The post is updated with new information on a regular basis.

It is important to consider more than points and miles when choosing a rewards card. Card issuers try to set their products apart from the competition by offering incentives such as welcome bonuses, but sometimes the less- flashy benefits can be even more valuable.

I will explain how you can save money by using the shopping protection policies on American Express cards.

There are shopping protections on American Express cards.

Purchase protection

You will be reimbursed for theft, loss or accidental damage to eligible items that occurred within 90 days of purchase. If you charge a portion of your purchase to your American Express card, you can be eligible, but only if you pay the full amount to your card.

unhappy asian chinese woman holding broken ceramic teapot from online shopping a living room

You are covered for up to $1,000 per covered incident and up to $50,000 per year, but the reimbursement doesn't include shipping or handling expenses. Premium cards cover your purchases for up to $10,000 per incident with the same limit of up to $50,000 per year.

There are cards with higher levels of coverage.

The information for the cards has been collected by a third party. The card issuer did not review or provide the card details on this page.

Eligibility and benefits vary by card. There are terms and conditions. For more information, visit american guide. The policies are written by an insurance company.

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The devil is always in the details when it comes to insurance policies. You need to purchase an item that is eligible for coverage and the loss can't be due to an excluded reason.

What’s excluded?

The following are not allowed to be covered.

  • Unconditional satisfaction guarantee.
  • Damage through altercation or modifications.
  • Animals or living plants.
  • One-of-a-kind items, such as rare stamps and coins.
  • Consumable or perishable items such as perfume, light bulbs and batteries.
  • Negotiable instruments including travelers' checks and gift cards.
  • Items that are rented, leased or borrowed.
  • Motorized vehicles, parts and accessories.
  • Anything purchased for resale or commercial use.
  • Permanent household items such as carpet, flooring, air conditioners and refrigerators.
  • Land or buildings.
  • More than one article in a pair or set.
  • Downloadable services.
  • Items voluntarily or involuntarily discarded.
  • Medical or dental equipment or devices.
  • Indirect or direct damage to an item or property resulting from a covered event.
  • Items purchased for professional or commercial use such as education, training or skills.

Loss or damage is not included due to any of the reasons.

  • Riots.
  • Illegal activity.
  • War, acts of war or service in the military.
  • Normal wear and tear.
  • Damage through alteration.
  • Items not being safeguarded or left at an unlocked location.
  • Items seized by a government authority.
  • Items left in someone else's control.
  • Simply losing or misplacing the purchase (although the policies for the Delta Reserve, Delta Reserve Business, Hilton Aspire and all consumer versions of the Amex Platinum Card do cover lost or misplaced items).

There is a maximum protection of $500. The policies of your American Express card can be found on this page.

Credit cards with purchase protection are related.

How to file a claim

You have to file a claim within 30 days of the loss, or you will be fined. An original store receipt is required. A copy of a police report is required in the event of theft. If you're asked to send in a damaged item or a picture for proof of loss, be sure to keep all of these until the claim is resolved.

To file a claim you must provide an original store receipt, and, in the event of theft, a copy of a police report. ALUXUM/GETTY IMAGES

Return protection

Purchase protection covers items you want to keep, and return protection covers items you don't want to keep.

At the beginning of 2020, American Express removed this perk from most of its cards. This benefit is still offered by some cards.

The points guy collected the information for the cards. The card issuer did not review or provide the card details on this page.

When a store won't accept an eligible item for return within 90 days of purchase, this benefit can be used. Amex will give back the entire purchase price up to $300 per item. There is a limit to the benefit. You must pay for the entire cost of the item with your eligible American Express card in order to be eligible.

Eligibility and benefits vary by card. There are terms and conditions. For more information, visit american guide.

What’s excluded?

The purchase must be made in the US and the merchant must have denied the return before.

There are some items that are not included in this policy.

