American Express Travel Insurance Coverage Guide [2020]

Use your American Express card to get free travel insurance, including baggage insurance and even car rental coverage.
Last updated Jan 17, 2020 | By Kat Tretina
Woman with American Express travel insurance

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If you have a big vacation coming up, it’s a good idea to research your insurance options. It may not sound as glamorous as looking up resorts and hotels, but travel insurance can provide you with essential protection if anything goes wrong during your trip.

If you have an American Express credit card, the process can be simple; you could get complimentary travel insurance just by being a cardmember. Here’s what you need to know about American Express travel insurance.

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6 credit cards that offer American Express travel insurance

Card Annual fee Travel coverage
Amex Blue Cash Everyday $0
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
Amex Blue Cash Preferred $95
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
Amex EveryDay Preferred $95
  • Baggage insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
Amex Gold Card $250
  • Trip delay insurance*
  • Baggage insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
Amex Green Card $150
  • Trip delay insurance*
  • Baggage insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
Amex Platinum Card $550
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance*
  • Trip delay insurance*
  • Baggage insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Premium Global Assist Hotline

*These policies take effect on January 1, 2020

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Even though the Blue Cash Everyday card comes with a $0 annual fee, it offers some useful travel benefits:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: In most states, use your Blue Cash Everyday card to pay for the entire cost of your car rental and decline the car rental company’s own insurance, and you’ll get complimentary secondary car rental loss and damage insurance. The coverage is only for damage and theft. It does not provide insurance for personal liability, uninsured/underinsured motorists, personal injury protection, or disability benefits.
    Coverage is worldwide except for vehicles in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and any country on the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned country list. The plan will pay up to $50,000 for the cost of repairs, the wholesale book value of the car, or the purchase invoice of the vehicle, whichever is less.
  • Global Assist Hotline: When traveling more than 100 miles from your home, the Global Assist Hotline can help you coordinate replacing a passport, locating translation services, and finding legal and medical referrals. The hotline is free, but you are responsible for paying for any third-party services provided, such as translation services.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

While the Blue Cash Preferred card does have an annual fee, it has the same travel benefits as the Blue Cash Everyday card.

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: When you use the Blue Cash Preferred card to pay for your rental and turn down the rental company’s coverage, you’ll get free secondary car rental loss and damage insurance. You’ll get up to $50,000 worth of coverage to repair or replace the vehicle.
    The plan does not provide personal liability coverage, personal injury protection, or uninsured/underinsured coverage. Coverage is worldwide except for vehicles in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and any country on the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned country list.
  • Global Assist Hotline: If you are traveling more than 100 miles from your home, you can get help with medical referrals, legal referrals, or emergency passport replacement. There is no charge to use the hotline, but you do have to pay a fee for any services provided by third-parties.

American Express EveryDay Preferred

With a relatively low annual fee, you can use the Everyday Preferred card to earn up to 3X points per dollar.

You’ll also get perks like:

  • Baggage insurance: Use your card to pay for your entire fare on a common carrier to receive up to $1,250 in coverage for your lost, stolen, or damaged checked or carry-on bags. High-risk items, such as sporting equipment or electronics, will receive a maximum benefit of $250.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Decline the car rental company’s coverage and pay for the entire rental with your American Express card to get secondary car rental loss and damage insurance. The policy will pay a benefit of up to $50,000 to repair or replace a rental vehicle. Not all vehicles qualify for coverage; cargo vans, limousines, and antique cars are not eligible.
  • Global Assist Hotline: If you are more than 100 miles from home, you can contact the Global Assist Hotline for help with issues like locating translation services or getting a medical referral. The hotline is free, but you’ll have to pay for any third-party services provided.

American Express Gold Card

For frequent travelers, signing up for the American Express Gold Card makes a lot of sense. You’ll get perks like a $100 Amex airline fee credit, $120 dining credit, and will earn up to 4X points per dollar spent.

It also has comprehensive travel benefits:

  • Trip delay insurance: Charge your entire trip to your card and you could be covered if your travels are delayed due to severe weather, a carrier’s equipment failure, or lost or stolen travel documents, among other scenarios. You could be eligible for up to $300 in reimbursements for each trip that’s delayed more than 12 hours, and can use the money to pay for expenses such as meals, lodging, and necessary personal items.
  • Baggage insurance: Use your card to pay for your entire fare when traveling via a common carrier to receive up to $1,250 in baggage insurance for checked and carry-on bags. High-risk items, such as jewelry or furs, only receive up to $250 worth of coverage.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Use your card to pay for the car rental and decline the rental company’s coverage, or pay for partial collision insurance, to receive up to $50,000 in secondary car rental loss and damage coverage. The policy does not cover certain vehicles, such as cargo vans, modified rental cars, antique cars, and limousines.
  • Global Assist Hotline: When traveling more than 100 miles from home, call the hotline for help with medical referrals, legal assistance, or to coordinate emergency transport. The hotline is free, but you will have to pay for services provided.

