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Still, keep in mind that one of the important reasons people need to cancel a trip is that a family member back home becomes seriously ill or dies. These credit card deals don't cover that. They also don't provide for the costs of a family member back home coming to spend time with you while you are in the hospital in another country. My husband had a heart attack in Russia and had to go by air ambulance to Finland for surgery. We had Travelguard. Trust me, the extra trip cost of travel insurance is well worth it when someone is racking up thousands of dollars and the travel arrangements are daunting. Who is going to arrange for your extended visa in a country like Russia? Who is going to locate the air ambulance company or a safe interim medical care situation while you await transfer? Will they get your medical bills translated from Russian or Finnish so that you can submit claims to your insurer back home? Will your home health insurance company even accept claims from Russia, given that they don't use standard coding? Blue Cross wouldn't but Travelguard did with no trouble.

 

Mary

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Still, keep in mind that one of the important reasons people need to cancel a trip is that a family member back home becomes seriously ill or dies. These credit card deals don't cover that. They also don't provide for the costs of a family member back home coming to spend time with you while you are in the hospital in another country. My husband had a heart attack in Russia and had to go by air ambulance to Finland for surgery. We had Travelguard. Trust me, the extra trip cost of travel insurance is well worth it when someone is racking up thousands of dollars and the travel arrangements are daunting. Who is going to arrange for your extended visa in a country like Russia? Who is going to locate the air ambulance company or a safe interim medical care situation while you await transfer? Will they get your medical bills translated from Russian or Finnish so that you can submit claims to your insurer back home? Will your home health insurance company even accept claims from Russia, given that they don't use standard coding? Blue Cross wouldn't but Travelguard did with no trouble.

 

Mary

 

 

These are very good points. Another "fine print" item is "primary vs secondary payer" on medical claims. So important to look at the "big picture" and read all the T&Cs when comparing options.

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FWIW:

 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has $10,000/pp trip cancellation benefit with a max of $20,000/trip.

 

We use that for it's trip cancellation benefit and self insure for anything over $20,000.

 

  • Covers trips when travel arrangements for a pre-paid tour, trip or vacation have been purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card
  • Up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000

We use the annual Geo Blue policy for medical and evac.

 

It's important to understand the details to see if they meet your individual requirements.

Doesn't help if the cruise costs way more than $20K. I always get travel insurance that covers my entire trip and covers a variety of potential issues. Well worth the cost.

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FWIW:

 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has $10,000/pp trip cancellation benefit with a max of $20,000/trip.

 

We use that for it's trip cancellation benefit and self insure for anything over $20,000.

 

  • Covers trips when travel arrangements for a pre-paid tour, trip or vacation have been purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card
  • Up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000

We use the annual Geo Blue policy for medical and evac.

 

It's important to understand the details to see if they meet your individual requirements.

 

Agree with above BUT AFAIK this card will cover the cancellation cost (for valid reasons) but NOT trip interruption. At least that is what we were told a while ago when we had to interrupt a trip. Fortunately for that trip we had separate trip insurance that covered the trip interruption and I didn’t pursue the case further with Chase.

Please check with them again.

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We considered Sapphire Reserve but chose to stick with the United Explorer card since pretty much all our air travel is on United or a code share Star Alliance partner. With that card, there are baggage Club and spending perks as well as no expiration of FF miles (a key item in the equation).

 

I think we have discussed this before. Your MP Explorer card is good for charging your airfare on *A flights (but you still only get 2:1 IIRC). But for the cruise and other travel & food purchases - which probably costs many thousands of $$$$ - you are only getting 1:1 with Explorer card when you could be getting 3:1 with Reserve card.

Why not use both for the proper charges? That’s what I do.

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Agree with above BUT AFAIK this card will cover the cancellation cost (for valid reasons) but NOT trip interruption. At least that is what we were told a while ago when we had to interrupt a trip. Fortunately for that trip we had separate trip insurance that covered the trip interruption and I didn’t pursue the case further with Chase.

