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This is a big one folks. We've covered the entirety of the benefits guide in plain English with a goal of making sure you understand the benefits you have available to you at no additional cost.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with an abundance of high-value benefits and features. Cardholders earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining, receive an industry-leading $300 travel credit which covers any travel expense, and a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. And that’s before factoring in the 50,000 point signup bonus.
Some of the Sapphire Reserve’s best features, however, are the least visible. Tucked away deep in the Sapphire Reserve Guide to Benefits is a suite of travel insurance and purchase protections that can add thousands of dollars to the value proposition of holding the card long term.
After reviewing the coverage options, you may learn that you've been spending money on coverage you didn't need, or that you've got coverage you never knew about!
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (Auto Rental CDW)
We rate the primary rental insurance offered on the Sapphire Reserve as one of the best available to U.S. cardholders. The terms and conditions feature no specific country exclusions, and cardholders receive primary cover at home in the U.S. in addition to overseas.
To ensure coverage when renting a car, you need to pay for the entire rental using your Sapphire Reserve and decline the rental company’s collision insurance. If you accept the rental company’s additional auto insurance, you won't be covered by the Sapphire Reserve. You can read all the details in our review of Chase’s Auto Rental CDW. Note: If you use Ultimate Rewards to pay for your rental you'll also receive coverage under the Auto Rental CDW benefit.
Be aware that the Auto Rental CDW isn’t liability insurance. You are only covered for damage and theft of the rental vehicle, not damage to other people's property, or if someone is injured.
Purchase Protection covers eligible items purchased using your Sapphire Reserve, or UR points earned on the card, in the event of theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting with the item within 120 days. You will be reimbursed up to the dollar amount required to repair or replace the item (provided it is under the $10K limit), whichever is less.
The Sapphire Reserve has a high claim value of up to $10,000 per item and a cap of $50,000 per year. Purchases made outside the U.S. are covered as long as you purchased them with your Sapphire Reserve card, and the purchase meets the T&C's. There is a long list of items not covered, so refer to page 6 of the guide to benefits.
You need to contact the Benefits Administrator within 90 days of the loss, damage, or theft, and you have 120 days to complete the claim.
Yes, a cracked screen is covered! Or, if you accidentally lose your phone in a taxi, that'd be covered as well!
Extended Warranty Protection
Extended Warranty Protection extends the manufacturer’s U.S. repair warranty on items purchased with your account by one additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less, up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim, and a $50,000 maximum per account. You need to charge a portion of the purchase price to the Sapphire Reserve for the protection to kick in, or have purchased the item using Ultimate Rewards earned on the card. Again, there's an extensive list of exclusions that can be found in the benefits guide.
In many cases, this benefit can save you $20-$100 for an extended warranty on a single piece of electronics!
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
A benefit we’ve covered in detail in previous posts, Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation insurance covers the cardholder, cardholder’s spouse or partner, and immediate family members for trips greater than 1 mile from your primary residence for less than 60 days. The two policies are similar, but Trip Cancellation covers you before the trip, and Trip Interruption covers you from the moment you start traveling.
Coverage kicks in when a covered loss either interrupts travel, or prevents you from traveling, and results in the cancellation of travel arrangements. The coverage will reimburse you up to $10,000 for each trip.
Chase defines a covered trip as:
“Covered Trip means any pre-paid tour, trip or vacation when some portion of the cost for such travel arrangements less any redeemable frequent flyer miles, points, coupons or certificates, or other types of redeemable Rewards has been charged to your Account.”
Claims are limited to:
- Per occurrence – $20,000
- Per 12 months – $40,000
Tip: Immediate family members are covered if travel is charged to the Sapphire Reserve, even if the primary account holder is not present.
You can catch the extensive list of definitions and exclusions in the Sapphire Reserve Guide to Benefits, or head over to our post on the Chase Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance.
As of August 26, 2018, Price Protection is no longer a benefit of this card.
If you’re unhappy with an item purchased entirely using your Sapphire Reserve or points earned on the card, and the merchant won’t accept the return, Return Protection will reimburse you for the cost of the item within 90 days of the purchase date. Claims are limited to $500 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year per account. Coverage is secondary to any store guarantees, and the Benefits Administrator must receive the purchase in like-new/good working condition.
The Sapphire Reserve’s Lost Luggage benefit covers the cardholder and immediate family members for up to $3,000 per person for a covered trip, including up to $500 for jewelry, watches, cameras, and other electronics.
