4 Things to Know About AmEx Trip Cancellation Insurance

Several AmEx cards offer up to $10,000 in coverage for qualifying trip cancellations.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

As a card issuer, American Express is well-known for its generous benefits. So whether you’re looking for statement credits, elevated earnings on dining or hotel elite status, AmEx probably has a card that’ll fit.

Among these perks is travel insurance, which can cover you when things go awry. But how does AmEx trip cancellation insurance work, and what does it cover? Let’s take a look.

1. What does American Express trip cancellation insurance cover?

AmEx has different levels of trip insurance depending on the card you hold. Its high-end cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, provide the best benefits, including trip cancellation travel insurance. Terms apply.

Generally speaking, trip cancellation insurance from AmEx will cover your trip's prepaid, nonrefundable costs under eligible circumstances. The coverage maximum for reimbursement is $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per 12-month period. To be covered for trip cancellation, you’ll need to have paid the full amount of the trip with your eligible AmEx card or a combination of your card and other certificates, vouchers or miles.

Covered circumstances in which AmEx will reimburse you for trip cancellation include:

  1. Accidental injury, sickness or loss of life concerning you, a traveling companion or a family member.

  2. Inclement weather prevents you from traveling.

  3. A change in military orders for either you or your spouse.

  4. Hijacking or terrorist acts.

  5. Jury duty or a subpoena if they cannot be postponed or waived.

  6. If your dwelling becomes uninhabitable (e.g., your home catches fire).

  7. Quarantine as imposed by a doctor.

Finally, the trip must be round-trip, though the travel can consist of round-trip, one-way and open-jaw tickets. AmEx will reimburse more than your flight costs if you have a covered loss. Other types of purchases that AmEx will cover include:

  • Cruises.

  • Hotels.

  • Resorts.

  • Railroads.

  • Tours.

  • Any other common carriers.

Common carriers are companies licensed to transport passengers across land, sea or air and require passengers to obtain a ticket before travel. This means rental cars, taxis, ride-share, and commuter travel services don’t qualify. However, tickets for regular bus lines, commercial airlines and standard rail lines do.

Be aware that AmEx’s trip cancellation insurance is secondary; it’ll pay out after other insurance and providers have made their payments.

Earn up to 120,000 bonus points with our favorite American Express cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Express credit cards and find the right card for you.

2. Which AmEx cards include trip cancellation insurance?

We’ve already mentioned The Platinum Card® from American Express as one that provides trip cancellation insurance, but there are plenty of others that do so as well.

These include both consumer and small business cards, such as the:

Terms apply.

Other AmEx cards have different types of travel insurance, including trip delay reimbursement, rental car insurance and lost luggage compensation.

3. Who is covered?

When using your eligible AmEx card to pay for your travel, you’re not the only person covered by trip cancellation insurance. These benefits likewise cover you, your family members and any traveling companions.

American Express defines family members as your domestic partner, spouse or unmarried child up to the age of 19 (or under the age of 26 if your child is a full-time college student). Traveling companions are those who have made advanced arrangements with you or your family to travel together.

4. How to file a claim

To file a claim for reimbursement through AmEx’s trip cancellation insurance coverage, you’ll need to notify your benefits administrator. This must be done within 60 days of the covered loss or you’ll run the risk of your claim not being honored.

To contact your benefits administrator and open a claim, call 844-933-0648.

You’ll also need to complete the cancellation procedures for your travel provider. For example, if you’ve booked a flight with, say, Delta Air Lines, you’ll want to navigate Delta’s website to be sure that your ticket has been appropriately canceled.

You’ll then need to furnish written proof of your loss within 180 days of its occurrence. Gather various paperwork, such as:

  • Copies of your common carrier and travel supplier receipts.

  • Your card statement showing that you used your AmEx card to pay for the trip.

  • A copy of the travel supplier’s cancellation policy.

  • Proof of your covered loss; this may include military orders, a note from your physician or jury duty.

🤓Nerdy Tip

AmEx might extend the deadline for documentation up to one year after your loss if it isn't possible for you to provide it in a timely manner.

AmEx may require other paperwork depending on your situation, but you'll want to coordinate with your benefits administrator to see if this is necessary.

Trip cancellation insurance from AmEx recapped

AmEx's high-end credit cards provide many benefits, including the protection of trip cancellation insurance. To be eligible for coverage, you'll need to use your card to pay for a covered trip. You'll also need to have a qualifying reason for cancellation.

AmEx will pay you up to $10,000 in losses for approved claims.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

All information about the Business Centurion Card from American Express, Centurion Card From American Express, The American Express Platinum Card for Schwab, The Corporate Platinum Card, The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial, The Platinum Card from American Express for Goldman Sachs, The Platinum Card from American Express for Morgan Stanley and The Corporate Centurion Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. These cards are 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 2024, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.