Home Credit Cards American Express Implements Major Changes to Card Benefits

American Express Implements Major Changes to Card Benefits

New travel protections have been added for 2020 but shopping benefits, namely extended warranty protection, have been reduced.

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American Express Implements Major Changes to Card Benefits
American Express Implements Major Changes to Card Benefits
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Back in October 2019, we reported that American Express had announced an overhaul to its card benefits, scheduled to take effect January 1, 2020. Well, now that 2020 is here and those major changes have been implemented, we’ve combed over the fine print to highlight the key changes for you. Here, what you should know as a present or future cardholder of The Platinum Card from American Express or the American Express Gold Card.

The Platinum Card from American Express now comes with trip cancellation and interruption coverage

As of January 1, 2020, The Platinum Card from American Express offers this travel protection. When charging round-trip airline tickets (which may be two one-ways but must be a complete round-trip) entirely to The Platinum Card from American Express or using the card to pay for taxes for frequent flyer award tickets or using Pay with Points, implicit trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance policies will compensate loss caused by reasons such as inclement weather, terrorist action, jury duty, and illness. Coverage will be provided up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per year and extends to your family members and travel companions traveling with the cardholder. It’s important to note that this new protection does not apply to purchases made with American Express Gold Card.

American Express has trip delay protection to both its Platinum and Gold Cards

American Express has also added trip delay protection to its suite of travel benefits. Now, when charging round-trip airline tickets (which may be two one-ways but must be a complete round-trip) entirely to select American Express cards or using the card to pay for taxes for frequent flyer award tickets or using Pay with Points, you will be automatically covered for trip delay reimbursement. For The Platinum Card from American Express, the delay must be at least six hours and cardholders can be reimbursed up to $500 per trip for expenses like hotels and meals. For American Express Gold Card, the delay must be at least 12 hours and cardholders can be reimbursed up to $300 per trip for expenses like hotels and meals.

American Express has eliminated travel accident insurance

American Express cards no longer provide travel accident insurance, which compensated for loss of life, limb, sight, speech, and/or hearing due to an accident while traveling on a common carrier. Previously, coverage was offered up to a maximum of $500,000 for Platinum Card holders, and up to $250,000 for Gold Card holders.

American Express has eliminated its premium roadside assistance benefit

American Express no longer provides complimentary roadside assistance. Previously, Platinum and Gold card members could call a dedicated number in case of roadside emergencies to arrange assistance and Amex would pay for eligible third-party charges such as towing under 10 miles (and $3 per mile thereafter) and flat tire changes with a workable spare. This benefit was available up to four times per year.

American Express has reduced its extended warranty protection to one year

American Express has scaled back its warranty protection to one additional year for its Platinum and Gold cards and one additional year on customer-purchased extended warranties. Interestingly this is the benefit Amex had offered in the past but then in 2019, they doubled the extended warranty time from one year to two years. While going back to one year is a bummer, note that purchases made throughout 2019 (up until December 31) entirely on The Platinum Card from American Express or the American Express Gold Card or with membership rewards points and/or Pay with Points, still get the two year warranty extension on eligible manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less.

American Express has weakened its purchase protection policy

When you charge your purchase entirely to your American Express card, you are automatically entitled to purchase protection up to 90 days from the date of purchase (versus a previously 120). Purchase protection is an insurance that covers specific purchased items if they are lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged within a specified period after the date of purchase. In the event of such loss, your credit card company may cover the repair of the item, replacement of the item, or reimbursement for the item. The claim amount allowed is up to $10,000 per item, $500 per purchased protection covered event (in the case of a natural disaster) and a total of $50,000 per claims per calendar year.

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 125 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, Private Clubs, and Robb Report.