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American Express card benefits

Get more value out of your card with these lesser-known perks


American Express credit cards offer cardholders stand-out benefits in travel protection and retail protections. Plus, the issuer grants cardholders access to pre-sale ticket access, unique experiences and valuable offers with partner merchants and services.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Many of the benefits offered by American Express cards offer tremendous value. Common perks like extended warranties, travel protections and access to pre-sale tickets to concerts and sporting events can justify a pricier annual fee.

As the needs of cardholders continue to evolve in the COVID-19 pandemic, American Express has also announced offers, solutions and services to support them.

These include access to limited-time offers ranging from credits for streaming and wireless phone services to accelerated earning on food delivery purchases and grocery stores.

In addition, cardholders enjoy ongoing benefits like a complimentary ShopRunner membership and special offers on the American Express Experiences hub.

Whether it’s travel insurance or purchase protection, American Express offers valuable benefits to all its cardholders. Read on to learn the scope of what these perks are and how you can maximize your card’s benefits.

What benefits are available to American Express cardholders?

American Express continues to raise the bar when providing offers and services for cardholders. You very well may have an Amex card in your wallet, so here are so perks you can begin to enjoy today.

Travel protections

When booking travel, American Express offers cardholders superior travel benefits. These valuable perks protect you so you can often opt out of purchasing travel insurance to insure your trip. This travel protection is included in the cost of your annual fee.

Protections vary by your specific American Express card, but they include perks such as trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance and car rental protections. You can find the specific terms for your protections in your Amex card’s guide to benefits, but premium cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express will always get you the most value.

Retail protections

American Express retail protection benefits also vary by card. The suite of insurance benefits includes purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty.

It’s important to note that exclusive and premier American Express cards take these protections to the highest level.

One of the best picks with generous coverage offered is the American Express® Gold Card, which has a $250 annual fee. Cardholders get up to $10,000 of purchase protection per incident (capped at $50,000 per year).

Pre-sale ticket access

Snag tickets before the general public with American Express pre-sale ticket access. Although many concerts and shows are currently halted for the pandemic, American Express cardmembers are given special access to pre-sale tickets for thousands of events, such as concerts and music festivals of the year, like Coachella, and theater and sports events, like Wimbledon.

In addition, eligible American Express premier and elite cards may have preferred seating benefits. These offers vary by card and event.

Free ShopRunner membership

American Express and ShopRunner offer eligible cardholders a complimentary, two-day free shipping membership benefit, a value of $79 a year.

Eligible cardmembers can enjoy quick shipping and free returns on all eligible items at more than 140-plus popular online retail partners, including Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, among others.

Free membership to Calm meditation app

American Express cardholders in the U.S. have complimentary access to a one-year premium membership with Calm, a sleep and meditation app. After the first year, prices will be half off the following year.

American Express cardholders can visit to enroll in this limited-time offer through Oct. 30, 2020.

Live and on-demand fitness classes through obé

U.S. cardmembers are eligible to redeem a two-month free trial to obé fitness monthly membership now through Oct. 31, 2020.  This service provides both live and on-demand fitness classes at home. This trial is only available to new obé fitness subscribers.

Get rewarded for shopping small

Earlier this summer, American Express announced its Shop Small Campaign, which includes a commitment of more than $200 million over the next several months to help jumpstart spending at small merchants, many of which were impacted by COVID-19.

To help encourage consumers to shop small, eligible and enrolled U.S. cardholders can receive $5 back after they spend $10 or more at an eligible U.S. small merchant when they shop online, curbside or in-store, up to 10 times through Sept. 20, 2020. (Note that the deadline to enroll in this program was Aug. 23, 2020.)

American Express Experiences hub

American Express cardmembers can enjoy curated virtual dining experiences from the American Express Global Dining Collection chefs, in-home cooking tips and recipes from favorite Resy restaurants and virtual sports and entertainment experiences, all on the refreshed American Express Experiences hub. So, while you’re hunkering down at home, you can still enjoy memorable experiences.

Limited-time retail offers

American Express offers no shortage of other valuable limited-time perks, through either the American Express Experiences hub online or Amex Offers. You’ll have to check your American Express app or desktop account for offers targeted to you, but here are some examples of top-notch deals we’ve seen recently:

  • Spend $250 cumulatively at Saks Fifth Avenue in store or online and get a $25 statement credit (through Oct. 3, 2020).
  • Earn a one-time statement credit of $25 for a single in-store or online purchase of $100 or more at Sherwin-Williams (through Oct. 31, 2020).
  • Spend at least $250 on one or more transactions at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and get a $50 statement credit (through Nov. 10, 2020). Note that this offer only applies to room rates and room charges.

Getting the most out of your American Express card

The first step to reaping all the benefits from your Amex card is to download the American Express mobile app, where a dashboard will outline your benefits. Travel protections and retail protection benchmarks can be easily accessed from your membership page.

For limited-time benefits like obé, Calm and memberships to other services, keep an eye on the American Express site.

Don’t forget that rewards and benefits vary from card to card. Some offer perks like spending bonus categories, extra product protection and cash back special offers. Get acquainted with American Express card offerings to see the best fit depending on your tolerance to pay annual fees, your spending limit, whether you are a frequent traveler and your credit score.

Some of the ultra-premium American Express cards have particularly high annual fees, but they might offer more valuable benefits to offset this cost.

Bottom line

No matter which card you carry, odds are your American Express credit card is packed with valuable benefits – including travel protection, retail protection and surprising perks and unexpected services.

It’s important to understand that premium American Express cards offer higher thresholds of benefits and protections, but these cards are subject to higher annual fees. The tradeoff is a personal decision. If the value-added benefits exceed the hefty annual fee, it can justify the extras.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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