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6 lesser-known Chase Sapphire Reserve travel and shopping benefits

Nov. 04, 2022
12 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is widely considered one of the best travel credit cards available to U.S. consumers. Plus, it's currently 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

But earning points doesn’t stop at the welcome bonus. You’ll also earn 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked in the Chase travel portal, 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases, 5 points per dollar on flights booked through the Chase portal, 3 points per dollar on a broadly-defined travel category, 3 points per dollar on dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Plus, you'll earn 10 points per dollar with Lyft through March 2025.

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review

You'll also have a very long list of perks to enjoy with the Sapphire Reserve. This includes up to $300 in annual travel credits, a Priority Pass Select lounge membership, no foreign transaction fees, an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus, and up to $25 in monthly credits for free food from Gopuff and Instacart and more. Perks like these have been widely publicized since the card’s launch in August 2016 and are among the reasons the Sapphire Reserve consistently makes TPG’s list of the top travel credit cards.

But did you know that the Sapphire Reserve comes with top-notch travel and shopping protections? Here’s a look at six benefits that are lesser known but still have the ability to save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

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 in the event this happens. If your trip (whether by air, bus, cruise ship or train) is delayed by more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, you’re entitled to reimbursement if you purchased your ticket with your Reserve card.

Related: Best credit cards that offer trip delay reimbursement

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This benefit covers the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner and dependent children under the age of 26 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.

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

Related: Chase paid for my $1,100-per-night hotel room thanks to built-in trip delay coverage

Baggage delay insurance

Almost every frequent traveler has eventually had their luggage delayed or lost.

If your baggage is delayed or misdirected for six or more hours, the Sapphire Reserve reimburses cardholders for the emergency purchase of essential items.

TAIMY ALVAREZ/SUN SENTINEL/TNS 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 a cellphone charger cable.

Related: Which credit cards cover baggage delays?

For lost, damaged or stolen baggage, the Reserve card covers up to $3,000 per insured person on eligible trips. This reimbursement is valid on both checked and carry-on baggage, and you’ll be reimbursed for both the bag and any personal property within the bag. Note there are some limitations on jewelry, watches and electronics, as well as exceptions for documents, money, securities, tickets, checks, travelers' checks or furs.

Related: Lost vs. delayed baggage: How are they different and how do you protect yourself?

For both forms of coverage (baggage delay and lost luggage reimbursement), at least a portion of the cost of your trip must have been charged to your Sapphire Reserve card for the benefits to take effect.

Related: The best credit cards for paying taxes and fees on award tickets

Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance

While we never want to expect the worst, let’s say that your dream getaway you’ve planned for the past year has just been canceled. What now?

Thankfully, the Reserve comes with some protections that will help you walk away with as little financial damage as possible. 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, resulting in fees associated with rebooking the trip.

Related: TPG reader question: Does Chase travel insurance apply if I pay for my trip with Ultimate Rewards points?

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 per person and up to $20,000 per trip. There’s a maximum limit 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 or travel booked past the 26th week of pregnancy.
  • 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).

Related: Comparing travel protections with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum

Emergency medical and dental benefit

If you get sick while traveling and need emergency treatment, the Reserve reimburses 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 the doctor determines you can’t travel immediately after your release from a hospital.

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.
Your Sapphire Reserve's coverage can lighten the sting of expensive emergency medical bills during a trip. HEALTH HOLDEN/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. Coverage also doesn't apply on trips that are for medical tourism purposes.

This benefit covers the cardholder and the cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner and/or legally dependent children under 19 years old (or if they’re younger than 26 years old and enrolled as full-time students at an accredited university). To be eligible for the coverage, the travel must have been booked with your Reserve card or with Ultimate Rewards points linked to your account, and you must contact the benefit administrator within 90 days. Finally, a trip must be five to 60 days long and at least 100 miles from home to be covered.

Your benefits can even include emergency medical evacuation coverage.

Auto rental collision damage waiver

Renting a car can include many additional fees, so it’s nice to know you have protection if anything goes wrong.

With the Sapphire Reserve card’s 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.

Related: Credit cards that offer primary car rental coverage

Both physical damages to the car and theft are covered by the insurance. In addition, there's coverage for reasonable and customary towing charges related to a collision or theft when a car must be towed to the nearest repair facility. 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 cars, cargo vans, vehicles with open cargo beds, trucks other than pickups, motorcycles, mopeds, motorbikes, limousines, recreational vehicles and passenger vans with seating for more than 9 people.
  • 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.
  • Rentals over 31 days in length.

Both the cardholder and additional drivers included on the rental agreement are eligible for the coverage, though you must decline all supplemental insurance offered by the rental car company to be eligible.

This benefit could save you a lot of out-of-pocket cash if you’re in this unfortunate situation with a rental car.

Related: Best credit cards for rental car coverage

Shopping protections

The Sapphire Reserve card offers great purchase protection in three main categories. Remember that you must purchase the item with your Reserve card to qualify for any of these coverage options.

THOMAS BARWICK/GETTY IMAGES

Purchase protection

If you purchase a new item and it breaks or gets stolen within 120 days, you’re eligible to receive up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder account to reimburse, repair or replace the purchase. You (as the cardholder) or the recipient of a gift are eligible for the protection.

Noncovered purchases include (but aren’t limited to): items that mysteriously disappear with no evidence of a wrongful act, used or pre-owned items, antiques and collectibles, boats, automobiles, aircraft, motorized vehicles, computer software, items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use or medical equipment.

Extended warranty protection

If your purchase comes with a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, extended warranty protection extends the coverage by one additional year. In total, the warranty protection covers up to $10,000 per claim and up to a maximum of $50,000 per account. What’s especially useful with this protection is that items purchased outside the U.S. are covered, so long as they have a valid original manufacturer-written U.S. repair warranty, a store-purchased dealer warranty or an assembler warranty.

Purchases that aren't covered include (but aren't limited to) boats, automobiles, aircraft, motorized vehicles, items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use, used or preowned items and computer software.

Return protection

If you’re dissatisfied with a purchase and the original merchant won’t accept the return for a refund, exchange or credit, you’re eligible for reimbursement through your Sapphire Reserve card. Eligible returned items are those in new or good/working condition that have been purchased in the last 90 days. As the cardholder, you’re eligible for up to $500 for each eligible item, up to $1,000 per year.

Non-covered purchases include animals and live plants, boats, aircraft, automobiles, motorized vehicles, cash or cash-equivalents, computer software, items purchased outside the U.S., items purchased for resale, jewelry or collectible items and perishables.

While you can be reimbursed up to the full value of your items (or up to the $500 maximum), it's worth pointing out that your reimbursement could have shipping and handling fees subtracted prior to payment.

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 in your benefits guide (available here). It’s important to get familiar with eligibility requirements and the necessary documents before making a claim to ensure the process moves along as smoothly as possible.

As a reminder, the Chase Sapphire Reserve currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. It has a ton of benefits that help to offset the $550 annual fee. In addition, the 3 points per dollar earned on both travel and dining help to ensure you’ll never run dry on valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Additional reporting by Carissa Rawson and Ryan Smith.

Featured image by EVA-KATALIN/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees