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Although perks like airport lounge access, the up to $200 airline credit and up to $200 Uber credit 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 is Premium Global Assist and travel accident insurance. While we all hope to never have to use these benefits, they’re worth familiarizing yourself on as they can save you a ton of money and aggravation when you are in a time of need.

Amex Cards That Offer Premium Global Assist and Travel Accident Insurance

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

What is the Premium Global Assist Hotline?

Whenever you’re traveling on a trip of 90 days or less and 100 miles or more from home, you have access to Amex’s Premium Global Assist Hotline. The hotline can help you with everything from customs information and destination guides to unexpected issues you may incur during your trip, such as arranging emergency medical transportation, medical prescription replacement, missing luggage assistance and legal assistance. 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.

(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, such as emergency medical transportation and evacuation when 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.

What’s Covered by Travel Accident Insurance?

Cardholders get up to $500,000 of travel accident insurance in case of death, loss of two limbs, loss of eyesight in both eyes and $250,000 for loss of sight in one eye or loss of one limb while on a plane, train, ship or bus licensed to carry passengers and available to the public. You or your beneficiary will not receive payment if the loss is from suicide or an act of war, if death is caused by a sickness, if the injury happens in a rental or personal vehicle or if you’re acting as any part of the crew of the common carrier.

To be eligible, you must pay for the entire fare with your credit card and the accident must be while “riding solely as a passenger in, or boarding, or alighting from, or being struck by a common carrier conveyance on a covered trip.” Covered persons include the primary cardholder, authorized users, and each of these cardmembers’ spouses or domestic partners and dependent children under 23 years of age. All covered persons must have a permanent residence within the 50 United States and District of Columbia.

Once again, you’ll want to read through the full terms and conditions (warning: PDF link) to familiarize yourself with the policy details and exclusions. If more than one loss is sustained, benefits will be paid for highest loss:

  • Loss of life — 100%
  • Loss of both hands or both feet — 100%
  • Loss of one hand and one foot — 100%
  • Loss of entire sight of one eye and one hand or one foot — 100%
  • Loss of one hand or one foot — 50%
  • Loss of the entire sight of one eye — 50%

You must file a claim within 30 days of loss by calling 1-800-322-1277 or, if from overseas, 1-303-273- 6498. To provide proof of loss, you’ll be asked to submit paperwork such as a Travel Accident Insurance claim form, description of both the accident and the injury and the extent and type of loss, proof of payment method for the common carrier, copies of medical records and if applicable, a death certificate.

By default, the beneficiaries in order of precedence are spouse, then children, then estate, but you can submit a letter to the card issuer to establish another beneficiary. Even if you have multiple Amex cards that offer travel accident insurance, you will not get paid for more than one loss sustained by any one covered person as a result of any one accident.

Bottom Line

Lesser-known benefits like Premium Global Assist Hotline and travel accident insurance can be lifesavers. Whether you’re planning to climb Mount Everest or take a family vacation to New Zealand like TPG reader Joseph, hopefully this post has given you some peace of mind that your Amex Platinum will help save the day in case anything goes wrong. Just be sure to review your cards’ full benefit guide very carefully for the full list of terms and conditions.

Featured image by Vicki Smith / Getty Images.

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