6 little-known Chase Sapphire Reserve perks

Jan 27, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information and benefits. It was originally published on Sep. 22, 2017.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is widely considered one of the best travel credit cards available to U.S. consumers. With it, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. But the earning doesn’t stop there. You’ll also earn 10x points with Lyft, 3x points on travel and dining and 1x point on everything else.

The perks side is just as appealing: a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass Select lounge membership, no foreign transaction fees, an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck and more. And while those features have been widely publicized since the card’s launch in August 2016, there are others that don’t much attention.

These perks are among the reasons the Sapphire Reserve consistently makes TPG’s list of the top travel credit card. Here’s a look at six benefits that are lesser known, but still have the ability to be extremely valuable.

In This Post

Trip Delay Reimbursement

Have you ever had a flight delay that required an overnight stay? The Chase Sapphire Reserve will reimburse you for many of the costs associated with that scenario. If your trip (whether by air, bus, cruise ship or train) is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, you’re entitled to reimbursement just for being a cardholder.

READ MORE: Best credit cards that offer trip delay reimbursement

This Chase Sapphire Reserve benefit covers the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner and dependent children under the age of 22 for up to $500 for each purchased ticket. The $500 is limited to one covered incident per trip. To be eligible, the trip must be away from the cardholder’s city of residence and fewer than 365 days in length. In addition, you must have purchased the ticket with your Reserve card or with Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card.

What exactly is covered? Chase defines reimbursable expenses as those incurred for meals, lodging, toiletries, medication and other personal use items. It doesn’t cover prepaid expenses or any covered hazard delay that was made public or known prior to the departure of the covered trip.

Baggage Delay Insurance

Almost every frequent traveler has had their luggage delayed or lost. The Reserve reimburses cardholders for the emergency purchase of essential items in the event your baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours.

Air Canada passengers stand at the Terminal 2 baggage carousel looking for their luggage on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The Terminal 2 baggage area remained partially opened Sunday. (Taimy Alvarez/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
The Chase Sapphire Reserve covers you if your baggage is lost or delayed. (Image by Taimy Alvarez/Sun Sentinel via Getty Images)

The baggage delay insurance covers the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner and immediate family members for up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days. Covered items include essential items that are needed as a result of the delay, such as clothing, toiletries and one cellphone charger cable.

RELATED: Which credit cards cover baggage delays?

The Reserve card covers up to $3,000 for luggage that is lost, damaged or stolen. The amount is for both checked and carry-on baggage, and you’ll be reimbursed for both the bag and any personal property within the bag, although there are some exceptions such as documents, money, securities, tickets, checks, travelers checks or furs.

For both forms of insurance (baggage delay and lost luggage), the trip must have been charged to your Reserve card.

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance

Here’s a nightmare scenario: That dream getaway you’ve been planning for the past year has just been canceled. What now? The Reserve Card comes with some protections that ensure you walk away with as little financial damage as possible. The card’s trip cancellation insurance reimburses you if you cannot travel on or before the departure date and, as a result, you have to cancel your travel plans. On the flip side, trip interruption insurance covers you if your trip is cut short or postponed and there are fees associated with the rebooked trip.

For both trip cancellation and trip interruption, the Reserve card covers the cardholder and immediate family members (even if the cardholder is not traveling with them) up to $10,000. There’s a maximum of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount of $40,000 during a 12-month period when you pay for the trip with your Reserve card.

Chase offers several examples of eligible cancellation or interruption reasons, such as:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life or sickness experienced by the cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the cardholder or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation of a covered trip
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived

With that generous list of what’s covered, Chase also lists forms of cancellations and interruptions that aren’t covered. While not an exhaustive list, it includes:

  • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator or any travel agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
  • Change in plans or financial circumstances
  • Traveling against the advice of a physician
  • A declared or undeclared war
  • Trips that exceed 60 days
  • Financial insolvency of the cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator or travel supplier.

Note that you must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible).

Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit

If you get sick while traveling, the Sapphire Reserve reimburses you up to $2,500 in costs, subject to a $50 deductible and up to $75 per day for a hotel room (up to five days) if, upon your release, the doctor determines you can’t travel immediately.

Covered medical and dental expenses include necessary services performed by a legally qualified physician, surgeon, nurse, dentist or osteopath. In addition, the coverage will reimburse you for the following:

  • Hospital/operating room charges
  • Charges for anesthetics, x-rays, exams or treatments, and lab tests
  • Ambulance services
  • Drugs, medicines and therapeutic services and supplies
There is no such thing as affordable medical evacuation. Courtesy Getty Images.
Your Reserve card can take some of the sting out of emergency situations with its medical and dental benefits. (Image by Health Holden via Getty Images)

Medical services that aren’t reimbursable include non-emergency services, supplies or charges, care not rendered by hospitals and physicians or dentists, care that’s experimental, care not medically necessary (as determined by the benefit administrator) and if the injury or illness occurred in any country that’s determined by the U.S. government to be unsafe for travel.

