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The Chase Sapphire Reserve is widely considered one of the best credit cards available to US consumers. With it, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. But the earning doesn’t stop there. You’ll also earn 3x points on travel and dining in addition to 1x points on everything else.
The perks side is just as appealing. Cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass Select lounge membership, no foreign transaction fees, up to a $100 application fee credit 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 get quite as much attention.
The perks are among the reasons the Sapphire Reserve consistently makes TPG’s list of the hottest credit card offers. Here’s a look at six that are lesser-known but have the ability to be extremely valuable.
1. Trip Delay Reimbursement
Ever been in the position when your flight is delayed so much that you require an overnight stay? The Sapphire Reserve will reimburse you for many of the costs associated with that scenario. If your travel (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.
The Reserve will cover 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. In order to be eligible, the trip must be away from the cardholder’s city of residence and less than 365 days in length. In addition, you must have purchased the ticket with your Reserve card or with Ultimate Rewards points earned from 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.
2. Baggage Delay Insurance
Almost every frequent traveler has — at some point or another — experienced their luggage being delayed or lost. The Reserve will provide reimbursement for the emergency purchase of essential items in the event your baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours.
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 cell phone charging cable.
On a similar note, the Reserve covers you for up to $3,000 in the event your luggage is lost, damaged or stolen. The amount is for both checked and carry-on baggage, and you’ll be reimbursed for both the bag itself and any personal property within the baggage, though there are some exceptions like 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.
3. Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
Nightmare scenario: That dream getaway you’ve been planning for the past year has just been canceled. What now? Thankfully, the Reserve Card comes with some protections that’ll ensure you walk away with as little financial damage as possible. The card’s trip cancellation insurance provides you reimbursement 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 defines eligible cancellation or interruption reasons 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
- Financial insolvency of the cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator or travel supplier.
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 in duration.
Note that you must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible).
4. Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
If you get sick while traveling, one of the first concerns is how to pay for the medical expenses. The Sapphire Reserve covers up to $2,500, subject to a $50 deductible and up to $75 per day for a hotel room if, upon your release, the doctor determines you can’t travel immediately.
Covered medical and dental expenses include those 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-ray exams or treatments and lab tests
- Ambulance services
- Drugs, medicines and therapeutic services and supplies.
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 US government to be unsafe for travel.
As for who’s covered, the 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). In order 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, an eligible trip must have been between five and 60 days in length, and you must be at least 100 miles from home.
5. Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Renting a car can come with many additional fees. So, it’s nice to know you have some protection in case anything goes wrong. With the Reserve Card’s rental damage waiver, if your rental car is involved in a collision or the victim of theft, you’re eligible for up to $75,000 in coverage. Best of all, the coverage is primary when traveling both in the US and abroad.
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 that have 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 of 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. If your car rental period is longer than 31 days, you’re not eligible for the coverage. This benefit could end up saving you a lot of cash out of pocket if you’re in this unfortunate scenario with a rental car.
6. Purchase Protections
The Reserve Card is great for making purchases for a variety of reasons. There are four main purchase protection categories, and each one covers you for a number of things that could go wrong or change since first making your purchase:
- Purchase Protection
- If you purchased a new item and it broke or was stolen, you’re eligible to get a maximum of $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account to reimburse 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.
- Non-covered purchases include: items that mysteriously disappear with no evidence of a wrongful act; used or pre-owned items; antiques and collectible items; boats, automobiles, aircraft and any other motorized vehicles; computer software; and items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use.
- Price Protection
- If you bought something and the price goes down within 90 days, you’re eligible to receive the difference from your Reserve Card. You’re covered up to $500 per item for a maximum of $2,500 per year on non-close-out purchases. The identical item must have been advertised for less in print or online in order to be eligible, and you must have purchased it on your Reserve Card.
- Non-covered purchases include: boats, automobiles and any other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment and accessories; cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts; items previously owned, sold “as is” and refurbished items; items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use; items purchased out of the US; jewelry, antiques, collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items, special order items, custom items and tailored items; and price differences involving manufacturer and/or merchant rebates, shipping and handling fees and sales tax, if any.
- Extended Warranty Protection
- When you purchase an item with your Reserve Card, this 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 US are covered as long as it has either a valid original manufacturer-written US repair warranty, a store-purchased dealer warranty or an assembler warranty.
- Non-covered purchases include: boats, automobiles, aircraft and any other motorized vehicles; items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use; used or pre-owned items; and computer software.
- Return Protection
- If you’re dissatisfied with a purchase you’ve made 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.
- Non-covered purchases include: animals and living plants; automobiles, boats, aircrafts, trailers and any other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment or accessories; computer software or medical equipment; jewelry, art objects, collectible items, formal attire and accessories; damaged and non-working items; items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use or outside the US; tickets, travelers checks, gift cards and any other negotiable instruments; and seasonal items and objects which are intended to become part of real estate such as garage doors and ceiling fans.
These four purchase protection benefits can end up saving you some cash and offer incentive for using your Reserve Card to make purchases — especially those larger purchases.
While the widely known benefits of the 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 Card 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 $450 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.
Have you used any of the less publicized Sapphire Reserve benefits? Let us know in the comments below.
This is one of the top premium cards out there since you earn 3x on all travel and dining and have access to great perks like a $300 travel credit each year, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you get elite travel benefits like Global Entry application fee rebate, Priority Pass Select and special rental car privileges.
- Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards