Amex made some nasty changes to the insurance on the Platinum card in January 2012. What was comprehensive, no-worries cover became a bit of a game, with flights and hotel required to have been paid on an Amex card in order to qualify for some of the smaller benefits. The upper age limit also dropped from 80 to 70 which meant that my Mum’s supplementary card on my account was now useless.
It is worth noting that Amex never changed the insurance on the Business Platinum charge card. This has an identical annual fee and very similar benefits. If you value the travel insurance benefits of Platinum and have your own business, you may want to consider switching to Business Platinum.
Back in 2012, when we were in Barbados, our then 1-year old son vomited badly for a day and we had him seen by the resident hotel doctor. We did not get this pre-approved by Axa (Amex’s insurance partner), which is a pre-condition for repayment. I had deleted all my e-ticket receipts by the time I submitted the claim, and the claim itself was a scruffy receipt torn from a standard receipt book, available in any stationers, with B$450 written on it (c £150) and rubber stamped with the doctor’s name.
Not exactly great proof – all that I sent Amex was that receipt. Amex paid in full.
When we were in Singapore in May, something similar happened. Our now 4-year old son developed a temperature. At the suggestion of our hotel, we headed down to (sic) Raffles Hospital. This was a great deal – we got seen immediately and the cost of a consultation and a selection of medicines was just £85.
When we got back to London, my wife tried to claim the money from her corporate BUPA policy but that carried a high excess. I then submitted a claim to Amex. The whole claims process can now be done online – it took about 10 minutes to fill in the form and I attached a photograph of our receipt taken on my iPhone.
Again, Amex would have been perfectly within their rights to deny my claim because we had not sought pre-authorisation and we had not used one of their recommended hospitals.
Instead, I got an email yesterday saying that my claim will be paid in full. There are no excesses with Amex’s coverage so I receive the full £85. It took 8-9 working days to receive this email from the day I submitted the claim.
My history with Amex insurance is not unique. I can’t remember ever hearing of someone who was given a hard time by them over a claim. I don’t know if they behave differently if you buy stand-alone travel insurance from them, but for Platinum charge card holders it is a decent benefit.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.
Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.