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

Apr 18, 2018

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This is Part Three in our Vacation Nightmare story. Be sure to read Part One and Part Two for an introduction to our unfortunate travelers and full details of what they encountered on the first two days of their trip.

It’s day three of the Allens’ and Becks’ summer trips to Orlando to visit Disney World, and the vacations haven’t exactly been dream ones. A baggage delay followed by a lost piece of luggage set the tone on their flight, and while their day at the Magic Kingdom was great, it ended on a sour note when they discovered over $1,100 worth of damage to their rental car in the parking lot.

However, today is shaping up to be a banner day. It’s quite hot so both the Allens and Beckss head to Typhoon Lagoon, Disney World’s waterpark. The kids are obsessed; the slides, the wave pool, the bright sun. It’s the exact type of summer day that draws travelers from the Midwest and Northeast to “Mickey’s house,” as the Allens’ youngest daughter adorably calls Disney World. It seems like things are finally going their way.

Then disaster strikes. As Mr. Allen and Mr. Beck are taking pictures of their kids in the wave pool with their brand new cell phones, they suddenly slip from their grasps and, SPLASH! Down to the bottom of the pool. Both are horrified and quickly retrieve them, but the damage is done. Neither will turn on, and the “overnight bag of rice” trick does no good either. The phones are ruined, and both begin regretting the fact that they didn’t select the optional insurance when purchasing the phone last month. They are both looking at a hefty $399 bill to replace the phone.

A lost or damaged cell phone could be eligible for repair or replacement through a credit card’s purchase protection benefit. Image courtesy of Irina Dobrolyubova via Getty Images.

Fortunately for Mr. Allen, he swiped his Chase Sapphire Preferred Card when he purchased the phone and is thus eligible for the card’s purchase protection coverage. By opening a claim and submitting all required documentation, he’ll either receive a replacement phone or be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the phone (up to $500). While that won’t help him take pictures or send texts for the rest of the trip, he can rest easy knowing that he won’t need to fork over a few hundred dollars to replace it.

Mr. Beck is in a different situation, as he used his debit card to buy the phone. As a result, he’s stuck replacing the phone at his own expense, an unexpected $399 penalty for his clumsiness.

Day Three Scorecard

Allens: Reimbursed for $399 replacement phone

Becks: Paid $399 out of pocket to replace phone

Difference: $399

Cumulative Difference: $1,811

This simple accident (dropping a phone in the wave pool) becomes a much more costly mistake for Mr. Beck, as he’s out $399 to replace it. Mr. Allen, however, has purchase protection by virtue of using his Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for the phone, so he’s able to pick up a replacement without a dime from his own wallet. His family is now better off by more than $1,800 after just three days of vacation.

Be sure to come back for tomorrow’s installment, as both families are about to get a nasty curveball that has the potential to cost them dearly.

Featured photo by anyaberkut/Getty Images.

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