While not the most talked-about benefit, purchase protection can provide a lot of value, especially when it comes to large purchases.
Premium credit cards may offer many desirable benefits and perks along with high rewards rates. However, sometimes it proves useful to be aware of other less popular benefits that can still provide a lot of value.
One of these benefits is purchase protection, which allows you to get reimbursed if something happens to your purchase or if you’d like to return it. The majority of American Express cards offer this benefit – with various terms – making your Amex a good choice if you’re planning a large purchase.
Read on to learn how American Express purchase protection works and how it can be useful in different situations.
American Express: Purchase protection benefits
Purchase protection is included on most American Express cards and can help you cover items that are damaged or lost. For instance, if you’ve ordered a new laptop using your eligible Amex card and someone has snatched the package from your doorstep, you might be able to cover some or all of the costs.
You can be reimbursed for up to 90 days from the date of the purchase if the item is stolen or damaged. The majority of Amex cards allow up to $1,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year.
However, if you have a premium Amex card, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card, the coverage goes up to $10,000 per incident. Some Amex co-branded cards also offer this level of coverage, including the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card* and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
Note that some items and circumstances aren’t included in the policy. For instance, you can’t be reimbursed for downloadable services or living plants or if loss or damage has happened due to a natural disaster or riots. Read your card’s terms and conditions to see what’s excluded from the coverage.
How to file a purchase protection claim with Amex
Make sure to file a claim within 30 days of the incident – or as soon as reasonably possible. You can do so online or by calling Amex at 1-800-322-1277.
Keep track of all the required documentation, such as the original store receipt or a printout of an online receipt. If you’re filing a claim as a result of theft, you might also need a copy of the police report. If the item was damaged, the issuer may require that you send it in to process your claim.
Some Amex cards also offer return protection, which provides compensation when a store won’t accept an eligible item for return. You can use return protection within 90 days of purchase and get a refund of up to $300 per item (up to $1,000 per year). Note that shipping and handling charges are excluded from the policy.
This benefit used to be available on all of the Amex cards. However, after the adjustments made to benefits and perks in January 2020, only the following American Express consumer cards are still offering return protection:
- The Platinum Card from American Express
- American Express Everyday Preferred card*
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
There’s also a long list of exclusions from this benefit. For example, you can’t get refunded when returning tickets or books, jewelry or watches or seasonal items like holiday décor. Check your card’s terms and conditions to see what types of items aren’t eligible for return protection.
How to file a return protection claim
You can file a claim online or by calling 1-800-297-8019 within 90 days of your purchase. Make sure you have a copy of the original receipt and don’t discard the item just yet – Amex might ask you to send it in.
Extended warranty coverage
This benefit adds up to one year to the warranty on items purchased with an eligible Amex card. Extended warranty covers items with a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less and is limited to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year. Note that this is secondary coverage, meaning it only applies when the original warranty has expired.
As with other types of protections, there are certain exclusions that you can check in your card’s terms and conditions.
On top of that, the following cards no longer offer extended warranty coverage:
- Blue from American Express Card*
- Amex EveryDay® Credit Card*
- American Express Cash Magnet® Card*
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Most other Amex cards still offer the perk, but check your guide to benefits for eligibility.
How to file an extended warranty claim
A claim must be filed within 30 days of the covered loss. You can file a claim online or by contacting Amex at 1-800-225-3750. Hold on to your receipt to provide the issuer with a copy. If your item can’t be repaired, American Express may also request that you send it in.
Best American Express cards for purchase protection
|Card||Purchase protection||Return protection||Extended warranty|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year||Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year|
|American Express® Gold Card||Up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year||N/A||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year|
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card||Up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year||Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||Up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year||Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||Up to $10,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year||Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per calendar year|
Purchase protection is a valuable benefit that can save you thousands of dollars if your purchased item is damaged, lost or has to be returned. All Amex cards offer a variation of this benefit, providing cardholders with extra protection on top of rewards and popular perks.
Information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire, American Express Cash Magnet Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred, Blue from American Express, and Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.