American Express to Upgrade Travel Protections, Change Purchase Benefits for Premium Cardholders

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Last updated on July 30th, 2020

Travel protections are popular among consumers and are now becoming standard across the credit card industry; we’ve seen some big changes to the travel benefits offered by several card issuers this fall. American Express is set to announce their own changes – what can we expect?

Travel coverage is a big deal in the credit card world; benefits and travel perks like car rental insurance, trip cancellation insurance and baggage delay insurance, for example, are becoming standard across the industry. Cardholders and consumers are beginning to expect these travel benefits when they apply for premium credit cards, with good reason – card issuers like Chase include them across the board with their card offerings. Other issuers, like American Express (Amex), have been slower to catch up – these benefits can be costly for card issuers, so much so in fact that Citibank opted to remove them from their card offers – but Amex seems to realize how popular they are, and has a new trick up their sleeve.

Fortunately, American Express’s changes seem to be much more balanced than those that Citibank has announced. Looking to add value to their credit card offerings (and stay competitive), American Express will be rolling out some new changes to its portfolio: Expect to see travel benefits like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, along with several other updates, beginning on January 1, 2020.

What Changes are Coming to Amex Cards in 2020?

The expected updates to American Express card offers will center around two types of cardholder perks:

  • Travel Protections
  • Purchase Protections

Remember, these changes will only apply to travel purchases made using an American Express credit card after January 1, 2020. Insofar as travel protections, cardholders will be excited to see the following changes to their cardmember benefits:

Note: A “covered reason” includes: call to jury, sudden illness or injury to you or an eligible traveler, inclement weather, and terrorist action. Round-trip travel is defined as travel that both begins and ends in the original city of departure, to one or more destinations. In this case, it applies specifically to flights purchased using an Amex card.

What Other Updates can we Expect to See from Amex in January?

Travel protections are not the only card benefits that will see an update; American Express cardholders can expect to see a change to their purchase protections in January, too. The first change will see a reduction to the extended warranty benefit that is standard across Amex cards to one year – at the time of this writing, warranties are extended by two additional years. Some Amex card offers that have no annual fee will lose extended warranty coverage altogether. An extended warranty applies to new purchases made with your American Express card; the issuer offers this as a perk to loyal customers, and adds an additional grace period to the manufacturer’s warranty. Additionally, all American Express cards that offer purchase protection will see this benefit reduced from 120 days to 90 days.

Finally, two benefits will be removed from American Express offers altogether on January 1st of 2020. Say goodbye to travel accident insurance, which covers expenses related to accidental death and dismemberment while the cardholder is traveling, and bid roadside assistance (which features a hotline that can send a tow operator or locksmith to assist in an emergency) adieu. American Express has not yet begun to notify customers of these changes.

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About: Allan Guzman Chinchilla
Allan Guzman Chinchilla

Allan is the Director of He has written about, and been involved in, the credit industry for several years. He also leads a robust team of expert writers in the pursuit of providing the most thorough, helpful and expertise-driven credit cards content for all.

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