It seems like every financial blogger and travel blogger out there is pushing credit cards. They usually talk sign up bonuses and how with this card over here you get 75,000 points or with that card over there you can get 2 free nights at a $600/night hotel.
There are in fact some nice sign up bonuses out there and the bloggers get money in their pocket by getting readers to apply for these cards. I don’t see any harm in bloggers making some money off their content by making honest recommendations when it comes to credit cards.
So I recently figured, hey, I have an outstanding credit score. And I’ve had the same old Citi cash back card since 2005. That’s 7 years, how lame! I want to use my awesome credit score to my advantage. It’s a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing. Right Blagojevich? So I recently applied for and got a Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
I’m not going to get into all the point talk, free night stay, black out, double dip, ultimate reward, open jaw, reward booking hoo-ha. I’ll leave that to people like The Points Guy.
What I like to know, is what else can this card do for me besides get me some points I can use for free travel. Am I the only person who gets excited about reading the fine print? What am I going to find in there? I don’t know! Let me draw a bath and slip into the tub with all my new Chase Sapphire Preferred literature and find out.
The following is what nobody talks about because it’s in that fine print I combed through. I pulled out just the relevant pieces for you guys. This stuff is golden because in the unfortunate event you need it, it will save you some dollars! Here we go.
1. Auto rental collision damage waiver
Why this is cool: Provides, at no charge, reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles if you are the primary renter of the vehicle. Also includes towing charges.
To note: This only covers rental periods 15 days or less within your country of residence or 31 days or less outside of your country of residence.
What you need to do: Use your card for the rental and decline the rental company’s insurance or collision damage waiver (CDW) option.
2. Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Why this is cool: Receive reimbursement for lost or damaged checked or carry-on bags and personal property.
To note: I always think of this as airline specific, but it goes for land, water, or air transportation. Maximum reimbursement is $3,000 but I know you guys aren’t traveling with expensive stuff!
What you need to do: Use your card to purchase your fare.
3. Baggage Delay Reimbursment
Why this is cool: Get $100 a day for emergency purchases, up to 5 days, if your bags are delayed.
To note: Unfortunately these items are not covered: contact lenses, artificial teeth, hearing aids, or prosthetics. No lie. Apparently not being able to see, chew, hear, or use all your limbs is not considered an emergency.
What you need to do: Use your card to purchase your fare.
4. Trip Cancellation Or Interruption Insurance
Why this is cool: In the event of a trip cancellation or interruption get back the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $5,000, whichever is less. Also, you are insured up to $1,000 against loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing while on a carrier. Make sure you don’t lose your thumb and index finger in the tray table because you only get $250 for that. And if they’re reattached later, they will still consider it a loss! Cha-ching!
To note: The cancellation or interruption of the trip must be caused by your death (again, no lie), accidental injury, disease or physical illness. Or the death, accidental injury, disease or physical illness of an immediate family member. And you’re gonna have to provide a doctor’s note for any of these. Also, if your carrier goes belly up you’re covered too.
What you need to do: All this is provided at no cost, simply use your card to purchase your fare.
5. Trip Delay Reimbursement
Why this is cool: Get up to $300 if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours.
To note: If your carrier does not provide you with meal vouchers and/or lodging as a result of the delay then this kicks in. The trip has to be delayed by an equipment failure, inclement weather, a strike, or hijacking/skyjacking(!).
What you need to do: Charge the fare for any land, water, or air carrier to your card.
6. Purchase Protection
Why this is cool: Get up to $500 per claim for personal property that has been stolen, damaged, or lost.
To note: Only valid within the first 90 days of the date of purchase. Lost means you know the item’s location but recovery is impractical to complete. Like the bottom of a lake maybe? I’ve listed some items that are not covered: animals, already broken stuff, items that mysteriously disappear, anything the U.S. Postal Service touches, ceiling fans and garage doors.
What you need to do: Items are automatically covered if you buy them with your card.
7. Warranty Manager Service
Why this is cool: Doubles the free repair period under the original manufacturers U.S. repair warranty up to one additional year.
To note: Doesn’t cover boats, cars, aircraft. Basically anything that is a motorized vehicle.
What you need to do: Buy the item with your card and keep your sales receipts!
8. Price Protection
Why this is cool: If you buy a product and find it advertised for less within 90 days from the original purchase date, get the difference refunded to you, up to $500.
To note: I’ve usually had luck getting a price adjustment from the original retailer but this is nice if that’s not an option. The advertisement with the lower price has to be printed (magazine, newspaper, flyer) and not from the internet.
What you need to do: Buy the product with your card and keep your eyes peeled for a lower price on dead trees.
9. Return Protection
Why this is cool: Get up to $500 per item if you are dissatisfied with the purchase and the retailer won’t take it back.
To note: The usual. A sampling of what is not covered: animals, cocktail dresses, items purchased outside the U.S., medical equipment, rechargeable batteries and holiday decorations.
What you need to do: Purchase the item with your card. If filing a claim you will be required to send the item to Chase. I wonder what happens to all that stuff?
And those, my friends, are the hidden benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Take advantage of them if you need them! I know I will be.
Reader question: What is your favorite card? What cards have good or unusual benefits?