[Updated With More Changes] Major Changes Are Coming For American Express Benefits! Master Chart Of What’s Being Added And Removed

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DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Update: The post and chart below have been updated with information on:

  • Premium roadside assistance.
  • Benefit changes on the grandfathered $95/year Marriott consumer card.
  • Details on differences in purchase protection coverage for premium and non-premium cards.
  • Annual fees for the affected cards.
  • I’m still waiting on information on the Amazon Business AMEX and will update this post when I receive that.

Originally posted on 9/24:

American Express benefits are changing in a big way come 1/1/20.

American Express tells me that lesser utilized benefits, such as travel accident insurance and roadside assistance, are being eliminated from all cards. AMEX has confirmed to me that this includes the elimination of premium roadside assistance from the top-tier Platinum cards.

  • Return protection, which is found on many cards today and is one of my favorite credit card benefits, will be limited to top-tier cards only starting for purchases made on or after 1/1/20. This will continue to allow you to return items 90 days from purchase, up to $300 each and $1,000 per year that a store won’t take back due to final sale or a limited time return policy. It also covers restocking fees paid to make a return. Limiting this benefit to premium cards is a shame as this is an incredibly valuable and useful benefit.
  • Extended warranty, which now matches the manufacturer’s warranty up to 2 years, will only match it for up to 1 year for purchases made on or after 1/1/20.
  • Purchase protection, which now covers damaged or stolen items on all cards and lost items on select cards, will be lowered from 120 days to 90 days from the date of purchase for purchases made on or after 1/1/20. Premium cards will get coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged items up to $10,000/incident and $50,000/year, while non-premium cards will get coverage for stolen or damaged items up to $1,000/incident and $50,000/year. The chart below described the benefits for each card.
  • Global Assist will continue as it is today with help provided when abroad on a variety of issues. Top-tier Platinum cardholders get Premium Global Assist with no cost medical transport/evacuation and repatriation of remains.

On the plus side, AMEX is adding benefits too:

  • Trip delay insurance will reimburse expenses due to a flight delay. Top-tier cards (like the Business Platinum Card which currently has a limited time offer up to 100K points) will get $500 of coverage for 6+ hour delays and mid-tier cards (like the Business Gold Card) will get $300 of coverage for 12+ hour delays. The chart below shows which cards will get which benefits.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance covers trips cancelled or delayed due to weather, terrorism, jury duty, or sudden illness or injury with up to $10,000 of coverage per trip and $20,000 per rolling 12 month period. The chart below shows which cards will this benefit.
  • These trip benefits apply to round-trip, open-jaw, or multi-segment paid tickets, award tickets where AMEX is used for the taxes, or tickets purchased with AMEX points. Unfortunately these benefits won’t apply on one-way tickets.

There may be more changes to benefits, but the exact details won’t be known on 10/1, when the new benefit guides are released.

Overall, this is good for some cardholders and bad for others. AMEX is smartly adding benefits to their premium cards, as opposed to Citi which just removed benefits from their premium cards. AMEX is also keeping benefits on lower end cards, though some are being removed. The lower end cards often earn more points per dollar than the top-tier cards, so it hurts to see benefits removed from those. But benefits like car rental CDW insurance survive on all cards.

I wish AMEX would allow you to utilize benefits on all cards, as long as you also hold a premium card.

But it’s great that AMEX is effectively announcing that benefits are not being killed due to the trend by Barclays, Citi, Discover to remove all card benefits. In July, Mastercard stopped providing standard benefits on their cards unless the issuing bank wanted to pay more to keep them going.

A source at Mastercard told me a few months ago that they expected most other banks to copy their benefit removals and that benefits like car rental insurance would go the way of the dodo, as it’s a very expensive benefit to provide and they aren’t utilized by many cardholders. I argued that insurance is something that cardholders don’t want to use, but like knowing that they have, so the argument that an insurance benefit is underutilized is silly..

This announcement means that there is still hope that it doesn’t have to be that way. This will also pressure Chase and Visa to maintain their current levels of benefits, even if Mastercard has given up on card benefits.

I’ve made the charts below highlighting what is changing for AMEX consumer and business cards.

