Are you headed out of the country? If so, you may want the Chase Sapphire Preferred in your wallet. This card is beloved by travelers thanks to its generous rewards and the chance to transfer your points to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners.
If you're going to use it abroad, though, there are a few things you should know. The following tips will help you get the most bang for your buck when charging with the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you decide it's the best travel credit card for your needs. And they'll help you make sure you don't have trouble buying any of the cool stuff you find on your trip.
5 things to know about using the Chase Sapphire Preferred internationally
1. You won't have to pay foreign transaction fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders pay no foreign transaction fees on charges outside of the U.S. Many other credit cards charge a fee equal to a percentage of your purchases, commonly 3%.
So if you spend $5,000 abroad and have to pay a 3% fee, you'd waste $150 in unnecessary fees that you won't have to worry about if you use your Sapphire Preferred card. Check out our list of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees for more options.
2. You should set up travel notifications
Most credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, aim to protect you against fraudulent charges by watching for unusual activity. Using your card in a different country certainly counts as unusual spending. This could trigger a phone call and a freeze on your account until you confirm the spending is legitimate.
You can avoid any problems using your card abroad by setting up a travel notification with Chase. You can notify Chase of your impending trip up to a year in advance if you know the dates and like to plan ahead. And if you’re planning to be away a while, you can set the duration of your trip for as long as 90 days.
To set a travel notification, simply sign into your account, go to "Account services," and choose "Travel notifications." Click "Add a trip," and confirm your identity by opting to receive a text notification or phone call. Then, input the details about your trip so you can use your Chase credit cards without worry while you’re traveling.
3. Your card has insurance to cover you
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can access many different kinds of insurance coverages that protect you wherever you travel. Coverage includes trip cancellation or interruption insurance, lost baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and rental car insurance.
You do have to make sure to follow Chase's requirements to make a claim, though, including immediately reporting your losses as soon as practical and providing proof of the damages you incurred. Below are some details about each type of coverage.
Trip cancellation or interruption insurance
If you book your trip and need to cancel it, trip cancellation insurance might cover the cost if you cancel for a covered reason. The same goes for trip interruption insurance — if something happens either on the way to departure or after leaving and you can't continue your vacation, you may be able to recoup all or part of your travel costs. If your trip must be delayed for a covered reason and you incur fees, your trip interruption insurance will cover this as well.
If you’re a Sapphire Preferred cardmember, you’re covered by this insurance, and your family is protected too. Covered reasons for interruption or cancellation include severe weather; jury duty that can't be postponed; a court order or subpoena that can't be postponed; or injury, sickness, or death of the cardmember, an immediate family member, or a traveling companion.
The insurance provides up to $10,000 per covered trip in reimbursement when problems happen, with a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence, and a $40,000 total maximum payout over a 12-month period. So if your family of three has to cancel a vacation that costs $10,000 each for a covered reason, your losses would be $30,000, but you'd be covered for the per-occurrence maximum of $20,000.
Baggage delay or lost luggage coverage
If your baggage is delayed by more than six hours, you'll be reimbursed by Chase for essential purchases necessitated by the delay. This could include the purchase of clothing, toiletries, and a single cable to charge a cell phone. But the coverage excludes items such as contact lenses or hearing aids.
You can get back up to $100 per passenger per day for up to five days through your baggage delay coverage. And both the cardholder and immediate family members are covered.
If your luggage is lost entirely or is damaged by the carrier, Chase also covers you and your immediate family members for up to $3,000 in losses per passenger per trip. This includes up to $500 in coverage for jewelry, watches, or electronics.
Travel accident insurance
Travel accident insurance offers coverage in case of an accident with a common carrier or in case of accidental death, dismemberment, loss of sight, speech, or hearing on a covered trip. The insurance covers the cardmember as well as family members even if the cardmember isn't along on the trip — as long as you used your Chase Sapphire to pay for part of the trip.
This insurance pays up to $100,000 for loss of life or other covered losses; $500,000 if the loss happens due to an accident on a plane, train, bus, or other common carrier. There is no coverage for emotional trauma; mental or physical illness; diseases; pregnancy or pregnancy complications; or bacterial or viral infections.
Rental car insurance
If you rent a car and charge it to your card, you can decline collision coverage from the rental car company and take advantage of Chase's auto rental collision damage waiver. This insurance kicks in if your rental car is stolen or you get into an accident while driving your rental car — and it reimburses up to the car’s cash value.
The coverage is primary rental car insurance coverage, which means you don't have to file claims with other insurers — such as your auto insurer — before Chase pays out.
4. Roadside assistance is available on your card
Chase provides roadside assistance services, but only within the U.S. and Canada. So although you can take advantage of these services when visiting our neighbor to the north, they won't help you in Europe or if you go elsewhere abroad.
If you're in a covered country, roadside assistance is available for the cardholder 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You'll pay a flat fee for each roadside assistance call, and that fee will get you up to 5 miles of towing; changing your tire if you have a spare; a jump-start and battery boost; lockout service; delivery of up to 5 gallons of fuel, or winching within 100 feet of a paved road or road maintained by the county.
5. Emergency services are available
Chase offers a variety of emergency assistance services to Sapphire Preferred cardholders, including:
- Referrals to medical and legal help in countries abroad: This includes providing you the contact information of English-speaking professionals who can help with your needs.
- Emergency transportation assistance: Chase will help you arrange emergency transport to the closest medical facility or back home to the U.S.
- Emergency message service: You can record emergency messages or Chase will relay emergency messages to family or business associates.
- Emergency ticket replacement: Chase will help you get a replacement ticket delivered.
- Emergency translation services: Chase offers telephone support and help finding a local interpreter where you're traveling.
- Prescription assistance: Chase will help you get prescriptions filled locally and can arrange pickup and delivery of your medications for you.
- Valuable document delivery: If you've left important papers at home, Chase will help get them to you.
Although Chase helps you gain access to these services, you'd have to pay for translation, transport, the prescriptions you need, or the legal or medical help you receive. The emergency service provided simply facilitates access to help; it doesn't pay for it.
How exchange rates work with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, it’s important to consider exchange rates as you’re thinking about your travel expenses. If you're traveling abroad and use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, chances are you'll be paying in a foreign currency.
When you charge anything that isn't in U.S. dollars, Visa or Mastercard International converts the transaction into U.S. currency using its own conversion formulas before the transaction is transmitted to Chase.
The exchange rate is determined using one of several methods, including the government-mandated rate in effect when you make a purchase, or the rate available in the wholesale currency market on the processing date.
FAQs about using the Chase Sapphire Preferred internationally
Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have international fees?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad.
Do I need to notify Chase of international travel?
Chase recommends providing a travel notification before traveling so you don't trigger a fraud alert. You can provide notification up to a year ahead of your trip, and doing so ensures you won't face declined transactions or need to confirm the validity of your purchases while you are traveling.
Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have trip cancellation insurance?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card provides trip cancellation insurance and covers you for up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per occurrence if a trip is cancelled for a covered reason. The maximum reimbursement is $40,000 over a 12-month period.
Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred get you into airport lounges?
Cardholders with the Chase Sapphire Preferred don't get airline lounge access. But there are other Chase cards that do provide this benefit, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This card provides Priority Pass access, which enables you to access more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. However, it has a $550 annual fee — much more than the Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual fee.
Bottom line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for traveling abroad
By following these tips, you can get protection from Chase if things go wrong and ensure you're able to use your card wherever you go. Although it’s still a downer if you lose your luggage or your trip doesn't go as planned, at least you know Chase has your back. You won't be out the hard-earned cash you spent to make your trip happen.
Great for Flexible Travel Rewards
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases