Your guide to Amex’s travel insurance coverage

Jun 9, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


American Express premium credit cards offer some of the best perks in the credit card space. While lounge access and travel credits are typically the highlights of these cards, some of the lesser-known benefits, such as trip delay reimbursement and trip cancellation and interruption insurance, are becoming hot topics as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the travel industry.

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As a result, many TPG readers have sent in questions about Amex’s travel insurance protections. As travel restrictions change, policies and best practices will likely change as well. But this guide will walk you through which Amex credit cards have these benefits, what’s currently covered and how you can file a successful claim.

Related: Best credit cards for trip cancellation and interruption insurance

In This Post

Amex cards offering trip delay, cancellation or interruption insurance

Here is an overview of the Amex cards that offer trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance or both:

Card Annual fee Rewards Coverage
The Platinum Card® from American Express $695  (see rates & fees) 5x on flights booked directly or with Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5x on hotels booked through Amex Travel. Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express $595($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) (see rates & fees) 5x on flights booked directly or with Amex Travel, 5x on hotels booked through Amex Travel, 1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year), 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card $450 (see rates & fees) 14x on eligible Hilton bookings, 7x on flights booked directly or with Amex Travel, select car rentals and at U.S. restaurants; 3x on all other purchases. Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card $550 (see rates & fees) 3x on eligible Delta purchases, 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card $550 (see rates & fees) 3x on eligible Delta purchases, 1x on all other purchases (that can become 1.5x after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year.) Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

 

$450 (see rates & fees) 6x at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly, 2x on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply. Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Insurance
American Express Corporate Platinum Card  $550 2x on Uber business rides; 1x on all other purchases Trip delay insurance
American Express® Gold Card

 

$250 (see rates & fees) 4x at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x), 3x on flights booked directly or with Amex Travel, 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply. Trip delay insurance
American Express® Business Gold Card

 

 $295 (see rates &fees) 4x on two categories where your business spends the most (up to $150,000 per calendar year; then 1x), 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply. Trip delay insurance
American Express® Green Card  $150 (see rates & fees) 3x on all travel and at restaurants worldwide. Terms apply. Trip delay insurance
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card $250 (see rates & fees) 3x SkyMiles on eligible Delta purchases; 2x at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. Terms apply. Trip delay insurance
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card $250 (see rates & fees) 3x on eligible Delta purchases, 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per calendar year), 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply.  Trip delay insurance

The information for the Amex Green Card, Hilton Aspire Amex card and American Express Corporate Platinum 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.

Related: The best credit cards with travel insurance

What is covered by trip cancellation and interruption insurance?

(Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)
If you find your flight canceled, don’t panic: Your card may come with protections that can save the day. (Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

You can find the full terms and conditions of what is generally covered on your respective card in your Guide to Benefits, which can be found through your online account. I’ll use the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve as an example.

Here is a rundown of the “covered losses” provided by Amex’s trip cancellation and interruption insurance:

  • Accidental bodily injury or loss of life or sickness of either the eligible traveler, traveling companion or a family member of the eligible traveler or traveling companion
  • Inclement weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from traveling or continuing on a covered trip
  • The eligible traveler or his or her spouse’s change in military orders
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Call to jury duty or subpoena by the courts, either of which cannot be postponed or waived
  • The eligible traveler or traveling companion’s dwelling made uninhabitable
  • Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons

Related: Book carefully if you have multiple Amex cards that offer travel protections

Amex also provides an extensive list of things that are not covered by trip cancellation/interruption insurance:

  • 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’s 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, routine physical examinations
  • Hearing aids, eyeglasses 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

If you do find yourself canceling or cutting a covered trip short, here are the basic guidelines provided by Amex on what types of expenses are covered for trip cancellation/interruption:

“If a Covered Loss causes an Eligible Traveler’s Trip Interruption, we will reimburse you for the nonrefundable amount paid to a Travel Supplier with your Eligible Card for the following: 1. The forfeited, non-refundable, pre-paid land, air and sea transportation arrangements that were missed; and 2. Additional transportation expenses that the Eligible Traveler incurs less any available refunds, not to exceed the cost of an economy-class air ticket by the most direct route for the Eligible Traveler to rejoin his or her places of origin.