Consumer cards:

Card (Annual fee)Trip Cancellation and Interruption InsuranceTrip Delay InsurancePurchase ProtectionExtended WarrantyCar Rental CDW CoverageReturn ProtectionBaggage Insurance
AMEX Platinum ($550)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
Delta Reserve ($550)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
Hilton Aspire ($450)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
Marriott Brilliant ($450)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
AMEX Gold ($250)No$300 coverage on 12+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
AMEX Green ($95)No$300 coverage on 12+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Delta Platinum ($250)No$300 coverage on 12+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Marriott/Grandfathered SPG ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Delta Gold ($0 intro, then $99)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Hilton Surpass ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Blue Cash Preferred ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesNo
Everyday Preferred ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesRemoved as of 1/1/20
Hilton AMEX ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Removed as of 1/1/20
Delta Blue ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20No
Blue ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Removed as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20No
Everyday ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Removed as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20No
Cash Magnet ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Removed as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20No
Blue Cash Everyday ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Removed as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20No

Business cards:

Card (Annual fee)Trip Cancellation and Interruption InsuranceTrip Delay InsurancePurchase ProtectionExtended WarrantyCar Rental CDW CoverageReturn ProtectionBaggage Insurance
AMEX Business Platinum ($595)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
Delta Reserve Business ($550)Added as of 1/1/20$500 coverage on 6+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers loss, theft, or damage up to $10K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesYes
Delta Platinum Business ($250)No$300 coverage on 12+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
AMEX Business Gold ($295)No$300 coverage on 12+ hour delays added as of 1/1/20Reduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Hilton Business ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Delta Gold Business ($0 intro, then $99)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
AMEX Business Green ($95)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Marriott Business ($125)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesRemoved as of 1/1/20Yes
Plum ($0 intro, then $250)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesYesRemoved as of 1/1/20
Blue Business Plus ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesNoRemoved as of 1/1/20
Blue Business Cash ($0)NoNoReduced from 120 days to 90 days as of 1/1/20. Covers theft or damage up to $1K.Reduced from 2 years to 1 year as of 1/1/20YesNoRemoved as of 1/1/20

What are your thoughts on these benefit changes? Will they change which card you use?

Leave a Reply

123 Comments On "[Updated With More Changes] Major Changes Are Coming For American Express Benefits! Master Chart Of What’s Being Added And Removed"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Reuven

Thanks for the very clear rundown. I loved (and utilized the roadside assistance) and for me that’s a big loss that devalues the card significantly (as it was in place of me getting AAA membership or the like). I’m glad they are keeping purchase protection (which I use) and adding travel delay insurance.

Mike

What about the Marriott Bonvoy?

ME

Thank you Dan! very informative as always!

j

Dan – How does this affect the benefits on the Marriott Bonvoy (personal and business)?

j

Bonvoy is not in the post (at least not explicitly).

Barry

Dan avoids offensive, explicit words like “B****y”. Look for “Marriott”.

Eve

Amex becomes a less valuable card every day. The benefits they added definitely do not compare to what they are taking away

Shaul

How do travel protections compare to chase sapphire reserve?

Also, why is the $95/yr blue preferred considered premium vs. the $95/yr delta gold that’s not?

Markus

Weird that all the other blogs didn’t mention anything about changes on rp. Also strange that blue cash preferred will continue to have (95 af) and gold won’t (250 af)

Mike

Is amex rose gold card considered top tier?

Ari

I used to pay over $120 a year for AAA so the free roadside assistance with a major benefit for me. I have utilized the premium roadside assistance twice this year, and will likely drop the gold card if they eliminate it.

S

This is terrible. Had a non business Amex I used solely for clothing (and similar) purchases for return protection. No longer have any cards that cover return protection, and doesn’t seem like any of the options are great.
Also, don’t like the degraded purchase protection, but not as bad as full removing return protection.

Yechiel Z

I’m an Everyday Preferred and Platinum card holder. Looks like I survived the purchase Protection return protection change.

Wonder why they treat everyday preferred more than all the other non premium cards ?

Michael

What about the Amazon prime business card?

Curious

Same question- just got this primarily for the return protection benefit. Thanks for all this info, Dan!

Mike

I have a card called the Bluesky. Have it since 2009. Did they change the name to blue ? Or is it discontinued and not included in this post?

Wolf

What about plain Marriott? (Formerly spg)

Tzvi

Is the Amazon card gonna have return protection?

Tzvi

Is amazon card keeping return protection?

dave

car rental CDW is regular car rental insurance?

Joel

what about my Black card?

ROYA

Dan, would you agree that the blue cash proffered is the most beneficial card for groceries with blue cash everyday coming in second?

Teddie Suss

how about the Schwab Investor Card® from American Express in terms of return protection?

Shloimee

Purchase protection was always 90 days for NY, so nothing new there.

Yanky

Is MasterCard engaging in Price gouging? can they be sued?

David

Terrible!!!

Charlie

Just wanted to say, thanks for this… great information as usual.

Me17

I agree- thank you Dan for a very informative post.

Helen

Great post! Can you please add the annual fee to each card on the chart?

Leibel From Kentucky

Citi effect

alex

hey dan any cards other then amex w/o af that has return protection?
btw thanks for all you do!

