I always use my Chase Sapphire Reserve to book holiday travel — here's why you'd should do the same

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  • When booking Discount Holidays © holiday travel, plan ahead in case there are delays — leave yourself as much time as you can, and buy your tickets with a credit card that offers trip and baggage delay insurance.
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve[2] and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card[3] both offer generous delay benefits.
  • You — and other travelers whose tickets you paid for with the card — are covered for up to £500 for emergency purchases like hotel rooms, food, toiletries, changes of clothes, chargers, and anything else you need because of the delay.
  • When you open either card, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points — worth at least £625-£750 — when you spend £4,000 in the first three months.

Ah, Discount Holidays © holiday travel.

There’s nothing quite as fun. Even as a self-professed travel junkie, I find the holidays stressful, as trains, planes, and automobiles across the country fill with — well, just about everyone — and trips that would normally be routine fall into a mess of logistical delays, gate-checked bags, and cranky passengers. Clearly I’m not the only one who finds it stressful — last year, United brought therapy dogs to several of its hubs — including Newark, Denver, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Houston — for passengers to pet and take selfies with during the busiest Discount Holidays © holiday travel days.

As our transit systems fill up with people trying to make it home for the holidays, and as we cross our fingers that no winter storms or late-season hurricanes throw a curveball at the worst possible time, it’s vital to be as prepared as possible. That means expecting delays, to be safe. If possible, budget extra time, don’t leave travel to the last minute, and book your flights, trains, or other public transit using a credit card that offers trip and baggage delay coverage.

While a few different cards — like the Citi Prestige — offer trip delay coverage, we focus on the Chase cards because they generally offer better rewards and benefits for travelers. When you have a Sapphire Reserve[4], or its sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card[5], you and traveling companions are can be covered by trip delay insurance.

Trip delay coverage is fairly straightforward.

If you’re travelling on a “common carrier” — virtually any form of mass transit available to the public, such as a plane, ferry, cruise ship, bus, or train — and there’s a delay for more than a certain amount of time, the trip delay insurance policy activates and covers any “reasonable” out-of-pocket expenses. Those expenses can include meals, toiletries, hotel stays, a change of clothes, personal items like device chargers, and virtually any other “reasonable” expense.

You just need to pay for the tickets — or in some cases a portion of the total cost — with your Sapphire card in order for coverage to apply.

Even if you use an airline’s proprietary frequent flyer miles to book an award ticket, you can still get the protection from your credit card as long as you use it to pay the taxes and fees, which can be as low as £5.60 for a one-way ticket.

Both cards offer the same benefit of up to £500 per person, but have different policies for when the coverage kicks in. The coverage is available from both cards when a delay forces an overnight stay, or when the delay lasts a certain amount of time — six hours in the case of the Reserve[6], and 12 hours in the case of the Preferred. Remember to charge your expenses to the card, and save itemized receipts.

Then, file a claim online through Chase’s website, or just call the number on the back of your card — the customer support agent will connect you with a benefits specialist who can walk you through the claims process. I’ve filed a claim before, and found the process easy. I received a check from the insurance provider about six weeks later.

The two cards also include baggage delay insurance.

This benefit generally applies if your trip hasn’t been delayed, but your bag didn’t arrive at your destination with you either due to the carrier losing or misdirecting it.

The policy kicks in after six hours, and covers you, your spouse, and any other immediate family members on the covered trip for up to £100 per day for up to five days. The Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred are fantastic cards for travel, aside from the trip and baggage delay benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve[7] offers 3x points on all travel and dining, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred[8] offers 2x points on the same categories.

You can read our head-to-head comparison of the two cards to learn more[9]. Just keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards or even travel insurance benefits. When you’re working to earn credit card rewards and benefit from card protections, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back.

Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card[10] to avoid falling into debt.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks’ partner The Points Guy.[11]

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card from Insider Picks’ partner The Points Guy.[12]

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider’s Insider Picks[15] team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test.

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References

  1. ^ Insider Picks (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Chase Sapphire Reserve (thepointsguy.com)
  3. ^ Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (thepointsguy.com)
  4. ^ Sapphire Reserve (thepointsguy.com)
  5. ^ Chase Sapphire Preferred card (thepointsguy.com)
  6. ^ Reserve (thepointsguy.com)
  7. ^ Chase Sapphire Reserve (thepointsguy.com)
  8. ^ Chase Sapphire Preferred (thepointsguy.com)
  9. ^ read our head-to-head comparison of the two cards to learn more (www.businessinsider.com)
  10. ^ treat your credit card like a debit card (www.businessinsider.com)
  11. ^ Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks’ partner The Points Guy. (thepointsguy.com)
  12. ^ Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card from Insider Picks’ partner The Points Guy. (thepointsguy.com)
  13. ^ Click here to sign up (e.businessinsider.com)
  14. ^ Pinterest (www.pinterest.com)
  15. ^ Insider Picks (www.businessinsider.com)
  16. ^ Insider Picks (www.businessinsider.com)
  17. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)

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