Few credit cards can compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card when you’re looking for a premium travel rewards credit card. There are also few, if any, travel rewards cards that offer a better selection of travel insurance benefits.
Travel insurance benefits and protections that come with your credit card can provide valuable assistance if your trip is disrupted, reimburse you for expenses if things go wrong during your journey, and much more.
It’s become increasingly more important to have a level of travel insurance for peace of mind and to make you whole after an unexpected event. While the travel insurance that comes on your credit card is not meant to take the place of a comprehensive travel insurance policy, it can provide sufficient coverage for most trips you make.
We’re going to talk today about why we like the package of travel insurance that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card by diving deep into the specific travel insurance coverages you can expect on the card.
We’ll also look at how the coverages work, glance at the process for filing a claim if something does go wrong, and in the end, give you all the other reasons we like the card for frequent travelers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card — Travel Insurance Benefits and Protections
There are so many reasons we like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card overall and we’ll cover those later in our article. For now, we’re going to jump right into the focus of our review, the travel insurance benefits and protections offered on the card.
Some benefits or protections can save you money, others provide assistance during your travels, and yet others offer peace of mind.
Here is our breakdown of the travel insurance coverages that can be found on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
The auto rental insurance coverage on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card could save you hundreds of dollars on your car rental bill. Simply reserve and pay for your car rental with the card, decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage, and receive primary car rental coverage for theft or damage to the rental car.
Primary coverage means that you do not have to file a claim with another insurance company first.
Additional coverage includes loss of use charges and reasonable and customary towing charges.
You and authorized drivers listed on the rental agreement are covered.
Coverage limitations and conditions apply, including:
- $75,000 coverage limit
- Rental period cannot exceed 31 days
- Liability coverage and the loss of personal items are not covered
- Expenses reimbursed by other insurance are not covered
- Antique vehicles, vans that carry more than 9 people, motorcycle/bikes, limos, and recreational vehicles are not covered
Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with primary car rental insurance. If a car rental agency charges $20 per day for this coverage, you could save $140 on each 7-day rental by declining the rental car agency’s collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver coverage.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
When you pay for your trip partially or in full with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or with Ultimate Rewards points earned on your card, you could receive a benefit if your trip has to be canceled or is disrupted for a covered reason.
Examples of covered events could include:
- Severe weather that prevents you from beginning a trip or keeps you from continuing your travels
- Illness or death of an immediate family member or travel companion
- Certain legal obligations
Examples of expenses reimbursed include:
- Prepaid non-refundable expenses charged by a travel supplier such as tour operator, airline, or other common carriers
- Non-refundable prepaid expenses charged by rental car or travel agencies
- Under trip interruption, $250 for emergency ground transport
The trip cancellation/interruption coverage that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card pays up to $10,000 per person, per trip, up to $20,000 per occurrence, and up to a maximum of $40,000 in a 12-month period.
Examples of losses that would not be covered could include:
- Cancellation by the travel provider (unless due to severe weather)
- You change your plans
- Pre-existing conditions
- Financial insolvency of the travel provider
- Losses that occur on trips exceeding 60 days
Hot Tip: The trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance that comes with a credit card, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, does not cover voluntary trip cancellations. If you think you might have to cancel a trip, you should purchase Cancel for Any Reason Insurance which provides coverage regardless of the reason for cancellation.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Trip delays of more than 6 hours or an overnight stay trigger the trip delay reimbursement coverage on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You and your eligible family members could receive up to $500 for each purchased ticket, per trip, for unreimbursed expenses for incidentals, lodging, and meals.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If your checked or carry-on luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged, you could receive up to $3,000 per person, per trip. There is a sub-limit of $500 included in the $3,000 maximum for valuable items such as jewelry watches, and specific electronics.
When your bags are delayed for more than 6 hours, you could receive up to $100 per day for 5 days for reimbursement of essentials such as clothing, toiletries, and a cell phone charger.
Make just a call if you have a roadside emergency and receive assistance with services such as flat tire replacement, emergency fuel, jump-start service, towing, lock-outs, and more.
The number of covered service calls each 12-month period is limited to 4 and the maximum coverage is $50 per service call. Any charges over that amount will be charged to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
Pay for at least a portion of your common carrier trip with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Then, if you or an immediate family member become injured or sick during your travels and need emergency evacuation, the card could provide up to $100,000 in coverage.
