Chase has recently announced several changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, so we wanted to make our readers aware of what’s new!
If you didn’t already know, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a top choice when it comes to credit cards for travel rewards. Because of the high points earning potential and flexible redemption process, it is definitely a favorite for many.
When you can earn two points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, with one point on everything else, many can build up a nice account with tons of points, redeemable for great travel options. The Ultimate Rewards program allows for discount rewards and transfer partners that help to maximize the points, making them worth about 1.25 cents per point.
Alright, now that that’s covered, let’s talk about the changes. Here are the highlights that you will want to know about:
1. Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Previously, this coverage was secondary to your regular car insurance, but the benefit has become your primary coverage if you rent a vehicle using your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Don’t pay any extra insurance charges at the rental counter when you are using the Sapphire card, because you are already well-covered!
The person named on the credit card is covered, as well as any additional drivers listed on the rental agreement. You will be covered in the event of theft, loss-of-use charges in the event of damage, and any physical damage that occurs to the car. Towing is also included, in the event of a breakdown.
Coverage lasts for up to 31 consecutive days of rental, and may be within or outside of your country of residence. Most passenger autos are covered under this policy, with the exception of most luxury vehicles, open cargo bed trucks, antiques, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and limousines.
2. Increased Trip Cancellation Insurance
Previous coverage was up to $5,000, but you now have up to $10,000 in trip cancellation coverage. The cardholder and any immediate family members are covered during the travel dates established. In the event that the trip was paid for with Rewards points, you will be reimbursed the amount of points redeemed.
Here are more important details you should know:
A trip can be covered when it is paid for in advance, using the Sapphire Preferred credit card. Your destination must be more than one mile from your home, and cannot last longer than 60 days. Cancellation must occur for a covered reason, which includes bodily injury, death of one of the parties, severe weather which affects travel conditions, military orders, jury duty, documented illness, doctor’s orders prohibiting travel, terrorist acts, quarantine or bankruptcy of the travel agency.
You will not be covered for a voluntary change in plans, change in financial circumstances, pre-existing conditions, illegal acts, incarceration or suicide.
3. Change in 7% Bonus for New Cardholders
Previously, new cardholders could look forward to a 7% annual dividend on all points earned at the end of the year. This benefit is no longer offered. Existing cardholders will have this continued until 2016, when it will be completely phased out. It’s never fun to see benefits disappear, but the Sapphire Preferred still has excellent perks that make it worth having.
While losing the 7% bonus point benefit may sting a little bit, the auto coverage is a big deal, especially for those traveling and renting cars on a regular basis. That additional coverage will add up if you are paying it to the rental company, so keep that in mind when you are paying your annual fee!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card still offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel, and has no foreign transaction fees, keeping it among the top credit cards for travel. And don’t forget about the many travel partners Ultimate Rewards has to offer. You have great flexibility with this card!