Hey Chase Sapphire Reserve, where’s my $15,194?

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By Christopher Elliott

Judy Lambert files an insurance claim with her Chase Sapphire Reserve card after canceling her snorkeling trip to Cuba. But four months later, she’s still waiting for her $15,194 check. Will she ever see the money?

Question

I have a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. I got it because of the good reviews I saw online, especially for their cancellation insurance benefit. 

We used the card to pay for part of a snorkeling trip to Cuba. My husband tested positive for COVID two days before we were supposed to leave, and we had to cancel. The entire trip was nonrefundable at that point. 

I filed a claim with Chase Sapphire seven months ago. I have spent numerous hours on the phone and online communicating with its claims department. I’ve spent many hours on hold and spoken with at least a dozen people at Chase.

A Chase Sapphire representative told me three months after I filed my claim that it had been approved, but that it needed to be “verified.” After more calls, Chase Sapphire still needed more documentation. Can you help me get my claim for $15,194 approved? — Judy Lambert, Sacramento, Calif.

Answer

Chase Sapphire should have processed your claim quickly, as promised. Instead, it took its time, dragging it on for months. 

I have never been a fan of credit cards that try to hook you with all kinds of bells and whistles, but when a card like Chase Sapphire Reserve makes a promise to you, it should keep it. In your case, you received a call from a representative months ago assuring you that a check for $15,194 was in the mail — only to discover another email from its claims processor asking for more documentation. (Related: She blamed Chase for draining $2,730 from her account, but it was a cash flip scam.)

It isn’t unusual for a travel insurance company to dot every “i” and cross every “t” when you have a large claim. It is unusual to have the claim drag on for this long. I reviewed the paper trail between you and Chase Sapphire. It appears you quickly sent everything the company asked. 

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands, including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

So why the delay? All travel insurance companies experienced delays this summer because of a surge in claims related to COVID in addition to airline delays and cancellations. It’s possible that your claim got stuck in that pile.

There’s a way to get unstuck. You can send a brief, polite email to the claims department. If that doesn’t work, you can appeal to one of the company executives. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Chase executives on my consumer advocacy site Elliott.org. I also have tips on how to file an insurance claim in my free guide to travel insurance.

Will Chase Sapphire refund your money?

I contacted Chase Sapphire on your behalf. A representative called you and said your claim had already been approved and that the check was on its way. This time, you got your money. “I was ready to give up,” you said. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help.” 

That’s what I do. I’m happy to help.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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