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Million Mile Secrets reader, Dave, commented:
Does The Platinum Card® from American Express have travel insurance coverage?
Unlike some other travel cards, which have excellent travel protection benefits, the AMEX Platinum does NOT provide coverage for mishaps like trip delays or cancellations.
Air travel preferences can vary a lot from person to person. So I’ll explain what you should consider when comparing credit card travel protection benefits!
Credit Card Travel Protection Benefits
When you pay for airfare with certain cards, you can get automatic travel protection benefits at no extra charge. And depending on the card, sometimes just paying the taxes and fees on an award flight will get you coverage. This is a terrific way to save on travel insurance.
But the coverage you get can vary significantly by card. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the trip protection benefits you get with 3 popular premium travel cards.
|Coverage||AMEX Platinum||Citi Prestige||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Primary Rental Car Insurance||• Enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program|
• But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 consecutive rental days for Washington State cardholders)
|• Cardholders and authorized designated drivers covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver|
• Coverage is secondary in the US and primary elsewhere
|• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver|
|Delayed Baggage||None||• If your baggage is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)|
• Up to $500 maximum per covered traveler
|• If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)
• Up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days
|Lost Luggage||• Up to $3,000 per person per trip for loss of carry-on baggage|
• Up to $2,000 per person per trip for loss of checked bag
• Up to $250 per person per trip for loss of high risk items (i.e. jewelry & electronics)
|• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside|
• Up to $3,000 per person each trip
• Up to $10,000 per trip
|• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside
• Up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics
|Trip Delay Protection||None||• If your trip is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)||• If your trip is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)|
|Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance||None||• Up to $5,000 per person per trip||• Up to $10,000 per person per covered trip (maximum $20,000 per occurrence)
• Up to $40,000 per 12 month period
|Travel Accident Insurance||• Up to $500,000 per person ($3,500,000 maximum)||• Up to $500,000 per person||• Up to $1,000,000 per person ($2,000,000 maximum)
|Benefits Guide||AMEX Benefits Guide||Citi Prestige Benefits Guide||Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide
As you can see, the AMEX Platinum card is NOT the best card for folks looking to get automatic travel insurance. And the coverage is the same for other AMEX Platinum cards, including:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
The tradeoff is you can accumulate lots of points paying for airfare with the AMEX Platinum. Because you earn 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or from AMEX travel. Then, you can transfer the points to book award travel on airline partners like Air Canada or Singapore Airlines.
3 Things to Consider With Trip Protection Benefits
Because travel coverage is not the same across all cards, you’ll want to use the card that is best for your personal situation.
For example, Million Mile Secrets team members Harlan and Jasmin consistently use their Citi Prestige card to pay for travel because this card has the best trip delay coverage. And Jasmin has successfully used this benefit to get reimbursed for meals and a hotel night.
Here are a few things that might factor into which card you use to pay for travel.
1. Will Your Airline Elite Status Help If There’s a Flight Delay or Cancellation?
Having airline elite status comes with perks that can help if you pay with a card like the AMEX Platinum, which doesn’t have trip delay or cancellation insurance.
For example, some airlines offer passengers with elite status free same-day standby flights. So if your flight is delayed, you could switch to another flight without having to worry about filing a claim for a trip delay.
Similarly, if your flight is cancelled, having elite status might give you a higher priority to get a seat on the next available flight.
But consider if you’re traveling to a remote destination or region with unpredictable weather that it might be wise to pay with a card that provides trip protection benefits.
Because if all flights are delayed or cancelled, you could end up paying out of pocket for hotel rooms and necessary expenses. So having a card that gets you reimbursed is a great benefit.
2. Did You Book an Expensive Cruise or Tour?
Having trip interruption or cancellation insurance from a credit card can come in handy should you have to cancel an expensive trip for an eligible reason.
For example, let’s say you pay for a family cruise to Alaska, but are unable to go due to a last-minute illness. If you paid with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige, it’s possible to get a refund for your trip up to a certain limit. But you would NOT get this coverage if you paid with the AMEX Platinum.
I recommend reading the terms and conditions of your card’s trip protection benefits before paying for a vacation. Because it’s important to know who is covered, the claims process, and the reasons you’re eligible to get a refund.
3. Do You Have Third-Party Travel Insurance?
Some folks purchase travel insurance through a third-party company to cover trip delays, cancellations, and other unforeseen events. And you can often bundle these coverages with a supplemental medical travel policy, which can be helpful if you’re traveling outside the US.
Keep in mind, travel insurance plans and coverage amounts can vary greatly. But purchasing a third-party plan can be helpful for folks who don’t pay for a trip with a card that comes with these benefits.
When you pay for a trip with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you do NOT get any coverage for trip delays or cancellations. This is unlike other premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige, which have terrific travel protection benefits.
But some folks might prefer to book travel, especially flights, with the AMEX Platinum. Because you earn 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or from AMEX travel. So you can accumulate flexible points faster!
Having airline elite status or a third-party travel insurance policy might help if you pay for a trip with a card that doesn’t have coverage for travel mishaps. But if you’re booking an expensive vacation, I’d recommend using a card that has automatic coverage.
Have you used any travel protection benefits on a credit card? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!