TPG reader question: Does Chase travel insurance apply if I pay for my trip with Ultimate Rewards points?
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused one of the greatest disruptions in commercial travel, with unprecedented restrictions and a number of well-known airlines filing for bankruptcy protection. Whether or not you personally had a trip impacted by the pandemic, now is a great time to study up on trip cancellation insurance benefits offered by many top travel rewards cards.
TPG reader Vin reached out to ask whether award tickets would qualify under this coverage …
If you book a flight with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, do they still offer travel protection?Vin
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First, the bad news: Most insurance plans probably won’t reimburse you for coronavirus-related travel mishaps. This holds true whether your plan is included with your Chase credit card, or was purchased from a third-party underwriter.
With that said, cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve) still feature some of the most generous travel insurance policies. Depending on the card, you may enjoy coverage for trip delays, cancellations, baggage losses and car rental damage or theft.
In addition, the circumstances under which these policies kick in are extremely generous as well. 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 incredibly 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.
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:
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:
As the coronavirus pandemic has ripped through the travel industry with unprecedented speed, causing travel disruptions, many people struggled to get the refunds or insurance coverage they were entitled to.
Let this serve as a reminder that 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.
Additional reporting by Chris Dong.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
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