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> Benefit Details Page > Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does Return Protection work?
  2. How long does Return Protection apply?
  3. Who is eligible?
  4. Do I have to activate or sign up for Return Protection?
  5. Are there exclusions or limitations to Return Protection?
  6. How do I file a Return Protection request?
  7. What do I do with the item I cannot return?
  8. Where can I find more information on my Card’s exact benefit information?
1. How does Return Protection work?
If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price (excluding shipping and handling), up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per Card account per calendar year based on the date of purchase, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Please read important exclusions and restrictions.

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2. How long does Return Protection apply?
With Return Protection, you are covered for 90 days from the date of purchase if the merchant won't take your eligible item back. 

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3. Who is eligible?
You are eligible if you are a basic or additional Card Member on an account with an eligible American Express Card issued in your name.

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4. Do I have to activate or sign up for Return Protection?
Return Protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. When you make an eligible purchase with your Card, your eligible purchase is covered for up to 90 days from that date. 

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5. Are there exclusions or limitations to Return Protection?
Purchases must be made in the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands and charged in full on your eligible Card. A refund will not be paid if, on the date we receive your Return Protection request any amount on your eligible Card account is past due for one or more billing cycle(s) or your Card is canceled. Refunds are limited to $300 per eligible item, and $1,000 per Card Member account per calendar year based on the date of purchase, not during the year the claim was filed. To be eligible, an item must be in the original purchase condition (not visibly used, defective, or damaged in any way) and must be in working order. The merchant from which the item was originally purchased must also have denied an attempted return of the item. Any item purchased from a merchant that has an established return/satisfaction guarantee program which is greater than or equal to the terms of Return Protection, and provides coverage for your claim, will not be eligible for a refund. Product rebates, discounts or money received from lowest price comparison programs will be deducted from the original cost of the item. The maximum you will be compensated will not exceed the amount charged to the eligible Card Account.

Items not eligible for a refund are: 1. animals and living plants; 2. one-of-a-kind items (including, but not limited to, antiques, artwork, and furs); 3. limited edition items; 4. going-out-of-business sale items; 5. consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (including, but not limited to, food, perfume, light bulbs, and batteries); 6. jewelry (including, but not limited to, loose gems, precious stones, metals, and pearls); 7. watches; 8. services and additional costs (including, but not limited to, installation charges, warranties, shipping, handling or memberships); 9. rare and precious coins; 10. purchased used and/or altered items (including, but not limited to, purchases at auction sites and second-hand stores); 11. custom-built items; 12. compact discs, digital video discs, mini discs, audiotapes, videotapes; 13. computer software; 14. firmware (including, but not limited to, console games, etc.); 15. maps; 16. books, magazines or periodicals of any kind; 17. health care items and /or medical equipment (including, but not limited to, blood pressure machines and diabetes equipment, items or supplies used for maternity care); 18. personal hygiene items (including, but not limited to, all electrical or non-electrical toothbrushes, razors, or any devices (medical or non-medical) that have been personally used and could be considered a health risk to others); 19. formal wear (including, but not limited to, bridal wear, gowns, prom dresses, and tuxedos); 20. tickets of any kind (including, but not limited to, transportation passes or tickets and event tickets); 21. motorized vehicles (including, but not limited to, cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes), their parts and accessories (e.g. car battery) as well as those parts and accessories intended for use with the motorized vehicles (e.g. a trailer or audio or visual components); 22. land, buildings and fixtures (including but not limited to, central air conditioner, built-in kitchen appliance and water heater); 23. firearms; 24. ammunition; 25. negotiable instruments (including, but not limited to, promissory notes, stamps, and travelers checks); 26. cash and its equivalent (including, but not limited to, gift cards and gift certificates); 27. items permanently affixed to home, office, vehicles, etc. (including, but not limited to, garage door openers and car alarms); 28. seasonal items (including but not limited to holiday decorations and costumes).

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6. How do I file a Return Protection request?
Once you have verified that the merchant will not accept the eligible item, call 1-800-297-8019 or visit www.AmericanExpress.com/onlineclaim within 90 days of the purchase date to notify us of your request. Within 30 days of your initial request we will ask you to provide a copy of the original store receipt, the American Express® Card record of charge, and any other items deemed reasonable by us to process your request.

You can check the status of your request by calling the Return Protection toll free number at 1-800-297-8019. 

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7. What do I do with the item I cannot return?
Once your request has been reviewed and deemed eligible, you may be instructed to send the item to us within 30 days for further evaluation. Please keep a record of your shipping receipt, as you will need to provide proof of shipping in the event that your eligible item is not received. If you are required to send the purchased item to us, we will reimburse you for that shipping cost.

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8. Where can I find more information on my Card’s exact benefit information?

You can visit americanexpress.com/RPterms for more information on your Card’s exact benefit information.

For Centurion® Members, please see americanexpress.com/CenturionRPTerms. For Business Centurion® Members, please see americanexpress.com/BusinessCenturionRPTerms.



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1. Return Protection can refund you for eligible purchase(s) charged entirely on an eligible American Express® Card. Coverage is limited to 90 days from purchase, up to $300 per item and up to a maximum of $1,000 per Card Member account per calendar year based on the date of purchase. Shipping and handling costs for the purchase will not be refunded. Items are eligible if they are in the original purchase condition and if they cannot be returned to the merchant from which they were originally purchased. Certain purchases are not eligible for refund, e.g. motorized vehicles, perishable items, computer software, and jewelry. Other important exclusions apply. Purchases must be made in the 50 United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. You may be required to send the purchased item to us, in which case we will reimburse you for that shipping cost. To be eligible for claim payment, your account must be in good standing on the eligible card that maintains the original charge. Return Protection is subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/RPterms.