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Just How Amazing Are AMEX Credit Card Protections?

We all love AMEX for their nonstop year-round AMEX Offers, promos like $10 off $0.01 with Express Checkout, 20% off NYC restaurants, and for SBS of course.

But where they really shine are their purchase protections. Here are just a few of my experiences:

Purchase protection covers items that are stolen or broken within 90 days of purchase. On most cards you’re covered for items up to $1,000 but if you use a Platinum or Delta Reserve card it covers items up to $10,000 and it will even cover you for items that are merely lost!

A couple months ago a friend of mine was celebrating the birth of his first son. I bought and brought over a bottle of his favorite scotch, Lagvulin, but he wasn’t home and I managed to break it as I brought the bottle back into my house.

Officially consumable items are excluded from purchase protection, but having nothing to lose I went online and submitted a claim in the AMEX Claims Center.  And sure enough, they issued a full refund!

lag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMEX offers free CDW car rental coverage, but only on a secondary basis. That’s great if you don’t have personal car insurance, but it means they won’t cover anything if you do.
They offer Premium Car Rental Protection that makes the coverage primary for a $19.95/rental fee ($15.95/rental for CA residents) for $75K of coverage or $24.95/rental ($17.95/rental for CA residents) for $100K of coverage.

Of course the Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives free worldwide primary coverage, though the claims process is more cumbersome than it is with AMEX.

But a big difference is that your Chase Sapphire Preferred card won’t cover what they consider to be luxury cars and SUVs.

With AMEX Premium car rental protection luxury cars and SUVs are covered. They had no problem covering the damage that the valet at the S. Regis Bal Harbour did to the Lincoln Navigator that Avis upgraded me to earlier this year. No messy paperwork required, just a quick online claim took care of everything. And yes, it will even cover the $75,000 scratch on the door of the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo should you miraculously find yourself in a rented one 😉

Of course it’s worth noting that AMEX won’t cover rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand, while Chase will cover all countries (though you should always carry a letter of coverage when traveling abroad from the insurance that your card offers).

The lesson here is to always check with the insurance provider to see if your upgraded car is covered.

 

Extended Warranty

Extended warranty matches the manufacturer’s warranty up to an extra year of warranty coverage on items up to $10,000. The irony is that most manufacturer’s warranties stink. They make you send in your item and typically have long turn-around times. Or they find reasons why the warranty doesn’t cover your problem.

Wait it out until the manufacturer’s warranty ends and you’ll be in luck. Often times you’ll receive a refund of your entire purchase price within a few days of making a claim without even hassling you at all.  DDF members report this happening often for cameras, cell phones, and computers. For some more expensive items they may ask for a repair quote but when you send in the quote you’ll typically be credited with that amount (up to the purchase price paid) within a few days.  People on DDF have even reported getting refunded for computers with cracked screens and other physical damage during the AMEX warranty bonus year, something that the manufacturer would never cover.

 

Dispute Resolution

I’ve had to file a few disputes over the years. I learned early on that disputes on cards from most banks can be very tough for a consumer to win, even with all of the documentation in the world.

AMEX is light-years ahead of the competition in this regard, it’s much easier for a consumer to win a dispute and disputes can be easily filed online or over the phone.

From contractors that didn’t perform, to the dive shop in Maui that sold us an intro-dive tour but stuck us with pro divers who had no patience for us, AMEX dispute resolution has come in handy many times.

Back in February 2011 I ordered a Bugaboo on sale and paid the extra $1 for lifetime free returns. The store went out of business before I realized in September 2011 how far superior the UppaBaby Vista is to the Bugaboo in just about every way, but AMEX had no problem standing behind the stated lifetime return policy and refunded the charge in full. They didn’t even want the Bugaboo back.

Frankly AMEX dispute resolution may be too good. I had one person dispute the $13 they paid for on an AMEX to attend a DansDeals seminar (the full proceeds of which were donated to charity).  When I asked the attendee why they disputed the charge they said that they just didn’t recognize the charge, so they disputed it. He called AMEX right away to drop the dispute, but by that point it was too late and they refunded him the money and I got hit with a chargeback fee on money I had already donated.

Yes, the person made up for the chargeback fees I was hit with in the end, but just be careful to only dispute things after attempting to contact the merchant to make things right or clarify what the charge is for as AMEX dispute resolution works incredibly well. If you ever receive goods or services that you’re not happy with, just let the merchant know that you do plan on disputing the purchase and see if they will come to a compromise without it coming to that. But if they won’t, AMEX will have your back more than any other bank.

 

Return Protection is by far one of the most underrated benefits that AMEX offers.  If you buy something from a retailer with a return policy less than 90 days long, even if they have no return policy at all or if the item is on final sale, you can use AMEX return protection.

