Key takeaways

  • Most people are familiar with the generous rewards you can earn with American Express credit cards, yet the card issuer also offers perks that are easy to overlook.
  • Some Amex cards feature free shipping, travel insurance benefits, concierge services and even automatic elite status with hotel loyalty programs.
  • Since Amex credit cards all offer their own unique features and perks, however, you'll want to read over your card's terms and conditions to know what you qualify for.
  • The Amex credit cards with the most benefits include the issuer’s premium card products, including the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

American Express credit cards are known for offering exceptional customer service, and the stats prove it. In fact, the issuer earned the top spot for the fourth year running in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which ranked the opinions of 31,418 credit card customers from August 2022 through June 2023.

And while American Express offers a range of popular cash back credit cards, including the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, many consumers are rightly obsessed with cards that earn points in the American Express Membership Rewards program. After all, these flexible points offer multiple redemption options including gift cards, merchandise, travel through and even point transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners.

That said, some American Express credit cards offer even more benefits you may not know about. Here’s a rundown of some surprising Amex perks you can qualify for with the right credit card from this issuer.

Cell phone coverage

Some Amex credit cards offer cell phone protection that applies when you use your card to pay your phone bill each month. Cards that offer this coverage include options like The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, among others.

Regardless of which Amex card you have that offers this benefit, this protection is good for up to the replacement value of the phone, or up to $800 (a $50 deductible applies). Cardholders are also limited to just two claims per year.

Free shipping

Some Amex credit cards also come with a complimentary ShopRunner membership that affords cardholders free two-day shipping at eligible retailers. Members who sign up for this benefit can also qualify for free returns on eligible items. Eligible stores include Bloomingdales, Tory Burch, Cole Haan and more.

Benefits for foodies

Amex also offers a few benefits for foodies, although not all of their cards qualify. For example, a program called Resy gives eligible Amex cardholders access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences. Amex cards that offer this benefit include the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*.

Other foodie benefits you can qualify for include:

  • Credits for Uber Eats: Some Amex credit cards, including the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card, offer monthly credits that apply to both Uber rides and Uber Eats purchases.
  • Dining credits: The American Express® Gold Card also offers up to $120 in dining credits per year (given out in monthly increments of $10), toward purchases at Grubhub, the Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly,, Milk Bar and participating Shake Shack locations.

Consumer protections

Some American Express credit cards come with extended warranties that add additional warranty coverage to items that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, some cards also offer return protection that guarantees you can return an item within a specific period when the retailer won’t take it back.

For example, return protection offered with the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express refunds items (up to $300) when merchants won’t take them back within 90 days of purchase (a maximum of $1,000 of coverage in a 12-month period applies).

Travel perks

Several Amex credit cards offer a range of travel-related benefits that can make trips more comfortable or luxurious. Note, however, that not all Amex credit cards offer travel benefits.

  • Airline incidental credits: The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express both offer up to $200 in airline incidental credits per year toward purchases like seat upgrades, checked baggage and in-flight wifi access. This benefit only applies to a qualifying airline that is elected by the cardholder ahead of time.
  • Airport lounge access: The Global Lounge Collection offered through premium Amex travel credit cards lets members access Priority Pass airport lounges, Amex Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when the cardholder flies with the airline.
  • CLEAR membership credit: Some Amex credit cards offer a fee credit to cover membership in the CLEAR airport security program. Both the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Green Card* offer this benefit.
  • Cruise Privilege Program: The Platinum Card® from American Express offers access to a Cruise Privileges Program that gives members $100 to $300 in onboard credit, as well as exclusive amenities when booking a cruise through the program.
  • Elite hotel status: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express give cardholders automatic Gold status within the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy programs.
  • Fee credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership: Some Amex credit cards offer a fee credit that applies to membership within Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Global Assist: This hotline lets eligible Amex cardholders get access to medical and legal referrals, translation assistance and more when they’re traveling far from home.