If a Covered Loss causes an Eligible Traveler to temporarily postpone transportation by Common Carrier for a Covered Trip and a new departure date is set, we will reimburse you for the following: 1. The additional expenses incurred to purchase tickets for the new departure (not to exceed the difference between the original fare and the economy fare for the rescheduled Covered Trip by the most direct route); and 2. The unused, non-refundable land, air, and sea arrangements paid to a Travel Supplier with your Eligible Card.”

What is covered by trip delay insurance?

Stressed, tired or ill woman at the airport
Trip delays can cause a domino effect on your travel plans. (Photo courtesy of kieferpix via Getty Images)

Trip delay coverage provides reimbursement for reasonable additional expenses incurred when your trip is delayed due to a covered hazard for more than six hours.

Coverage is limited to $500 per trip and cardmembers are only eligible for two claims each 12 consecutive month period.

Amex outlines what is not covered, which includes the following:

  • Covered losses that are made public or known to the eligible traveler prior to the departure for the covered trip
  • An eligible traveler’s expenses paid prior to the covered trip
  • Loss due to intentional acts by the eligible traveler
  • 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

Filing a claim

When you have a delay or trip cancellation/interruption that you think qualifies for coverage, you can file a claim by calling Amex at 1-844-933-0648 within 60 days of the covered loss.

Trip delay reimbursement requires the following documentation:

  • Proof of loss – You must furnish written proof of loss to Amex within 180 days after the date of your loss
  • Receipts – Acceptable documentation includes the following:
    • A statement from the common carrier that the covered trip was delayed
    • Charge receipt
    • Copies of common carrier ticket(s)
    • Receipts for travel expenses

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance requires slightly different documentation.

  • Proof of loss – You must furnish written proof of loss to Amex within 180 days after the date of your loss. Acceptable documentation includes:
    • Court subpoenas, orders to report for active duty, physician orders, etc.
  • Receipts – Acceptable documentation includes the following:
    • Copies of your common carrier tickets and travel supplier receipt
    • Your eligible card billing statement showing the charges for the covered trip
    • Copy of travel supplier’s cancelation policy

After Amex receives notice of your claim, instructions will be sent on how to send the proof. Typically, you have up to 180 days to file a claim after a delay or cancellation.

Proof of flight delay or cancellation

One of the documents required to file for trip delay reimbursement is a verification form that outlines the reason for the delay or cancellation by the carrier. You can typically get this at the airport when the delay or cancellation is announced, but keep in mind that it may require a supervisor. Each U.S. major airline also has a process for requesting this information after the fact.

Here is an overview of the process that major U.S. airlines require for you to receive a delay or cancellation verification form:

Airline:  Verification form process: 
American Airlines Fill out a contact form on the American Airlines website. In the topic drop-down, select “Trip insurance verification” and “Verify flight cancel/delay.” You’ll need your flight date and personal information so that the system can look up the records.
Delta Air Lines Delta has a Delay/cancellation verification form. You’ll need your ticket number, flight dates and personal information such as your frequent flyer number.
United Airlines Send an email to delayletter@united.com with your request. Be sure to include the names of everyone in your party, flight confirmation number, flight numbers, travel dates and your contact information.
JetBlue Airways You can request a receipt for any flight taken in the past 13 months here. Keep in mind that if you did not book your reservation through JetBlue, you’ll have to go through the third-party travel booking agency for a receipt.
Southwest Airlines For proof of delay or cancellation, submit an online request through their contact page or call customer relations at 1-800-435-9792.
Alaska Airlines Reach out to Alaska Airlines customer care at 1-800-654-5669.

 

Amex cards that offer car rental insurance

Unfortunately, no American Express credit cards offer primary car rental coverage, although most offer secondary coverage. You can see the entire list of cards that offer secondary car rental protection on the American Express website. However, all American Express credit cards offer an optional “Premium Car Rental Protection policy” that can be added to rentals made using the card for a small fee.