Return protection works for items that cost $300 or less and can be used to return up to $1,000 of items per card per year. If the item is under $100 AMEX will typically issue an immediate refund.  If it’s between $100-$300 usually an examiner will review the claim to ensure that the item isn’t on the excluded list. Usually the examiner will then issue a refund though on occasion AMEX will request that you email a photo of the item or mail the item in for a refund.

The current return protection policy is that AMEX will pay for return shipping if they do require that you actually return the item to them. In the past AMEX didn’t used to cover the return shipping and they were more inclined back then to request that the item be returned. I used it 6 times and wound up with a $305.70 check as apparently they were supposed to cover the return shipping.

Of course all of these benefits make the equation on which card to use even more complicated. It’s important to remember that although another card may give you extra points in some categories, what is the ability to return, dispute, or have extended warranty coverage worth?

 

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

The following are some of the cards that have all of the above benefits:

Consumer cards:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

Platinum Card® from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

-Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

 

Business cards:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

 

Share your experiences in the comments!

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57 Responses to “Just How Amazing Are AMEX Credit Card Protections?”

  1. Mark Says:
    1

    That’s so sad to see such a nice bottle in pieces. It’s nice to know that Amex can protect against that as well.

    ReplyReply
  2. Yossi Brackman Says:
    2

    The amex protection if I closed down the card on which I made the purchase but still have other cards?

    ReplyReply
  3. Anonymous Says:
    3

    Where does the Costco business Amex card fit in here

    ReplyReply
  4. Mendy Says:
    4

    @dan why did you downplay “$10 off $10 with Express Checkout”?!?! Should be “$10 off even 1 cent!!!

    ReplyReply
  5. Dan Says:
    5

    @Mark:
    😀

    @Yossi Brackman:
    YMMV. Been reports both ways.

    @Anonymous:
    I don’t think the Costco cards have return protection.

    @Mendy:
    Fixed 🙂

    ReplyReply
  6. Mendy Says:
    6

    THERE YOU GO!

    ReplyReply
  7. mechayamom Says:
    7

    Interesting point about luxury vehicles and SUVs not covered. First time I heard that.

    Does the United explorer which offers Primary Rental Car insurance cover convertibles and JEEPs?

    If not, is it worthwhile then to purchase that additional AMEX coverage.
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  8. Sam Says:
    8

    If I have a Hilton are with 30 additionals, will I get the $1,000 per year return protection on EACH additional card?

    ReplyReply
  9. Lucky Says:
    9

    I’ve also had luck with things that aren’t officially covered as u say never hurts to try.

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @mechayamom:
    You would have to call and they can check which models are included and excluded.

    @Sam:
    My understanding is that the limits are per primary card.

    @Lucky:
    Care to share?

    ReplyReply
  11. Anonymous Says:
    11

    @Anonymous: try your luck anyway

    ReplyReply
  12. avi Says:
    12

    So thats how you got the free bugaboo…

    ReplyReply
  13. Bal mazel Says:
    13

    Made several purchase and return protection got a refund on every single 1 without any questions asked whatsoever a but I did on different cards

    ReplyReply
  14. Shmobaum Says:
    14

    Hey Dan you’re exactly right on target! Earlier this winter I gave two kideishim in my shul and I bought whiskey for about $100. After the first kiddush I stored the leftover whiskey for the next weeks kiddush but it was stolen from the shul during the week. I call Amex and told them the whole story and they refundede the entire liquor store bill without even asking for a morsel of proof such as a police report etc… No credit card company comes even close to them!

    ReplyReply
  15. Dan Says:
    15

    @avi:
    🙂

    @Shmobaum:
    Amazing.
    But who steals liquor from a shul 😯

    ReplyReply
  16. the lion king Says:
    16

    2 questions.
    1st of all, is the price you quoted for amex premium rental protection per day or 1 time per rental?
    secondly,which of the personal card you listed would you recommend most (lowest fees preffered!)

    thanks!

    ReplyReply
  17. Anonymous Says:
    17

    @Dan: from what it seems as long as the item is under 100 dollars there not gonnaake an issue regardless if its excluded or not

    ReplyReply
  18. Dan Says:
    18

    @the lion king:
    1 time per rental.

    Everyday is a great free card, but Everyday Preferred and Starwood are both awesome cards.

    All of those cards come with up to 99 free additional users and each additional user qualifies for SBS, etc.

    @Anonymous:
    People have had $2,000 laptops with cracked screens covered as well…

    ReplyReply
  19. Morris Says:
    19

    The Amex primary insurance charge is that per day or per rental?

    ReplyReply
  20. Dan Says:
    20

    @Morris:
    Per rental.

