My Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance does not apply. Where is my $15,194?

Two days before Judy Lambert left for Cuba, she received bad news: Her husband had been diagnosed with COVID. The trip was a wash – and $15,194 went down.

Or did it?

Lambert used her Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay for her trip, and her card came with gold-plated insurance. After filing a claim with Chase, the representative assured him that he had enough money for his loss.

Then Chase Sapphire Reserve asked for more documents. And then he never heard of it again.

Now Lambert wants me to help him find out what happened to his $15,194. When he found me, seven months had passed since his visit, and he wanted answers. When I heard his story, I heard it too.

My findings highlight one of the most difficult areas of the travel industry: credit card rewards. Over the years, I have avoided lawsuits related to popular payment methods because of the complexity and ethical issues involved.

But that changed recently. Our lobby is now accepting loyalty programs and accepting referrals.

Elliott Advocacy was written by war — Pa war, we offer insurance that doesn’t stop when things change. We offer unique travel insurance and benefits for travelers visiting or working abroad, including in hard-to-reach areas of the world. Currently selling in 54 countries and growing, our mission is to provide convenient solutions for travelers around the world on their next trip.

Missing Queen’s Gardens

Lambert and her husband had a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the park planned for this spring.

The tour, offered by tour operator Snorkeling Etc., took snorkelers and scuba divers to the Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina) off the southern coast of Cuba. It is one of the last reef habitats in the Caribbean, with spectacular underwater scenery and abundant fish.

I used to teach scuba diving in the Florida Keys many years ago. I remember the old mentors telling me how the rock looked like it had never been destroyed and the constant chasing sucked the color and life out of it. They were describing the Jardines de la Reina.

So you can imagine Lambert’s dismay when her husband tested positive for COVID. The doctor told her not to go home, and the couple had no choice but to abandon their trip.

He said: “The whole trip was irreversible at that time.”

Lambert filed a lawsuit with Chase, hoping for a speedy decision. She applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card after reading reviews of the card on several travel websites. (They shouldn’t trust the polls. Most of the “reviewers” are being paid a commission to send them and they can’t be objective.)

We are opening…

Claiming – is a long wait

Lambert filed a lawsuit with Chase and waited. He visited the company from time to time to see if it had everything he needed for what he wanted.

“A Chase representative told me three months after I submitted my application that it was approved but needed to be verified,” she says.

By “verified,” the representative probably meant that someone higher up had to sign off on the claim because it was more than $10,000. But that would take about a few weeks.

Chase asked her for more notes. He spent hours on the phone, trying to get the job done. But Chase kept coming up with new demands to pay him. (For anyone who collects information, this sounds familiar.)

“I’ve spent hours on the phone and online contacting the application department,” Lambert told me. “I’ve talked to at least a dozen people at Chase.”

But the rumors have moved on, and recently he hasn’t heard from anyone at Chase. He thought that the company might confuse him.

“Can you help me raise $15,194?” he asked.

What are the benefits of Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a credit card that looks too good to be true. Here are the benefits of travel insurance that you get:

Risk of damage to rental cars

Your Chase Sapphire Reserve offers up to $75,000 in coverage for theft and damage to rental cars in the US and abroad.

Property is under Insurance

Chase reimburses you for purchases such as toiletries and clothing that delay packages for six hours and carriers up to $100 per day for five days.

Emergency evacuation and transportation

If you get sick and need to be evacuated, Chase will cover up to $100,000 in medical and travel expenses.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

If you can’t go on your trip for some reason, Chase can refund up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 on your prepaid trip, which is non-refundable. This includes flights, hotels and tours.

Late return trip

If your flight is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight layover, you pay non-refundable expenses, such as food and accommodation, up to $500 per ticket.

Some of these features are more generous than most cards. For example, my Visa credit card offers a limit of up to $2,000. (Also, my card has no annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is $550.)

Bottom line: Chase Sapphire Reserve should have fired Lambert immediately.

Why did the Chase Sapphire Reserve claim take so long?

Travel insurance premiums have declined since late spring. Reason: More people are moving, and more cases are being discussed. But no one expected it to happen this more.

This summer’s flight cancellations and delays have caused jobs. If I had to think about it more, I would say that the people in the Chase Sapphire Reserve department were swept away by a flood of information. And so did what Lambert said.

There is no excuse. To chase earned $5 billion from its credit card division last year. Most transactions were sent in seconds. Making someone like Lambert wait seven months for a decision to be resolved is unacceptable.

How to contact Chase Sapphire Reserve customers

The phone number for Chase Sapphire customers is (800) 935-9935. Like many companies, Chase has adopted a “DIY” model for customers, where they send you articles and videos on the topic instead of a person who can help you.

For a complicated problem like an insurance claim, the self-help section on Chase’s website is a little helpful. We publish the names, phone numbers and email addresses of Chase executives responsible for customer service. I recommend keeping everything in writing – not mobile! – to have a copy of your case.

Remember, if you can’t get support from Chase Sapphire Reserve customers, reaching out to us. We will do everything we can to help.

Another “benefit” of the Chase Sapphire Reserve: Free patience lessons

Doesn’t Lambert’s story make you wonder about the value of these credit card rewards?

He could have bought the basic travel insurance, paid off the loan, and received his money months ago.

Lambert says she’s upset because the Chase Sapphire Reserve card received so many positive reviews online. He expects his claims to be processed quickly – not to take seven months. He didn’t expect the administration: a promise of payment, followed by months of requests for information and then radio silence.

To him, it looked like a Chase Sapphire Reserve card he was too good to be true.

Perhaps that’s one unheralded “benefit” of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card: It teaches you patience.

Should you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel insurance benefits?

Is it worth getting an expensive, points-earning credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve? In most cases, the answer is no. You can get many of the same card benefits for free by being a smart shopper. Some credit cards offer benefits, but your travel insurance or auto insurance or your AAA membership may give you the same or better benefits.

When it comes to earning money, I have a conflicting opinion about natural rewards.

I think credit cards can be addictive and dangerous, and I believe their days are numbered. Instead of focusing on maxing out your points – the game the credit card companies want you to play – I think smart and responsible shoppers should look for the highest quality products at the best prices. I feel sorry for the hordes of cardholders looking for the latest promotions and trying to find a way to take advantage of them. This is not being a reliable buyer.

For Lambert, the answer to the question, “Should I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get travel insurance?” it’s understandable. No, the travel benefits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve did not deliver as promised. Instead, it was an unwanted master class in patience.

Chase had to let her know about what he said. Should have asked him for the documents and that’s it he told her that what she said had been accepted – not the other way around. And Chase didn’t have to keep her in the dark for seven months. That’s not the best travel insurance rate for our promotion agency, but it’s close.

Chase: “Sorry for being late”

I contacted Chase instead of Lambert. The company broke the silence, reaching out to Lambert months later and apologizing for the delay. The company reviewed the claim and decided to honor it.

Chase sent her a check for $15,194.

“I was ready to quit,” Lambert said. “This would not have been possible without your help. What can I say but thank you a million times!

No thanks you.

Credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve are highly regarded by frequent travelers. All bloggers’ authority is tied to a financial fee provided by Chase. However due to all the money changing hands, credit cards were unable to honor simple claims immediately. And sadly, no one can blame Chase for his carelessness.

Well, approximately no one.