American Express cardholders should see some changes to their travel and shopping benefits since the new year – here’s what to look out for.
American Express is officially the latest in a long line of issuers to reevaluate credit card perks. Luckily, Amex cardholders are getting mostly good news, as cuts are being matched with expanded benefits.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, American Express has added two all new benefits to select cards, altered the terms of two additional benefits and finally cut two perks from its card portfolio.
Most notably, American Express is adding two perks commonly found on travel cards – trip cancellation and interruption insurance and trip delay insurance – as well as cutting benefits that have fallen by the wayside across card perks. Here’s a look at the changes:
|New benefits||Discontinued benefits||Altered benefits|
What is covered under the new benefits?
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, cardholders of the following American Express cards enjoy trip cancellation and interruption insurance:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
With this new benefit, eligible cardholders who book a round-trip flight entirely on their card will be covered in the case of an emergency cancellation or interruption. Covered instances include inclement weather, terrorist action, call to jury or sudden illness or injury. You can claim up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per account each 12-month period to cover non-refundable travel expenses.
Trip delay insurance is also extended to all of the above cardholders. This perk covers the cost of additional expenses incurred by a trip delay – such as meals, lodging and personal items. Coverage kicks in on trips paid entirely with your covered card, when a covered reason delays your trip more than six hours. Reimbursements are capped at $500 per trip.
In addition, the following Amex cards can receive a more limited trip delay insurance. For round-trips paid entirely with one of the following cards and delayed for a covered reason by more than 12 hours, users can be reimbursed up to $300 per trip for reasonable expenses:
- American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Green Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
- American Express® Business Gold Card
What other perks have changed?
Unfortunately, not all of the Amex changes are positive. As of Jan. 1, 2020, both travel accident insurance and roadside assistance benefits are discontinued. This is not the biggest loss, since both cover infrequent issues and don’t represent a big potential value.
However, Amex cardholders who were taking advantage of premium roadside assistance should ensure they have other coverage in place in case of an emergency. Previously, the premium version of this perk – offered on the Amex Gold and Platinum cards among others – covered the cost of the first four eligible events per year. If you are worried about paying for a tow, jump start or other roadside emergency, consider third-party coverage like AAA.
Additionally, two other American Express benefits are now tapered down. Extended warranty protection will now only offer one additional year of coverage (down from two) and price protection will cover up to 90 days (down from 120). Don’t forget to check out your benefits guide before you prepare any claims.
While American Express has cut some of its card benefits, it is matching cuts with new perks that are sure to add value to Amex credit cards. Over the next few months, keep a close eye on your account for notifications of changes, and give your benefits guide a close perusal.