American Express Purchase Protection

Last Reviewed: 5/5/2012

If you have loads of money (like Paul Allen), you could hire a team of Navy Seals to follow you around and protect your every purchase (and look really cool in clubs). But there may be an easier way.

In our ongoing series dealing with American Express benefits, today we’re covering the world-famous American Express Purchase Protection feature. This is a benefit that users often mentally associate with Amex charge cards (ie the Amex Gold Card), and one that Amex has based a number of its commercials on in the past.

General Points Regarding American Express Purchase Protection

  • Amex purchase protection covers your purchases for 90 days from the date of purchase, assuming you have charged some portion of the purchase price of the item in question using your Amex card. You can get reimbursed only for the portion of the purchase charged to your card.
  • You can get reimbursed up to $1,000 for any 1 specific covered incident, up to a maximum of $50,000 for all covered incidents during any given calendar year.

Exclusions to the Amex Purchase Protection Feature

As usual, there are a large number of exclusions to the purchase protection policy; while we won’t cover them all here in full detail, we’ll try to cover the ones we think are most likely to be useful to you (so we may skip “alien invasion” or “world destruction”).

  • Any act of war (so if a missle hits your new stereo system too bad!)
  • Violation of a criminal law.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Fraud or abuse by card holder.
  • Not being reasonably safeguarded by you (leaving your new purchase on your front porch for all to see!)
  • Theft by baggage not carried by you and not under your direct supervision.
  • Alteration of the product (including sawing, cutting, and shaping).
  • Normal wear on the product; product or manufacturers defects.
  • Damage or theft while in transport via a common carrier (“fell of the back of the truck”).
  • Lost or misplaced.

Purchases Not Covered by Amex Purchase Protection

Here’s where it gets really fun, and where you get really pissed off when you call up and your “inverted Jenny” rare stamp gets stolen and Amex whips out their coverage carve-outs (come to think of it, I knew an inverted Jenny once;).

  • Cash or anything remotely resembling cash (gift cards, travelers checks)
  • Tickets of any kind!
  • Animals or living plants (somehow, dead plants might be covered??)
  • Rare stamps or coins
  • Consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (examples: perfume, light bulbs, batteries).
  • Antique or previously owned items (don’t get mugged coming back from that garage sale!)
  • Any kind of vehicle or transport with a motor (like that cool Land Cruiser that Luke Skywalker cruised around in)
  • Stolen or damaged property where part of the property is missing or damaged. Example: if you have a set of 3 bowling balls, and one of them is stolen, then you can only get reimbursed for the 1 missing ball, not all of them.
  • Household items of a permanent nature, like flooring, tiling, carpeting, etc.
  • Business-type fixtures including heaters, freezers, etc.
  • Hospital, medical and dental equipment.

Steps You Need to Take To Utilize Amex Purchase Protection

  • You’ll need to file a notice of claim within 30 days of the event (theft, damage, etc). You can provide the claim after the 30 day period as long as you can show that this was the earliest time you could obtain the notice.
  • You must also provide Proof of Loss to Amex. They will tell you exactly what information and documentation they require, and once they do, you have 30 days to get it to them.

If you are still awake and want to really, really get into the details, you can check out the full terms of the Amex Purchase Protection Policy here.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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