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Chase Sapphire benefits modified

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, September 30, 2013
Posted: 12 pm ET

Chase is changing its complimentary credit card benefits for Chase Sapphire cardholders starting Nov. 1. It will enhance a number of its travel-related benefits while nixing its often-unused identity theft reimbursement.

The company confirmed the changes Friday after the Los Angeles Times ran a column about the elimination of the ID theft reimbursement benefit. Chase is making the changes to "better align with cardholders' focus on travel," says Steve O'Halloran, a spokesman for the bank.

Here are the following enhancements to the travel-related benefits on the Sapphire card:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: This coverage is expanded to 31 days from 15 days in the U.S. And foreign territory exclusions have been eliminated.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: This benefit previously only covered ticket expenses only. It now covers all nonrefundable trip expenses.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: The benefit now covers electronics, which were previously excluded, up to $500.
  • Baggage delay insurance: This insurance now includes return trips, which were previously excluded.
  • Purchase protection: The benefit includes items purchased within 120 days, up from the previous 90 days. Cardholders can file a notice within 90 days, up from 60 days, and file a claim within 120 days, up from 90 days.
  • Extended warranty: Built-in items around the home (such as microwaves and garages) are now included.

At the same time, Chase is eliminating its ID theft reimbursement benefit due to nonparticipation. Not one Sapphire cardholder filed a claim for the benefit in the past year, so the company decided to drop it and improve other benefits that cardholders take advantage of, O'Halloran says.

The benefit covers expenses that ID theft victims may have to pay to restore their identity, such as refiling loan applications, notary expenses, phone call charges, postage and credit report fees.

The ID theft reimbursement benefit differs from the ID protection service that the bank sold for an additional fee. Chase came under fire this month from the federal government for failing to deliver the full benefits of the service. The government ordered the bank to pay $80 million in fines and refund $309 million to 2.1 million consumers for its transgressions.

Do you carry a Chase Sapphire credit card? What do you think of the changes?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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