Please check with them again.

 

This is important, because trip interruption can cost much more than "simple" cancellation, which is why many (most? all?) coverages for "trip interruption" allow 150% of the covered amount.

 

You might have the remainder of the trip costs (and it might be day 1 or 2 when a problem occurs), so that would be most of the insured costs. And then you might have last minute airfare back, which could be very costly, especially if the travel was planned in premium class. Or one may have used awards for the air travel, but with a last minute need to get home, there may be no availability for award tickets, meaning using cash for those tickets.

 

There might also be some hotel stays that weren't planned before one could "continue on and start getting home", etc.

 

GC

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This is important, because trip interruption can cost much more than "simple" cancellation, which is why many (most? all?) coverages for "trip interruption" allow 150% of the covered amount.

 

You might have the remainder of the trip costs (and it might be day 1 or 2 when a problem occurs), so that would be most of the insured costs. And then you might have last minute airfare back, which could be very costly, especially if the travel was planned in premium class. Or one may have used awards for the air travel, but with a last minute need to get home, there may be no availability for award tickets, meaning using cash for those tickets.

 

There might also be some hotel stays that weren't planned before one could "continue on and start getting home", etc.

 

GC

 

Indeed - we had to deal with ALL of those - trip cancelled 1/2 way through, hotels, expensive flights back, etc.

The separate insurance and the 150% interruption coverage saved us and covered all expenses.

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I think we have discussed this before. Your MP Explorer card is good for charging your airfare on *A flights (but you still only get 2:1 IIRC). But for the cruise and other travel & food purchases - which probably costs many thousands of $$$$ - you are only getting 1:1 with Explorer card when you could be getting 3:1 with Reserve card.

Why not use both for the proper charges? That’s what I do.

 

But doesn't the Sapphire Reserve card have a $450 annual fee? Am I going to get benefits worth $350 more than the $95 United card?

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But doesn't the Sapphire Reserve card have a $450 annual fee? Am I going to get benefits worth $350 more than the $95 United card?

 

Actually the difference is between $95 and $150 as the Reserve card will give you $300 credit for ANY travel related charge (and pay for GE fee).

That difference of $55 is well worth it. :)

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Thanks to all of your for helpful quotes. I have been researching the past few days and wanted to share. I found out from Citibank Benefits people that we can have dual coverage. We only have 5k of trip cancellation coverage (it is good coverage but limited dollarwise). Therefore, we will be buying a policy from Allianz through the travel agent but will lower the dollar amount of the cost of the trip by 5K - we will still get all of the same medical coverages and emergency evacuation as before but it brings the premium down quite a bit. In the event we have to cancel for a covered reason, Allianz will be the primary coverage and Citibank will pick up what they did not cover. The only caveat is that we will of course have to put 5K worth of the trip on that credit card. We cannot split it up to double the coverage - on this card, my husband and I both have the same account numbers as it is tied to his airline rewards miles. Hope this helps some of you to save some money.

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But doesn't the Sapphire Reserve card have a $450 annual fee? Am I going to get benefits worth $350 more than the $95 United card?

 

The Reserve Card also gives you entry into Priority Pass airport lounges. It was a nice benefit after having a flight delay that caused a missed connection and a 8 hour connection in Singapore. We visited 4 different lounges after we became bored with the scenery in each. :D

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The Reserve Card also gives you entry into Priority Pass airport lounges. It was a nice benefit after having a flight delay that caused a missed connection and a 8 hour connection in Singapore. We visited 4 different lounges after we became bored with the scenery in each. :D

 

Yes the American Airlines advantage upgraded Citibank master card I refer to gives access to their lounges, no baggage charge , priority boarding status is easier to obtain and other percs. It costs 450 per year. However recently they lowered the trip coverage for cancellation From 5000 her traveler to 5000 per trip which is a major disappointment. American Airlines is now pushing the Barclay visa card called aviator. However that card doesn’t have trip insurance even though it’s only $95 per year. Hard to keep up with this stuff and we don’t like having too many different cards.

