The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is arguably the most popular no-annual-fee rewards credit card in the U.S. It was a huge hit when it was first released and Chase has continued to boost the value proposition of this card through its regular refreshes.
This credit card is best known as a cash-back credit card, but one of the secret features of this card is that its rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points with the right credit card pairing.
Incredibly, the Freedom Unlimited card comes with basic travel insurance, which is surprisingly rare considering the no-annual-fee nature of this card.
In this guide, we outline all of the details of the Freedom Unlimited card’s travel insurance coverage.
Basic Card Information
Travel insurance is one of the features of the Freedom Unlimited card, but there are so many other reasons why you’d want to hold this credit card.
Here’s a table summarizing the Freedom Unlimited card’s high-level perks:
Does the Freedom Unlimited Card Offer Travel Insurance Benefits?
The Freedom Unlimited card absolutely offers travel insurance benefits.
To set expectations, though, the suite of travel insurance benefits is a tiny fraction of what is offered on more premium cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
But the answer is yes, the Freedom Unlimited card offers travel insurance benefits.
Travel Insurance Coverage
So now that we’ve established that the Freedom Unlimited card offers travel insurance benefits, the next logical question is: what types of coverage are offered?
In this guide, we break down each of the benefits, one by one.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
Arguably, the most important travel insurance perk offered by the Freedom Unlimited card is trip cancellation and interruption coverage.
If there’s a covered loss or event, including severe weather, sickness, or other covered situations, you can get reimbursed for your prepaid nonrefundable passenger fares. Covered fares include those on common carriers such as airlines, buses, cruise ships, or trains.
Trip cancellation coverage begins on the initial deposit or booking date of the trip and ends at the point and time of departure on your scheduled departure date.
Meanwhile, trip interruption coverage begins on the scheduled departure date and ends on your scheduled return date.
The maximum coverage you can get through this benefit is $1,500 per covered person with a cap of $6,000 per trip.
Also, trip interruption covers up to $250 in ground transportation expenses for necessary medical treatment, to the airport, terminal, or station of departure, and/or between the arrival airport, terminal, or station and covered travelers’ residences.
Covered people include the cardholder and immediate family members, even if the cardholder is not traveling with them.
You must pay for all or a portion of your trip using your Freedom Unlimited card or using rewards from your Freedom Unlimited card. If you redeem points, Chase will reimburse you at a value of 1 cent per point.
Here are some examples of covered incidences:
- Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation of a covered trip
- Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the covered person or traveling companion that prevents the covered person or companion from traveling on the trip
- Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness of an immediate family member of the covered person or companion when the injury or sickness is considered life-threatening and requires hospitalization or an immediate family member requires the care of the covered person or companion
- An organized strike affecting public transportation that affects the covered person’s ability to commence or continue on a covered trip
- Changes in military orders of the covered person or his/her spouse/domestic partner
- Terrorist action or hijacking
Here are some of the exclusions:
- Travel arrangements canceled or changed by the common carrier, tour operator, or travel agency (unless it’s a result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation)
- Preexisting conditions
- Traveling against the advice of a physician
- Changes in plans or financial circumstances
- Declared or undeclared war
- Trips that exceed 60 days in duration
- Financial insolvency of the cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier
Filing a Claim
You can file a claim 100% online or start the claims process over the phone:
- Visit eclaimsline.com, create an online account, and click New Claim. Enter your card number and name.
- You can also call the Benefits Administrator at 888-320-9656 (or 804-673-1691 to call collect outside the U.S.) to file a claim.
- Call the Benefit Administrator or start the claim process within 20 days of your cancellation or interruption.
- If filing over the phone, answer a few questions with the Benefits Administrator so that they can provide you with the right claim forms and required documentation.
- Provide the required documentation and all completed forms within 90 days or as soon as reasonably possible (no later than 1 year after the 90-day deadline).
Some examples of required supporting documentation include:
- Travel itinerary
- Documentation confirming the reason for trip cancellation or interruption, such as medical documents or a death certificate
- Freedom Unlimited card statement reflecting the last 4 digits of the account number and proof of expenses incurred and prepaid nonrefundable travel arrangements
- Copies of the cancellation or refund policies of the providers involved in the trip
- Unused vouchers, tickets, or coupons
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
The Freedom Unlimited card provides secondary rental car insurance while you’re traveling. To use it, you will always need to decline the rental car agency’s loss damage waiver (LDW) or collision damage waiver (CDW).
Also, you must pay for the entire rental car transaction using your Freedom Unlimited card. If you book your rental car using your rewards points, you can still qualify for coverage.
Once you do that, you will have:
- Secondary rental car coverage for damage and theft for U.S. domestic car rentals
- Primary rental car coverage for damage and theft on international car rentals (some exclusions apply)
To get coverage, you must use a Freedom Unlimited card with your name embossed on the card.
Your rental period must be a maximum of 31 consecutive days to get coverage.
Other drivers can get coverage on the car rental, but only if these additional drivers are listed on your auto rental agreement.
There is a series of excluded vehicles:
- Cargo vans
- Exotic and antique cars (over 20 years old or that have not been manufactured for 10 years or more)
- High-value motor vehicles or exotic automobiles, including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla
- Selected models of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Range Rover are covered
- Motorcycles, mopeds, motorbikes
- Passenger vans with seating for more than 9 people, including the driver
- Recreational vehicles
- Trucks (other than pick-up trucks)
- Vehicles with open cargo beds
Many travelers mistake liability coverage with credit card rental car insurance. There aren’t any credit cards that offer liability coverage, so you’ll still be 100% responsible for charges and damages if you are at fault for the incident.
