Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve insurance benefits – Which is better?

Aug 26, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Nowadays, lots of travel credit cards have similar names and it can get confusing. It seems like every card name contains the word platinum, preferred, premier or reserve somewhere in the title. It’s important to know the distinctions between each because the benefits you’ll find on each card can vary dramatically.

Take the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example; their titles are alike, they earn the same type of points, the cards even kind of look similar. But many of their benefits are very different. And they should be — the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a $95 annual fee, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee.

New to The Points Guy? Want to learn more about credit card points and miles? Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Let’s compare some of the most important perks of these two cards: Travel and purchase protection. These are huge factors when choosing the right travel credit card.

In This Post

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Perfect planning cannot prevent unexpected interruptions and cancellations during your travels. (Photo by Science Photo Library – NASA/Getty Images)

Trip interruption and cancellation insurance is something you’ll (hopefully) rarely use. But when you do need it, you could be spared from forfeiting several thousand dollars in nonrefundable travel.

This coverage reimburses prepaid trip expenses that would otherwise be lost when you change or cancel your trip for a covered reason. You might even qualify for a new flight away from your destination, depending on the circumstances. Here are the differences between each insurance:

  • Trip cancellation: Disaster strikes and you cancel your trip before it begins
  • Trip interruption: You’re on your trip and disaster strikes, causing you to change your plans

Covered reasons that make you eligible for these insurances include:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life or sickness experienced by your or a traveling companion which prevents either of you from traveling
  • Severe weather (see benefits guide for details)
  • Change in military orders for you or your spouse
  • A call to jury duty (see benefits guide for details)
  • You or your travel companion’s lodging accommodations at your destination are made uninhabitable.
  • Quarantine of you or your travel companion imposed by a physician or by a competent governmental authority having jurisdiction due to health reasons
  • Organized strike affecting public transportation which causes you or a travel companion to miss 20%+ of the scheduled duration of the trip — or miss the departure of a prepaid cruise or tour (booked through a tour operator) that you’re scheduled to take

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer identical insurances: Up to $10,000 per covered person with a maximum of $20,000 per trip. They also stipulate a maximum payout of $40,000 per 12-month period.

Related: Best credit cards for trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Baggage delay insurance

Delayed luggage is an inevitability. If you travel with even moderate frequency, you’ve probably experienced this a handful of times.

Baggage delay protection reimburses you for select necessities you purchase while you’re waiting for your checked bag. The delay must be caused by the common carrier (airline, cruise, train, etc.). Eligible purchases include:

  • Toiletries
  • Clothing
  • Chargers for electronic devices

Again, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer the same protection here: $100 per day for up to five days. This insurance kicks in after a baggage delay of six hours or more. You and your immediate family are covered.

Related: Best credit cards that offer delayed baggage insurance

Trip delay reimbursement

I spent hundreds of dollars for a stay at the Grand Hyatt DFW (including dinner and breakfast) when my flight from Dallas was canceled. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/The Points Guy)

Trip delay insurance reimburses you for reasonable expenses resulting from an extended delay with a common carrier. The terms are a bit loose when defining “reasonable expenses,” but eligible purchases include:

  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Toiletries
  • Medication

Here’s what each card offers:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Up to $500 per ticket (triggers after 12-hour or overnight delay)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Up to $500 per ticket (triggers after six-hour or overnight delay)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve wins this category handily. The ability to be reimbursed for $500 in “reasonable” purchases just six hours into a delay is fantastic and one of the most generous travel perks of any card on the market.

Related: Best credit card for trip delay reimbursement

Purchase protection

Purchase protection covers you from theft, accidental damage or involuntary and accidental parting with your eligible purchase. Your item may be replaced or repaired.

Here’s what each card offers:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Up to $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per account (incident must occur within 120 days from the date of purchase)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Up to $10,000 per claim, up to $50,000 per year (incident must occur within 120 days from the date of purchase)

Again, the Chase Sapphire Reserve wins hands-down. Hopefully, you won’t need this perk often — but if you’re planning to buy a costly item, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the way to go.

You must charge at least a portion of your purchase with your eligible card.

Related: Best credit cards for purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

Extended warranty protection lengthens the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible products. It does not augment the protection you get; it only extends the expiration of the coverage.

The extended warranty terms from both cards are the same: One additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less, up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim, $50,000 maximum per account.

Related: Best credit cards for extended warranty protection

Primary rental car insurance

(Photo by tupungato/Getty Images)

Credit card primary rental car insurance saves you from paying for the in-house insurance offered by the rental car agency.

This insurance, per Chase, covers you from theft, damage, valid loss-of-use charges imposed and substantiated by the auto rental company, administrative fees and reasonable and customary towing charges (due to covered theft or damage) to the nearest qualified repair facility. You can simply decline the rental agency’s CDW waiver and pay for your rental with your eligible card.

Only rentals of 31 consecutive days or less qualify. Also, not all cars are covered. Examples of some that Chase refuses to cover are:

  • Antique cars
  • Cargo vans
  • Motorcycles
  • Limousines
  • Passenger vans with seating for more than nine people

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer primary rental car insurance:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Up to the actual cash value of most rented cars
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Up to $75,000

Note that this coverage in no way covers damage to property other than your rental car. If you wreck into another car, Chase will not cover damage to the other party’s property.

Related: Best credit cards for primary rental car coverage

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer the same travel and purchase insurances with varying levels. The disparity isn’t as vast as you might think, considering their difference in annual fees.

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is clearly the better card with its superior trip delay insurance and purchase protection, the Chase Sapphire Preferred matches the Reserve in all other categories and is respectable across the board. Read our post on the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve to see a concise side-by-side comparison of all other card benefits. It’ll help you know for sure which card will best fit your lifestyle.

Application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred with a bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Application link:  Chase Sapphire Reserve with a bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.