The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is a solid choice for your first travel rewards credit card. The card’s strengths include its ability to earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards Points on every purchase, the variety of redemption options it offers, and even its shopping benefits.
In addition to the key benefits of strong earning power and travel redemption flexibility, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has your back with travel insurance coverage that offers peace of mind and potential savings during your journey.
If you travel frequently, chances are you’ve used a travel insurance coverage or benefit and realize the value of having this protection. After all, you’re going to be paying for your travel with your travel rewards card so it’s reasonable to expect that the card you use will have associated trip benefits.
Unfortunately, credit card issuers have recently been cutting back on both travel and shopping benefits. In light of this trend, there’s cause to focus on the cards that continue to offer these valuable travel coverages.
It’s important to highlight the prominent travel insurance coverage and benefits of the Sapphire Preferred. Whether you have the card currently or are considering it, you’re sure to find this information useful when comparing travel rewards cards.
Basic Card Information
In order to put the card’s coverage into context, it’s important to have a little background on the card. Below, you’ll find important card information like any welcome bonus and annual fee.
Travel Insurance Coverage
The collection of travel protections and insurance that comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred creates a foundation of coverage during your travels. With primary car insurance worldwide, trip disruption coverage, baggage insurance, roadside assistance, and emergency travel assistance, the card has you covered.
Here’s a deep dive into the details of each coverage:
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
The Chase Sapphire Preferred shines at providing car rental insurance coverage when compared to other travel rewards cards.
Unlike most travel rewards cards, the coverage you receive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred is primary car insurance coverage compared to secondary, which means you do not have to file an insurance claim with your own auto insurance company first for coverage to be valid.
To activate the coverage on your card, simply reserve and pay for your rental car with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, then decline the rental car agency’s collision damage waiver coverage.
The cardholder and any additional drivers you list on the rental agreement are covered.
Coverage You Can Expect:
- Damage to or theft of the rental car
- Loss of use charges imposed by the rental car company while the vehicle is being repaired
- Reasonable and customary towing charges
- Coverage is valid in most countries
- Rental period must not exceed or intend to exceed 31 consecutive days
- Coverage is primary
- Expensive, exotic, and antique vehicles are not covered
- Also excluded are open cargo bed vehicles, trucks, and recreational vehicles
- Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes
- All limousines and vans that transport more than 9 people
- Losses due to off-road use of the rental vehicle
- Liability insurance coverage is not included
Bottom Line: According to the Insurance Information Institute, car rental agency’s collision damage waiver coverage can cost $9 to $19 per day, even more depending on where you’re renting the vehicle. Having primary rental car insurance with the Chase Sapphire Preferred could save you hundreds of dollars on a multi-week car rental.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
In addition to car rental insurance, one of the most valuable benefits to have on your travels rewards credit card is coverage when there’s a disruption during your travels.
Pay for your trip in full or in part with your Chase Sapphire Preferred and/or Chase Ultimate Rewards points and receive up to $10,000 if a covered loss prevents you (or other covered persons) from traveling. The maximum benefit for each occurrence is $20,000 and $40,000 maximum per 12-month period.
Expenses covered include any non-refundable, pre-paid transportation arrangements that were missed plus change fees.
The definition of who is covered for trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage is broad. The cardholder, spouse or domestic partner and immediate family are eligible for coverage. Immediate family includes adopted or step-children, legal guardians/wards, siblings or siblings-in-law, parents or parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and nieces or nephews.
The trip cannot exceed 60 days in duration and the destination must be more than 1 mile from home for coverage to be valid.
- Accidental injury, loss of life, or illness experienced by the cardholder, immediate family, or traveling companion
- Severe weather
- Change of military orders
- Terrorist event or hijacking
- Jury duty or subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
- Finding that your residence has become inhabitable
- You have been quarantined
Hot Tip: If you pay for your immediate family’s trip with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Ultimate Rewards points, they are eligible for trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance coverage, even if you are not traveling with them. For more card options that come with trip cancellation insurance, check out our full guide to the best credit cards for trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your trip is significantly delayed, you may be stranded overnight causing a need to purchase necessities or incur other unexpected expenses such as lodging, additional meals, and personal items.