Read our guide on when to use American Express’ Premium Car Rental Protection for more details on this coverage option.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

You can add Premium Car Rental Protection to any American Express card. TPG has a guide of the best American Express cards, but here are some of the best cards in terms of the return you could receive when renting a car. Note, the estimated return rate for these cards is based on TPG’s latest valuations:

The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred 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.

Amex cards that offer baggage insurance

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Baggage insurance is crucial when your belongings are lost, stolen, delayed or damaged. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve likely run into this situation at some point (it’s the worst). Over the years, airlines have been working on improving the baggage system by introducing live bag tracking. Regardless, it’s still a smart idea to have some protections in place, like baggage insurance.

Related: Everything you need to know about Amex’s baggage insurance plan

This is why you need to pay attention to the benefits each of your travel rewards cards offers. Nearly all of Amex’s premium rewards cards offer baggage insurance. You can check out the full list of cards and details on American Express’s website.

The types of losses it covers: You’re covered for losses resulting from damaged, stolen or lost baggage, including both carry-on and checked bags.

When you’re covered: To be eligible for coverage, you have to travel on a common carrier, which Amex defines as any air, land or water vehicle (other than a personal or rental vehicle) that is licensed to carry passengers for hire and available to the public. Your rental car, as well as taxis and ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft, would be excluded from this protection.

To receive coverage, you also need to pay for the entire fare with an eligible American Express card or by using Membership Rewards points to book tickets through Amex Travel. Trips booked with miles from other sources — even the cobranded Delta SkyMiles cards from Amex — are excluded. Your trip also isn’t covered if you used a combination of miles and dollars unless the miles came from a Membership Rewards transfer. This is a welcome change. A few years ago, a TPG staffer found out the hard way that Amex’s policy didn’t cover frequent flyer mile awards.

Who’s covered: This policy covers both primary and additional cardholders, as well as cardmembers’ spouses or domestic partners and any dependent children under 23 years old. In addition, travelers must be permanent residents of one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How much it covers: Most American Express credit cards will cover replacement costs for checked bags and their contents up to $500 per person, although so-called “high-risk items” are only covered for a maximum of $250. These items include jewelry, sporting equipment, photographic or electronic equipment, computers and audio/visual equipment. Carry-on bags are covered for up to $1,250, which is good to know since your belongings could be stolen from the overhead bins.

You’ll enjoy additional coverage if you use The Platinum Card from American ExpressThe Business Platinum Card from American Express, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz and Morgan Stanley-branded Platinum Card (but not the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card).

The information for the Amex Platinum Mercedes-Benz and Morgan Stanley Platinum 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.

Amex cards that offer medical assistance

(Photo by Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/GettyImages)
If you run into medical problems while traveling, check your card’s coverage options. (Photo by
Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/GettyImages)

One of the lesser known benefits of some of Amex’s most premium cards is its Premium Global Assistance. This benefit can quite literally be a lifesaver if you or an immediate family member run into any unexpected issues or accident on your trip. For example, this service can help you arrange emergency medical referrals.

All Amex cards have access to Amex’s Global Assist Hotline, but the Premium Global Assist Hotline and higher level of coverage are reserved exclusively for the Amex’s premium cards:

The information for the 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.

Bottom line

Having a card with trip insurance can save you hundreds of dollars when unexpected hiccups happen in your travel plans. Still, it can be confusing to know what is covered and the right documentation you need to file a claim.

Nothing is worse than getting through an entire claims process only to be denied or have to start over because you don’t have the required documentation for the insurance provider. Before you start filing a claim, make sure you have the documents listed above. Keep in mind that a provider may ask for additional documentation related to the incident, so you may have to collect receipts and other forms to help your case.

If you’re starting to travel again, it’s also a good idea to consider booking refundable travel. Some airlines and hotels even waive cancelation fees and/or change fees for certain fares, which can make last-minute adjustments in the case of emergencies.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Madison Blancaflor.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Featured photo by Orbon Alija for Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.