One of the key benefits of The Platinum Card from American Express is the travel insurance that comes with it. It covers a lot of people – the cardholder, supplementary cardholders, their partners and dependent children under the age of 25, whether travelling together or alone and whether on business or leisure trips.
If you hand out your supplementary cards wisely, you can cover a lot of people. My Mum had a supplementary card on my account for many years until she reached 70, which is the cut-off point.
You are not FULLY covered however ….
Since the last ‘refresh’ of The Platinum Card, it has been necessary to pay with an American Express card in order to receive the full insurance coverage.
If you wanted to claim for any of the following:
- Cancelling, Postponing and Abandoning your Trip
- Cutting Short your Trip
- Travel Inconvenience
- Personal Belongings, Money and Travel Documents
- Purchase Protection
- Refund Protection
….. then it was necessary to have paid on an American Express card as long as the hotel or airline accepted it.
For medical and other ‘big stuff’, you are covered irrespective of how you paid for your trip. It is only claims under the categories above which require you to have used an American Express card.
But which card did you have to pay with?
This is the key bit.
The insurance policy USED to say that you could use:
“your consumer and small business cards issued by American Express in the UK, excluding corporate cards and any American Express cards issued by bank partners”
This meant that you could use ANY qualifying American Express card. A lot of Head for Points readers would pay on their British Airways American Express Premium Plus card because:
1.5 Avios per £1 is worth more than 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 on Platinum
the spend would count towards the £10,000 for the annual ‘2 for 1’ Avios voucher
British Airways spending charged to a BAPP card earns double points, so 3 Avios per £1
American Express has now changed the rules
Turn to page 6 and look at the definition of ‘Account’.
It says that you must now pay on The Platinum Card to be fully covered by the insurance. You will invalidate your claim if you pay with a British Airways American Express Premium Plus, or a Preferred Rewards Gold (which offers double points for airline spend and double points abroad), or a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (which offers double points at Marriott hotels).
IMPORTANT – as you’ve not been told, it doesn’t yet apply to you
According to the rules of the insurance, American Express has to give you 30 days notice of any changes. Whilst the new policy is in force for new cardholders, no existing cardholders have yet been notified of the change as far as I know.
Until you receive a letter, you have nothing to worry about. There is a chance that American Express will not change the terms for existing cardholders, although I consider that unlikely.
What is NOT clear to me is what happens to existing bookings. If you book a British Airways flight today on your Premium Plus Amex, purely because you know you will still be covered under the Platinum insurance, what happens if / when American Express gives you 30 days notice of the change? Is your existing trip still fully covered or will Amex impose the new rules?
Has American Express made any other changes to the insurance?
I don’t know. If / when we are officially notified of the changes to our own policies I would expect Amex to include a list of any other changes.
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