    ReplyReply
  21. grumps Says:
    21

    I had a lousy experience with Amex Plat disputes.
    I went into the lounge in TLV with my a guest who is not a member ($27 charge). There were many flights that were delayed that day, so hundreds of passengers were in the lounge and we could not find a seat! We left immediately and were told we wouldn’t be charged for my guest’s entry into the lounge. They charged us. I called them and was told to dispute the charge with Amex. When I disputed the charged and explained everything, Amex just responded that they confirmed the charge with the lounge because I went in with a guest and they made me pay the $27

    ReplyReply
  22. CDW car rental coverage, Says:
    22

    Dan,
    CDW covers only if you HAVE other insurance , or only if you DONT have other insurance?

    ReplyReply
  23. Shmelke Says:
    23

    i’m surprised about how careless people are with their single malt. Henceforth, I’ll use AMEX when buying my favorite beverages just in case.

    ReplyReply
  24. Dan Says:
    24

    @grumps:
    One of my least favorite lounges in the world.

    Did you try re-disputing or calling the lounge?

    I have yet to lose an AMEX dispute.

    @CDW car rental coverage,:
    The free secondary coverage covers you only if you have no other insurance.

    The premium primary coverage covers you even if you have your own insurance.

    @Shmelke:
    😀

    ReplyReply
  25. Anonymous Says:
    25

    Is there any Amex return protection for products with more than 90 day return?

    Also if I am still within the products/manufacture return time frame can I still go straight to amex

    ReplyReply
  26. Chris S. Says:
    26

    That bottle of Lagavulin goes for ~$50 at Costco. Hope you used your refund for 2 (!) bottles.

    ReplyReply
  27. Dan Says:
    27

    @Anonymous:
    They used to have a 180 day premium return protection program, but that’s long dead.

    Return protection is only intended for when stores won’t take the item back.

    @Chris S.:
    Alas, OH doesn’t allow Costco to sell liquor. Neither does relatively nearby PA.

    S’ok though. More than make up for it with a sub-$1,000 mortgage and car insurance premiums of just $195/6 months 😀

    ReplyReply
  28. Stam Says:
    28

    Dose It Cover On Lifetime Warranty? (Bugaboo Storey)

    ReplyReply
  29. yaakov Says:
    29

    I must be the only unlucky one here,
    I tried to claim sweater that shrunk significantly ($99) and they asked for a purchase protection claim form, original receipt. when I sent that I got an email to call for additional info. I called and they said that they need a statement from my cleaners that the item did indeed shrink and it is beyond repair (and their address and phone number). sorry that is too much trouble and doesn’t sound that good… sounds more like Chase protection.
    For me it sucks

    ReplyReply
  30. Ron Says:
    30

    This is why I continue to stick with my Amex. They may not offer the highest rewards/points, but are exceptional when you have to make a claim. So overall it balances out. I’ve experienced going through a Visa claim before but I consider it just average. Mastercard is the worst when it comes to making claims which is why I stay away from them.

    ReplyReply
  31. kidooo Says:
    31

    @grumps:
    Just dispute it again. I’ve had a rather large amount disputed with AMEX, which was denied 3 times until finally decided in my favor on the 4th time

    ReplyReply
  32. kidooo Says:
    32

    One feature which AMEX lacks while discover, Cities, ando some master cards have is price drop protection. For 1 or 3 months they will refund you if you find a lower price advertised ANYWHERE

    ReplyReply
  33. Rosemarie Says:
    33

    I tried disputing a charge with AE. I put down a deposit on a trip ($500) nd realised within several days we could not make the trip. I was told I would lose my deposit or I had to book another trip. I contacted AE and was told that that was the company’s rules. I felt like they didn’t go to bat for me at all and was very disappointed.

    ReplyReply
  34. Achshell Says:
    34

    Please mention! AMEX does NOT have any trip cancellation/ interruption protection on their cards. I am in the middle of claims worth $2,500 for trip cancellation that came with Chase Sapphire/ Barclay’s. That’s why I don’t book flights with AMEX. (Yes, I know that some fancy AMEX cards have it)

    ReplyReply
  35. RD Says:
    35

    i bought a brand new freezer and it died on me 2 weeks after i bought it. Store wasnt gonna service me. American Express didnt wanna cover it under Purchase protection, so i went ahead and disputed the charges. Im hoping it will go through. What do you think DAN? Were talking about $600 here…

    ReplyReply
  36. Dov Says:
    36

    my friend has been beaten twice by american express CDW coverage once for a SUV that was not covered and second the Business SPG does not cover outsite of the

    ReplyReply
  37. Tov Says:
    37

    I bought a air condition in the summer for $269.99, the quality was bad so called Amex and they asked for receipt and got refunded in less then a week after!

