by Matt Frankel, CFP | Dec. 17, 2018
The Chase Freedom® credit card has some valuable and well-known benefits, such as the ability to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories ($1,500 spending limit quarterly) you activate and a lengthy 0% intro APR period. In addition, depending on the Chase credit card version you are approved for, the card also offers some high-value travel benefits, such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost luggage replacement, travel accident insurance, and more.
The Chase Freedom® credit card comes in a standard Visa Platinum version and in a Visa Signature version that comes with significantly more perks and benefits. While you can't specifically apply for one or the other, the Visa Signature card is generally issued to consumers who are approved for a credit line of $5,000 or more.
As far as travel benefits are concerned, all Chase Freedom® credit cards come with auto rental collision damage waiver benefits, as well as roadside assistance. However, the most valuable travel benefits are reserved for holders of the Visa Signature version of the card.
This benefit can save you money when you travel by allowing you to decline your car rental company's insurance protection. The auto rental collision damage waiver covers damage that results from theft or collisions for rental vehicles, both in the U.S. and while traveling internationally.
The coverage is secondary to your own auto insurance and covers physical damage and theft, in addition to towing charges and the rental car company's loss of use. It does not cover injuries, vehicles obtained from ridesharing services, personal belongings, or exotic/expensive vehicles -- just to name some of the most common exclusions.
Chase Freedom® cardholders are also entitled to roadside dispatch benefits. While this benefit is not free ($59.95 per service call), it does provide services such as towing your vehicle up to five miles, tire changing, jump starting, lockout service, and fuel delivery.
As I mentioned earlier, this and the following two benefits only apply to the Visa Signature version of the Chase Freedom® card. (If you have the Visa Signature version, the word "signature" will be visible on the card, below the Visa logo.)
If your trip is cancelled or cut short (interrupted) for covered reasons, such as sickness or inclement weather, you can be reimbursed for up to $5,000 per trip. Eligible expenses include things like airfare, tours, and hotels that were prepaid on your Chase Freedom® card and are nonrefundable.
To illustrate how valuable this benefit could be, let's say that you prepaid $1,000 for two airline tickets and also prepaid $1,500 for a hotel room for a trip. If you get too sick to travel (verified by a physician), you would ordinarily have to eat at least a portion of this cost, if not the entire amount -- unless you purchased travel insurance elsewhere.
If your luggage is damaged or lost by the airline, you can be reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger. Carry-on and checked baggage are both included in this benefit.
This benefit covers incidents of accidental death or dismemberment when you pay for air, bus, train, or cruise travel with your Visa Signature card, with a coverage limit of $250,000. Coverage applies to the cardholder and their dependents.
As a final point, it's worth noting that the Chase Freedom® card offers all of these perks with no annual fee whatsoever. There's typically a pretty lucrative introductory bonus offer for new cardholders, so be sure to check out our frequently updated Chase Freedom® review page for the most current information.
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