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

Oct 11, 2021

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Editor’s note: This article is part of our weekly column to answer your credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at tips@thepointsguy.com.

Travel is…unpredictable. It doesn’t take the chaos of a global pandemic to ruin your travel plans. In fact, if you have yet to experience a flight cancellation, extensive trip delay or lost/delayed baggage, you’re probably in the minority of travelers.

If you travel even once or twice per year, you should have a card that offers trip cancellation insurance benefits. But will a travel credit card even cover your trip if you use rewards points to pay for your flight?

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TPG reader Vin Baker reached out to ask whether airline tickets booked using Chase points would qualify under this coverage.

If you book a flight with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, do they still offer travel protection?

Vin Baker

That’s a great question — and one we’ve been asked many times in light of the past 1.5 years of trip cancellations.

Will you still receive credit card travel protections when booking travel with Chase points?

Delta Flight Delay Weather Rain Window
Inclement weather, mechanical failures and delayed inbound flights are just a few of the reasons you should care about credit card travel insurance. (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve) feature some of the most comprehensive travel insurance policies of any credit cards. Depending on your specific card, you may enjoy coverage for trip delays, cancellations, baggage losses and car rental damage or theft.

In addition, the broad range of circumstances under which these policies kick in make them simple to invoke. If you find your trip canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you’ll be eligible for reimbursement through Chase if either of the following is true:

  • Some portion of the cost has been charged to your Chase credit card.
  • You used Ultimate Rewards to pay for all or part of your trip.

Chase is abnormally generous in this regard, as many other issuers require you to pay for the entire trip with your card in order to receive coverage, and/or they don’t extend coverage to travel booked using points.

Related: The ultimate guide to Chase pay with points

You’ll be reimbursed for the monetary value of the redemption (or 1 cent per point if the value doesn’t appear on your itinerary or confirmation). Coverage is capped at $10,000 per trip. Unfortunately, after a large number of airline bankruptcies over the last few years (even before the pandemic began), Chase changed the policy so that “financial insolvency of the travel supplier” is no longer covered:

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Chase does provide a few examples of what counts as a covered event. But if you’re not sure, you can always call the number on the back of your card and ask to speak to a benefits administrator:

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Bottom line

The best time to learn about your credit card’s travel insurance policies is before you actually have to use them. The good news for Chase cardholders is that your trip will be covered even if you pay with points, although there are a number of COVID-19-related exceptions.

Thanks for the question, Vin!

Let us know if you have any head-scratchers you’d like answered for our weekly reader question series. You can tweet us @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong and Joseph Hostetler

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy. 

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