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Everything you need to know about Amex’s Premium Global Assistance and trip insurance benefits

Dec. 11, 2021
8 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.

Although perks like unparalleled airport lounge access, an up to $200 annual airline credit, up to $200 annual prepaid hotel statement credit and up to $200 annual Uber credit (for U.S. services) may seem like the most valuable benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, there are a number of lesser-known perks the card offers. Among them are Premium Global Assist and trip insurance. (Enrollment required.)

These protections are separate from perks like baggage insurance — they assist with more severe issues like emergency medical transportation and unforeseen trip cancellations. While we all hope never to have to use these benefits, they’re worth familiarizing yourself with, as they can save you a ton of money and aggravation if you are in a time of need.

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Amex cards that offer Premium Global Assist and trip insurance

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

All Amex cards have access to Amex’s Global Assist Hotline, but trip insurance benefits are reserved for the higher-end cards. For the most protection, you’ll need Amex’s premium cards:

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex, Amex Corporate Platinum, Amex Centurion and Amex Business Centurion cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Which is the best American Express credit card for you?

What is the Premium Global Assist Hotline?

Whenever you’re traveling on a trip of 90 days or less and that is 100 miles or more from home, you have access to Amex’s Premium Global Assist Hotline.

This 24/7 hotline can help you with everything from customs information and destination guides to unexpected issues you may encounter during your trip, such as arranging emergency medical transportation, medical prescription replacement, missing luggage assistance and legal assistance. For example, TPG reader Joseph was able to get tremendous value from the Global Assist Hotline during a trip to New Zealand when both of his children got sick and he needed help finding reputable medical facilities nearby.

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(Photo by Keith Brofsky/Getty Images)

While most services the hotline coordinates for you are at your own expense, there are some benefits available to Platinum and Centurion cardholders at no cost. They include emergency medical transportation and evacuation — if the Amex physician or local physician decides that it is medically necessary and advisable due to inadequacy of local facilities — and repatriation of mortal remains.

There are some important exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions and refusal of permission by local authorities, so you’ll want to read the full terms and benefits guide (warning: PDF link) for your card. Also, note that the coverage is only for the cost of evacuation, not the actual medical care.

Related: What’s covered by credit card travel accident and emergency evacuation insurance?

What’s covered by trip insurance?

Amex offers two types of trip insurance benefits: trip delay insurance and trip cancellation and interruption insurance. They’re pretty self-explanatory, but here’s what you need to know.

With the trip delay insurance provided by the cards listed above, you’ll be reimbursed for unexpected expenses — such as meals, lodging, and personal-use items — if your trip is delayed by more than six hours due to a covered reason. You’re covered up to $500 per trip so long as you booked round-trip flights and paid entirely with an eligible card (if you paid taxes and fees on award tickets or Pay With Points tickets, that is also covered).

Amex defines round-trip tickets as travel consisting of “roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip or one-way tickets.” So, for example, an itinerary bringing a covered traveler from New York to Los Angeles, then back from San Francisco to New York would qualify.

Some of Amex’s mid-tier cards offer trip delay protection as well, but only for delays of more than 12 hours, with reimbursement of only up to $300.

Related: Your guide to Amex’s travel insurance coverage

(Photo by SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images)

On the other hand, trip cancellation and interruption insurance provide reimbursement for covered expenses when you are forced to cancel or cut a covered trip short for an eligible reason. If you qualify, you may receive reimbursement of non-refundable travel expenses of up to $10,000 per trip, with a maximum of up to $20,000 per eligible account for each consecutive 12-month period.

Related: Comparing built-in travel insurance with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum

Covered reasons for canceled trips include inclement weather, terrorist action, call to jury duty, or sudden illness or injury to you or an eligible traveler. Again, you must book “round-trip” travel, paid for entirely using your eligible card, to be covered.

Here’s a sampling of what’s not covered by trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Notably, avoiding outbreaks generally isn’t covered. You'll likely only get coverage in connection with COVID-19 if you contract the virus or a physician requires you to quarantine for health reasons related to COVID-19 on or before the departure of your trip.

  • Pre-existing conditions.
  • The eligible traveler’s suicide, attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury.
  • A declared or undeclared war.
  • Mental or emotional disorders, unless hospitalized.
  • The eligible traveler’s participation in a sporting activity for which he or she receives a salary or prize money.
  • The eligible traveler being intoxicated at the time of an accident. Intoxication is defined by the laws of the jurisdiction where such accident occurs.
  • The eligible traveler being under the influence of any narcotic or other controlled substance at the time of an accident, unless the narcotic or other controlled substance is taken and used as prescribed by a physician.
  • The eligible traveler’s commission or attempted commission of any illegal or criminal act, including but not limited to any felony.
  • The eligible traveler parachuting from an aircraft.
  • The eligible traveler engaging or participating in a motorized vehicular race or speed contest.
  • Dental treatment, except as a result of accidental bodily injury to sound, natural teeth.
  • Any non-emergency treatment or surgery, along with any routine physical examinations.
  • Hearing aids, eye glasses or contact lenses.
  • One-way travel that does not have a return destination.
  • A counterfeit scheduled airline or train ticket, or a scheduled airline or train ticket which is charged to a fraudulently issued or fraudulently used eligible card.
  • Any occurrence while the eligible traveler is incarcerated.
  • Loss due to intentional acts by the eligible traveler.
  • Financial insolvency of a travel agency, tour operator or travel supplier.
  • Any expenses that are not authorized and reimbursable by the eligible traveler’s employer if the eligible traveler makes the purchases with a commercial card.

Related: TPG’s comprehensive guide to independent travel insurance — including coronavirus coverage

Bottom line

Lesser-known benefits such as Premium Global Assist Hotline and trip insurance can be lifesavers. Whether you’re planning a winter getaway or taking a post-pandemic family vacation to New Zealand like TPG reader Joseph, hopefully, this post has given you some peace of mind that your Amex Platinum Card will help save the day in case anything goes wrong. Just be sure to review your card's benefit guide very carefully for the full list of terms and conditions.

Official application link: Amex Platinum with a 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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