Amex’s shopping protections make them my favorite cards for holiday purchases

Dec 4, 2019

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With the holiday season in full swing, I’m sure you have a long list of gifts, groceries and holiday travel expenses coming up. There are many different factors to consider when choosing which cards to use on holiday purchases. Many people this season of spending as an opportunity to rack up rewards for 2020 travels or hit sign-up bonus requirements. But for me, the most valuable benefit of using a credit card for holiday shopping is purchase protection.

That’s why Amex cards are my number one choice during this time of year, especially for larger ticket items. Many American Express cards offer purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty coverage. As other issuers have dropped these benefits, Amex’s coverage has become even more valuable. Let’s walk through these three different types of shopping protections and how you can use them to safeguard your holiday purchases.

Amex purchase protection

Purchase protection covers all eligible purchases made on an eligible American Express card for up to 90 days against accidental damage and theft.

Purchase protection provides coverage up to $1,000 per purchase, up to $50,000 per cardmember account each calendar year for the majority of American Express cards. Premium cards —including The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card, the American Express® Business Gold Cardthe Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express  and Ameriprise Gold Card Members offer increased protection up to $10,000 per incident, with the same $50,000 annual cap.

Here is a list of all purchases not eligible for purchase protection:

  • Tickets
  • Gift cards, travelers checks, and other negotiable instruments
  • Living things such as plants and animals
  • Rare collectibles (i.e. stamps and coins)
  • Consumable and perishable items with limited life spans (i.e. food, perfume and batteries)
  • Antiques and previously owned items
  • Motorized vehicles, parts, and accessories
  • Permanent household items
  • Medical equipment

Items that are damaged or lost for the following reasons are also ineligible:

  • Natural disasters
  • Riots
  • Illegal actions
  • Military service
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Damage incurred during alteration
  • Lost or misplaced items (this is only covered by Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card and all consumer versions of the Amex Platinum card)

You must file a claim within 30 days of the incident here or by calling 1-800-322-1277. You’ll have to provide the original store receipt and, in the event of theft, a copy of the police report. If the item is damaged, hold onto it because you may be asked to send it in.

Look here for full purchase protection details for each card. And check out some of our other favorite cards with purchase protection.

Parcels are processed and prepared for dispatch at the Amazon.com fulfillment centre in Amazon.com MPX5 fulfillment center on November 17, 2017 in Castel San Giovanni, Italy. Established in 2014, the 100.000 sq. metres warehouse employs a workforce of 1.600 people who processed 1.2 million items during the last Black Friday. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)
If you’re buying holiday gifts online, purchase protection could be a lifesaver if something gets damaged during the shipping process. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)

Amex extended warranty

Amex extended warranty coverage currently provides up to one extra year of additional warranty coverage for warranties that last for five years or less. This is good for $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year. Note that this will change in 2020, and most consumer and small business American Express cards will only offer 1 additional year of extended warranty.

Image by Irina Dobrolyubova / Getty Images
Extended warranty could save you hundreds in case of damage. (Photo by Irina Dobrolyubova/Getty Images)

Items not covered by extended warranty protection include:

  • Products with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee
  • Motorized vehicles, accessories, and parts
  • Business fixtures
  • Land
  • Buildings
  • Consumable or perishable items
  • Living items including plants and animals
  • Items purchased intended for resale, professional, or commercial use

Coverage does not apply to items damaged during a natural disaster, power surge, or any item under a product recall.

Claims must be filed within 30 days of the loss, either here or by calling 1-800-225-3750. You’ll need your receipt, Amex purchase record, and you may need to return the item to Amex if it is irreparable.

Look here for full extended warranty details for each card. And here are some of our other favorite cards that offer extended warranty.

Bottom line

Shopping protections make Amex cards a great option for purchasing eligible gifts and other holiday shopping expenses. There’s no need to register any of your purchases, so if anything is damaged during shipping or you have to return any gifts, you’re covered automatically. While I might get a higher rewards rate on certain purchases with other cards, it’s worth it to sacrifice that in exchange for coverage when I’m buying larger ticket items.

Featured photo by Image Source / Getty Images

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive an up to $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

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