Mendel

Any cards besides the expensive sapphire reserve have roadside assistance?

DR

So, now chase will be the last one standing with “free” roadside assistance (max 50 dollars), a real shame.

Sam

Platinum has a benefit to fly a cardholder home from travel in case of illness. Is that being removed?

Yehuda_H

I get roadside through Geico. Rarely use it, but in case of an emergency, I’d rather have it.
The extended warranty hurts though. I’ve been using Amex to buy cell phones just for the extended warranty; are there any other cards that offer two years of warranty protection?

Yossi

Sad to see return protection go 🙁
This was one of my favorite Amex benefits, along with their amazing customer service.

JS

Once this becomes effective, which card will be best (as a cheap non-premium option)?Seems like Everyday Preffered which is also amazing for grocery purchases…

Huh

Does the old spg business card have the same changes as current Marriot business?

Show me the data!

“American Express tells me that lesser utilized benefits, such as travel accident insurance and roadside assistance, are being eliminated from all cards.”

Have they ever released any data showing that these benefits aren’t utilized much? My guess is they probably were losing a lot of money on it, but to save face to their customers, they’re claiming it’s not utilized much.

Anyone remember back in the day when the AmEx Platinum card gave a free companion ticket. That too, was cancelled b/c of what they claimed wasn’t being utilized.

I don’t buy it!

Joel

Foe some people it will make sense to have both Platinum Cards and they use the RP benefit

Chaya

Dan- the cards that have return protection- can you add an additional care member at no cost and then have 2 cards that have that benefit?

Boruch Hecht

Business platinum will cover 1,500 on objects stolen in your car. (Perhaps the consumer also). This personal items stolen in a car – say your tefillin. Learnt the hard way that it’s with the business platinum and not on the Hilton etc.

I would suggest you add that into your comprehensive over view.

reb yid

Dan wrote that theft was included. Of course it would only apply if you bought the tefillin with the Amex Plat and only (from oct 1) if stolen within 90 days of purchase. Dan writes that it applies to mult cards not just Biz Plat.

beirush228

Read again. I was specifically referring to personal items stolen in an a rental car break in. PAST 90 DAYS. Irrelevant of the 90 days. 2 years for that matter.

Shaul Morrison

Amex’s strategy on the Gold is mind-boggling. The trip-delay benefit is worse than the $95 Chase Sapphire Preferred and the return protection is being stripped. Genuinely don’t understand what they are thinking.

moose

I have an interesting Q, if anyone has any insight. I purchased the Google Pixel 3XL with the Google Fi deal you posted, and got back the $900 as a gift card. Then, it got scratched. I filed for purchase protection and they just refunded the whole $900. I have been using it since, but now the screen cracked, can I wait out the manufacturer warranty, and file for AMEX extended warranty to replace the screen ($300)? Or since they already refunded it, I don’t have any more protections on it? Secondly, all purchases made before 1/2020 still have the 2 yr warranty, correct?

sos

i just booked multiple legs on norwegian and whizz air otw to israel and now the last leg on norwegian cancelled me can the credit card rebook me on another flight?

sos

american express and chase ink preferred

Fjdo

Thanks for the clear info. Losing return protection is a real bummer as it was 1 of the main reasons I held on to my AMEX cards.

marc

if i booked a flight on the amex platinum today I dont have trip cancellation insurance/ or trip interruption? with all that money I pay for an annual fee? and comes 2020 is it better to book whatever you need and when you get home from your vacation to haggle with them afterwards or to inform them what happened first? as i dont want to patchka while i am on vacation

Carl Pietrantonio

Dang it! I have NEEDED the Roadside assistance twice this year and it was a life-saver both times! This really affects my thinking on the Platinum card.

JohnB

While the Amex changes are not as horrendous as Citibank, it appears to be a trend. Like a race to the bottom. Will Chase follow? There are some Chase cards that are Mastercards.

Myi

The blue cash and the everyday card at $95 gave return protection, but the gold card which cost $250 is having the benefit removed and the card is hardly worth the $250 with not much perks!

Jags

You could always have “an accident” with the product and file a purchase protection claim.

Shay peleg

Does amex warranty cover custom made computers?

Nathan

For the return protection benefit (I have the American Express Gold), can I file a claim after 1/1/2020 as long as I make the purchase before 1/1/2020?

Rush

Will they retroactively still honor claims? i.e. if I make a purchase now with a card that has extended warranty and the policy changes on January 1st, am I still covered?

Shiv Kumar

Any info on the Lowes Business card? I guess I can assume it will be the same as both Blue Business cards in terms of changes to benefits?

John

Are there any updates for the American Express Amazon Business Card? I was expected some updates on 10/1 but it looks like they haven’t released anything yet.

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