The benefit reimburses the cost of repairing or replacing checked and carry-on baggage, and the personal property contained within due to loss or damage. Note that liability is limited to the cash value of the items (replacement value less depreciation) at the time of loss, and you must report the loss or damage to the carrier as soon as you exit the aircraft.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
One of the most valuable benefits on the Sapphire Reserve, Trip Delay Reimbursement covers what Chase deems ‘reasonable’ expenses.
“…including but not limited to meals, lodging, toiletries, medication and other personal use items that you encounter due to a Covered Hazard delay, as long as the services were not provided free of charge by the Common Carrier or any other party.”
Coverage kicks in after a delay of 6 hours (or a forced overnight), and you can claim up to $500 for each ticket purchased with your Sapphire Reserve. To qualify for reimbursement, the delay must not have been made public or have been communicated to you prior to departure.
Baggage Delay Insurance
If you made it to your destination but your bags didn’t, you might be eligible to claim for baggage delay. Covering the cardholder and immediate family members up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days when your bags are delayed for 6 or more hours, you can claim emergency purchases of essential items including clothing, toiletries, and one phone charger per claim. The list of purchases not included is extensive (including items like false teeth…) so be sure to read page 33 the guide to benefits for more details.
Travel Accident Insurance
One of the more morbid, but very practical insurances included on the Sapphire Reserve. Travel Accident Insurance covers you for accidental death, dismemberment, and loss of speech, sight, and hearing benefits, on a 24-hour basis, while traveling on any motorized land, water or air transport, operated by an organization licensed to carry passengers, as long as you charge the cost of the trip, minus any points and miles, to the Sapphire Reserve.
Coverage is for 30 days from the date of departure and ends at the beginning of the 31st day if your trip extends past 30 days. The cover provides a 24-Hour Loss of Life benefit of $100,000 and a Common Carrier Loss of Life benefit of up to $1,000,000. This is a complex and hard to understand policy, and requires a thorough reading of the benefits guide to grasp the details. We recommend reviewing the policy with a licensed insurance professional if you have any doubts as to the validity of your coverage.
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
Another complex benefit, covering the cardholder and immediate family for up to $100,000 towards emergency evacuation or transportation. You’re covered for “emergency evacuation and transportation if you are injured or become ill during your trip, and it results in a necessary emergency evacuation,” on trips of between 5-60 days a minimum of 100km from home.
The Benefits Administrator must make all the medical travel arrangements, and the evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefits Administrator in consultation with a legally licensed Physician who certifies that emergency evacuation is warranted due to the severity of the injury or sickness.
Emergency Medical and Dental
You’re covered for up to $2,500 in emergency medical and dental expenses that would not otherwise be covered by your travel or health insurance. Claims are subject to a $50 deductible, and treatment must be received in the course of a trip lasting between 5-60 days, a minimum of 100 miles from home, paid for with your Sapphire Reserve or points earned with the card. If the treatment requires hospitalization, you'll also be eligible for a daily benefit of $75.00 per day, for up to 5 days
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
If you need help and you’re not sure who to turn to, Chase Travel and Emergency Assistance provide a wide range of emergency services available 24/7, 365 days a year. Essentially a hotline allowing you to call (1-888-675-1461) and get advice, assistance, or referrals when you are in an unfamiliar place. This could provide help with translating terms and conditions, medical referrals, emergency assistance, or help to replace a lost airline ticket. Almost anything that can be accomplished over the phone.
- Emergency Message Service
- Medical Referral Assistance
- Legal Referral Assistance
- Emergency Transportation Assistance
- Emergency Ticket Replacement
- Lost Luggage Locator Service
- Emergency Translation Service
- Prescription Assistance and Valuable Document Delivery Arrangements
- Pre-Trip Assistance
Sapphire Reserve cardholders are covered for up to $50 per for each service callout, up to four times per year. Roadside emergencies can include such issues as a flat tire, dead battery or mechanical breakdown. To use this service, call 1-866-860-7978 (Cross Country Motor Club).
Big-ticket benefits like travel credits and lounge access are what marketing teams use to advertise cards like the Sapphire Reserve, but there are plenty of benefits hiding under the hood that can provide thousands of dollars per year in additional value. Take time to familiarize yourself with the guide to benefits for the Sapphire Reserve, as these benefits can help turn an unfortunate delay or health problem while traveling into a positive experience, plus reduce your out of pocket expense when things go awry.
If you have experience using any of the benefits listed above, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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