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From porch pirates to Murphy's law, a lot can go awry between the time you buy an item and make use of that purchase. Thankfully, many credit cards offer so-called "purchase protection" that covers theft, damage and loss within a set time after purchase. For example, if you have an American Express card, the chances are that card provides AmEx purchase protection.
However, not all purchases and losses are covered by AmEx purchase protection. Let's look at how Amex purchase protection works, which AmEx cards feature it and the limitations and exclusions of this coverage.
How does AmEx purchase protection work?
AmEx purchase protection covers lost, stolen or damaged items within the first 90 days after purchase.
This coverage is complimentary on most AmEx cards — including some debit, prepaid and reloadable AmEx cards. All you need to do to get this coverage is to use your eligible AmEx card to make a covered purchase of a tangible item.
If that item is lost, stolen or damaged within the first 90 days, file a Notice of Claim within 30 days to start the claims process. Here, you'll need to provide a copy of the purchase receipt and proof of loss.
That proof of loss depends on the circumstances.
If a loss is due to theft, you may need to provide a copy of the police report.
In the case of a damage claim, you may need to send in the broken item.
Which cards have AmEx purchase protection?
Dozens of AmEx cards offer purchase protection benefits.
Personal cards with purchase protections from AmEx include:
Meanwhile, here's the list of small business cards from AmEx with this benefit:
However, the purchase protection coverage amounts and limitations vary between AmEx cards. Plus, AmEx can change the coverage at any time. So, checking the terms for your AmEx card when you need coverage is essential. Terms apply.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Limitations and exclusions on AmEx cards
As with any insurance or coverage product, AmEx purchase protection comes with limitations and exclusions. Let's take a look at the current coverage on The Platinum Card® from American Express as an example. Terms apply.
At the time of writing, The Platinum Card® from American Express holders are covered for up to 90 days from the date of a covered purchase of an eligible item. Big spenders should note that the purchase protection on The Platinum Card® from American Express only covers up to $10,000 per covered purchase. Each eligible AmEx card is covered for up to $50,000 in claims per year. Terms apply.
» Learn more: The best credit cards for travel insurance benefits
Unfortunately, if you're affected by a natural disaster, AmEx purchase protection only covers a maximum of $500 in claims per event.
AmEx purchase protection excludes a long list of types of purchases, including:
Animals or living plants.
Antiques, artwork and previously used items.
Cash and cash-like items — including gift certificates, stamps and coins.
Intangible items — such as software.
Land, buildings, or permanent fixtures.
Medical or dental devices.
Plus, not all damage and losses are covered. For example, AmEx won't approve a claim for damage to an item "purchased for play." So, you can't claim purchase protection if your baseball bat or hockey stick breaks. AmEx purchase protection also doesn't cover losses when the item isn't "reasonably safeguarded" — such as leaving it in an unlocked car or publicly unattended. Terms apply.
How to file an AmEx purchase protection claim
AmEx makes it easy to file a purchase protection claim on its website. To start the process, log into your AmEx account and go to the claims center page.
Click "file a claim" and select the card for which you're filing a claim, enter your date of purchase and click "continue."
Select "purchase protection" on the next page and continue the process.
AmEx purchase protection review
AmEx purchase protection is complimentary coverage provided on most AmEx cards that covers theft, loss and damage to eligible items within the first 90 days of purchase. Terms apply.
Like insurance, purchase protection is one of those things that you hope you never have to use. Check the details of your card's coverage to see if your incident is covered. Remember you need to provide a copy of the purchase receipt and file a Notice of Claim within 30 days of the loss or damage. Terms apply.
All information about Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet . Amex EveryDay® Credit Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
All information about The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.
All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
All information about Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card