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American Express card benefits

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

Summary

American Express credit cards offer cardholders stand-out benefits in travel protection and retail protections. Plus, the issuer grants cardholders access to pre-sale tickets, 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 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.

American Express’s premium 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 theater showings, concerts and music festivals like Coachella and sports events such as 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. The membership price is half off the following year.

American Express cardholders can visit Calm.com/americanexpress to enroll in this limited-time offer through Dec. 31, 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 Nov. 30, 2020. This service provides both live and on-demand fitness classes at home. This trial is only available to new obé fitness subscribers.

Variis by Equinox credits

Select American Express cardmembers can also receive credit for Variis by Equinox, which offers on-demand classes such as SoulCycle, Precision Run and more. Normally the cost is $39.99 per month, but Amex Platinum users will receive $25 back each month, and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express cardholders will get $10 back monthly until June 30, 2021. Other eligible cardholders will receive $10 back each month for the first three months. This offer is valid through April 1, 2021.

One year of Blinkist Premium for free

American Express cardholders get one year of Blinkist Premium membership worth $99.99 for free when they enroll by Feb. 28, 2021. Blinkist Premium offers access to 15-minute segments with key insights from popular nonfiction books. After the one-year trial, membership renews automatically for $99.99 if not canceled before the year is up.

One year of complimentary Eats Pass from Uber

American Express® Green Card, Gold and Platinum cardholders have access to a complimentary Eats Pass membership from Uber for up to 12 months when they enroll by Dec. 31, 2021. This monthly subscription normally costs $119 a year or $9.99 per month and comes with deals on restaurant takeout and grocery delivery, such as 5% off restaurant orders over $15 and a $0 delivery fee (including on grocery deliveries over $30 from select merchants).

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:

  • 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 trade-off 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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