This Sapphire Reserve Benefit is a Real Lifesaver, Literally

by joeheg

Credit cards provide many types of insurance coverage that most people never know. For example, I didn’t realize that the American Express Gold Card has purchase protection until I needed to put in a claim when our dog ate the zipper off of Sharon’s backpack.

When I looked into the best and worst travel coverages offered by the premium travel cards, the one card that came out on top was the Sapphire Reserve. Several readers were quick to point out that I left out one travel coverage the Sapphire Reserve has which can save your life – Emergency Evacuation and Transportation coverage.

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Here’s a brief explanation from the Chase website.

Emergency evacuation can be provided if You are on a Covered Trip and have a medical condition that warrants immediate transportation from the place where You are injured or become ill to the nearest Hospital where You can obtain appropriate medical treatment, or if after being treated at a local Hospital Your medical condition warrants transportation to Your Residence to obtain further medical treatment or to recover, or in both of these circumstances

The card provides $100,000 of coverage if you pay for a portion of your trip with the Sapphire Reserve. You can find a complete description of the benefit in the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefit guide (which is that booklet that came with your card and you immediately threw in the trash. Thankfully, Chase publishes an updated version online).

If you weren’t aware, medical evacuations are expensive and are not always covered by insurance. If we’re on a big trip far away from home, I’ll usually make sure that our travel insurance has this coverage and most times the coverage is for $500K or more. Insurance companies can offer that because of the unlikely chance that anyone would need to use it. However, when we’re on a Caribbean cruise, I’m not worried about getting flown around the world. I just need to get back to Florida and $100K of evacuation coverage should be plenty to cover any emergency.

To be honest, I don’t use the Sapphire Reserve to book travel only because of the Emergency Evacuation and Transportation coverage. However, knowing it’s there makes it easier to justify keeping the Sapphire Reserve instead of downgrading to the Sapphire Preferred.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Babblespeak September 30, 2021 - 12:25 pm

Doesn’t the AMEX Platinum card provide unlimited medical evacuation and repatriation protection to cardholders and their family members on a trip, without charging any part of the trip to it?

joeheg September 30, 2021 - 11:16 pm

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I no longer have an AMEX Platinum card. Because of this, I’m no longer able to log into the AMEX website and check out the card’s benefits. If you can find something with this in writing, please forward it to us. Thanks!

Babblespeak August 8, 2023 - 1:13 pm

Yes. And it is uncapped. Google “AMEX Premium Global Assist Hotline.”

AC August 8, 2023 - 6:17 pm

Amex Platinum definitely has this benefit and, as you noted, all you have to do is be the card holder. You don’t need to charge any of the trip to it (although anyone with an Amex Platinum that doesn’t charge the airfare is making a huge mistake since 5x MR on that).

@Joeheg – why no Amex Platinum? I assume anyone that travels a lot and especially people that write blogs have both the CSR and Amex Platinum (as I do along with the Amex Gold and cards for 4 airlines plus 4 hotel chains)

FR August 8, 2023 - 12:52 pm

The issue is that it only evacuates to the ” nearest Hospital where You can obtain appropriate medical treatment”. This may well not be a hospital (or a country) where you want to be. Some coverages (such as MedJet) will evacuate you to your home hospital.

derek August 8, 2023 - 1:38 pm

Also useful to know is who decides when to evacuate? That is a major criteria to whether the coverage is good or bad.

Caveman August 8, 2023 - 2:01 pm

Under the heading For Emergency evacuation and transportation benefit, first condition is the trip must be arranged by a travel agency. How many of us go through a travel agency?

Caveman August 8, 2023 - 2:04 pm

This is at the bottom of page 14 of the online guide


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