Another Way the Chase Sapphire Reserve Beats the US Bank Altitude Reserve

upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Written by Charlie

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is really the king of premium cards and this is just one more way that it beats out the US Bank Altitude Reserve card.

When US Bank decided to enter the premium travel card market, there were many people that sort of just yawned as it did not seem that US Bank was serious about competing.

Sure, there are some cool perks with the card (such as earning 3 points per dollar on all mobile wallet payments) but the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a hard card to beat. Here is just one more way that the Chase Sapphire Reserve beats the US Bank Altitude Reserve card.

One More Way the Chase Sapphire Reserve Beats the US Bank Altitude Reserve

When it comes to travel insurance and coverage, everyone is familiar with the screen at the time of booking travel that offers to sell you coverage. But, many great travel cards actually provide their own insurance to you if you use their card to purchase the travel.

But, what if you are redeeming points instead of paying for travel? After all, that is one of the things we love to do in this pursuit of cheap travel, right?

As I found out with my recent problem with my lost bag with Emirates, the US Bank Altitude Reserve card only covers such travel mishaps if you purchased your travel using the card – no points involved. Since I redeemed the Altitude Reserve points for my ticket, I was out of luck  with the Altitude Reserve card helping me out.

Chase Will Cover Your Luggage If The Travel Was Redeemed With Points

However, if you purchase travel using your Chase Ultimate Reward points, you are all set and covered! Here is what Chase has to say about coverage when using points (bolding mine for emphasis):

The information below applies to both benefits. Reimbursement can be provided for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses including passenger fares, tours and hotels.

  • Covers trips when travel arrangements for a pre-paid tour, trip or vacation have been purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card
  • Reimbursement is in excess of any travel insurance purchased, or reimbursement from the occupancy provider or common carrier such as airline, bus, cruise ship, or train”

Here is more information from the complete Guide to Benefits:

It’s also travel on a Common Carrier when free flights have been awarded from frequent flier or Rewards programs, provided that all of the miles or Rewards points were accumulated from a Rewards program sponsored by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates.”

That’s right – Chase will cover your baggage when it is delayed or lost. In fact, it will cover it up to $3,000! And that coverage applies even when you redeem points for the tickets!

The longer I hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the more I learn about it and appreciate what it has to offer. I only wish the US Bank Altitude Reserve acted more like the premium card that the Chase Sapphire Reserve actually is…

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Isn’t this like comparing apples to oranges? Is there a reason to look for “another” reason as there are already too many to even consider the US Bank Altitude card?

    • I have both since I was able to get value out of the US Bank card but the point is that if US Bank wants to play at the premium level, this is just one more way that they (currently) fall behind Chase. I hope it does get better with these little benefits! These things are things that most of their members may never notice or even use but would provide greater value to those of us who do look for these perks.

  • Thanks for this. I will make a decision this year about these two cards and which to keep. I have other no fee cards that give me close to the same value for dining and travel so mobile pay is important. So I have been looking for a solid review of the USB travel insurance and have not found one. You answered one of my primary questions, though.

  • Is the same true for the Sapphire Preferred card which I use for paying taxes and fees on all award point bookings?

    Also, does it work for award bookings made with Southwest Rapid Reward Points which I have all of from earning Companion Pass?

    • According to how the terms read, it is for any points earned from Chase cards so it should be good on them all! I would call to check (or better yet, chat to have a record).

  • I was reading the full terms for Altitude Reserve last week if the flight was booked with Altitude Points the trip delay/cancellation baggage delay does apply. I can provide a photo copy of the terms of that would be helpful.

  • Now that Altitude has real time rewards, you are technically purchasing the flight with your card. So this is not an issue.