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I think we have discussed this before. Your MP Explorer card is good for charging your airfare on *A flights (but you still only get 2:1 IIRC). But for the cruise and other travel & food purchases - which probably costs many thousands of $$$$ - you are only getting 1:1 with Explorer card when you could be getting 3:1 with Reserve card.

 

Why not use both for the proper charges? That’s what I do.

 

 

Thought many times about doing both cards for just the reason you offer. But, I'm trying to reduce/streamline/downsize/reprioritize my collection of passwords/cards/emails/subscriptions/Amazon packages/ et al. and am (for now) willing to pay the "price."

 

On a related subject, I now have a simplified theory of life: On the way to age forty, we attempt to acquire more keys. On the way from age forty, we attempt to get rid of them.

I'm down to two keys! However, I can't get too excited since I seem to have acquired quite a few combination locks lately.

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I think we have discussed this before. Your MP Explorer card is good for charging your airfare on *A flights (but you still only get 2:1 IIRC). But for the cruise and other travel & food purchases - which probably costs many thousands of $$$$ - you are only getting 1:1 with Explorer card when you could be getting 3:1 with Reserve card.

Why not use both for the proper charges? That’s what I do.

 

And another important difference is that the UAL card is ONLY good for travel on UAL while the reserve card can transfer points to a bunch of different airlines and hotel chains. In addition you can buy travel, hotels, airfare, etc. with points worth $1.5 per point almost anywhere and on almost any airline or hotel. And Chase does allow you to combine the cancellation costs of more than one card and only have to put a small amount on the single point for travel and the balance on the Reserve card for the 3 to 1 points. And this works for transferring points to your Reserve Card from any of the family of Chase cards giving Rewards and that includes cards with zero annual fee.

 

A true no brainer to get the reserve card.

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A true no brainer to get the reserve card.

 

Couldn’t agree more - especially if you get them with 100K bonus points for opening one :)

We each have one for just about all expenses.

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Couldn’t agree more - especially if you get them with 100K bonus points for opening one :)

 

We each have one for just about all expenses.

 

 

 

Yes Paul but not all expenses. Am very selective to get best bang for the buck. Had a sapphire preferred card and finally downgraded to freedom unlimited. No fee and 1.5 points per dollar for all those no bonus purchases not triple on reserve and freedom for the quarterly 5 for 1 bonus plus a chase business card for 5x on Internet and tv. All of them no annual fee plus have the combine benefit for cancellation insurance. All points are transferred monthly to reserve card

 

Don’t put all of your charges on a single card!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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And another important difference is that the UAL card is ONLY good for travel on UAL while the reserve card can transfer points to a bunch of different airlines and hotel chains. In addition you can buy travel, hotels, airfare, etc. with points worth $1.5 per point almost anywhere and on almost any airline or hotel. And Chase does allow you to combine the cancellation costs of more than one card and only have to put a small amount on the single point for travel and the balance on the Reserve card for the 3 to 1 points. And this works for transferring points to your Reserve Card from any of the family of Chase cards giving Rewards and that includes cards with zero annual fee.

 

 

 

A true no brainer to get the reserve card.

 

UAL points can be used for flights on Star Alliance partners (where UAL points can also be earned).

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Don’t put all of your charges on a single card!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

We don’t - I said “just about all expenses”.

We too have Ink card for TV/phone, IHG/SPG/Hyatt/Marriott for those hotels, etc. At the minimum, the annual fee for each hotel card more than pays for the annual free nights in their properties. We’ve given up on all the Citi cards now.

The majority of our “big” expenses are for travel and food - hence those go on Reserve.

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UAL points can be used for flights on Star Alliance partners (where UAL points can also be earned).

 

Correct flyer however Chase has 9 airline partners and from those 9 you have the ability to transfer to each of those partners plus 4 hotel transfer partners and using 1.5x virtually unlimited airlines and hotels by buying the flights. And the 3x is good with all travel and restaurants.

