What Protections Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve Offer?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an impressive credit card offering 3X on dining and travel and a $300 travel credit along with a Priority Pass membership that allows unlimited guests traveling on your itinerary to enter airport lounges. But this card also offers one of the most complete packages of travel and purchase protections that you’ll find on any credit card and it’s one of the reasons I consider it to be the top card.

It’s a good idea to read up on all of these protections to get an idea of what they cover in the event that you might need them one day. Pay special attention to the requirements for filing your claim since the time periods are often different for each protection. Also, note who is covered by each benefit and the types of losses that are afforded protection and those that aren’t.

1. Primary rental car insurance 

Chase is great about offering primary rental car insurance for its cards. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Reserve offer primary rental car insurance although the Reserve has a more expansive policy.

Here are the terms for the Sapphire Reserve:

  • The Sapphire Reserve offers primary rental car insurance covering you rental up to $75,000.
  • The vehicle rental period cannot exceed nor intend to exceed 31 consecutive days.
  • You must notify the Benefit Administrator within 60 days of the damage or theft
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss; you must submit a completed claim form within 100 days of the damage or theft
  • Submit all required supporting documentation within 365 days of the damage or theft

What’s Covered?

  • Physical damage and/or theft of covered rental vehicle
  • Reasonable and customary towing charges related to a covered loss to take the vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility
  • Valid loss-of-use charges incurred by the rental car agency

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Antique automobiles; vans designed to carry more than 8 people; vehicles that have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles
  • Expenses reimbursed under your personal auto insurance policy, your employer or your employer’s insurance
  • Any obligation you assume under any other agreement
  • Injury of anyone or anything inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Leases and mini leases
  • Any violation of the auto rental agreement
  • Loss or theft of personal belongings

Primary rental car coverage is a huge benefit offered by the Sapphire Reserve because it can save you from having to file a claim with your insurance company and keep your premiums down. Anytime I ever rent a car, I use the Sapphire Reserve to book it. 

Travel protections

Aside from loss or damages luggage protection, these are protections not offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express (you have to pay extra for them) and are reasons why I try to book my flights on the Sapphire Reserve even when I could earn 5X on the Platinum.

2. Lost or damaged Luggage

  • For checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000.00 for each Insured Person for each Common Carrier Covered Trip and up to $500.00 for each Insured Person for each Common Carrier Covered Trip for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment.
  • Provides reimbursement for costs you incur to repair or replace checked and/or carry-on baggage damaged or lost (including theft) that happens during a covered trip on a common carrier such as airline, bus, cruise ship or train
  • This protection covers both the cardholder and the immediate family members (even if the Cardholder is not traveling with them)

3. Trip Interruption

  • If your trip is canceled or cut short by covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Trip Cancellation provides reimbursement if a covered loss prevents you from traveling on or before the departure date and results in cancellation of the travel arrangements
  • Trip Interruption provides reimbursement if a covered loss on the way to the point of departure or after departure causes interruption of your covered trip. It can also provide reimbursement if a trip is postponed due to a covered loss and certain fees are incurred if a new departure date is set.
  • This protection covers both the cardholder and the immediate family members (even if the Cardholder is not traveling with them)
  • Up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000

    What’s Covered?

    This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

    • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the Cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the Cardholder or a traveling companion
    • Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation a covered trip
    • Terrorist action or hijacking
    • Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
    • Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier

    What’s Not Covered?

    This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

    • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator, or any travel agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
    • Change in plans or financial circumstances
    • A pre-existing condition
    • Traveling against the advice of a physician
    • A declared or undeclared war
    • Trips that exceed 60 days in duration are not covered

4. Trip Delay Reimbursement

  • If delayed more than 6 hours you are covered for expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket. (upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred which required 12 hours). 
  • Provides reimbursement for expenses such as meals and lodging if your common carrier (airline, bus, cruise ship, train) travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay
  • Trip must be away from the cardholder’s city of residence and be less than 365 days in length
  • You, the Cardholder, must notify the Benefit Administrator within 60 days following the date of the delay
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss. You must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 100 days of the date of the delay

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder
  • Cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Dependent children under age 22

The trip delay for the Reserve is better than the Sapphire Preferred which requires a waiting time of 12 hours but not quite as solid as the Citi Prestige which only requires a 3 hour delay to kick in. Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, I’ve heard of others using this benefit to stay at a 5-star hotel for one night when their trip is delayed and then getting comped for the $500 stay.