Trip delay reimbursement pays up to $500 per ticket for covered expenses that are not paid for by the common carrier. The delay must be overnight or greater than 12 hours in duration.
Filing a Claim
It’s prudent to think about the claim process even before you embark on your journey. Should you need to make a trip interruption, trip delay, or trip cancellation claim, the process will be much easier if you have gathered the information and documentation you need during the event versus after the fact.
Contact the plan administrator as soon as possible during or after the disruption for guidance and to file a claim. You may be expected to provide any of the following when submitting a claim for a trip interruption, trip cancellation, or trip delay:
- A completed and signed claim form
- Credit card statement with last 4 digits of the card and/or receipts showing you paid for the trip with an eligible card and/or points
- A copy of your transportation ticket and itinerary
- Medical documents and/or death certificate for health-related claims
- A statement from the carrier stating why the trip was interrupted, canceled, or delayed
- Receipts for purchases and food expense receipts over $50
- Copy of the carrier, tour company, or travel supplier’s cancellation or refund policy
- Any additional documentation requested by the benefit administrator
Keep in mind that the documentation needed is not being requested by Chase, but by the third party claim administrator, therefore Chase statements validating your trip purchase are necessary. Knowing this upfront allows you to store your trip receipts in advance for easy access should you need them.
Hot Tip: Prior to your trip, contact the benefits administrator for clarification of trip coverage and to inquire about any special destination information you should know. You can also be pro-active by reviewing the claim process before your trip to learn about any required documentation that would be needed in case of an event.
When traveling on a common carrier, if your baggage is delayed more than 6 hours, you could receive up to $100 reimbursement per day, for up to 5 days, for incidentals purchased.
You can expect to be reimbursed for essential items such as:
- Cell phone charging cable
If your luggage is lost or damaged, Lost Luggage coverage will pay to repair or replace the luggage plus the cost of personal items lost, up to $3,000 per person, per trip.
You must report the loss to the common carrier first as the Lost Luggage benefit is in excess of any payments you receive from that carrier.
If you’re stranded on the side of the road, lock your keys out of your car, or your car fails to start, you’ll find Roadside Dispatch a welcomed benefit. The coverage provides 24/7 roadside assistance that is just one call away.
Services You Can Expect:
- Standard towing up to 5 miles
- Changing of your flat tire when you have an inflated spare
- Jump starting
- Lockout service
- Delivery of up to 5 gallons of fuel
- Standard winching
Service extras such as towing beyond 5 miles, the cost of a replacement key, or the cost of the actual fuel being delivered, are additional charges and the responsibility of the cardholder. However, you won’t pay more than the pre-determined flat rate fee for the initial service call, as it is set in advance.
Travel Accident Insurance
It’s painful to think about something serious happening during your travels. Just know that there are benefits available in case you’re faced with such a tragic event.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of a few cards to offer Travel Accident Insurance. The cardholder and immediate family members are covered even if the cardholder is not traveling with the immediate family. The ticket must have been paid for in full or partially with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card and/or Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase’s travel accident insurance is divided into 2 coverages:
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Benefit – covers you while you are a passenger on any common carrier or at the airport/terminal/station immediately before or after your trip.
- 24-Hour Travel Accident Benefit – provides coverage as soon as you embark on your trip, during your qualifying trip, and until you return for accidental death, dismemberment and loss of speech, sight, and hearing
Coverage on the Common Carrier benefit is limited to up to $500,000 and $100,000 maximum on the 24 Hour travel accident benefit. Only 1 benefit can apply per trip.
Travel and Emergency Assistance
You’re just one call away from assistance or referral help anytime you need it 24/7. Calling the toll-free number when in the U.S. or the collect-call phone number on the back of your card when traveling out of the country is the fastest way to receive assistance.