American Express Green Card

The American Express Green Card has plenty of perks that make travel more enjoyable. You’ll get annual credits to LoungeBuddy and CLEAR. You’ll also be eligible for travel insurance, including:

  • Trip delay insurance: If your travels are delayed by more than 12 hours due to inclement weather, problems with a carrier’s equipment, a lost passport, or other eligible scenarios, you could be reimbursed. Get up to $300 per delayed trip to pay for food, a hotel, or toiletries. There’s a maximum of two claims per one year period.
  • Baggage insurance: If your bags are lost or damaged while traveling on a common carrier, the Green Card provides secondary coverage to replace your items. Carry-on bags are covered up to $1,250 while checked baggage is covered up to $500. High-value items such as electronics or jewelry are not covered.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Charge a rental car reservation to your card and decline the rental company’s insurance to be eligible for secondary car rental loss and damage insurance from American Express. You’ll be covered for theft and damage up to $50,000.
  • Global Assist Hotline: If you travel more than 100 miles from home and need medical, legal, or financial help, you can call the hotline at any time for a referral to a local provider. There’s no cost to use the hotline, but you will need to pay for additional services.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Despite its hefty annual fee, the Platinum Card from American Express offers a lot of value. You’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Plus, you’ll get valuable perks like a $200 airline fee credit and a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit.

It also offers more robust travel insurance policies than other American Express cards:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If your travels are cancelled or postponed due to injury, illness, bad weather, damage to your home, or other eligible scenarios, you could be compensated for the nonrefundable portions of your trip. Added travel costs to go home early or rebook portions of your trip might also be covered. The maximum covered amount is $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per year.
  • Trip delay insurance: You could be reimbursed for up to $500 if you have to pay for additional meals, lodging, or personal items after your travels are unexpectedly delayed for more than six hours. Covered situations include delays due to a carrier’s equipment failure, severe weather, terrorist activities, or stolen travel documents.
  • Baggage insurance: Use your Platinum card to pay for your whole fare with a common carrier to receive baggage insurance. You’ll get up to $3,000 of coverage if your carry-on bags are lost, stolen, or damaged, and $2,000 for checked luggage. High-risk items, such as jewelry, sporting equipment, or furs are only covered up to $1,000.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Use your card to pay for your rental and decline the car rental company’s insurance, or opt for partial collision damage waiver, to receive up to $75,000 in protection against damage and theft. Not all vehicles qualify; cargo vans, cars with after-market modifications, and antique cars are not eligible for coverage.
  • Premium Global Assist Hotline: When traveling at least 100 miles away from home, you can contact the Premium Global Assist Hotline for help. The hotline is free, but you may have to pay a fee for third-party services. However, you may be able to receive emergency medical transportation assistance at no cost if approved and coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline.

Buying a separate American Express travel insurance policy

American Express offers useful travel insurance policies with many of their cards. But if you aren’t an American Express cardmember, you can still qualify for coverage by purchasing American Express travel insurance with your own credit card.

Coverage is available worldwide, except where coverage would violate United States economic or trade sanctions. However, you must be a permanent resident of the United States to qualify for insurance.

Insurance must be purchased before your trip, and you must buy coverage for each trip you take. You can buy an insurance package, or choose which policies you want to add from the following list:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption: If your trip is canceled or delayed, you can get coverage for 100% of your trip’s total cost.
  • Global medical protection: You can get $25,000 to $100,000 in coverage for emergency medical or dental expenses, as well as emergency evacuation benefits.
  • Global baggage protection: If your bags are lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get $500 to $2,500 worth of coverage.
  • Global trip delay: If your trip is delayed and you need to pay for essentials like lodging, toiletries, or clothing, you can get $150 to $300 in maximum coverage per day.

The cost for each kind of coverage is dependent on the cost of your trip and the tier of protection you want. For example, for a trip that cost $5,000, you could expect to pay about $60 for a package that included basic trip cancellation, global medical protection, and global baggage protection. For a platinum package that included trip cancellation, global medical protection, global baggage protection, and global trip delay, you could expect to pay more than $275.

Even if you have a travel rewards card that offers insurance, it may be worthwhile to buy additional coverage if your card offers low benefits or if the card only offers certain types of insurance.

You can buy a separate travel policy on the American Express website.

Stay covered if the worst happens

If you’re planning a major trip, it may be a good idea to use your American Express credit card when you book it. Not only will you earn valuable rewards points, but you’ll also get complimentary travel insurance that can give you peace of mind and protection.

Check Out the NEW Green Card

Benefits

  • 30,000 point welcome offer
  • 3X points on eligible travel and at restaurants worldwide
  • Up to $100 credit for CLEAR
  • Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • Terms apply