Travel protections

Like many other travel credit cards, eligible cards from Amex may offer travel insurance benefits to cardholders. The most common travel insurance perks available with Amex cards include:

  • Baggage insurance plan: This coverage can help you get reimbursement when your bags are lost or stolen while in the care of a common carrier like an airline or a cruise line. The amount of coverage you get varies by card, and you have to charge the cost of travel with the common carrier to your card for protection to apply.
  • Secondary auto rental coverage: Some Amex cards also offer secondary auto rental coverage that can apply after you utilize the limits on your primary insurance policy. That said, you can also purchase premium auto rental coverage through Amex as well.
  • Trip delay coverage: This coverage from Amex cards can reimburse you for expenses that occur when your trip is delayed for a long enough period of time, typically six or 12 hours. That said, the coverage amount and terms depend on the Amex card you have.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: This insurance coverage can help you get reimbursed for some or all of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs when your trip must be canceled or interrupted due to an illness or injury in your traveling party, a natural disaster or another covered issue. Coverage amounts vary by card type.

Statement credit offers

Both the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express have the most statement credit offers of all Amex credit cards.

As an example, the Platinum Card® from American Express comes with:

  • Up to $200 hotel credit for Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings (minimum two-night stay)
  • $200 airline incidentals credit (per calendar year)
  • $155 credit for Walmart+ membership ($12.95 plus applicable local sale taxes, subject to auto-renewal; available as a statement credit when you use your Platinum card to pay; Plus Up Benefits are excluded)
  • $240 digital entertainment credit (up to $20 in total statement credits per month) toward Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, ESPN+, SiriusXM and The New York Times subscriptions (enrollment required)
  • $200 Uber Cash ($15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December, available to basic cardmembers only; benefit renews annually)
  • $300 Equinox credit (enrollment required and subject to auto-renewal; see terms for details)
  • $189 credit for CLEAR membership (annually)
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 for January through June and $50 for July through December)

In the meantime, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers:

  • Up to $400 in credits toward Dell per year (up to $200 semi-annually)
  • Up to $360 in credits for Indeed annually (up to $90 back per quarter)
  • Up to $150 in credits toward Adobe
  • Up to $120 wireless telephone credit each year (up to $10 back per month)
  • $189 credit for CLEAR membership (annually)

Access to Amex Offers

Amex Offers is a program that applies to all credit cards from this issuer, and it’s incredibly easy to use. Essentially, Amex Offers let cardholders earn bonus points or get cash back for eligible purchases, and all they have to do is add eligible offers they’re interested in to their account ahead of time. In some cases, minimum spending requirements and other fine print apply.

Concierge services

Premium Amex credit cards come with concierge services that are available around the clock. This service can help cardholders with a range of requests, from making dinner reservations to getting tickets to a concert or event. Credit cards that come with concierge services from Amex offer this benefit for free.

Amex Pay It, Plan It

Amex Pay It, Plan It is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option that lets credit card customers pay for their purchases in a more intentional way. First off, Pay It lets users automatically pay off small purchases under $100 through the Amex app. Meanwhile, Plan It lets members move purchases of $100 or more into a payment plan with fixed monthly payments and no interest and only a nominal, fixed plan fee instead.

Amex Send & Split

Amex Send & Split enables consumers to use their Amex personal cards to send money or split purchases through the American Express app, and it works in conjunction with users who utilize Venmo and PayPal.

The “Send” component of this program lets you send money to Venmo and PayPal users using your credit card and the app, whereas the “Split” function lets you split pending or posted purchases (like a dinner tab) with Venmo or PayPal users, then get reimbursed to your card with a statement credit.

The bottom line

If you didn’t know American Express cards had so many benefits, you’re definitely not alone. After all, many of the cardholder perks these cards offer aren’t advertised to nearly the same degree as the rewards you can earn — you sometimes have to dig into the fine print to find them.

In any case, these Amex perks can make the issuer’s card products significantly more valuable, but only if you use them. Make sure to compare cards and read over all the perks and features so you can find the right fit for your needs.

*The information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Bankrate. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.