5. Baggage Delay Reimbursement

  • If delayed more than 6 hours, you are covered for essential expenses, such as toiletries and clothes for up to one hundred ($100.00) dollars per day for a maximum of five (5) days.
  • Provides reimbursement for the emergency purchase of essential items like toiletries and clothing, when baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours by a common carrier, such as an airline, bus, cruise ship or train, while on covered trip
  • Covers trips when the common carrier fare for the transportation has been purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card
  • You, the Cardholder, must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible)
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss.  You must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 90 days from the date of occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible)

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder
  • Cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Immediate family members

6. Purchase protections

  • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. (This is a significant upgrade from the previous $500 limit of the Sapphire Preferred.)
  • You, the Cardholder, must notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days of the loss, damage, or theft
  •  The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when  you report your loss; you must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 120 days after the damage or theft
  • If the item has been stolen, you must file a police report within 48 hours of the occurrence

I think it’s important to note the strict time requirement of 48 hours for stolen items. If something is stolen make sure you file that police report ASAP (can’t just contact Chase) to comply with the requirements.

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder
  • Recipients of gifts purchased by the Cardholder with an eligible Chase card

What’s Covered?

  • Eligible personal property that has been damaged, stolen, or involuntary and accidental parting with property within 120 days from the date of purchase

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Items that mysteriously disappear with no evidence of a wrongful act
  • Used or pre-owned items
  • Antiques and collectible items
  • Boats, automobiles, aircraft and any other motorized vehicles
  • Computer Software
  • Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use

7. Extended Warranty Protection

  • Extends the time period of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. repair warranty by one (1) additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less, up to a maximum of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars per claim
  • You, the Cardholder, must notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days of the product’s failure
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss; you must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 120 days of the product failure

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder
  • Recipients of gifts purchased by the Cardholder

What’s covered?

  • Eligible items with a valid original manufacturer-written U.S. repair warranty of 3 years or less
  • Gifts purchased with your eligible Chase card that meet the terms and conditions of the benefit
  • Items purchased outside the United States are covered as long as they are purchased with your account and the eligible item has either a valid original manufacturer- written U.S. repair warranty of 3 years or less, a store-purchased dealer warranty, or an assembler warranty.

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Boats, automobiles, aircraft and any other motorized vehicles
  • Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
  • Used or pre-owned items
  • Computer software

8. Price Protection

  • If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
  • You, the Cardholder, must call the Benefit Administrator within 21 days of the date of the advertisement
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss, you must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 45 days of requesting the claim form
  • The printed or non-auction internet advertisement must include a description of an item identical to the one purchased along with the sale price, the store or dealer’s name and the date(s) the sale is in effect
  • Sale date in the advertisement must be within 90 days after the original purchase date

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder

Advertisements Not Covered

  • Advertisements for flea markets, fire sales, limited quantity promotions, seasonal sales or auctions
  • Advertisements of sales of seasonal or discontinued items including, but not limited to, holiday decorations, clothes, or costumes

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Boats, automobiles, and any other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment, and accessories
  • Cell phone service agreements and cell phone contracts
  • Items previously owned, sold “as is,” and refurbished items
  • Items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use
  • Items purchased outside of the United States
  • Jewelry, antiques, collectible items, rare or one-of-a-kind items, special order items, custom items, and tailored items
  • Price differences involving manufacturer and/or merchant rebates, shipping and handling fees, and sales tax, if any

This is a nice benefit that is not offered by American Express credit cards. The biggest issue with getting these benefits honored is that the product must be identical and they can be sticklers when it comes to that. Even the most minute and seemingly insignificant difference between products could disqualify you from being eligible to invoke this protection.

