American Express Purchase Protection Perk

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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressDid you know that if you buy something with an American Express card and it’s lost, damaged, or stolen within the first 90 days, American Express may replace the item or reimburse you up to the amount of the purchase price? My friend Michelle just came back from a skiing trip with her family in which she managed to get an oil stain on her brand new ski jacket. She had no idea how it got there but she took it to the cleaners and they were unable to remove the stain.

Her husband remembered that their Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offered Purchase Protection and decided to give them a call. Why not right? As it turns out, they’re protected by a consumer protection most people forget about – American Express Purchase Protection.

How does it work? Use your AMEX card when you pay and you get 90 days of protection against accidental damage or theft. You file a claim and the protection replaces the item or reimburses you up to the amount of the purchase price. There’s a limit of $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per year. You can file an American Express claim online or call 1-800-322-1277 and you’ll be asked to provide proof of theft, accidental damage, or vandalism.

They were sent a claim form to fill out and needed to provide additional documentation such as receipt of purchase, AMEX statement with the purchase, and description of the damage. Had the jacket been stolen, instead of damaged, they would’ve had to include a police report as well.

American Express has a reputation, among merchants, of having the highest processing fees out of any of the issues. Not coincidentally, they offer some of the best consumer protections like return protection and purchase protection.

Her husband told me that they make most of their major purchases using their American Express card because of these types of protections. Between the 90 day product insurance and the doubling of the manufacturer’s warranty up to a year (which many issuers offer), there are two excellent reasons why I can see an AMEX beating out a comparable cash back card.

Every American Express card I looked at on their site included this Purchase Protection insurance policy and I totally forgot it existed. Have you ever used it? Heard of a friend who used it?

{ 80 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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80 Responses to “American Express Purchase Protection Perk”

  1. Venu says:

    I have recently lost laptop while touring GA. I purchased it using AMEX credit card. I was reading purchase protection claim form and found the following sentence. “Purchase Protection is EXCESS coverage to any other valid and collectible source of indemnity”. They are also asking for home owners policy number and agent details. Does this mean they file a claim on my home owners policy ? This may increase my home insurance premiums in future. Any suggestions ?

    • BOB says:

      No, they do not touch your homeowners policy. They just need to know your deductible. If you have a $500 ded and you lose an $800 item they pay $300. You do what you want after that.

      Unless you have one of their special cards LOSS is not covered anyway. Only theft and accidental damage.

  2. BOB says:

    I’m sure AMEX isn’t losing any money on this, it probably works as a tax loss for all the money they make.

    Probably less than 1% of card members use this benefit (who reads fine print), and they probably take a percent of a percent of each purchase and throw it into a fund. AMEX charges merchants hefty fees, no? I’m sure some gets kicked back into these programs.

    When people get a benefit paid like this they become a loyal lifetime card member, something all the advertising in the world can’t buy. They also tell others about this benefit and they become members. AMEX isn’t stupid. Believe me, if there were issues the program would be long gone. Its around for decades.

    The incidents I had they actually thanked me for making the claim and said don’t hesitate to make a valid claim in the future. I bought 2 LCDs that broke and the company went bankrupt and didn’t honor the warranty. AMEX stepped up to the plate and paid me for both. I never use any other card now except AMEX. So they essentially made a customer for life, and if you do the math it cost them nothing.

  3. jojo says:

    [Revised my previous comment when i came to know that all Visa’s are not created equal]

    Stay away from British airways Chase visa purchase protection !!!

    It doesn’t cover accidental damage due to dropping etc

    Amex has a better policy !!!
    Visa is confusing as it is upto the bank to provide the benefits.

    Charles Schwab covers accidental damage due to dropping whereas chase does not !!!

    British Airways Visa has the following restrictions , very improbable situations
    From FAQ

    What items are covered by Purchase Security?
    Your eligible purchases are protected against damage due to the following:
    • Fire, smoke, explosion, riot, or vandalism.
    • Windstorm, lightning, hail, rain, sleet, or snow.
    • Aircraft, spacecraft, or other vehicles.
    • Theft (except from autos or motorized vehicles).
    • Accidental discharge of water or steam from household plumbing.
    • Sudden accidental damage from electric current. (This benefit does not apply to electronic

  4. Barbara says:

    I just put through a claim for an i-phone 4 lost or stolen in France. It was my son’s 21st birthday present and 4 days into a college trip it is gone. According to AMEX “Our records indicate your loss it a result of an item having been lost or misplaced and not due to a covered incident under the policy. My son was at the Louve and the phone was gone. He didn’t report it to the police because he was on a class trip and visiting the police in Paris wasn’t in the schedule. Any advice? It cost us $740.94 to replace the phone because we weren’t eligible for a new phone.

  5. Simon says:

    Re AMEX protection, the definition of stolen is different from how you and I might define it. For example, if I put my cell phone (purchased using AMEX) down on a shelf in bookstore, leave the aisle and return a minute later to find the phone gone, that is not considered theft by AMEX. Your claim will be denied. If this ever happens to you be sure that you report that you did not leave the vicinity of the item for the claim to qualify as a theft and therefore be covered by the AMEX purchase protection plan.

  6. Xfactor says:

    Loss is covered for Amex Platinum and Centurian members.

