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A Tale of Two Trips: Vacation Nightmares and Credit Cards, Part Two

April 17, 2018
4 min read
Istanbul, Turkey - January 17, 2015: Most common rental car offices side by side on Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul. Including Avis, Sixth, Europacar, Budget, Hertz.
A Tale of Two Trips: Vacation Nightmares and Credit Cards, Part Two
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This is Part Two in our Vacation Nightmare story. Be sure to read Part One for an introduction to our unfortunate travelers and full details of what they encountered on the first day of their trip.

When we last left the Allens and the Becks, they were dealing first with delayed luggage and then one bag eventually being lost. While both families received some reimbursement from the airline operating their flights, the Allens were able to get additional payments from Chase simply by using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for their trip.

Day Two starts rather innocuously, as both families head to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom. It finally feels like vacation: the weather is gorgeous, the lines are (relatively) short and everyone has a great time. The highlight of the day is the last-minute reservation both families score at the "Be Our Guest" restaurant. The kids in particular enjoy the ambiance of dining in the Beast's castle.

Unfortunately, things are about to take a turn for the worse. As each family approaches its rental car, weighed down by the souvenirs and sweets purchased on Main Street, the excitement of the day vanishes when they see the following...

Image by Image Source / Getty Images.

While the car is still driveable, the damage is significant enough to make it impossible to hide. There's no note left on the windshield from the friendly offender, nor is there any obvious sign of the accident on adjacent cars. It's clear that this was a hit-and-run, but now both the Allens and Becks are left wondering how much this unfortunate discovery will cost them.

They get their answer a couple of weeks after returning the car at the end of their trip — the damage to the vehicle winds up being $1,160, and since it will take three days to repair, they're also responsible for a "loss-of-use" charge of $50 per day, bringing the grand total to $1,310.

However, the Allens are in luck. Since they paid for the car rental with their Chase Sapphire Preferred, they fall under the umbrella of the card's primary car rental coverage. After gathering all the required information, they submit the claim to Chase and are reimbursed for the entire amount.

The Becks, on the other hand, are left with one option: submit the claim to their personal insurance company. This includes a $500 collision deductible and doesn't have a provision for loss-of-use coverage. As a result, they wind up getting reimbursed for just $660 of the $1,310 charge and begin steeling themselves for the inevitable rate hike when their insurance policy renews later this year.

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Day Two Scorecard

Allens: Reimbursed for $1,310

Chows: Reimbursed for $660

Difference: $650

Cumulative Difference: $1,412

Another day, another huge discrepancy between the two families' expenses. Since the Allens used the Chase Sapphire Preferred for their rental car, they didn't have to pay a dime out-of-pocket for the unexpected damage to the car in the Disney parking lot. But the Becks, our erstwhile debit card users, were only reimbursed for roughly half of that expense. In all, the Becks now lag behind the Allens by over $1,400 simply by swiping the wrong kind of plastic.

Unfortunately, this isn't the end of the woes for either family. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what happens next as their vacation nightmares just get worse!

Featured image by Getty Images