4 Big Changes Coming to Your American Express Card in 2020

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American Express credit card in wallet
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American Express is making some big changes across all of its credit cards just in time for the new year.

These Amex Card Benefits Are Being Reduced or Eliminated in 2020

American Express is now notifying customers that the following credit card benefits will be going away or dialed back effective January 1, 2020:

Roadside Assistance Hotline

This benefit let American Express establish a 24-hour dispatch hotline to assist you in the event you needed a tow if your vehicle broke down or a locksmith if you were locked out of your vehicle.

As such, it provided a nice alternative to using roadside assistance through your insurer. That’s something that money expert Clark Howard strongly discourages people from doing — for a reason you might not expect.

However, beginning January 1, 2020, the Roadside Assistance Hotline will be going away. You can still continue to use this service through December 31, 2019.

Travel Accident Insurance

This policy offered to pay up to $100,000 if you lost life or limb during a trip. Of course, you had to book the travel with your American Express card to invoke the coverage.

But effective January 1, 2020, Travel Accident Insurance coverage is no longer available. Future travel purchases after that date will not be eligible for this coverage.

However, any eligible travel purchases you make prior to the first of the new year still will be covered. This policy is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company and Tokio Marine Pacific.

Purchase Protection

Rather than going away entirely, Purchase Protection is being reduced in length. After January 1, 2020, any purchases you make will only receive 90 days of protection — down from 120 days for most customers previously.

This coverage protects your eligible purchases if they are stolen, damaged or lost. However, that last condition (loss) is a benefit only extended to certain cardmembers*.

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* Platinum Card®, Delta Reserve®, Premier Rewards Gold, Gold Card, and Ameriprise Gold Card Members

Extended Warranty 

Changes are also coming to extended warranty coverage for purchases made on or after January 1, 2020:

  • For purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of less than one year, Amex will match that length.
  • For purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of between one and five years, Amex will increase coverage for one additional year.

The following applies to purchases made on or after August 1, 2018 but prior to January 1, 2020:

  • For purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of less than two years, Amex will match that length.
  • For purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of between two and five years, Amex will increase coverage for two additional years.

Final Thought

Credit card issuers are increasingly trimming back benefits for cardholders. We recently told you in September 2019 about similar moves by Citi. The year before that, it was Discover and others.

The point is that the benefits your credit cards come with could be here today and gone tomorrow. That’s out of your control. But what is within your power is to make sure you pay your credit card bill in full each and every month.

Not only will doing that save you money on interest charges, it will help boost your credit score, too!

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