  7. m johnson says:

    My daughter got a rescue Border Collie @ Christmas that has eaten at least 10 pairs of shoes, an ipod, and 2 volleyballs. most of the items were replaced by Amex purchase protection.I buy almost exclusively now on Amex. I have a box in the basement filled with the chewed up items in case I need to show them to Amex.

    • Erin says:

      Abuse of the policy like this is why Amex keeps raising their fees. The program is meant to cover accidental damage. When the same dog eats multiple pairs of shoes it is no longer an accident. Amex shouldn’t be expected to pay for this. I hope they cut you off.

  8. Richard says:

    They are incredible! Claim was approved within 12 hours with no additional documentation required. Did not require me to ship back my $500 phone!

    • sandip sangani says:

      Hello Richard

      what was your problem with phone. My phone is water damage and Google won’t cover in warranty since its water damage. what should i do. any idea. Did they ask you to send phone back to them?
      please reply me.

  9. sandy says:

    good luck getting paid on a claim from AMEX my kid had her ipod for 3 weeks when it was stolen at a park. AMEX said it item wasnt reasonably secure.

    • Brent says:

      I had the same problem, left a headset on my last air flight and was only 1 month old. After filing a claim I was denied because I did not safe guard or was reasonable secure. Seams like they can get out of about any loss with this explanation. If any help I called customer service and to cancel my card and gave me 25,000 miles to stay on so maybe can get something for your (loss).

  10. alex says:

    As Brent said, read the fine print. They can skirt this provision quite easily, IMO. For example, my wife’s phone was stolen at work recently. While she had it in a “safe” place, an area where employees leave their belongingg, her personal compartment did not have a lock on it. AMEX did not cover the purchase and had the gall to tell me this was not “theft”.

    Such is life. I’m moving on, but have a much lower opinion of AMEX because of this experience.

  11. Raj says:

    Wow that is sick.. I lost a phone while I was traveling in a local train while visiting India. It might have dropped from my pocket when I was getting on it. So how do I claim the loss so that they don’t come up with lame excuses that the item was not safe guarded properly?
    Should I say some one picked my pocket and it was theft? Any ideas greatly appreciated need help badly..

  12. Lui says:

    I used this policy one. We purchased a Flat Screen almost two years ago. A white line showed up at the top of the screen. I called, they asked questions about the price of the item and I didn’t have the reciept, she pulled it up on the system and subtracted the tax. And that was the amount they refunded my account. She said I was lucky, it was 15 days left and then it would have been out of the extended coverage. And I did not have to send the item to them either, but we just use it as a computer screen because the white line is annoying while watching tv.

  13. Jeff says:

    My son wore a brand new jacket ($120) while blowing some leaves with a gas blower…the jacket was against the engine and started melting….totally ruined and all our fault and AMEX covered it 100% with a phone call

  14. Marlene Dempster says:

    AMEX is awesome! My husband bought a new surfboard and took it to Sumatra where he promptly broke it in half. When he returned home , all he had to do was send amex a receipt and a picture of the severed board, and viola, they replaced the board!

  15. steve says:

    Amex blue does NOT cover loss as the author states. Their expensive cards do but not Blue.

    Additionally their online claim system gives you seven minutes to complete the claim. Then it asks if you want to continue to avoid a timeout. Even if you click YES it will log you out and you must start over. If you need to edit anything at the review s screen it will log you out. It took me six attempts to file a claim.

    So much for customer service. Shame on American Express for making it so difficult. I am not impressed with their service. I will post later to tell if they handle the claim fairly and ethically.

  16. Jarred says:

    I think what you’re describing is a problem with your web browser version and their website. This is a technical issue. Amex isn’t setting up their site to trick people into endless loops so they can never submit a claim. I am pretty sure this page would be full of claims like that vs praises.

    Use your head a bit more.

  17. Scott Auringer says:

    After reading several of the 73 Responses to “American Express Purchase Protection Perk” I have come to the conclusion that it must depend on the adjuster that is handling your case because some have received credit for their lost items and others like me have had no success. I was told that I should have filed a police report. My glasses were lost not stolen. I explained that over the phone and in writing. I don’t understand how they can get away with this false advertisement.
    I am looking at cancelling my card and going with someone else.

  18. mark S says:

    Bought a expensive jacket, 3K and spilled drink on it, stain is really bad. Its on a platinum less than 90days. Will they cover this?

    • Jim says:

      Call them and find out!

    • Sara Hall says:

      A 3 thousand dollar jacket? Just buy another one. In fact, I’ve got a 1 thousand dollar coffee mug I will sell you. And a 2 thousand dollar poncho to keep your jacket from getting wet again.

  19. D T says:

    A loss is only covered by AMEX PLATINUM and CENTURION. If you try to claim loss using any other card you will be denied.

    I lost my pair of prescription eyeglasses after leaving them on a flight after deboarding. I had bought them on my platinum card, claimed it as a loss (on the Platinum) and got it refunded so I could buy another pair.

    On a Starwood AMEX I bought a phone. I dropped it while trying to make a call and it started to malfunction. I claimed it as an accident and I got it refunded so I could get another phone.

    Each incident just happened shortly before the 90 day window of purchase. I’ve been with Amex since 1995 – love their cards and programs. The benefits are there to use so use them (but don’t abuse them!)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Lost my new iPhone while I was working , assumed some took it, called Amex next day and got my credit back ($400) in 2 days 🙂

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