In-Depth Guide to Travel Insurance and Benefits: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

We recently wrote about how to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve Auto Rental Insurance, and a few of our readers asked how the travel insurance and benefits from the Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred differed. Let’s dive in!

For reference, here are links to the benefits guides for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Benefits

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Points Earned on Travel

You earn points when you book travel like flights, hotels, and rental cars. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get 2x per $1 spent. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you get 3x per $1 spent.

Redemption Value

When you book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, you can book flights for a discount. The prices are usually comparable to Google flights.

Points are worth 1.25 cents with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and 1.50 cents with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If you have points stored in your CSP account, you can transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards account (they transfer instantly) and redeem them for the 1.50 value.

The portal gets you good redemption value, but there are better (and worse) ways to redeem Ultimate Reward points.


Annual Travel Credit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual $300 travel statement credit that helps offset the hefty $450 annual fee.

According to Chase, “travel” is defined as:
“Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.”

The following do not count towards travel:
“Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, websites or owners that rent vacation properties, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, tourist attractions, merchants within airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. Also, the purchasing of points or miles does not qualify in this category.”

Global Entry or TSA Precheck Credit

Travel through airports often? Skip the security lines and spend more time in the airport lounges with TSA Precheck.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides a statement credit of $100 every four years for Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit.

The application fee for TSA Precheck is $85, and the application fee for Global Entry is $100.

Global Entry allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon entry to the US. If you have a valid US passport, it makes sense to get Global Entry because TSA Precheck is included in the fee, as opposed to only TSA Precheck.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Most credit cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee when you make a purchase abroad. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Sapphire Reserve does not have foreign transaction fees, which makes them great travel cards.

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you or your immediate family members for up to $10,000 for each trip if you can’t make a trip for a covered reason like a serious injury, sickness, or severe weather.

Immediate Family Member means your Spouse or Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children, legal guardians or wards, siblings or siblings-in-law, parents or parents-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews.

Just book the trip with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, and you’re covered.

Lost Luggage

If you or your immediate family member’s checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.

It’s a bit harder to be reimbursed for this benefit because you’ll need to provide original receipts for the items that were lost.

Baggage Delay Insurance

If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours by the carrier, Chase will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing.

Items NOT covered:

  1. Essential items not covered by Baggage Delay include, but are not limited to: 1) contact lenses, eyeglasses or hearing aids
  2. artificial teeth, dental bridges or prosthetic devices
  3. tickets, documents, money, securities, checks, travelers' checks and valuable papers
  4. business samples
  5. jewelry and watches
  6. cameras, video recorders, cellular telephones and other electronic equipment and their accessories other than charging cables for cellular telephones

Also, this insurance does not apply to:

Any loss of property caused by or resulting from, directly or indirectly, the commission or attempted commission of any illegal act by you or intentional act including but not limited to any felony.

Any loss of property occurs when 1) the United States of America has imposed any trade or economic sanctions prohibiting insurance of any loss of property; 2) there is any other legal prohibition against providing insurance for any loss of property, or 3) in the event of a declared or undeclared War.


Trip Delay Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred requires the trip to be delayed for 12+ hours before trip delay insurance kicks in. The Chase Sapphire Reserve only requires 6+ hours.

You must purchase the tickets for the trip using one of the cards, and you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 per purchased ticket for lodging and meals.

Emergency Evacuation/Transportation

In the event of a medical emergency (illness or injury) that results in an emergency evacuation, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will reimburse you up to $100,000.

The fine print: it acts as secondary coverage. You will be eligible to receive coverage for expenses not paid or payable by your medical insurance or other reimbursements.

The duration of the trip can’t be less than five days or exceed 60 days. The trip also has to take place more than 100 miles from your place of residence.

The evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefits Administrator, so call the number on the back of your card to check if your situation is covered.

Airport Lounges

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world through Priority Pass.

This is an excellent perk because lounge access usually costs $50/person without a pass.

Auto Collision Damage Waiver

   Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver


Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

Primary Coverage vs. Secondary Coverage

In 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred updated their Auto Collision Insurance to act as primary coverage, as opposed to secondary.

This is AWESOME because most credit cards like the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige act as secondary insurance. This means they will only pay for the cost of certain damages not covered by your car insurance policy.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve both act as primary coverage, so your car insurance won’t be affected.

Exotic Vehicles

Exotic vehicles like Aston Martin, Bentley, and Porsche are excluded from the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you are renting an exotic vehicle, be sure to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If the vehicle exceeds $75,000 in value, then it might make sense to buy the car rental agency’s car insurance, so you aren’t stuck with a bill in the case of an incident.

Roadside Assistance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred charges $59.99 per service call. Services included are 24-hour roadside assistance for limited towing, lost key, and gas replacement.

These services are free for Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders, up to $50 per event. You can only use this benefit four times a year.