Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Elizabeth
We’ve seen some credit cards dropping car rental insurance as a benefit, but it’s not all bad news for travelers. American Express made a number of (mainly) good changes to its travel benefits for premium cardholders in 2020. Here’s what you need to know when deciding how to pay for your next trip.
The changes took effect on January 1, 2020.
Trip Cancellation, Interruption & Delay
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The most important change is the addition of trip cancellation and interruption insurance when you book a round-trip flight entirely with one of the seven eligible premium Amex cards. If the flight is canceled for a covered reason—including bad weather, a terrorism event, call to jury, sudden illness or injury to you or an eligible traveler—you may receive reimbursement of non-refundable travel expenses of up to $10,000 per trip.
Trip delay protection
The same premium cards also added trip delay protection. If you purchase a round-trip flight entirely with an eligible card and your trip is delayed by more than six hours due to a covered reason, you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 for unexpected expenses such as meals, lodging and personal-use items.
These new perks are available with the following American Express cards:
- Platinum Card from American Express
- Business Platinum Card from American Express
- American Express Corporate Platinum Card
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Note that some regular old non-premium Amex cards got trip delay protection, too, albeit at a lesser value. If your trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered reason, you’re eligible for reimbursement of up to $300 with these cards:
- American Express Gold Card
- Amex Business Gold Card
- American Express Green Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
Two benefits that got cut
Now for the bad news: American Express removed two travel benefits across the board: Travel Accident Insurance, which covers expenses specifically related to death or dismemberment during a covered trip, and Roadside Assistance. These changes also took effect in the new year.
In our opinion, two of the best American Express cards for travelers are the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, which lets you rack up rewards on a huge gamut of spending categories while paying zero annual fee and (for the first year) zero interest, and the American Express Platinum Card, which offers a slew of airline and hotel perks for travelers.