November 1, 2013
I love when great cards get even better. Chase already surprised us recently by changing the benefits guides for most of their cards for the better. You now receive automatic travel insurance benefits (except for rental car coverage) and purchase protections even if you pay only partially with your Chase card, or if you pay with points. I think that’s a great enhancement. Almost all other banks require that you pay entirely with their card to get any coverage. I reported these changes in the following earlier posts:
- Partial payment, full trip coverage
- Credit card purchase perks and how they apply when using gift cards
Now, according to reliable source, Chase has a few new nice surprises for us…
Chip & Signature
When travelling abroad, you may encounter situations where your regular credit card doesn’t work. Automated ticket counters, in particular, often require cards with EMV chips. While it would be nice to have cards with full “chip and PIN” capabilities, it is more common for US banks to offer “chip and signature” options. Chase already supplies several of their cards with EMV chips: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and British Airways cards are some examples. Now, finally, Chase is planning to roll out Chip & Signature to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Ink cards.
By mid-November (probably Nov 17th), all new Sapphire Preferred® Card applicants will automatically receive cards with EMV chips. Existing cardholders will have to request the new cards (and can do so now, according to The Points Guy). To me, this is a great enhancement because I like to use my Sapphire Preferred® Card when travelling (since it offers 2X for travel and dining), but I occasionally run into a situation where a card with a chip is needed.
I don’t yet have any information about when the Chase Ink cards will get chips, but I’ve been told that the enhancement is “coming soon”. I also don’t know if the chip will be available for all 4 varieties of the Chase Ink card. My bet is that it will be limited to the premium cards: the Chase Ink Plus® and Chase Ink Bold®. We’ll see.
What if you run into a spot where not just a chip, but a PIN is required as well? I’ve been told that these chip and signature cards have a default PIN. Before travelling, ask your customer service representative for details.
Authorized user bonus
Another enhancement expected with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that they will offer an extra 5000 point sign-up bonus for those who add an authorized user. Chase has offered this same deal for a while now with their United MileagePlus card. It’s great that the same offer will be coming soon to the Sapphire Preferred® Card!
Ultimate travel cards
It seems like I’ve written a lot of posts lately about card perks going away. For example, a few Citibank cards are no longer as valuable as they were before (details here and here). And, American Express is dropping OfficeMax from the OPEN Savings program (details here). It’s great to see the opposite happening with some of the best cards on the market. The Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus®, and Ink Bold® were already awesome cards thanks to having best in-class earnings (2X travel and dining for Sapphire Preferred®; 2X and 5X categories for Ink), best rewards program (Ultimate Rewards), one of the best shopping portals (Ultimate Rewards Mall), no foreign transaction fees, etc. Now, with the addition of better automatic travel protections and chip & signature, the cards will be even better.