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When I get an email from a credit card issuer with a subject line that reads “Please read: Important changes to your credit card benefits” I usually expect the worst.
Following the drastic cuts made by Citi, the changes being made by Barclays and the recently announced benefit reshuffle at American Express I think I’m entitled to feel a little concerned when I get an email from a fourth credit card issuer to let me know that changes are on the way…but for once I need not have worried.
Chase Benefit Changes
Chase is sending out emails to IHG Rewards Select Credit Card holders (this card is no longer open to new applicants) to let them know of some changes that are coming to their card’s benefits from 17 November 2019.
Benefits Being Lost:
- Price Protection
- Mastercard Concierge
Protection Benefit Being Added:
- Cell Phone Protection
New Cell Phone Protection Benefit
The IHG Rewards Select card is a Mastercard and this explains why the new cell phone protection that this card is getting (and that probably any other Chase Mastercards will get) is exactly the same as the cell phone protection that is being added to the AAdvantage Aviator red credit card – this is a Mastercard benefit and not a benefit offered by the issuing bank.
In brief, here’s the coverage:
- Up to $600 per claim
- Up to $1,000 per year
- Maximum of 2 claims in a 12 month period
- $50 deductible per claim.
- Coverage is for theft or damage for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your eligible credit card.
Primary Protection Benefits Remaining
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – secondary in the US, primary elsewhere
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance – $5,000 per person/$10,000 per trip when the cardholder charges all or a portion of a fare to the eligible card.
Purchase Protection – 120 days after purchase with a $500 single item maximum
Travel Accident Insurance – cardholder and immediate family are covered when the cardholder charges all or a portion of a fare to the eligible card.
Baggage Delay Insurance – $100/day for up to 3 days “for essential items such as toiletries, clothing, and chargers for electronic devices”
Exclusions and terms apply to all protection benefits
Firstly, I should confess to the fact that I had no idea that the IHG Rewards Select credit card came with some of these benefits because I never use it for anything other than IHG stays – I have my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for all my protection needs but I’m still impressed with what this $49/year card offers.
Secondly, this is a relief.
Whatever changes Chase is putting through to the IHG Rewards Select Mastercard will almost certainly apply to any other Mastercards that the bank issues and, if it follows in Barclays’ footsteps, the changes may also affect and Visa cards that it issues so it was important that the news in the email was as benign as possible.
I’m not sure it could have been any more benign.
Ok, yes, yet another card is losing the price protection benefit but was anyone really expecting any card to offer this benefit come this time next year? I wasn’t and I doubt many people were so this is hardly a big hit to take.
Overall this news is actually amusing because it means that my $49/year IHG Rewards Select credit card continues to offer me considerably more protections than my $495/year Citi Prestige card (which offers none) and this just highlights what a joke Citi’s decision to cull almost all protection benefits is.
It’s also worth pointing out that although it may not be a great card to use for booking travel (other then IHG stays), the IHG Rewards Select credit card not only offers better protection than almost all Citi credit cards, but it also offers a number of protection benefits that the more expensive American Express cards do not offer (e.g. travel accident insurance and baggage delay insurance).
This should probably be viewed as good news for all Chase cardholders because if Chase had any intention of culling important travel benefits across its credit card portfoilo (like Citi did) I doubt that a $49/year card like the IHG Rewards Select card would escape the chop.
If the IHG Rewards Select credit card is keeping all of its travel benefits then it’s unlikely that key cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards will see drastic changes anytime soon and that’s very good to know.