure you double-check your enrollment within your American Express account.

A Summary of Travel Insurance Benefits for Amex Cards

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Card NameTrip Cancellation or Trip InterruptionTrip DelayCar RentalLost, Stolen, or Damaged BaggageDelayed BaggageGlobal Assist
The Platinum Card® from American Express$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab*$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
Corporate Platinum Card® by American Express*$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*$10,000 per covered trip, up to $20,000 in a 12-month periodUp to $500 per trip for delays above 6 hoursSecondaryUp to $2,000 per person for checked bags and $3,000 per person for carry-ons, up to $3,000 per personN/APremium Global Assist
American Express® Business Gold CardN/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
American Express® Gold CardN/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
American Express® Green Card*N/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express*N/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardN/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express CardN/AUp to $300 per trip for delays above 12 hoursSecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressN/AN/ASecondaryUp to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-ons, up to $1,250 per personN/AGlobal Assist
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressN/AN/ASecondaryN/AN/AGlobal Assist

*All information about these cards has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance

Travel Insurance
If your trip gets interrupted or canceled, you can potentially get reimbursed by Amex with the right cards. Image Credit: William Potter via Shutterstock

If your trip is either interrupted or canceled, you’ll probably want to look into getting reimbursed for associated expenses. With regards to American Express, you need to have booked a “covered trip” or have your flight canceled for a “covered reason.”

If you read through the actual policies of Amex, it can get quite confusing quite quickly. You’ll often see a reference to a “common carrier.” A common carrier is simply a method of air, land, or water public transportation (like an airplane, train, bus, or cruise ship).

A “covered trip” is defined as a round-trip ticket booked entirely with your eligible card. This covers more than a single round-trip ticket booked altogether in 1 reservation. You must begin your travel in the same city you return to. Also, the duration of travel can’t exceed 365 days away from the origin.

Lastly, the period of travel may consist of round-trip, one-way, or combinations of round-trip and one-way tickets with common carriers. Anecdotally, paying for taxes and fees on an award ticket and Pay With Points are “covered trips.”

A “covered reason” includes inclement weather, terrorist action, call to jury, sudden illness, or injury to you or an eligible traveler.

Which American Express Cards Offer This?

Before you think about trying to get reimbursed, you need to figure out which Amex cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Currently, these Amex cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • Hilton Aspire card

Additionally, all of these cards have the same level of coverage — you are eligible for up to $10,000 of non-refundable travel expenses for up to $20,000 per account in a rolling 12-month period.

Trip Delay Insurance

flight delay board
Flight delays. Image Credit: Ciurea via Shutterstock

Trip delay insurance is designed to cover unforeseen circumstances that delay your flight but don’t merit a cancellation. To qualify, you need to have booked a “covered trip” and your flight should be delayed for a “covered reason.”

Here are examples of “covered reasons”:

  • 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)
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • A common carrier’s equipment failure, as documented by the common carrier
  • Lost or stolen passports or travel documents

Once you qualify, you’ll get reimbursed for “reasonable additional” expenses. “Reasonable additional” expenses include, but are not limited to meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items.

Which American Express Cards Offer This?

There are 2 tiers of trip delay insurance with Amex.

The first tier covers up to $500 for a delay of more than 6 hours, and these Amex cards offer this:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardHilton Aspire card

The second tier covers up to $300 for a delay of more than 12 hours, and these Amex cards cover this:

Rental Car Insurance

Car Rental
Rest assured that you have secondary car rental insurance with most Amex cards. Image Credit: 4PM production via Shutterstock

Rental car insurance is one of the most important considerations of vacation transportation logistics. At face value, rental car insurance sounds like a sales pitch when you’re renting a car.

However, should something happen to your rental car, which is not always in your control, you could be shelling out thousands of dollars to resolve the issue! If that doesn’t sound like fun, you should absolutely consider rental car insurance, which is also known as a car rental collision damage waiver.

Primary car rental insurance automatically kicks in, and it will cover loss or damages except for liability, damage to other cars or personal property, or personal bodily injury or to other people.

Secondary car rental insurance kicks in as a backup. You’ll have to file a claim with your personal insurance, and secondary insurance only covers whatever your personal auto insurance doesn’t.

Hot Tip: Want more cards with this coverage? Explore our guide on the best credit cards for car rental insurance.

Which American Express Cards Offer This?

There are currently no Amex cards that offer primary rental car insurance. However, these cards all offer secondary car rental insurance:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • Hilton Aspire card
  • Amex Business Gold card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Green card
  • Amex Business Green card
  • Delta Platinum card
  • Delta Platinum Business card
  • Amex Blue Business Plus card
  • Amex Blue Cash Everyday card

Lost, Damaged, and Stolen Baggage Insurance

Lost baggage
If your bags get lost while traveling, you might be eligible for reimbursement. Image Credit: pixelrain via Shutterstock

American Express is also generous when it comes to baggage insurance.

