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One of the big reasons why I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve card still has its uses is because, despite the highly annoying news we got last week, the card still offers some of the best consumer travel protections around…as does its sister card the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
While Citi has stripped most of its credit cards of just about all consumer protections and while Amex likes to play little games with its travel protections (one-way bookings don’t appear to be covered by Amex’s recently introduced trip insurances), The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Prefered credit cards both have very solid offerings…but they recently took one small but important hit.
Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards offer…
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Primary Rental Car Cover
…so cardholders using these cards to book their trips get one of the more comprehensive sets of travel protection packages that any of the mainstream credit cards offer, but the trip cancellation/interruption insurance just got a little worse [HT: Doctor of Credit]
At some point in the past few months (it’s not clear when because Chase decided not to inform anyone!) a new item was added to the list of situations in which a cardholder will not be covered for trip interruption/cancellation.
If a cardholder’s airline, cruise line, travel agency, tour operator or any other kind of travel supplier goes out of business the Chase Sapphire trip interruption/cancellation insurance will not cover the cardholder for losses.
That’s not cool at all.
When you consider the fact that we’ve seen numerous airlines fold in recent years (WOW, Jet Airways and Thomas Cook are just 3 examples of airlines that ceased operations in 2019) and the fact that we still have quite a few airlines teetering on the brink of financial ruin (e.g. Flybe, Air India and Norwegian) it’s not good news to hear that two of the major travel credit cards no longer cover cardholders if they’re affected by an insolvency.
It’s even worse when you consider the fact that the card issuer (Chase) hasn’t even bothered to contact cardholders to let them know!
Interestingly, reports suggest that the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card which, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, offers 3 points/dollar on travel spending (albeit only up to a maximum spending limit of $150k) and travel interruption/cancellation protection, isn’t yet showing this new limitation on coverage.
As things stand, it would appear that Ink Business Preferred cardholders are covered in the case of insolvency while Chase Sapphire cardholders are not….but this could easily change.
I’m disappointed with Chase. I love the customer service I get when I call Chase and I’m a big fan of a lot of the credit cards that Chase issues but I don’t like the fact that the bank apparently thinks it’s ok to modify benefits without informing cardholders.
I’m still waiting to get an email about the changes to my Sapphire Reserve card (if I didn’t blog on the subject or read blogs on the subject I’d be none the wiser) and I think we can safely assume that no one is going to get an email about the change to the Sapphire cards’ trip interruption/cancellation coverage and that’s unacceptable.
Right now I don’t think this change moves the needle on the value of the Chase Sapphire cards but all Chase cardholders clearly need to stay on their toes – if the bank can slip in a subtle, small but important change to a benefit of the Sapphire cards it’s capable of doing the same on all its other cards too!