In addition to you (the cardholder), your spouse or domestic partner and dependent children under 22 can also use the service.
Referral assistance is complimentary but cardholder is responsible for the actual goods or services provided.
Services You Can Expect
- Emergency message service – Record and relay emergency messages for travelers
- Medical referrals – Referral of an English speaking medical practitioner, monitor your progress, and serve as a patient liaison
- Legal referrals – Referral of an English speaking attorney, U.S. Consulate or embassy, and assistance with bail bond arrangements
- Emergency transportation – help making arrangements for emergency transport to the nearest medical facility
- Emergency ticket replacement – assistance replacing a lost ticket with your carrier
- Lost luggage – provides assistance filing a lost luggage claim or help with replacement items
- Translation services – assistance with local language translation services
- Prescription and valuable documents replacement – assistance getting prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy or locating and transporting valuable documents
- Pre-trip assistance – Includes help finding an ATM, assistance with visas, health precautions and other pre-trip information
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No one wants to be hit with 3% fees when using your card during your international travels. The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is thankfully true of many cards nowadays.
If you spent $4,000 abroad on a family vacation, the savings would equal $120.
How Coverage Compares
Other Credit Cards
Travel protections and insurance vary greatly by credit card issuer and can change periodically. In general, here’s what you can expect in the way of travel protections by major issuer:
Chase issues credit cards including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Ink Business Preferred® offer the comprehensive collection of trip protections reviewed in this article. The Sapphire Reserve additionally offers emergency medical evacuation, $2,500 in emergency medical and dental coverage, and a shorter delay for trip delay coverage.
American Express offers secondary car rental insurance versus primary coverage, accident insurance, premium roadside assistance, a Global Assist Hotline, and baggage insurance. There is also emergency medical evacuation coverage that comes with the Platinum Card® by American Express. The issuer does not offer trip interruption, cancellation, or delay coverage.
Citi will be discontinuing travel protections and benefits effective September 2019.
You’ll find secondary car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, accident insurance, lost and delayed baggage, and emergency travel assistance on some Capital One cards including the Capital One® Venture® Card.
Bank of America
Bank of America travel rewards cards do not offer trip protections or trip benefits.
Hot Tip: For more details, check out our guide to the best credit cards for travel insurance.
Travel Insurance Policies
Travel protections, benefits, and insurance that come complimentary on credit cards are not designed to take the place of a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy allows you to select the type of coverage you need and the coverage limits that match your level of risk, whether you’re protecting a significant financial outlay or the potential physical risks associated with the trip. You can also purchase a travel insurance policy that can cover one specific trip or many trips over a specific time period.
With that said, taking a few minutes to read through the trip protections offered on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may find enough coverage to satisfy your trip protection requirements for your next trip. As always, you should review the card benefit coverages carefully before you travel and purchase any needed travel insurance to fill in any gaps.
Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a high level of travel protection and insurance compared to other travel rewards credit cards. This level of coverage may be more than sufficient for your trip.
Having travel insurance brings with it the peace of mind to enjoy your journey without worry of any significant financial expense should something go wrong.
To avoid a false sense of security, however, you’ll want to call the benefit administrator (using the number on the back of your card) to ensure you have the coverage you need.
For example, you may assume you have coverage for emergency evacuation on that mountain trek but the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not carry this coverage. If the protection is important to you, you’ll want to be aware (and purchase separate coverage) before you embark on your journey.
Additionally, you may want to confirm that the country in which you’re renting is one that is covered under Chase’s car rental collision damage waiver, although most are.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some of the best travel protection and insurance benefits of any travel rewards card, these benefits are not a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance.
If you’re spending thousands on a vacation for an entire family, booking an expensive cruise, or planning a trip with several forms of transportation involved, you may want to make sure that card-provided benefits provide protection at a level with which you’re comfortable.
If not, you should purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our Medical & Legal Disclaimers.