When you have the ultra-premium Amex cards, you can get coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage, which is up to $2,000 for checked luggage, with a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage per covered person. Note that there’s a total maximum limit of $10,000 for everyone on the trip combined.

When you have some premium Amex cards, you can get coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage, which is up to $500 for checked luggage, with a combined maximum of $1,250 for checked and carry-on baggage per covered person. Note that there’s a total maximum limit of $10,000 for everyone on the trip combined.

As is often the case with credit card-provided insurance, you’ll need to use your Amex Platinum card to pay for the entire fare for this coverage to take effect. Remember that Pay With Points is covered under this, but not award ticket taxes and fees.

A handy benefit feature of this baggage insurance is that the primary cardholder, his or her spouse or domestic partner, and any dependent children (under 23) are all included. That means that if you’re on a family trip and something happens to everyone’s luggage, you’ll all be covered.

Hot Tip: Keep in mind that coverage applies to baggage during a trip on a common carrier, such as a plane, train, bus, ship, or other public modes of transportation. If something happens to your bags during a vacation (but not during your flights), then it won’t be covered.

Something to keep in mind is that the policy considers certain items to be “high-risk,” and caps coverage of these items at $1,000 per person for ultra-premium Amex cards and $250 per person for premium Amex cards. High-risk items include:

  • Jewelry
  • Sporting equipment
  • Cameras or photography gear
  • Computers and electronics
  • Precious metals
  • Fur clothing

The insurance policy also excludes items like cash, travel documents, and certain medical items like eyeglasses, contact lenses, or prosthetic limbs. Just about everything else, though, should be covered.

The first step to file a claim is to reach out to the Amex claims processing department. Your best option is to call and have a customer service agent walk you through the process. The number is 800-645-9700 or collect from overseas at +1-303-273-6498.

Note that Amex baggage insurance coverage (like the car rental insurance) is secondary, in this case, to the common carrier’s coverage. That means that the policy will only pay after the carrier pays, so you’ll have to file a claim with the carrier first.

If that claim is denied, or if it doesn’t cover the full cost of your luggage and contents, then the Amex plan is applicable.

Bottom Line: The baggage insurance included with your Amex card can help cover the cost of lost or ruined clothing, personal items, and more. Remember that to make a claim, you’ll need to use the card to pay for your full fare.

Which Amex Cards Offer This?

As mentioned above, there are 2 tiers of lost, damaged, or stolen baggage insurance.

The first tier covers $2,000 for checked baggage, $3,000 for carry-on baggage, for a per-person total of $3,000 and a per-group total of $10,000. Lastly, there’s coverage of high-risk items of $1,000 per person.

Here are the Amex cards that offer this benefit:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • Hilton Aspire card

The second tier covers $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on baggage for a per-person total of $1,250 and a per-group total of $10,000. Lastly, there’s coverage of high-risk items of $250 per person.

Here are the Amex cards that offer this benefit:

  • Amex Business Gold card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Green card
  • Amex Business Green card
  • Delta Platinum card
  • Delta Platinum Business card
  • Amex Blue Business Plus card

Delayed Baggage Insurance

Delayed baggage insurance covers your baggage if your bags are late to arrive after a particular flight. Usually, it covers you on a per-day basis for reimbursement of essentials while your baggage is away from you.

Which Amex Cards Offer This?

While some cards offer delayed baggage insurance, there are no Amex cards that offer delayed baggage insurance.

Premium Global Assist and Global Assist

Premium Global Access
Get support with the Premium Global Assist Hotline when traveling abroad. Image Credit: REDPIXEL.PL via Shutterstock

Premium Global Assist

The Premium Global Assist Hotline is a great feature that comes with several Amex cards, although the Amex Platinum card has the most extensive service.

You can call the Premium Global Assist Hotline any time you’re 100 miles or more away from home and need logistical help… big or small. This differs from the card’s concierge service, which is useful for things like shopping help, booking tickets, or getting restaurant recommendations and reservations.

It’s more for things like:

  • Help replacing a lost passport
  • Canceling lost credit cards
  • Emergency translation/interpretation services
  • Help finding a lost item
  • Help dealing with lost luggage, including staying on top of the airline until it’s found
  • Emergency legal or medical referrals
  • Emergency medical evacuation/transportation
  • Urgent message relay in the event you can’t get in touch with family or friends during an emergency

Hot Tip: You can reach the Premium Global Assist Hotline at 800-345-AMEX (2639) or collect (when calling from abroad) at +1-715-343-7979.

The hotline can also help with certain aspects of planning your trip (again, think “logistics,” not “entertainment”) such as:

  • Customs and passport information, including figuring out what visas you’ll need and how to apply, or what you can and can’t bring into the country
  • Cultural information, like questions about currency, tourist office locations, or even tipping etiquette
  • Foreign exchange rates
  • Recommendations for inoculations before traveling to certain regions
  • Weather trends and forecasts

The medical assistance is particularly valuable should there ever be a situation requiring it, such as getting sick while in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language.

