For a long time, American Express cards have not been the preferred cards to use when traveling. Sure, the Platinum card earns 5x back on certain flights and hotels, and the Gold card earns 4x back on restaurants. But what holds these cards back? The travel protections!
With Citi removing most of the benefits on its cards, it created a perfect opportunity for American Express to announce some changes that were going to happen to their cards. Namely, them adding travel protections. You can see the changes below, but not all of them are positive changes
The changes listed below will all go live in January 2020. For the flight protections to apply, the flights must be a round trip ticket
Travel Cancelation Insurance
Trip cancelation insurance involves having to cancel your trip, and being covered for the cost. This isn’t about just canceling it because you feel like it, but actually due to a specific reason. A flight may be canceled due to weather or the plane being hijacked. Additionally, an individual may get called into jury duty, or even get a sudden illness or injury.
The coverage itself is good for $10,000 per trip, with a max of $20,000 within a 12 month span. The cards that are eligible for this benefit are: The Platinum Cards (personal, business, corporate), Hilton Honors Aspire, Delta Reserve, Delta Reserve Business, and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.
Travel Delay Insurance
Travel Delay insurance kicks in when your trip has been delayed by a certain amount of time due to no fault of your own. For American Express, there are two different tiers of Travel Delay Insurance depending on the card you have.
If you trip is delayed for 6 or more hours, you’ll be eligible for $500 for food/beverages, lodging, and any other covered benefit. The cards eligible for this level of Trip Delay Insurance include: The Platinum Cards, Hilton Honor Aspire, Delta Reserve, Delta Reserve Business, and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.
If your trip is delayed for 12 or more hours, you’ll be eligible for $300 for food/beverages, lodging, and any other covered benefit. The cards eligible for this level of Trip Delay Insurance include: Gold (personal and business), Green Delta Platinum, and Delta Platinum Business
Extended Warranty/Price Protection
The benefits above are both positive changes, however, we do have some negative changes as well. The extended warranty benefit will drop down from 2 years to 1 year.
Additionally, the Price Protection coverage will only last 90 days, down from 120.
Roadside Assistance/Travel Accident Insurance
The roadside assistance protection would help you in getting some help. The unfortunate thing about this benefit is that you do have to pay for a tow, or whatever service you need. This benefit is being canceled.
Travel accident insurance covers accidental death or the lose of limbs. This benefit will also be canceled.
Overall, I’m actually pretty excited about the benefits that are being added. For a long time, I could not recommend getting the Platinum card due to the lack of travel protections. I would rather earn less points every time if it meant I was not on the hook for paying for a hotel or food if my flight is canceled. Many other cards offered this, especially in the premium travel credit card space. With the added benefits, it’s looking like an American Express trifecta is a pretty viable setup.
While the travel benefits are great, it’s a bummer that this post isn’t all good news. We are getting less coverage in regards to purchases, and completely removing travel accident. I don’t think roadside assistance will be missed though, as all they do is arrange help for you (you can always do that yourself pretty easily). If they actually paid for some services, that would be a different story.
What do you think about the moves American Express is making with regards to their credit cards? Let us know what you think about the Travel protections, and if you’ll end up using an Amex Trifecta in the near future!