Last August, I wrote a piece about how American Express Platinum travel insurance had paid out for a medical bill we incurred in Singapore. This was the third time that Amex had paid me over the years – and on every occasion I had failed to follow the rules about what to do if you need medical attention.
I wrote in that article that:
“I can’t remember ever hearing of someone who was given a hard time by them over a claim”
Predictably, a number of Head for Points readers then came forward to say that, in fact, AXA had given them a very hard time processing a claim on their Platinum Card insurance.
Just after New Year, I needed to make a claim on the car hire part of the insurance. To spoil the suspense, I will tell you that AXA / Amex agreed my claim very quickly and the full sum is now in my bank account.
First, some background.
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 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.)
The car hire part of the insurance has no restrictions, however. The insurance brochure is very clear – you can ignore anything that the car hire company tries to sell you. Irrespective of how you pay for your rental, you are covered.
Just after New Year, we hired a car for three days to head out to a countryside hotel as the kids were not due back in school until 6th January.
When the car was returned, Hertz claimed that there was a scratch to the alloys on one of the wheels. This was true. Whether it was there originally or not is a different question – I do not check rental cars to that level of detail and the car was picked up from the windowless basement of a multi-storey carpark – but to be fair to Hertz this would not be atypical of the way I drive ….
On the other hand, this was the same branch of Hertz where an employee asked me for a £50 bribe or he would claim that some old damage on the car, not on the original report, was fresh. He doesn’t work for Hertz any more.
I was fairly convinced Amex would pay so I dropped into ‘couldn’t give a ****’ mode. This was quite amusing, at least for me, as the staff clearly expected me to put up a big fight and could not understand why I signed off everything they gave me without comment, negotiation, complaint or question.
Finding the online claim form for car insurance damage was tricky. However, once I had tracked it down, it was easy to fill in the details. The only annoying aspect was that Amex wanted a copy of my driving licence. One trip to Ryman later and I had a little package for the post box consisting of the claim form (printed from the website), the Hertz bill, the rental agreement and my licence.
I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks, until I received an email saying that my claim (£103) would be met in full. The money turned up about 10 days later.
Overall, the claims process was very smooth and went off without a glitch. AXA accepted my claim without question (although it would be hard to deny a claim, given the wording of the policy) and paid promptly.
The moral of the story? The Amex Platinum car hire insurance does what it promises it will do. Which, in the world of insurance, is not always the case ….
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit 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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
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: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.