If you’re traveling and fall ill or become injured, and you’re somewhere where you can’t get adequate treatment, the Global Assist Hotline’s medical team can arrange and cover expenses for transportation to definitive care closer to home.

Hot Tip: Medical transportation costs arranged by the Global Assist Hotline are covered, but any costs you incur that were not arranged through the hotline won’t be reimbursed. Make sure to call ASAP before making any arrangements on your own.

This benefit applies to the cardholder, spouse/domestic partner, and dependents up to 23 years old (or 26 if a full-time student), although any beneficiaries have to be traveling on the same itinerary as the cardholder. Pre-existing conditions are excluded.

Bottom Line: The Premium Global Assistance Hotline can be a real help whether you’re trying to figure out visa requirements or need to find a local doctor while traveling. If you need emergency medical transportation to a facility back home, the hotline can arrange it and cover all expenses. As always, be sure to read the terms.

Global Assist

The Global Assist Hotline can help with a few other, less-extreme medical needs as well, including prescription medication replacement (if you lose or forget medication) and physician or dentist referral.

If your wallet is lost or stolen, the hotline will provide certain financial assistance, including wiring emergency cash to you (which will be charged to your card account) or helping you check into or out of a hotel while you don’t have your card present.

In terms of legal support, the hotline can provide a referral to a local English-speaking lawyer, help connect you to bail bond agencies that accept American Express, and connect you with the nearest consulate or embassy.

The Global Assist Hotline doesn’t offer Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance and Repatriation of Mortal Remains.

Which Amex Cards Offer This?

Here are the cards that offer the Premium Global Assist Hotline as a benefit:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • Hilton Aspire card

Here are the cards that offer the Global Assist Hotline as a benefit:

  • Amex Business Gold card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Green card
  • Amex Business Green card
  • Delta Platinum card
  • Delta Platinum Business card
  • Amex Blue Business Plus card
  • Amex Blue Cash Everyday card

Final Thoughts

Many cards offered by American Express come with great travel insurance benefits. While the more premium (and expensive) cards offer more extensive benefits, even cards like the Amex EveryDay Card offer you valuable protection during your travels.

Note that American Express cards don’t include baggage delay coverage.

If you’re seeking additional coverage for your trip, like cancellation coverage or emergency medical insurance, American Express offers a stand-alone travel insurance product you can use to supplement what your card provides.

Additionally, plenty of third-party companies offer travel insurance. If you decide that what’s included with your card isn’t enough, you can always shop around for additional coverage. Having coverage with your card is a great benefit, though, since it means whatever policy you buy can be less extensive.

If you want to learn more about general travel insurance, check out our ultimate guides to buying the best travel insurance (for your situation) and when to buy travel insurance.

All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our Medical & Legal Disclaimers.

The information regarding the American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the American Express® Green Card, the car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is American Express travel insurance?

American Express travel insurance can refer to 2 separate things: travel insurance features that come for free with various American Express credit and charge cards, or a standalone travel insurance product sold by American Express.

Which American Express cards come with travel insurance?

The short answer: virtually all of them come with some form of benefit.

The longer answer: each card comes with different features and perks. Some cards, such as the Amex Platinum card, come with high-value baggage insurance, as well as coverage for expensive rental cars with personal injury features and emergency medical transportation coverage.

Other cards, like the Amex Everyday card, come with more limited travel insurance benefits. It’s important to read guides such as this one and check your terms and conditions to see exactly what benefits your credit or charge card includes.

Do I have to pay for the trip with my American Express card to get the travel insurance benefits?

In most cases, yes; paying the entire fare with your American Express card is required in order to activate coverage. There may be exceptions to this, but if you plan to rely on any travel insurance features included with your card, it’s best to use your card to pay for the trip.

What kinds of things does my American Express card's travel insurance cover?

Amex travel insurance features vary by card, but can include some or all of:

  • Rental car insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global assistance
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Physician/dentist referral

Does American Express travel insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Most medical-related coverage offered by Amex travel insurance specifically excludes pre-existing conditions. If that’s something you’re worried about, you may wish to seek supplementary travel or medical coverage.

How does American Express travel insurance define a pre-existing condition?

According to Amex: “A pre-existing condition is any sickness, illness, or injury that has manifested itself, become acute, or was being treated in the 60-day period immediately prior to the start of a trip.”

Does American Express travel insurance cover issues related to pregnancy?

Yes, as long as you are not traveling against the advice of a physician. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking a trip.

Should I get separate travel insurance in addition to what comes with my card?

You should look into the specific benefit terms of your card when deciding whether you need additional coverage or not.

American Express offers a standalone travel insurance product that can be used to supplement the insurance that comes with your card. This could be a good option if you decide you do need additional coverage.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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