Amex Trip Delay Coverage Guide [2020]

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Amex trip delay is one of the newer benefits we have seen get added to a host of cards issued by American Express.

The perk is extremely valuable but there are some differences in coverage that these cards offer so you want to make sure you are aware of the differences since they are pretty dramatic.

What is Amex trip delay coverage?

Amex trip delay reimburses you for essential expenses when your trip is delayed by a certain amount of time. It is offered in two different forms.

The tier-one version is offered by premium cards and offers coverage up to $500 per trip and two claims per 12 month period. It kicks in after only six hours of delay.

The tier-two version is offered by mid-level cards and offers coverage up to $300 per trip and two claims per 12 month period. It kicks in after 12 hours of delay.

I’ll explain the protection in detail below.

Tip: To get the best Amex trip delay coverage, book your travel with a premium travel rewards card like the Amex Platinum.

Eligible cards

Not every American Express card offers trip delay coverage.

Here are some of the cards that offer the tier-one coverage that kicks in after six hours:

Here are some of the cards that offer the tier two coverage that kicks in after 12 hours:

You can find the full list of cards here.

What does Amex trip delay cover?

Initially, there was a lot of confusion about the Amex trip delay coverage and what types of trips are covered.

Specifically, people were worried about what what is defined as a “round trip.”

But we know that a round-trip may “consist of roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip and one-way tickets with Common Carrier(s).”

So you can get coverage on one-way travel segments as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • You travel by Common Carrier to begin your round-trip travel;
  • The round-trip does not exceed 365 days away from your city of residence at the time of departure (your travel ends when you return by Common Carrier to the city of departure);
  • The full amount of your cost of transportation by Common Carrier(s) is charged to your Amex card.

So you can get coverage for something like an elaborate round the world trip where you take multiple segments on different airlines so long as you depart and arrive at your city of departure within one year via common carrier.

In case you’re wondering, “common carrier” means “any land, water, or air conveyance operating under a valid license for the transportation of passengers for hire and for which a ticket must be purchased prior to commencing travel.”

Common carrier does not include

  • Taxis
  • Limousine services
  • Commuter rail or commuter bus lines
  • Personal automobiles
  • Rental vehicles.

What delay causes are covered?

The following are circumstances where your trip delay coverage should kick in:

Inclement weather

Inclement weather which prevents “a reasonable and prudent person from traveling or continuing” is covered. So weather delays are a bit of a subjective determination. However, if a severe storm rolls in and that delays your scheduled arrival or departure, you can count on coverage kicking in.

Terrorist action

Terrorist action means “an act of violence by any person acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization which is generally recognized having the intent to overthrow or influence the control of any government….”

Equipment failure

If the delay is caused by some type of equipment failure then that would be a basis for trip delay coverage.

In many cases, and airline will offer some compensation if the delay is within their control which an equipment failure typically is.

Lost or stolen passport/travel documents

Trip delay coverage for these purposes is great because you never know when you might misplace a travel document.

Reimbursed expenses

You’ll be able to get reimbursed for essential expenses which include things like meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items.

Coverage is secondary to and in excess of any other applicable insurance or benefit available to you including benefits provided by the Common Carrier, such as exchanged tickets, drop in-ticket prices, goodwill payments, refunds, credits, or vouchers.

What is not covered

  • Covered Losses that are made public or known to you prior to your departure
  • An Eligible Traveler’s expenses paid prior to the Covered Trip.
  • Loss due to your intentional acts
  • Any expenses that are not authorized and reimbursable by your employer if you make the purchases with a commercial card.

How to file a claim

Give notice

You must notify the administrator of your claim within 60 days of the
loss or the claim may not be honored.

To open up a claim and provide notice, call the administrator’s phone number: 1-844-933-0648.

Once they receive notice of your claim, they will send you instructions to show proof of loss.

Showing proof of loss

You will be asked to require a written proof of loss to them within 180 days from the date of your loss. Your claim will not be invalidated if you fail to meet this requirement so long as it was not reasonably possible for you to get proof.

But even in those cases you need to make sure that you get the documents in within one year from the date of loss.

Required documentation for proof of loss may include the following:

• A statement from the Common Carrier that the Covered Trip was delayed;
• Your charge receipt;
• Copies of your Common Carrier tickets;
• Receipts for travel expenses; and
• Any other information that may be reasonably requested by us to support your claim.

Amex trip delay FAQ

What Amex cards offer trip delay?

There are about 20 Amex cards that offer trip delay coverage. Cards that offer the best form of trip the light coverage include:

How long does it take for Amex trip delay coverage to kick in?

If you have a premium card such as the platinum card, your coverage walk again after only six hours. But if you have a mid-level card such as the gold card, your coverage will kick in after 12 hours.

How much can you get reimbursed for with Amex trip delay coverage?

If you have a premium card such as the Platinum Card, you can get coverage up to $500 per trip. But if you have a mid-level card such as the Gold Card, you will get coverage up to $300 per trip.

Can I get coverage if I pay with points?

Yes, the terms and conditions state “You must charge the full amount of a Covered Trip to your Eligible Card or in combination with your
Eligible Card and accumulated points
on your Eligible Card.”

Final word

The addition of trip delay coverage was a nice upgrade to many American Express credit cards. I am a big fan of the premium coverage that kicks in after only six hours and offers up to $500 worth of reimbursement.

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