Amex adding trip delay and cancellation coverage, changing purchase benefits

Sep 24, 2019

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It’s the season for major changes to credit card purchase and travel protections, it seems. This week, Citi removed benefits from a slew of its credit cards, and now American Express is sharing some changes coming to its own portfolio. Fortunately, however, Amex’s tweaks are far more balanced — and, in some cases, card members will actually be considerably better off.

All of the changes below take effect on January 1, 2020, though Amex will begin notifying customers on October 1.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

First, I’ll detail benefits that Amex is adding — they’re game-changing, in my opinion, especially when paired with the 5x points you’ll earn on direct airfare purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express and on flights booked through AmexTravel.com with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.

Beginning on January 1, if you book a round-trip flight entirely with your eligible card and the flight is canceled for a “covered reason” — including inclement weather, terrorist action, call to jury, sudden illness or injury to you or an eligible traveler — 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.

Note that a round-trip is defined as travel to one or more destinations that begins and ends in the original city of departure. So one itinerary bringing a covered traveler from New York to London, then back from Paris to New York would qualify as a round-trip for the purposes of Amex’s insurance coverage.

This particular perk will be available with the following Amex cards:

These are Amex’s premium credit cards with significant annual fees, so it’s not surprising they’re getting this new perk. Though to be fair, it’s a perk that other credit cards have had for a while. Travelers will also be covered if they book award tickets with miles but use one of the eligible Amex cards to pay the taxes and fees, as well as customers who purchase tickets using Pay With Points.

Trip delay insurance

Amex is also adding trip delay insurance, which will cover round-trip flights purchased entirely with an eligible card (again, paying taxes and fees on award tickets or Pay With Points tickets are also covered). If your trip is delayed by more than six hours due to a covered reason, this perk will reimburse unexpected expenses — such as meals, lodging and personal-use items — up to $500 per trip with the following cards:

And, if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered reason, you’ll be eligible for expense reimbursement of up to $300 with these cards:

The above protection perks cover travel purchases made on or after January 1, 2020.

Extended warranty and purchase protection

Beginning January 1, most consumer and small business American Express cards will offer one year of coverage, down from the two years offered today. Note that select no annual fee cards won’t offer extended warranty coverage at all, including Blue from American Express®, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card (see rates & fees) and the Blue Cash Everyday® Credit Card from American Express (see rates & fees).

Additionally, all Amex consumer and business cards that currently offer purchase protection will have this benefit changed to 90 days, down from the 120 days offered today. As of now, a number of Chase cards offer 120 days of purchase protection, so once this Amex change kicks in, you may want to consider making large purchases with one of those cards, instead.

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

Other changes

Finally, American Express is removing two underutilized benefits across the board: Travel Accident Insurance, which covers expenses specifically related to death or dismemberment during a covered trip, and both Roadside Assistance and Premium Roadside Assistance. Amex reports that fewer than 1% of cardmembers have utilized these benefits, so the impact should be limited here.

Bottom line

Overall, while some benefits are being reduced, customers are gaining useful travel coverages, so the net effect is positive. It’s also great that the new perks will also cover Pay With Points tickets, along with award tickets booked with miles when an eligible Amex card is used to pay the taxes and fees. So if you’re considering whether one of the premium travel credit cards belongs in your purse or wallet, these new protections will be another factor to take into account.

This story has been updated with information from Amex on coverage for Pay With Points and award tickets, along with the removal of both Roadside Assistance and Premium Roadside Assistance benefits.

For rates and fees of the Amex Magnet card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card, click here.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the up to 100,000 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 a $200 airline fee credit each year.

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More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all 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 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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