Don’t Use Any Other Amex Card for Medical Evacuation

Yesterday I covered credit cards with medical evacuation insurance, including the Amex Platinum (personal and business versions).

Amex includes this coverage as part of its Premium Global Assist program. Every Amex card has some flavor of this, and you can see the benefits for specific cards here.

You’ll see medical evacuation throughout, with one big catch: you have to pay!

The Platinum card says, “A medical evacuation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member from point of illness or injury (when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility) to a more appropriate medical facility or to a hospital near the person’s home as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician.”

Let’s look at the Green card, “The Card Member is responsible for all costs associated with any transport.” In a bind, the coordination and expertise Premium Global Assist may be valuable, however you get the bill for the evacuation.

Amex Global Assist Cards

Even cards such as the Delta Reserve and the Premier Rewards card put the card member on the hook for costs. I may have overlooked an exception.

The only Platinum card that also makes you pay is the old Platinum Optima card, no longer open to new applicants.

Check your card’s coverage here.

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  • What about if you are a secondary cardholder of this card? Are you considered a Card Member?

  • That AmEx page doesn’t mention Centurion – any idea on the Evacuation benefits there?

  • Levy Flight

    After your prior post I spent time on tje phone with Global Assist and medical team folks – I am off to Papua next month. Upshot is that this is handy coverage. Important is that you call global assist before arranging medicac. They will assess and then make arrangements. Usually, you need to have a medic talk with them to determine whether you need moving to another facility. So you need to make it to a phasician first. This is not always the case though. if you are out there and say bitten by a snake then them medical team will make a determination over the phone based upin description and symptoms. For Papua, we looked at where he,p might come from and they had 6 facilities. Note p, this cover does not cover any medical costs out side of those necessary as part of transport. My Plat card just raised a notch or two in value.

  • Howie

    How about the benefits on the Ritz card as an alternative to the Amex Plat?

    Does the Amex benefit require me to call while I’m experiencing the need for services?

  • @Levy Flight – thanks for posting your careful research. I suppose the lesson in all this is to try to follow the rules of terms, but first and foremost is getting treatment when needed.

  • @Jason – I have not found published terms and don’t have one, if you’ve got the terms I am curious.

  • @zzap – authorized users are covered. It is not explicitly if their immediate family are then covered, too, in such a case I would call ahead. They may be covered.

  • Eric

    I’m assuming this is only if you pay for your ticket with the platinum card?

  • @Eric – nope, no need to use card to book trip, just be card member, primary or authorized user. Prior posts goes into all the details.

  • Both Ritz and AMEX evacuation insurance require that everything being coordinated through their provider. I can foresee a situation where you might be relying on others in an emergency situation and may not be able to communicate the need to call the credit card coordinator.

    Does the GeoBlue have this restriction also?

  • @plane2port – yes, it does. Here’s a medical evacuation 101 guide from them and the full benefit terms here, see page 13.

  • The geoblue also provides medical coverage which the Plat doesn’t and the fee for the Trekker plan for a couple is about the same as the annual fee on the Plat. Of course the Trekker doesn’t give lounge access! Am I oversimplifying things?

  • @plane2port – we have this policy because the coverage for the cost seems tremendous value for a couple for an annual, multi-trip policy. With the kind of travel we do, especially me, I want a robust full medial and evacuation policy designed for international travel, not fall back on our US coverage. Buying a policy you become a member of the Global Citizens Association which taps into their network of medical providers worldwide. The app lists providers by geography and specialty, all qualified people wanting to help visitors to their country. To me, that all seems great.