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The old advertising slogan, “Don't leave home without it,” still applies to the American Express card.
While the card has built up a reputation over the years for offering good rewards and its customer service, especially the concierge service is renowned, the slogan has another meaning, too.
American Express is a great card to have if you get in a bind while you're traveling, domestically or across the world. Here are just a few examples of the emergency benefits available for American Express Cardmembers.
At the heart of these emergency travel services are American Express's 2,200 Travel Service locations worldwide. If you're in a fix, and need help (even if it's not a problem listed here) call or stop by -- American Express may be able to help you.
Emergency Benefits Offered By American Express
Emergency Check Cashing Privileges - Need to cash a check but no branches of your bank to be found? American Express lets you cash checks at any one of their Travel Services locations.
Emergency Hotel Check-In - Lost your credit card at the airport? Forgot it at home? Wallet stolen? You can still check in to the hotel at your destination and charge the stay to your American Express card.
Emergency Cash Access - If your credit card is lost or stolen while you're on the road, American Express offers emergency cash wire service through the Travel Services locations. American Express can also report all your Cards stolen with one phone call. (Provided they are all issued by American Express).
Replacement Card Service - Of course, if your American Express card is lost or stolen, the company will send you a replacement right away. Overnight fees may apply for Express service.
Roadside Assistance - Wherever you are in the U.S. or Canada, American Express offers free Roadside Assistance for towing services, (up to $50) locked key retrieval, flat tire replacement, and emergency fuel delivery. If you're paying for other roadside assistance through your insurance company or a third party, you can cancel it -- it's included with your American Express CardMembership.
Global Assist Hotline - For anything not covered in the list above, American Express has the Global Assist Hotline. The Global Assist Hotline helps with a variety of things when you're traveling more than 100 miles away from home, including doctor and lawyer referrals, paid translation services, prescription replacement assistance, and more.
American Express Platinum Benefits
The American Express Platinum Card offers even more emergency benefits than its Gold “baby brother.”
Some of these benefits, including trip cancellation coverage, are available with the gold card for an added fee. But they are included with Membership with a Platinum card.
If you are debating which American Express card to get, you might want to weigh the usefulness of these benefits with the difference in the annual fee between the Gold and Platinum card.
Travel cancellation coverage - Not all emergencies happen while you're on the road. If your trip is canceled, and you booked your travel with your American Express Platinum card, Amex will reimburse you $1,500 per insured persons to a maximum coverage up to $3,000 for all insured persons combined.
Beware, not all canceled trips are covered, but trips canceled due to medical reasons or death should be covered.
InRoom MD Service - This is a unique benefit for Platinum card holders. It can be hard to find a doctor if you need one when you're away from home. When you're traveling within the U.S. and in need of medical services, you can get physician telephone consultations; “house call” visits; express emergency care triage, replacement eyewear, medication and prescriptions; dental and chiropractic care, medical specialist referrals, and durable medical equipment rentals.
(Fees may apply. House call visits are only available in certain markets).
Flight and Baggage Delay Coverage - When your flight's delayed more than four hours -- or your bags don't arrive where you are, and they stay missing for more than six hours -- American Express will foot the bill up to $1000. Your Card will pay for reasonable hotel, restaurant and sundry item expenses that you need to make your flight delay more comfortable. If your luggage is delayed or lost, American Express will pay for essential clothing and other necessary items.
(Maximum combined coverage is $1000 per trip).
Hotel Burglary Insurance - If your hotel room is broken into, American Express will cover the theft of your personal items up to $1000, excluding cash.