Here’s what’s covered:
- Theft and/or damage to the covered rental car
- Loss-of-use charges imposed by the rental company, including administrative fees
- Reasonable towing charges that occur while you’re responsible for the vehicle
Here are some of the exclusions for coverage:
- Any obligation you assume under any agreement
- Any violation of the auto rental agreement
- Confiscation by authorities
- Damage due to off-road operation of the vehicle
- Depreciation of the rental vehicle
- Expenses reimbursable by your insurer, employer, or employer’s insurance
- Injury of anyone, including you, or damage to anything inside or outside the rental vehicle
- Items not installed by the original manufacturer
- Leases and mini leases
- Loss or theft of personal belongings
- Personal liability
- Rental periods that exceed 31 days
- Theft or damage due to hostility of any kind, including war, invasion, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorist activities
- Theft or damage due to intentional acts or driver(s) being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants, or due to contraband or illegal activities
- Wear and tear, gradual deterioration, or mechanical breakdown
The list goes on, but you’ll notice that these are very niche or unusual exclusions. Just use the rental car as intended, and you shouldn’t run into any major issues.
Filing a Claim
Filing a claim is easy; just follow these steps:
- Immediately after the incident occurs, report the theft or damage by either starting a claim online at eclaimsline.com or calling the Benefits Administrator at 888-320-9656 to start a claim.
- You must begin the claim process no later than 60 days after the incident date.
- You’ll need to also report the incident and file a police report, if available. Next, photograph as much of the incident as possible, especially the damaged vehicle. After that, get a copy of the repair estimate and itemized repair bill.
- The Benefits Administrator will provide the list of required documentation to complete your claim.
- Collect all of the relevant documentation, sign and complete the claim forms, and submit all of the documents within 100 days after the incident date, even if all other required documentation isn’t yet available.
- You may be requested to provide more documentation by the Benefits Administrator. All documentation must be postmarked within 365 days of the theft or damage date in order to qualify for reimbursement.
You’ll also likely need to provide the credit card statement showing the last 4 digits of your Freedom Unlimited card and the car rental purchase to substantiate the rental car booking.
The Freedom Unlimited card includes Roadside Dispatch in its benefits list, which can be used 24/7 as needed. Although the benefit isn’t free, you’ll be able to access roadside assistance on a pay-per-use basis.
For a flat fee of $69.95 per service call, you can access these services:
- Fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons, plus the fuel cost)
- Lockout service (no key replacement services)
- Standard towing (up to 5 miles included)
- Standard winching
- Tire changing (must have a good, inflated spare)
You just need to call 800-847-2869 when you need roadside assistance, and they’ll ask for your location and further details. After that, you’ll have your services arranged and delivered to you.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
The last element of the Freedom Unlimited card’s travel insurance is travel and emergency assistance services.
Essentially, this benefit is designed to help you if you need legal, medical, or other major assistance while you’re away from home.
It doesn’t cover the cost of the services; rather, it connects you to referrals and firms that can help offer these services.
Available 24/7, 365 days per year, travel and emergency assistance services cover the primary cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner, and any dependent children under the age of 22.
Covered services include:
- Emergency message services record and relay emergency messages for travelers, immediate family members, and business colleagues
- Medical referral assistance provides medical referrals, monitoring, and follow-up
- Legal referral assistance provides referrals to English-speaking attorneys, U.S. embassies, and U.S. consulates
- Emergency transportation assistance helps make arrangements for emergency transportation home or to the nearest medical facility
- Emergency ticket replacement helps process and assist replacement tickets should you lose your ticket
- Lost luggage locator service helps through claim procedures or arranging shipment of replacement items if your airline or common carrier loses your checked luggage
- Emergency translation service provides telephone assistance in all major languages and locates local interpreters
- Prescription assistance and valuable document delivery arrangements helps you fill or replace prescriptions and arrange for pickup and delivery of prescriptions, as well as transport critical documents you left at your home or elsewhere
- Pre-trip assistance gives information about currency exchange rates, weather reports, health precautions, required passport visas, necessary immunizations, and ATM locations
How Coverage Compares
That wraps up the overview of travel coverages offered by the Freedom Unlimited card. Now, let’s see how it stacks up with other options!
Other Credit Cards
The major credit cards from other issuers that often get compared to the Freedom Unlimited card are The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.
The Freedom Unlimited card generally outperforms both of these options because of its substantial trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
Trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance are benefits that aren’t offered on most annual fee credit cards — so the fact that Chase offers it on a card with no annual fee is impressive.
Generally, no-annual-fee credit cards only offer 2 benefits: secondary rental car insurance and travel accident insurance. The main benefit missing from the Freedom Unlimited card that would make it the undisputed travel insurance leader in the no-annual-fee realm is travel accident insurance.
Travel Insurance Policies
The travel insurance provided by the Freedom Unlimited card pales in comparison to a full travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance policies usually also cover:
- Delayed baggage insurance
- Emergency evacuation coverage
- Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage insurance
- Medical and dental coverage
- Preexisting conditions
- Primary rental car insurance
- Trip delay insurance
So using the Freedom Unlimited card is by no means a replacement for a travel insurance policy.
That said, travel insurance policies usually cost around 10% of the coverage amount, so that would entail an additional cost you’ll need to budget for.
The Freedom Unlimited card is a great rewards credit card with no annual fee and many useful benefits.
Its travel insurance, in particular, is about as good as you can get for a card with no annual fee.
In fact, the Freedom Unlimited card outperforms its competitors in the travel coverage realm.
Just remember that there are almost no instances in which the Freedom Unlimited card’s travel coverages and protections can actually replace a complete travel insurance policy purchased separately.
The information regarding The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.