    ReplyReply
  38. Anonymous Says:
    38

    @yaakov: people have better experience submitting via account vs. Telephone give anotger shot

    ReplyReply
  39. Eli Says:
    39

    keep in mind dispute has to be within a certain timeframe I tried to disputea charge but if was after the time, if I recall correctly international charges have a bit longer. last but not least Chase dispute really sucks, incompetent reps terrible service, clawed back credit after winning a dispute and rebilled charge to my account.

    ReplyReply
  40. Jerry Says:
    40

    I live in Israel and have a gold business AMEX card. Does it have any of the benefits you mentioned?

    ReplyReply
  41. Jerry Says:
    41

    It was issued from Bank Hapoalim

    ReplyReply
  42. Wonderbread Says:
    42

    $95 is high for Lagavulin.

    ReplyReply
  43. Dan Says:
    43

    @Wonderbread:
    OH regulates the cost of liquor, I don’t buy liquor here for myself normally.

    ReplyReply
  44. Anonymous Says:
    44

    dan, will amex offer return protection if the store offers returns for store credit only?

    ReplyReply
  45. chas Says:
    45

    I remind all users to be fair when filing a claim against a merchant.
    I write as a merchant and a frum person filed a claim claiming they selected a wrong size and it was past the return deadline. Amex contacted me as the merchant. I explained to Amex that although we were in the right WE ALWAYS accomodate these cases. It seemed like a scam because the consumer never even called us, just went to amex first.
    Too many claims can hurt all parties.

    ReplyReply
  46. Sol Says:
    46

    Dan,

    Does amex require a police report in order to cover any damage to a rental vehicle?

    on another note, it would be worth mentioning that this is ONLY in regard to collision. they will NOT cover liability. You must check with your auto insurance carrier if they cover a rental vehicle as not all do. If they do not cover then you have no choice but to purchase the rental company’s liability insurance.

    ReplyReply
  47. Dan Says:
    47

    @Anonymous:
    Yes.

    @chas:
    Return protection doesn’t hurt the merchant, only a dispute/chargeback does.

    @Sol:
    No

    ReplyReply
  48. UberAMEX Says:
    48

    I took advantage of some of these amazing benefits.

    1. An article of clothing got burnt (don’t ask how), and AMEX refunded us in full.

    2. I purchased my cell using my Starwood’s card, and after a year it started getting sluggish, etc. old phone crap. AMEX basically refunded me for the full original retail value of the phone. They didn’t make us send it back either. Now when I am buy electronics or appliances I makes sure to only purchase it on my AMEX card.

    ReplyReply
  49. UberAMEX Says:
    49

    Random Q: I am not understanding how the premium car rental insurance works. So if I enroll now, when do I pay the per rental fee? Do I pay it when I initially rent the car? Is there an automatic rental insurance charge charge if AMEX detects a rental charge? Or you only pay when you actually make the claim?

    Can someone please advise? Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  50. Dan Says:
    50

    @UberAMEX:
    Nice!

    @UberAMEX:
    It charges you when you are charged for a rental on your AMEX.

    ReplyReply
  51. Sol Says:
    51

    Dan,

    Thanks!!

    Has your experience with Liability coverage been that way as well?

    ReplyReply
  52. eli Says:
    52

    I got $435 computer repair covered by AMEX Blue, I dropped the laptop and broke the screen. Was a bit of a hassle to get all purchase and repair receipts, but well worth it.

    ReplyReply
  53. Shulchan Aruch Comes Before "Deals" Says:
    53

    If the terms exclude consumables then you are probably not entitled to American Express’s refund. Yuh yuh nisht nisht
    In general you “deals” people should be careful with halacha, some of this stuff MAY BE (I’m not accusing anyone) questionable.
    It’s deep in a “deals” persons blood, nothing I can say will change their mind
    Some people would rather spend time finding deals then working hard and making money

    ReplyReply
  54. Lean Shulchan Aruch Much? Says:
    54

    If only you actually knew the halacha in this case you would have a point…

    1. CS can go against T&C.
    2. At worst it is a taus akum, so you have no obligation to return what they give you.
    3. It’s good to be self righteous but not when you are just plain wrong.
    4. If you care so much go ask your rav before spewing garbage here. No way he says it is asur to keep an amex protection they give you.

    ReplyReply
  55. UberAMEX Says:
    55

    @Dan: Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  56. abe Says:
    56

    dan can I purchase 2 times $100.00 gift card on American airlines to get the $200.00 incidental fees credit ?

    ReplyReply
  57. Levi Says:
    57

    Does the return protection have to be brand new with tags etc.

    ReplyReply

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