American Express (also called AMEX) is one of the best known names in credit cards worldwide, but you don’t need to have an American Express credit card to buy American Express travel insurance.

In this article, we review American Express’ stand-alone travel insurance policies. If you’re interested in travel insurance perks that come with an American Express credit card, check out our American Express Canada Credit Card Review.

American Express offers top-up credit card travel insurance through the travel insurance policies we review in this article.

Policies and coverage can change at any time, without warning. This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.

Advantages

  • Easy to use online quote system
  • Clear, easy to understand comparison of travel insurance plans before you buy
  • A wide range of policies, and easy to understand descriptions of the differences

Disadvantages

  • There’s a rather complicated scheduled of pre-existing condition exclusions. The length of your stability period for pre-existing conditions depends on your age, whether you’ve completed a medical questionnaire, your answers to the medical questionnaire, and your specific policy. You’ll need to read your policy carefully to determine your pre-existing condition exclusions.
  • AMEX does not offer plans for visitors to Canada or plans for special student plans.

Overview

American Express has two main types of travel insurance policies: single trip and multi-trip (annual). For both the single trip and multi-trip annual policies they offer four levels of plans:

  • Basic Medical (with emergency medical travel insurance only)
  • Essential Travel (which includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss, but DOES NOT INCLUDE trip cancellation)
  • Select Travel (which includes trip interruption and baggage loss, AND trip cancellation, but DOES NOT INCLUDE emergency medical insurance)
  • Ultimate Travel (which includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss, and trip cancellation)

AMEX also offers Credit Card Top Up insurance.

Basic Medical Single Trip Plan

This plan is aimed at people who intend to travel once a year. The plan includes numerous emergency medical insurance only, and does not include trip cancellation, trip interruption or baggage insurance.

Essential Travel/Medical Single Trip Plan

This plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage insurance. It does not does not include trip cancellation insurance, and covers you for one trip only.

Select Travel Single Trip Plan

The Select Single Trip Plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss, but does not include emergency medical insurance.

Ultimate Travel/Medical Single Trip Plan

This plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss and trip cancellation. It is usually the most expensive of the AMEX single trip plans.

Basic Medical Multi-Trip (Annual) Plan

This AMEX plan is for travelers who take more than one trip in an a year. It includes numerous emergency medical insurance over unlimited trips in a single year, but does not include trip cancellation, trip interruption or baggage insurance.

Essential Travel/Medical Multi-Trip (Annual) Plan

This plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage insurance. It does not does not include trip cancellation insurance, and covers you for unlimited trips in a single year.

Select Travel Multi-Trip (Annual) Plan

The Select Annual Multi-Trip Plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss, but does not include emergency medical insurance. This plan covers you for unlimited trips in a single year.

Ultimate Travel/Medical Multi-Trip (Annual) Plan

This plan includes emergency medical insurance, trip interruption and baggage loss and trip cancellation. It is usually the most expensive of the AMEX multi-trip plans, and covers you for unlimited trips in a single year.

Credit Card Top Up Insurance Plan

You can get additional AMEX Travel Insurance in addition to your existing coverage that you may have on your American Express Card for you, your spouse, and dependent children.

You’ll need to call the Enrollment Centre at 1 866 292 5234 to arrange for additional coverage.

Comparison Chart for American Express Travel Insurance Plans

PlanMedical Insurance CoverageDeductibleTrip Cancellation and InterruptionBaggageMaximum Age and Maximum Length of Coverage
Basic Medical Single Trip planUnlimited0 No age limit but person age 60-74 and travelling more than 15 days, or person age 75 and older must complete a medical health questionnaire.

Trip length maximum 212 days for residents of Ontario and 183 days for residents of others in Canada
Essential Travel/Medical Single Trip plan 0Trip cancellation (prior to departure) is not available
Trip interruption (after departure): up to $1,500 per person
Up to $1,000 per tripNo age limit but person age 60-74 and travelling more than 15 days, or person age 75 and older must complete a medical health questionnaire.

Trip length maximum 212 days for residents of Ontario and 183 days for residents of others is Canada
Select Travel Single Trip planUnlimited0Trip cancellation (prior to departure): Up to sum insured.
Trip interruption (after departure): Up to $1,500 per person
Up to $1,000 per tripNo age limit.

Trip length maximum 212 days for residents of Ontario and 183 days for residents of others in Canada
Ultimate Travel/Medical Single Trip planUnlimited0Trip cancellation (prior to departure): up to the sum insured
Trip interruption (after departure): up to $1,500 per person
Up to $1,000 per tripMax. age 74 years old.

Trip length maximum 212 days for residents of Ontario and 183 days for residents of others is Canada
Basic Medical Multi-trip planUnlimited0 Max. age 74 years old and person aged 60 or older must complete a medical health questionnaire.

Trip length 10 or 31 days.
Essential Travel/Medical Multi-trip plan 0Trip cancellation (prior to departure) is not available
Trip interruption (after departure): up to $1,500 per person and maximum $10,000 per year
Up to $1,000 per tripMax. age 74 years old and person aged 60 or older must complete a medical health questionnaire.

Trip length 10 or 31 days
Select Travel Multi-trip planUnlimited0Trip cancellation (prior to departure): up to sum insured
Trip interruption (after departure): up to $1,500 per person and maximum $10,000 per year
Up to $1,000 per tripMax. age 74 years old.

Trip length 10 or 31 days
Ultimate Travel/Medical Multi-trip planUnlimited0Trip cancellation (prior to departure): up to sum insured
Trip cancellation (prior to departure): up to sum insured
Trip interruption (after departure): up to $1,500 per person and maximum $10,000 per year
$Up to $1,000 per tripMax. age 74 years old.

Trip length 10 or 31

Tips for Saving with American Express Travel Insurance

  • Special rates are available for families of 3 or more for all plans
  • If you travel more than once a year, a multi-trip plan may save you money.

Refunds

You may cancel your insurance contract at any time but after the 10-day delay, penalties may apply. However, for many plans, refunds are not available after the effective date of the contract. You’ll need to look at your specific policy for details.

You Need to Know

  • Travellers over the age of 75 can’t buy online, and need to cll the enrollment centre at 1-866-625-3514.
  • American Express travel insurance is underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada. In Quebec, certain coverages are underwritten by RBC General Insurance Company.
  • You must have a Canadian Government health insurance plan and be a resident of Canada.
  • You must purchase these plans before you leave on your trip. If you’ve already departed, World Nomads offers policies to traveler’s who’ve already started their trip.
  • Policies and coverage can change at any time, without warning. This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.

How to Buy

You can buy American Express  travel insurance online, by telephone at the AMEX Travel Insurance Enrollment Centre at 1 866 625-3514 (6 a.m. to midnight, EST 7 days a week).

Want to Compare American Express’ Rates and Plans?

If you’d like to compare American Express plans and policies with other travel insurance companies, the quickest way is to get a few comparison quotes.

Comparison websites, like Kanetix.ca, let you compare quotes for travel insurance from several different companies at once. You type in a few details about your trip, and compare policy coverage and prices to help narrow down your choice. Check out our review of Kanetix.ca.

*As always, the information in this post is from one Canadian traveller to another and please remember, we are not travel insurance agents. We have just spent years abroad and have gotten to know the ins and outs of the industry. If you have any travel insurance questions, please talk to a qualified travel insurance agent or broker. Finally, insurance plans can and do change all the time so always consult your insurance policy since that is the legal document to which you are agreeing to.