Skip to content

Your complete guide to travel protections on American Express cards

May 28, 2022
17 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Numerous American Express cards offer travel protections that can take the headache out of your vacations. However, the coverage you get (and the limits of said coverage) differ by card. Rather than trying to remember all of this on your own, we will guide you through the travel protections offered by American Express cards.

This guide provides a comprehensive, detailed look at the variety of travel protections offered across the American Express card portfolio. Each section outlines a type of coverage and the cards offering this coverage. We also include coverage limits as well as any additional caveats to keep in mind.

Here's what you need to know about American Express travel insurance coverage.

Trip delay insurance

Flight delays and cancellations can be gruesome. (Photo by Getty Images)

Trip delay insurance covers you when you encounter travel delays. This could be a delayed flight for mechanical issues, or it could be an unexpected overnight due to a weather-related cancellation. Other reasons are covered, but individual policies vary in what they do and don't cover. If the reason for your delay is not specifically mentioned in your policy, assume that it's not covered.

With trip delay protection, there are two different "levels" of coverage, depending on the card you carry.

Level 1: Higher-end cards

Some of American Express' top products offer trip delay reimbursement of up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than six hours, capped at two claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive months.*

This protection becomes effective when you purchase a ticket using any of the following cards:

**The information for these 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.

Level 2: Mid-tier cards

Other American Express cards offer trip delay reimbursement of up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours, capped at two claims per 12 consecutive months.*

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to purchase your tickets:

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

This type of coverage is for situations in which your trip is canceled or interrupted (meaning you started the trip but must end it to return home), and as a result, you're forced to forfeit prepaid, nonrefundable reservations. Again, be sure that your specific reason is mentioned in your policy for it to be covered.*

All Amex cards with this benefit provide the same level of protection. If your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you can receive a maximum of $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum of $20,000 per eligible card in a 12-month period.

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to purchase travel:

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

**The information for these 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.

Global Assist Hotline

(Photo by d3sign/Getty Images)

Eligible cardholders can rely on the Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency services coordination and assistance while traveling more than 100 miles from home.*

Note that the Global Assist Hotline coordinates services but is not the service provider. Any third-party service costs may be your responsibility.

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to pay for your tickets:

**The information for these 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.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Cardmembers are
responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Premium Global Assist Hotline

Similar to the benefit above, eligible cardholders for certain premium Amex cards can rely on the Global Assist Hotline 24/7 for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency services coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles from home. With the Premium benefit, emergency medical transportation assistance and related services may be provided at no cost.*

If approved and coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost to you. Otherwise, third-party service costs may be your responsibility.

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to pay for your tickets:

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, cardmembers are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

**The information for these 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.

Baggage insurance plan

(Photo by izusek/Getty Images)

Baggage insurance applies to covered persons for eligible lost, damaged or stolen baggage during travel on a common carrier vehicle (such as a plane, train, ship or bus) when the entire fare for a ticket on the trip (one way or round trip) is charged to an eligible card.

With this coverage, there are two different "levels" of coverage, depending on the card you carry.

Level 1: Higher-end cards

Some of American Express' top products offer baggage insurance coverage of up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage. This coverage is in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier. Coverage is subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per covered trip.*

For New York state residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/per suitcase limit for each covered person, with a maximum of $10,000 aggregate for all covered persons per covered trip.*

This protection becomes effective when you purchase a ticket using any of the following cards:

**The information for these 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.

Level 2: Mid-tier cards

Other American Express cards offer baggage insurance coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. This coverage is in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier.*

For New York state residents, there is a maximum of $10,000 aggregate for all covered persons per covered trip.*

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to purchase your tickets:

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

**The information for these 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.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

(Photo by kung_tom/Shutterstock)

Car rental loss and damage insurance applies to the theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use an eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the rental car company. Note that this product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply.

With this coverage, there are two different "levels" of coverage, depending on the card you carry.

Level 1: Higher-end cards

Some of American Express' top products offer car rental loss and damage insurance of up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to eligible rental vehicles.*

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to pay for eligible rentals:

Level 2: Mid-tier cards

Other American Express cards offer car rental loss and damage insurance of up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to eligible rental vehicles.*

Here are the cards that include this protection when you use them to pay for eligible rentals:

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

**The information for these 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.

Bottom line

(Photo by Roberto Moiola Sysaworld/Getty Images)

Understanding what benefits your card has to protect you when things go wrong during a trip can help reduce headaches. To that end, American Express provides multiple travel protections across many of its card products. Coverage limits within the same benefit can vary by which card you have, so consult your card's detailed benefits at americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for full details.

Featured image by SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees