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Update: Please be aware of Chase's new terms for the availability of Sapphire-family credit cards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has long been the go-to credit card for a lot of travelers. Not just because it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points, but due to the fantastic (and for a lot of cardholders, yet undiscovered) perks like Primary Rental Insurance and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance included as benefits for cardholders. These benefits will often provide more value in the long run than the initial signup bonus, and if you travel often, they more than offset the annual fee.
Combined with cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase’s stable of Ultimate Rewards earning cards provides members with a sophisticated combination of points earning options, perks, and redemptions. But Chase has also been lacking a premium card like the Citi Prestige® Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express that offer higher points earning potential and global airport lounge access. Well, that all changed with the recent introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Since the applications went live, the Sapphire Reserve has garnered a huge following in the points and miles community. And it’s no wonder. The card offers a lucrative signup bonus, an industry-leading travel credit, and earns a huge 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining. We posted an initial review outlining some of the highlights of the Sapphire Reserve and wanted to follow up by diving deeper into the benefits of the card, comparing them with those of the Sapphire Preferred.
While the Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature, Chase has upgraded the Sapphire Reserve to Visa Infinite with some added benefits, making the Sapphire Reserve one of only a handful of Visa Infinite cards available in the U.S. The others being The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card (also issued by Chase), and the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card from City National Bank.
In this post, we’ll be calling specific attention to the PDF guides in the links below, what the differences are, and where there is added value. We won’t be digging into benefits like the Priority Pass lounge access or the $300 travel credit as each warrant their own dedicated post, but rather just the benefits outlined in the two guides.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Both cards feature primary rental insurance, a step up from the secondary insurance that is a benefit of most credit cards. The Auto Rental CDW benefit “provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft,” and as a primary coverage, there is no need to file a claim with any other insurance provider before the coverage kicks in. The wording for both policies is almost identical except the definitions below.
Auto Rental CDW reimbursement covers:
- Sapphire Preferred – the actual cash value of the vehicle as it was originally manufactured. Most private passenger automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles are eligible for coverage, but some restrictions may apply.
- Sapphire Reserve – $75,000.00. Most private passenger automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles are eligible for coverage, but some restrictions may apply.
For a more in-depth understanding, see our post on the Sapphire Preferred's Auto Rental CDW. While the Sapphire Reserve does have a hard cap on the reimbursement limit, we'd venture to guess that any car included in the coverage with the Sapphire Preferred would be under that $75,000 threshold as well. If you're renting something exotic, you might want to double-check your coverage.
Purchase Protection covers eligible items bought in the United States using your Account or rewards points earned on your Account, in the event of theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting with property within one hundred and twenty (120) days.
Purchase Protection will replace, repair, or reimburse you up to a maximum of:
Extended Warranty Protection
Extended Warranty Protection extends the period of 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 $10,000.00 per claim, and a $50,000.00 maximum per Account.
There is an extensive list of exclusions which can be found on both benefits guides.
- This benefit is identical for both cards.
Here's a successful claim in action, taken from our Facebook Group Award Travel 101:
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
Trip Cancellation Insurance and Trip Interruption Insurance are similar with one major difference.
Trip Cancellation covers you BEFORE you leave, and Trip Interruption covers you from the moment you start traveling.
Both cards cover you and immediate family members when a Covered Loss either interrupts travel, or prevents you from traveling, and results in the cancellation of travel arrangements for a Covered Trip. The coverage will reimburse you up to $10,000 for each Covered Trip per person.
A covered Trip is defined 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.
For both Trip Interruption & Trip Cancellation Insurance, claims are limited to:
- Per occurrence – $10,000 per covered person up to $20,000 per covered trip
- Per 12 months – $40,000 across all trips
Tip: Immediate family members are covered if travel is charged to the Sapphire cards, even if the primary account holder is not present.
Again, the definitions are extensive and near identical. For a better understanding head over to our guide on the Sapphire Card Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance.
- This benefit is identical for both cards.
Price Protection & Return Protection
Price Protection will reimburse the difference in price on eligible items purchased in the U.S. using your Account, or using the rewards points earned on that Account. If you find a printed advertisement in a physical store or an online ad (from non-auction sites) for less than the purchase price within 90 days of buying, you are eligible to apply for this coverage.
Price Protection has been dropped from these cards as of August 26, 2018. For more details, see this post.
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 $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 Lost Luggage benefit will reimburse the cost of repairing or replacing Checked Baggage and Carry-On Baggage, and personal property contained within due to physical loss or damage when it occurs on a Common Carrier Covered Trip. If losing your bag is one of the stress points when traveling, read our latest post on smart and trackable luggage.
The plan covers the cardholder and immediate family members up to:
- $3,000.00 per person for each Common Carrier Covered Trip
- $500.00 per person (included in the $3,000 not on top of) for each Common Carrier Covered Trip for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment
Note: Liability is limited to the actual cash value of items (replacement cost less depreciation) at the time of loss up to the maximum benefit amount.
Loss or damage must be reported to the carrier as soon as you exit the carrier to be eligible for this benefit. Proof of a submitted report will be required.
- This benefit is identical for both cards.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Trip Delay Reimbursement will cover any ‘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.”
The only area where the two policies differ is the amount of time you must be delayed for the coverage to take effect. Costs will be covered up to a maximum of $500.00 for each purchased ticket, on a one-time basis if a covered hazard delays your trip.
Delay time before cover kicks in is:
Note: There is no coverage for delays made public or known to you before departure.
There are a number of documents that need to be submitted for this policy so be sure to read this section of the benefits guide before making a claim and keep all your receipts.
If your baggage is delayed by more than 6 hours, Baggage Delay covers you and your immediate family members up to $100.00 per day for a maximum of 5 days. The cover is limited to emergency purchases of essential items including clothing, toiletries, and one phone charger per claim.
Again, the list of items not included is extensive so be sure to read the guides.
- This benefit is identical for both cards.
Travel Accident Insurance
This plan covers you for accidental death, dismemberment, and loss of speech, sight, and hearing benefits, 24/7, while traveling on any motorized land, water or air transport, operated by an organization licensed to carry passengers, as long as a portion of the cost of the trip is purchased using your account.
While both cards have a 24 hour Loss of Life Benefit amount of $100,000.00, however, the Common Carrier Loss of Life Benefit amount differs.
The Travel Accident Insurance is one of the more complex and hardest to understand policies in the benefits guides and requires a thorough reading to grasp the details. Your best bet is to review the policy with a licensed insurance professional.
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
This benefit is exclusive to the Sapphire Reserve and provides “emergency evacuation and transportation if you are injured or become ill during your trip, and it results in a necessary emergency evacuation.” The Benefits Administrator must make all the medical travel arrangements. Coverage of up to $100,000 is provided when you charge a portion of your trip to your account and the trip is between 5-60 days and a minimum 100 miles from home.
Note: Evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefits Administrator in consultation with a legally licensed Physician who certified that emergency evacuation is warranted due to the severity of the injury or sickness.
- This benefit is exclusive to the Sapphire Reserve.
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
Providing reimbursement for a medical emergency and dental expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 that wouldn't be covered by your travel or health insurance. The treatment must be received while you are on a trip paid for, at least in part, using your account.
If the treatment requires hospitalization, you will also be eligible for a daily benefit of $75.00 per day, for up to 5 days.
- This benefit is exclusive to the Sapphire Reserve
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Chase also provide a travel assistance and referral line for cardholders and their immediate families, offering a broad range of emergency services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These services can be extremely helpful when overseas.
Note: This line is just for advice and assistance, the account holder bears all costs.
- 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
This benefit is identical for both cards.
Roadside Assistance and Dispatch
The last benefit on the guides is the Roadside Assistance benefit, while both cards have similar benefits, they are provided by separate providers with different contact numbers and different costs. Roadside emergencies can include such issues as a flat tire, dead battery or mechanical breakdown.
In the case of a roadside emergency, call the applicable number below:
- Sapphire Preferred – 1-800-VISA-TOW (1-800-847-2869)
- Sapphire Reserve – 1-866-860-7978 – Cross Country Motor Club
The list of benefits on these cards is exhaustive, and the volume and technicality of the information can often feel overwhelming for account holders. We highly recommend getting in touch with the Benefits Administrator before traveling to discuss any questions you may have regarding your coverage.
If you have any questions regarding what's covered in the Chase Benefit Guides, let us know in the comments.
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