9. Return Protection

  • You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.
  • If the merchant won’t accept the return, you, the Cardholder, must notify the Benefit Administrator within 90 days of the date of purchase
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form.  You must submit a completed claim form with supporting documentation within 30 days from the date you notified the Benefit Administrator
  • If the claim is filed within 30 days of purchase, you may need to submit proof of the store’s return policy
  • The item must be returned to the Benefit Administrator in like-new/good working condition

 What’s Covered?

  • Personal items in like-new/good working condition that have been purchased within 90 days, which you have attempted to return to the merchant

 What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Animals and living plants
  • Automobiles, boats, aircrafts, trailers and any other motorized vehicles and their motors, equipment, or accessories
  • Computer software or medical equipment
  • Jewelry, art objects, collectible items, formal attire and accessories
  • Damaged and non-working items
  • Items purchased for resale, professional or commercial use, or outside the United States
  • Tickets, travelers checks, gift cards and any other negotiable instruments
  • Seasonal items and objects which are intended to become part of real estate such as garage doors and ceiling fans

10. Travel accident insurance

  • Travel Accident Insurance consists of two benefit types, Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance and 24-Hour Travel Accident Insurance, which provide coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, or a combined loss of speech, sight or hearing, experienced on a covered trip.
  • You, the Cardholder, must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible)
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form when you report your loss. You must submit a completed claim form with supporting documentation within 90 days from the date of occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible)

What’s Covered?

  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss when entering, exiting, or riding as a passenger on a common carrier, such as airline, bus, train or cruise ship
  • 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss beginning on the departure date printed on a scheduled airline ticket and ends on the return date printed on the ticket (if your trip is longer than 30 days in length, see additional terms in your Guide to Benefits)

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list.  Examples include:

  • The covered person’s emotional trauma, mental or physical illness, disease, pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage, bacterial or viral infection
  • The covered person’s commission or attempted commission of any illegal act including but not limited to any felony
  • The covered person participating in parachute jumping, engaging in vehicular race or speed contest, or any sporting activity for which salary or prize money is earned
  • A declared or undeclared War
  • Trips on scheduled aircrafts that are not registered or certified by the government or governmental authority (24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance)

Coverage Amount

  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
    • Benefit amount for loss of life is $1,000,000
    • Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing are expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits maximum payout is $1,000,000
  • 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance

    • Benefit amount for loss of life is $100,000
    • Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing are expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits; maximum payout is $100,000

11. Roadside assistance 

  • Free for up to $50 and up to 4 times per year
  • Provides access to a variety of roadside assistance services while traveling in the U.S. and Canada
  • Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 1-866-860-7978

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder driving your owned or leased vehicle or a vehicle furnished by the owner

What’s Covered?

  • Provides coverage for on the road breakdowns such as battery boost, flat tire service, fuel delivery, towing, and lockout assistance

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Emergency road service is not available in areas not regularly traveled, in “off-road” areas not accessible by ordinary towing vehicles, or for over one-ton capacity trailers, campers, or vehicles-in-tow
  • Commercial vehicles and trucks with a carrying capacity greater than 2,000 pounds

I keep the number saved in my phone just so I have it for quick and easy reference in case I ever need to give it a call.

Final word

These are solid protections and you’ll struggle to find another rewards card that offers these benefits all across the board like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. While it’s a bit much to commit these protections and their detailed terms to memory, it’s a good idea to be familiar with them so that when it’s time for you to use them, you’ll know what to do.

4 comments

  1. I struggled at first in coughing up the $450 annual fee for this card. But I went through the same list of benefits that you list here and decided with all the perks this cards offers that it justifies the fee. For example, I cancelled my AAA card which cost $79 annually for the wife and I because of the roadside assistance this card offers. I also don’t pay trip insurance anymore when I take the family on our annual Caribbean cruise. That’s another $200+ savings. I damaged a rental car and the primary insurance coverage saved me from a $1,00 deductible that I would have had to pay with my own insurance. Throw in the $300 annual travel credit and this card becomes a no-brainer…..

    1. Exactly! I’m always surprised at how many people completely discount the value of the benefits/protections offered by their cards when that value can often nullify the cost of the annual fee (or at least come close).

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