Using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Internationally: 4 Things to Know Before You Go

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers excellent benefits for those traveling abroad, but you need to alert Chase before you go.

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Updated May 13, 2024
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Are you headed out of the country? If so, you may want the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in your wallet. This card is beloved by travelers thanks to its generous rewards and perks, no foreign transaction fees, 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.

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4 things to know about using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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 top no foreign transaction fee credit cards for more options.

2. You don't need to 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 could count as unusual spending. In the past, this could trigger a phone call and a freeze on your account until you confirm the spending is legitimate.

According to Chase, however, its system is sophisticated enough that you no longer need to file a travel notice like you may have in the past. 

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 some or all of your trip with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card 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 card member, 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 for a trip your purchase with your Chase Sapphire card, 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 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, damaged by the carrier, or stolen, Chase also covers you and your immediate family members for up to $3,000 in losses per covered person per trip. This includes up to $500 in coverage for jewelry and watches and up to $500 for cameras and other electronics.

Chase also notes that items you leave behind accidentally on a plane, cruise ship, or other common carrier are not considered lost or stolen. 

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 or your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for part of the trip.

This insurance offers $500,000 of common carrier accident insurance and $100,000 of 24-hour travel accident insurance. 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. 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.

Learn insider secrets from the experts so you can travel for next to nothing with credit card points and miles.

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.

Compare Chase cards with no foreign transaction fees

Annual fee Foreign transaction fee Rewards rate
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card $95 None 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Reserve® $550 None 5X points on flights and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining & 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card $99 None 3X points on Southwest purchases; 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners; local transit and commuting, including rideshare; and on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming; plus 1X points on all other purchases
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card $0 None up to 14X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 2X points on other travel purchases; and 1X points on all other purchases
The World of Hyatt Credit Card $95 None up to 9X points on stays at Hyatt hotels (4 bonus points plus 5 base points as a World of Hyatt member); 2X points on restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships; and 1X points on all other purchases
United Gateway℠ Card $0 None 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting; plus 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Although we’ve discussed many of the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s international travel benefits, it has more to offer. For example, you can earn up to $50 in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through the Chase Travel℠ portal.

You also can redeem your points for 25% more when you redeem them through the Chase travel portal. And you earn bonus anniversary points equal to 10% of your purchases from the previous year.

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card | Learn more in our Chase Sapphire Preferred review 

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a luxury travel rewards credit card with a wealth of travel benefits. In addition to no foreign transaction fees, it offers $300 per account anniversary year in statement credits for travel purchases. It also offers access to Priority Pass lounges after enrollment and a statement credit of up to $100 every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

You can also redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 50% more through the Chase travel portal. For example, 100,000 points would be worth $1,500 in travel.

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® | Learn more in our Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Southwest does fly outside the U.S., so the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card could also be a good addition to your wallet if you’re planning to travel internationally.

It offers perks like two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, 6,000 points each account anniversary, and 25% back on inflight purchases. You also receive 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each year and 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $10,000 spent in purchases annually.

Learn more in our Southwest Rapid Rewards review

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalist - the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card could be good choice. In addition to no foreign transaction fees and a $0 annual fee, it offers 15 Elite Night Credits annually, which qualifies you for Silver Elite Status.

It also offers baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip delay reimbursement.

Learn more in our Marriott Bonvoy Bold review

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers significant rewards if you frequently stay in Hyatt properties. You can earn up to 9X points on stays at Hyatt hotels (4 bonus points plus 5 base points as a World of Hyatt member); 2X points on restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships; and 1X points on all other purchases.

Additionally, you get one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each year after your card anniversary and an extra free night if you spend at least $15,000 in a calendar year.

It also offers baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Learn more in our The World of Hyatt credit card review

United Gateway℠ Card

The United Gateway℠ Card allows you to earn United miles with a $0 annual fee. It’s also unique in that it offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 21.99% - 28.99% Variable).

You also earn 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight and Club premium drink purchases.

Learn more in our United Gateway card review

FAQs about using the Chase Sapphire Preferred internationally

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have foreign transaction 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?

You no longer need to notify Chase about international travel.

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 airport 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 1,300 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 could get protection from Chase if things go wrong and ensure you're able to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred 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 may not be out the hard-earned cash you spent to make your trip happen.

And for more options for your travels, check out our list of the best credit cards for travel

Great for Flexible Travel Rewards

4.9

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.