Protection includes the cardholder and the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner or legally dependent children under 18 years old (or if they’re younger than 25 years old and enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited institution). To be eligible for the coverage, the travel must have been booked with your Reserve card, and you must contact the benefit administrator within 90 days. Finally, a trip is considered eligible if it is from five to 60 days long and is 100 miles from home.

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

Renting a car may come with many additional fees. So, it’s nice to know you have protection if anything goes wrong. Under the Reserve card rental damage waiver, if your rental car is in a collision or you are the victim of theft, you’re eligible for up to $75,000 in coverage. The coverage is primary when traveling both in the U.S. and abroad — meaning you don’t need to report the incident to your personal car insurance provider.

READ MORE: Credit cards that offer primary car rental coverage

Both physical damage to the car and theft are covered by the insurance. In addition, reasonable and customary towing charges related to a collision or theft to take the vehicle to the nearest repair facility are eligible. Finally, valid loss-of-use charges incurred by the rental company are covered.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few exceptions that aren’t eligible for coverage. They include:

  • Antique automobiles; vans designed to carry more than eight people; vehicles with an open-cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles; mopeds; motorbikes; limousines, and recreational vehicles
  • Expenses reimbursed under your personal auto insurance policy, your employer or your employer’s insurance
  • Any obligation you assume under any other agreement
  • Injury to anyone or anything inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Leases and mini leases
  • Any violation of the auto rental agreement
  • Loss or theft of personal belongings

Both the cardholder and additional drivers permitted by the rental agreement are eligible for the coverage, though you must decline all supplemental insurance offered by the rental car company to be eligible. In addition, if your car rental period is longer than 31 days, you’re not eligible for the coverage. This benefit could save you a lot of out-of-pocket cash if you’re in this unfortunate scenario with a rental car.

Purchase Protections

A woman carries a Christmas gift.
(Image by Dougal Waters via Getty Images)

The Reserve card offers great purchase protection in three main categories:

  1. Purchase protection
    • If you purchase a new item and it breaks, is stolen or you experience involuntary and accidental parting with it, you’re eligible to get a maximum of $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account to reimburse, repair or replace the purchase. Eligible personal property must have been damaged or stolen within 120 days from the date of purchase. You (as the cardholder) or a recipient of a gift are eligible for the protection.
    • Noncovered purchases include: items that mysteriously disappear with no evidence of a wrongful act; used or pre-owned items; antiques and collectibles; boats, automobiles, aircraft and any other motorized vehicles; computer software, and items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use.
  2. Extended warranty protection
    • When you purchase an item with your Reserve card, the protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one additional year. The warranty must be three years or less. In total, the warranty protection covers up to $10,000 per claim for a maximum of $50,000 per account. What’s especially useful is that items purchased outside the U.S. are covered as long as they have a valid original manufacturer-written U.S. repair warranty, a store-purchased dealer warranty or an assembler warranty.
    • Noncovered purchases include boats, automobiles, aircraft and other motorized vehicles; items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use; used or preowned items, and computer software.
  3. Return protection
    • If you’re dissatisfied with a purchase and the merchant won’t accept the return, you’re eligible for a reimbursement from your Reserve card. Eligible returned items are those that are in new or good/working condition that have been purchased within 90 days. As the cardholder, you’re eligible for up to $500 for each eligible item and up to $1,000 per year.
    • Noncovered purchases include: animals and live plants; automobiles, boats, aircrafts, trailers and other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment or accessories; computer software or medical equipment; jewelry, art objects, collectibles, formal attire and accessories; damaged and non-working items; items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use or outside the U.S.; tickets, travelers checks, gift cards and any other negotiable instruments, and seasonal items or objects which are part of real estate such as garage doors and ceiling fans.

Bottom Line

While the widely known benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are incredibly useful, some of the card’s lesser-known perks offer great value as well. As always, make sure you read the fine print on each of the benefits for all of the terms and conditions. Know what you’re eligible for and what to document before making a claim to make the process as easy as possible.

As a reminder, the Chase Sapphire Reserve currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. It has a ton of benefits that help to offset the $550 annual fee. In addition, the 3x points earned for both travel and dining help to ensure you’ll never run dry on valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

Additional reporting by Carissa Rawson.

Feature photo by The Points Guy. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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