Trips must be at least 5 days in length, not more than 60 days, and the traveler must be more than 100 miles from home.
This is not reimbursement coverage — you must call the benefits administrator at the time of the incident to initiate emergency transport.
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
It’s rare to find any medical or dental coverage provided on a credit card, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers this benefit for its cardholders and qualifying family members.
Here’s how the coverage works:
- Provides up to $2,500 ($50 deducible) for emergency medical or dental services during a covered trip
- Up to $75 per day for 5 days for a hotel if ordered by attending physician
- Emergency medical/dental services, hospital room, ambulance, medicines, and supplies are examples of covered items
- The trip must be more than 100 miles from residence
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Accident Insurance is a benefit seldom ever used but it can provide peace of mind knowing that if a covered death or dismemberment occurred during you or your family’s common carrier trip, there could be a benefit provided.
The card comes with up to $1,000,000 in coverage.
Travel and Emergency Assistance
Whether you need assistance planning your trip or need help during your travels, you’ll have access to a dedicated phone line 24/7. Receive assistance such as help securing emergency transportation, translation, medical, and legal referrals, help with lost passports, or emergency ticket replacement.
The cost of the actual services received is the responsibility of the cardholder.
Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with one of the best collections of travel insurance benefits and protections available. To learn about additional credit cards also offering travel insurance, check out our list of the best credit cards for travel insurance.
How to File a Claim
The best time to think about filing a travel insurance claim is before an event happens. Before setting off on your trip, it’s wise to take a few minutes to learn how you or your travel companions could receive assistance, should your trip be disrupted.
Reviewing the process of how to contact the claims administrator en route, should it become necessary, could save you money and frustration after the fact for not following the correct procedure for coverage to be valid.
Reviewing the claims process in advance also makes it easier to gather needed information at the time of disruption, such as photos or a statement from the travel provider, versus trying to secure the needed documentation once you’ve arrived home from a disrupted trip.
Here’s what you’ll need to know about filing a claim for Chase credit card travel insurance benefits and/or protections.
Time Is of the Essence
Each specific travel insurance coverage has stated time limits to report a claim, submit the completed and signed claim form, and for supplying all of the required documentation. Failing to do so could jeopardize the processing of your claim.
The best rule of thumb is to contact the claims administrator as soon as an event occurs. This action can also help you receive proper instructions on how to proceed to make sure your expenses will be covered.
Documentation Is Important
You will be asked to submit documentation for your claim to be processed properly. Keep in mind that Chase is not processing your claim as the card issuer utilizes a third-party claims administrator.
You could be asked to provide any of the following information.
- A completed and signed claim form
- Your credit card statement that includes the last 4 digits of the card and receipts showing you paid for the trip/car rental with the eligible card and/or associated points
- A copy of your common carrier ticket and itinerary
- Any related medical documents and/or death certificate
- Documentation from the travel provider as to why the trip was interrupted, canceled, or delayed
- Receipts for purchases and food expense receipts over $50
- Copy of the travel provider’s cancellation or refund policy
- Any additional documentation requested by the benefit administrator
Hot Tip: The claims process will be easier if you have saved receipts, kept travel provider cancellation/refund policy documentation, and have copies of your ticket information and itineraries.
Everything Else You Need to Know
Our list of Chase Sapphire Reserve card travel insurance benefits is an overview only. We have also abbreviated the coverage descriptions. You will need to access the official Guide to Benefits for the card for terms, conditions, current coverage limits, and claim procedures.
Also, note that most travel insurance benefits that come with credit cards are normally secondary to other insurance you might have that would otherwise cover the loss. If you are compensated by an airline for lost luggage, for example, you would only have coverage via your credit card for any excess loss you incurred above the airline’s payment (up to the limits of coverage).
Why We Like the Sapphire Reserve Overall
In addition to having one of the best travel insurance offerings among credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with strong earnings, redemption options, statement credits, and additional benefits.
Here are some of the reasons we like this premium travel rewards card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns valuable, and flexible, Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase you make.