  • Animals and living plants.
  • Seasonal items.
  • One-of-a-kind items, such as antiques and artwork, or limited-edition items.
  • Going-out-of-business sale items.
  • Consumable or perishable items like food and batteries.
  • Jewelry and watches.
  • Services and additional costs, such as installation charges, warranties, shipping, handling and memberships.
  • Rare and precious coins.
  • Purchased used and/or altered items.
  • Custom-built items.
  • Compact discs, digital video discs, mini discs, audiotapes and videotapes.
  • Computer software.
  • Firmware, such as console games.
  • Maps.
  • Books, magazines or periodicals of any kind.
  • Health care items and/or medical equipment.
  • Personal hygiene items or any devices (medical or nonmedical) that have been personally used and could be considered a health risk to others.
  • Formalwear.
  • Tickets of any kind.
  • Motorized vehicles, their parts and accessories as well as those parts and accessories intended for use with the motorized vehicles.
  • Land, buildings and fixtures.
  • Firearms and ammunition.
  • Negotiable instruments, such as stamps and travelers' checks.
  • Cash and its equivalent (including, but not limited to, gift cards and gift certificates).
  • Items permanently affixed to a home, office, vehicles, etc.
  • Seasonal items like holiday decor.

The entire return protection policy can be found here.

How to file a claim

You have to file a claim within 90 days of your purchase. You will be asked for a copy of the receipt. Hang onto the item until your claim is resolved, as you may be asked to return it.

Extended warranty coverage

An extra year can be added to the manufacturer's warranty when you buy an item with a warranty. Amex has an extended warranty perk.


The same amount of coverage is provided by all American Express cards. The actual purchase amount is not covered by the extended warranty period. There is a maximum amount of coverage for each item.

This benefit is offered by dozens of cards. The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the more popular Amex cards that offers extended warranty coverage. You can see all the cards here.

The points guy collected the information for the Amex Green Card. The card issuer did not review or provide the card details on this page.

Eligibility and benefits vary by card. There are terms and conditions. For more information, visit american guide. The policies are written by an insurance company.

The extended warranty doesn't cover these things.

  • Products covered by an unconditional satisfaction guarantee.
  • Motorized vehicles and parts.
  • Business fixtures including air conditioners, refrigerators and heaters.
  • Land or buildings.
  • Consumable or perishable items.
  • Animals or living plants.
  • Items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use.
  • Items that are rented, leased or borrowed.
  • One-of-a-kind or used items.

Natural disasters, alterations or modifications, power surge, war or acts of war are not covered by coverage. There is a full extended warranty policy for each card.

How to file a claim

You need to file a claim within 30 days of your covered loss. You will be asked for a copy of the receipt and purchase record. You can be asked to return the item to Amex if it can't be repaired or if there is a proof of loss.

Credit cards for extended warranties are related.

Amex shopping protection policies in action

It is easy to write off these policies as being too much of a hassle. I have filed two claims with Amex in the past and I was surprised at how easy the process was.

The child's seat was supposed to fit on my bike's handlebars, but it didn't. When I received it, I thought it was a good idea, but I realized it was too dangerous for my daughter and I didn't want to use it. I filed a return protection claim with Amex because I was outside of the store's 30-day return policy. I received a statement credit for my purchase after the claim was accepted.


After buying a computer part that failed about a year and a half later, I was able to use the benefits. I filled out an online claim form once again because the manufacturer was unwilling to repair or replace it. I received a statement credit for the purchase price after my claim was accepted. I was not told to return the items.

How to get the most benefit from these policies

The right card is the first thing you need. I think it is a good idea to take these protections into account when you make a large purchase. Even if it means sacrificing bonus points, I always use my Amex card when I buy a television, computer, or major appliance that can be costly to repair.

I don't save a copy of the register receipt from every purchase, I'm just not that organized It is easy to find a receipt for everything I have bought online. If that doesn't happen, I can search my order history at other online retailers. You can now get a receipt from the register at many brick-and- mortar retailers. I was able to file my Amex claims quickly thanks to these online records. It is easy to take a photo of a receipt and keep it in the cloud for a long time.

Credit cards with price protection are related.

Bottom line

Lounge access, free checked bags, and companion tickets are some of the benefits of travel rewards cards. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you take advantage of the shopping protection policies offered by most American Express cards.

Ryan Smith reported additional information.