Ultimate Rewards Credit Card Travel Insurance

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Many credit cards include automatic travel protections when you use your card to purchase travel.  I’ve separately compared these protections for ultra premium cards, here: Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance.  In this post, I compare protections provided by each of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards cards including the Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Preferred, and more.

The following chart summarizes travel insurance provided automatically by each Ultimate Rewards card. Cells in green indicate best in class coverage, yellow indicates good coverage, red indicates worse than peers’ coverage. “Pay partial” means that you can get full coverage even if you pay only part of your transportation costs with this card. For example, you could pay just the taxes and fees for an award flight. Or, you could pay part of a cruise with gift cards and the rest with the credit card.

Sapphire
Reserve
Sapphire Preferred Ink Business Preferred Ink Cash, Ink Business Unlimited Freedom, Freedom Unlimited
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Primary Primary Primary for Business*
Primary for Business* Secondary*
Roadside Assistance 4X per year limit
Pay per use
Pay per use Pay per use Pay per use
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Pay partial Pay partial Pay partial
N/A Pay partial
Trip Delay 6 hour delay
Pay partial
12 hour delay
Pay partial
12 hour delay
Pay partial
N/A N/A
Lost Luggage Pay partial Pay partial
Pay partial N/A N/A
Baggage Delay 6 hour delay
Pay partial
6 hour delay
Pay partial
6 hour delay
Pay partial
6 hour delay
Pay partial
N/A
Travel Accident Insurance Pay partial Pay partial
Pay partial Pay partial N/A
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation $100K limit
Pay partial
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Emergency Medical and Dental $2,500 limit
Pay partial
N/A N/A N/A N/A

* Each of these cards offers primary coverage outside of your country of residence.  Unfortunately, the Ink Cash, Ink Business Unlimited, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited cards all incur foreign transaction fees outside of your country of residence.

Based on the above chart, we can conclude that:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve has the best all around coverage compared to other Ultimate Rewards cards (it also has the best when compared to ultra-premium cards).
  • The Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred cards have nearly identical coverage.  The only obvious difference is that the Sapphire Preferred offers primary coverage within your country of residence for personal or business travel.  The Ink Business Preferred offers primary coverage within your country of residence only for business purposes.  Outside of your country of residence, all of the cards in this roundup offer primary coverage.
Caution: I’m far from an expert on this stuff. I did my best to read through the benefit guides to figure out what was covered and when, but I can’t promise that I got all of the details correct.

Card comparison for other travel related perks

Sapphire
Reserve
Sapphire Preferred Ink Business Preferred Ink Cash, Ink Business Unlimited Freedom, Freedom Unlimited
Foreign Transaction Fee? Waived Waived Waived Yes Yes
Points per dollar for travel 3X
2X
3X 1X (Ink Cash)
1.5X (Unlimited)
1X (Freedom)
1.5X (Unlimited)
Points per dollar for dining 3X 2X 1X
2X (Ink Cash)
3X
Cents per point redeemed for travel 1.5
1.25
1.25
1
1
Transfer points to partners? Yes
Yes
Yes
No*
No*
Priority Pass Select Lounge Membership Yes
No
No
No
No

* Points earned on the fee-free Ink and Freedom cards cannot be directly transferred to airline and hotel partners, but you can move the points to your or a household member’s Preferred or Reserve card and then transfer.

Card overviews

Chase Freedom Flex

FM Mini Review: Great for 5X and 3x categories and World Mastercard benefits. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5x travel booked through Chase ⚬ 5X Lyft ⚬ 3x dining ⚬ 3x drugstores ⚬ 5X in rotating categories on up to $1,500 spend per quarter.

Noteworthy perks: Free DashPass for up to 3 months upon activation ⚬ Cell phone protection ⚬ Lyft credits

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Freedom Unlimited

FM Mini Review: Great for 3x categories and 1.5X everywhere else. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature or Platinum

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5x travel booked through Chase ⚬ 5X Lyft ⚬ 3x dining ⚬ 3x drugstores ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: Free DashPass for up to 3 months upon activation

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

FM Mini Review: This one should be in everyone's wallet. Incredible signup bonus for a no-fee card. Great card for 5X categories. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Office
Other

Earning rate: 5X office supplies ⚬ 5X cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ⚬ 2X gas and restaurants ⚬ 5X Lyft

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

FM Mini Review: Great card for signup bonus and 3X categories. Also consider the fee-free Ink Business Cash for its 5X categories, and the fee-free Ink Business Unlimited to earn 1.5X everywhere.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Travel
Phone
Biz
Other

Earning rate: 3X travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year) ⚬ 5X Lyft

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Points worth 25% more when redeemed for travel ⚬ Cell phone protection against theft or damage

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus for a fee-free card. Good option for earning 1.5X everywhere. Good companion card to Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Other

Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases ⚬ 5X Lyft

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus. Solid option to pair with fee-free Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Freedom cards, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited in order to unlock ability to transfer points to airline and hotel partners.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 2X Travel and Dining ⚬ 5X Lyft (through March 2022)

Noteworthy perks: Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Free DashPass for at least 1 year (activate by 12/31/21)

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent all-around card for frequent traveler. Best when paired with no-fee Chase Freedom Flex, no-fee Freedom Unlimited & no-fee Chase Ink Cash


Annual Fee: $550

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 3X Travel and Dining ⚬ 10X Lyft (through March 2022)

Noteworthy perks: $300 Annual Travel Credit ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Priority Pass Select lounge access ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee credit ⚬ $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 & 2021 ⚬ Free DashPass for at least 1 year (activate by 12/31/21) ⚬ One year Lyft Pink membership ⚬ Earn 10X on Lyft spend

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Conclusion

It should be no surprise to anyone that the ultra-premium Sapphire Reserve card offers the best travel protections and perks.  For those who use points primarily to transfer to airline and hotel partners, the much cheaper Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred cards may be good alternatives.  Like the Sapphire Reserve, both of these cards provide very good travel protections (not as good, but very good), no foreign transaction fees, and the ability to transfer points to airline and hotel programs.  The Ink Business Preferred has the edge over the Sapphire Preferred in offering 3X for travel, but the Sapphire Preferred counters with 2X for both travel and dining.

Overall, I continue to be a big fan of the Sapphire Reserve card, but it’s definitely worth considering one of the less expensive Preferred cards if the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee is too much to swallow.

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