Changes Coming to Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is consistently ranked very highly for customer service and praised for its rewarding menu of features and benefits. One small example that illustrates that customer-centric approach, for example, is that whenever calling the customer service number you will talk to a real person, never a voicemail type menu of computerized options.

With the U.S. transitioning to PIN-and-chip cards, current Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardmembers that have a card about to expire will receive replacement plastic that will come equipped with a “chip-and-signature” technology. That allows the card to be used where conventional magnetic strips are still in use, but also where the newest computer chip technology cards are accepted. Having that kind of hybrid card in your wallet can be a huge plus, for instance, if you are an American traveling overseas to a place where magnetic strip cards no longer work.

Expected Changes -The Good and the Bad

Sometimes good things come to an end, however, and in some significant ways that is currently happening with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Customers will be disappointed with some of these modifications, and Chase apparently anticipated that. It seems that Chase is hoping to offset the perceived loss of perks by rolling out a few brand new ones that will add value for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members.

Let’s take a look at what cardmembers can expect in the horizon:

  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. Card member coverage has been increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per eligible trip. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses. Those include passenger fares, the cost of tours and hotels charges.
  • Auto Rental Collision Coverage. The Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver has been enhanced from secondary coverage to primary. That essentially means that if you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card, your coverage provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
    • *Some restrictions, limitations, and exclusions apply. Please refer to the card member Guide to Benefits for a full explanation of the coverage.
  • Annual Dividends are Dead. After December 31st, 2015, cardholders no longer earn the sweet 7% Annual Points Dividend. The final dividend award will be paid out in early 2016 and then that attractive perk will be history.
  • No More Paper Check Point Redemption. Card members may continue to redeem their rewards points for cash through a statement credit or by direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account. Having an actual paper check sent to you as a cash reward redemption option will, however, no longer be available after November 15th, 2014.
  • Some Travel Rewards Going Away. You will continue to earn an extra point for each $1 spent on airfare and hotel accommodations booked through until December 31st, 2015. After that date, the extra point per dollar will no longer be awarded.
  • New Rewards Website Launch Scheduled. Chases’ Ultimate Rewards program will also roll out a new website at the end of September 2014, that will include added features such as in-depth travel guides for destinations around the world with recommendations for hotels, restaurants and travel activities.

For more details about these changes, please visit the Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards website.

*Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.

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