 

For our next cruise we transferred to Singapore which was 20% less expensive than UAL and better flights on one of the worlds best airlines.

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We don’t - I said “just about all expenses”.

We too have Ink card for TV/phone, IHG/SPG/Hyatt/Marriott for those hotels, etc. At the minimum, the annual fee for each hotel more than pays for the annual free nights in their properties.

The majority of our “big” expenses are for travel and food - hence those go on Reserve.

 

Was sure you did as well Paul just trying to give a ot of the reasons why Reserve is well worth the money and how to maximize even more than just the Reserve plus get the additional travel insurance.

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For our next cruise we transferred to Singapore which was 20% less expensive than UAL and better flights on one of the worlds best airlines.

 

And Singapore does not release F/J awards for UA miles but you can get them with Reserve (transferring UR points to Singapore miles 1:1).

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And Singapore does not release F/J awards for UA miles.

 

There are so many of these varying charge card specifics, including how one maximizes (or tries to come close) the number of points earned, what other perks are available (e.g., lounges, credits), and which airlines can be used with the points.

 

We had started using an "awards service", to help us get the F or J awards tickets we wanted (especially those precious F!), for what is a modest fee given the luxury of the long haul travel.

But another benefit has been that as he became familiar with our future travel plans, he was able to suggest new frequent flyer programs to join (one only to qualify to transfer other points to use for a future specific travel goal on a third partner), and which cards to use for which point programs so they can be transferred to a good choice of airlines we might want to use due to either routes served or quality of premium accommodations (albeit a bit of a moving target).

 

It' gotten to the point where he has our account information, and when we make a decision about flights, we tell him our preferences (or he already knows) and preferred dates, and... thus far, we've been ticketed with our first choices.

 

For us, it's not about using awards for hotels; it's entirely about getting those comfy beds or suites for long haul travel, and we've made some changes in which cards we use.

 

And we still open the occasional card to get those bonus points.

It all can get complicated if one is interested in traveling to many different destinations/regions, using awards.

 

But we always get third party travel insurance., due to various restrictions of the card insurance coverages.

 

GC

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And Singapore does not release F/J awards for UA miles but you can get them with Reserve (transferring UR points to Singapore miles 1:1).

 

How do you see the point redemption availability on Singapore? Should I just sign up for a FF account? Starting to plan strategies for 2020 cruise.:D

 

One thing I do like about the Citi AA program is the 10% points back on redemptions. But, the insurance benefit can’t compete with the Sapphire.

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GeezerCouple - it sounds like you are happy with your arrangements. Just as an FYI - check out The Points Guy with excellent information about cards, points, etc with great analysis and comparisons of different cards & programs.

 

buggins0402 - you have to sign up to Singapore Airline FF program and then you can see availability & transfer points to their program as needed.

The transfer is not instantenious so you have to get a good feel ahead of time for availability for your flights. You can also waitlist for preferred flights if you do not get your first choice.

My problem with AA is the awful availability of awards since their merger with US Airways (though CX & JL are still decent for Asia; Europe is the problem).

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How do you see the point redemption availability on Singapore? Should I just sign up for a FF account? Starting to plan strategies for 2020 cruise.:D

 

One thing I do like about the Citi AA program is the 10% points back on redemptions. But, the insurance benefit can’t compete with the Sapphire.

 

IIRC, that 10% points back on redemptions is only up to a base of 100k points per person per year.

If that's correct, then you could maximize the points back, and then switch to another program for the rest of the year.

(I'd love to learn we were incorrect with this!)

 

We take turns, so we are able to get twice the points back each year.

So far, recently, we've used far more than that amount of AAdvantage points each year. In face, we may have to buy some when they have one of the bonus offers. They've got one right now, but there will probably be another with more bonus points later this year. Our other main program is Amex Rewards points, and those can't be purchased. So far, we have less use for those, so it's working out fine.

 

GC

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