October 4, 2023

American Express Return Protection [2021 Guide]

American Express cards are typically considered premium credit cards. They include a lot of great…

American Express Return Protection [2021 Guide]

American Express cards are typically considered premium credit cards. They include a lot of great benefits, including rewards programs like the American Express rewards points. If you’re an American Express cardholder or plan to apply for a card in the future, you’ll be happy to know that many Amex cards include American Express return protection. This protection can give you greater confidence when shopping. Keep reading to understand what’s included with Amex return protection and to learn which Amex credit cards have this coverage.

What is Amex return protection?

Amex return protection is a benefit that is included with many American Express business or travel credit cards. This purchase protection offers reimbursement for eligible purchases made with certain Amex cards. If you try to return an item to a store within 90 days of purchase and the retailer will no longer take the item back, Amex will refund you the cost of the purchase.

This coverage is especially helpful because some retailers have short return policies of either 30 or 60 days, meaning you may not be able to return an item that you no longer want. Thanks to your Amex card, you can feel more confident when shopping, knowing that you have some added protection.


There are limitations in place for this kind of purchase protection. If your card includes American Express return protection, Amex will refund up to $300 per item, including shipping and handling charges. With this benefit, you’re able to claim up to a maximum of $1,000 in refunds per calendar year. The date is based on the date of purchase, not the year you filed the claim. You must have used an eligible card to purchase the item.

If the retailer has a return policy that is greater than or equal to the terms of Amex return protection and they provide coverage for your claims, you won’t be eligible for a refund from American Express. Additionally, if you do file an American Express return protection claim request, any product rebates, discounts, or money received from the lowest price comparison programs will be deducted from the original cost of the item.


Unfortunately, Amex return protection coverage won’t cover every purchase that you make. You must have purchased the items within the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Items must also be in working order and must be the original purchase — that means the item can’t be visibly used or defective.

Here is a list of items excluded from American Express return protection coverage:

  • Animals
  • Living plants
  • One-of-a-kind items (antiques, furs, etc.)
  • Limited edition items
  • Going-out-of-business sale items
  • Consumable or perishable items (food, perfume, light bulbs, etc.)
  • Jewelry (including watches)
  • Services and additional costs (warranties, installation costs, etc.)
  • Rare and precious coins
  • Purchased used and altered items (purchases from secondhand stores etc.)
  • Custom-built items
  • Compact discs, digital video discs, videotapes, etc.
  • Computer software
  • Firmware (console games, etc.)
  • Maps
  • Books, magazines, or periodicals of any kind
  • Healthcare items
  • Medical equipment
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Formal wear
  • Tickets of any kind
  • Motorized vehicles and motorized vehicle parts
  • Land, buildings, and fixtures
  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Negotiable instruments (stamps, travelers’ checks, etc.)
  • Cash and its equivalent (gift cards, gift certificates, etc.)
  • Items permanently affixed to a home, office, or vehicle (garage door openers, car alarms, etc.)
  • Seasonal items

If you’re unsure if a particular item will be covered by your card’s American Express return protection, it’s best to contact Amex customer service by calling 1-800-228-6855. A representative can verify the details of your coverage and answer any questions that you have.

Amex cards that offer return protection

The good news is many Amex cards include American Express return protection. It’s worth noting that all of these cards have an annual fee.

The following cards offer this protection:

How to file a return protection claim

If you have a premium Amex card with this benefit, it’s easy to file an Amex return protection claim. You’ll need to first check with the retailer to verify that they won’t accept a return. If the store doesn’t take the item back, then you’ll need to contact Amex within 90 days of the purchase date to notify a customer service representative of your request. You can make an official request by calling 1-800-228-6855.

After making the initial call, you’ll need to provide American Express with the following within 30 days of your call date:

  • A copy of the original store receipt
  • A copy of the American Express record of charge
  • Any other items deemed reasonable to process your request

Once your American Express return protection request is reviewed and proven to be eligible, you may need to send the item to Amex within 30 days for further evaluation. Keep a record of your shipping in case Amex doesn’t receive your item. If you’re asked to mail the item, American Express will reimburse you for the shipping costs.

Once you make a claim, you can verify the status of your claim by logging into your Amex account.

If you’re looking for one of the best credit cards, American Express gives you plenty of options to choose from. And if you’re not yet an Amex cardholder that has American Express return protection included in their card benefits, it may be time to apply for a new credit card.