Here’s how you’ll earn points on the card:
- Generous welcome bonus
- 3x earnings on travel and dining
- 10x earnings on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 1x earnings on all other purchases
When it comes time to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll have several options offering various values:
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners to redeem for award tickets or free hotel nights
- Redeem via the Chase Travel Portal for 1.5 cents each
- Redeem for a statement credit or cash-back at 1 cent each
- Redeem for gift cards, experiences, merchandise, or at Amazon and Apple
Other redemption values vary, but always strive to receive no less than 1 cent per point redeemed as you can cash out points for that amount. Transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners can potentially result in the most value for your points. You may also find good value via the Chase Travel portal utilizing points at 1.5 cents each for inexpensive flights.
Receiving statement credits for purchases you’ll be making anyway is an effective way to offset the card’s annual fee. Here are the statement credits you can expect from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card:
- $300 Travel Statement Credit — Each card anniversary year, you’ll receive reimbursement for your travel purchases in the form of a statement credit of up to $300.
- Global Entry, Nexus, or TSA PreCheck Fee Reimbursement — Once every 4 years, you can receive up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry fees, Nexus enrollment, or $85 for TSA PreCheck.
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership — Enjoy access to over 1,300 airport lounge and lounge-alternative properties worldwide with your membership. You’ll also be able to bring in 2 additional guests at no extra charge.
- Complimentary Lyft Pink membership — Receive preferred pricing and priority services with Lyft Pink (a value of $199) and free subscriptions to Grubhub+ and Seamless+ that include free delivery and discounts (a value of $120).
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass Subscription — You’ll have free delivery on all orders $12 or more and discounted fees (over $100 value).
- The Parking Spot Status and Perks — Enroll in complimentary Spot Club Platinum status at The Parking Spot for 2 years and receive 20% off of your first reservation and points for 1 free day of parking.
- Groupon Cash-Back — Enroll to receive 10% back on Groupon deals every month for 12 months (up to $50), rewarded as Groupon Bucks.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees — A typical foreign transaction fee can be 3% of your transaction. You won’t have any such fees on your foreign purchases when you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- Purchase Protection — Use your card to purchase an eligible item and if that item is damaged, stolen, or experiences “involuntary and accidental parting,” you could receive up to $10,000 per claim, for a maximum of $50,000 per year. The coverage is valid for 120 days from the purchase date. Gifts purchased for others are also covered.
- Return Protection — If the merchant will not take back any eligible item within the 90 days after the purchase date, you could receive up to $500 per item, $1,000 maximum per year.
- Extended Warranty — The manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less will be extended for 1 additional year for eligible items. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account.
Bottom Line: With powerful earning and redemption options, statement credits for specific purchases, worldwide lounge access, and a long list of travel and shopping benefits/protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can be worth the annual fee.
Alternative Travel Rewards Cards
While we think the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is an excellent choice for a travel rewards card, here are a couple of equally appropriate alternatives for the frequent traveler.
Also packed with a generous collection of travel insurance benefits, the Amex Platinum card shines as a companion for the frequent traveler.
Its lounge access benefits are second to none, plus it offers hotel program elite status, rental car perks, and statement credits for specific purchases. It also earns valuable, and flexible, Membership Rewards points via a generous up-front welcome bonus and bonus earnings on eligible travel.
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Must Reads: For more info on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, see our thoughts on its benefits and travel insurance coverage, which includes primary car rental insurance. Take a look at our full review to see why it’s one of our favorite cards.
If you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card but are reluctant to pay a high annual fee, or you won’t use all of the benefits offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you might want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
The Sapphire Preferred comes with many of the travel insurance benefits and protections offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and it’s one of our favorite travel rewards cards.
You can learn more about all the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
While the high annual fee may be off-putting, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is packed with plenty of benefits to justify the expense — if you’ll utilize the majority of those benefits.
Our focus today was on travel insurance benefits that alone could save you money, provide compensation, and/or reimbursement if your trip is disrupted. But there is additional value in all the other benefits offered on the card.
A Priority Pass Select membership, for example, will set you back as much as $429 each year, plus $32 for each guest, per visit. The Priority Pass membership that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers unlimited access for the cardholder and allows 2 additional guests at no charge.
The card also comes with a $300 travel credit, and up to $100 for Global Entry, Nexus. or TSA PreCheck fees.
If you can utilize the benefits, the card can be worth it.
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.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.