Your complete guide to travel protection on American Express cards

Many American Express cards offer travel protection that can take the headache out of your vacations. However, the coverage you get (and the coverage limits mentioned) varies by card. Rather than trying to remember all of this yourself, we’ll guide you through the travel protections that American Express cards offer.

This guide provides a comprehensive and detailed look at the variety of travel protections available on the American Express Card Wallet. Each section defines the type of coverage and the cards that offer that 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.

Flight delay insurance

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

Trip delay insurance covers you when you experience travel delays. This could be a delayed flight due to mechanical issues, or it could be an unexpected overnight due to a weather-related cancellation. Other causes are covered, but individual policies differ in what they do and don’t cover. If the reason for the delay is not specifically stated in your document, assume it is not covered.

With flight delay protection, there are two different “tiers” of coverage, depending on which card you carry.

Level 1: High quality cards

Some of American Express’s best products offer flight delay compensation of up to $500 for each covered flight delayed by more than six hours, with a maximum of two claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive months. *

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

** Information on 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-level cards

Other American Express cards offer flight delay compensation of up to $300 for each covered flight delayed by more than 12 hours, with a maximum of two claims per 12 consecutive months. *

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The following are the cards that include this protection when used to purchase your tickets:

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. The insurance policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG company.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been independently collected 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 cover is for cases where your trip is canceled or interrupted (meaning you started the trip but must finish it to get back home), and as a result, you have to forfeit prepaid, non-refundable reservations. Again, make sure your specific reason is stated on your policy to be covered. *

All Amex cards with this feature provide the same level of protection. If your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you can get up to $10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per qualifying ticket in a 12-month period.

The following are the cards that include this protection when used for travel purchases:

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. The insurance policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG company.

** Information on 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 Helpline Hotline

(Photo by d3sign/Getty Images)

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

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

The following are the cards that include this protection when used to pay for your tickets:

** Information of these cards Collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Card members are
Responsible for costs charged by external service providers.

Global Premium Helpline Hotline

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

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

The following are the cards that include this protection when used to pay for your tickets:

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. If approved and coordinated by the Premium Global Assistance Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, Cardholders are liable for costs charged by third party service providers.

** Information on 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 Baggage lost, damaged, or stolen while traveling on a shared transport vehicle (such as an airplane, train, ship, or bus) when the full fare for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged on an Eligible Card .

With this coverage, there are two different “tiers” of coverage, depending on which card you hold.

Level 1: High quality cards

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

For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/bag limit per covered person, with a maximum of $10,000 per covered person per covered trip. *

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

** Information on 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-level 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 the coverage provided by the common carrier. *

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

The following are the cards that include this protection when used to purchase your tickets:

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Amex Insurance Company undertakes the insurance policies.

** Information on 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.

Insurance against losses and damages caused by car rental

(Photo by kung_tom/Shutterstock)

Auto Rental Loss and Damage Insurance applies to theft or damage to most rental vehicles when you use an eligible card to book and pay for the entire qualifying vehicle rental and decline a 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 “tiers” of coverage, depending on which card you hold.

Level 1: High quality cards

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

Here are the cards that include this protection when used to pay eligible rents:

Level 2: Mid-level cards

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

Here are the cards that include this protection when used to pay eligible rents:

* Eligibility level and benefits vary by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Amex Insurance Company undertakes the insurance policies. Coverage is provided by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

** Information on 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.

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(Photo by Roberto Moiola Sysaworld/Getty Images)

Understanding what benefits your card has to protect when things go wrong during a trip can help reduce headaches. To this end, American Express offers multiple travel protections across many of its card products. Coverage limits under the same benefits can vary depending on the card you own, so see your card’s detailed benefits at americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for full details.

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