Car Insurance , Credit Cards

What Credit Cards Offers Rental Car Insurance

By Peter Mondrose Peter Mondrose is the Head of Insurance Content at Bankovia. He received his degree in Economics in 1998 and a second degree in Journalism in 2004 from the University of Chicago. Most recently he served as Head of Content at, and editor at 5 minute read

In the event that something goes wrong with your rental automobile, the correct credit card insurance coverage might save you money. The expense of renting a car on a vacation may be high, and the additional cost of insurance on that vehicle simply adds to the total cost. The correct credit card, however, can allow you to receive the insurance coverage you need without overspending.

There are several restrictions to be aware of, regardless of the card you pick. Everything you need to know about automobile rental insurance, including which credit cards offer the greatest coverage.

List of best credit cards for car rental insurance

The Platinum Card from American Express

There is a $75,000 secondary coverage maximum on the Platinum Card from American Express compared with the $50,000 restriction for many other Amex cards. Towing and storage costs can also be covered if your rental car is damaged or stolen, so long as you have a rental insurance policy.

Coverage for 30 days is included on this Amex card. The following are examples of exclusions and restrictions:

  • Using the rental vehicle while intoxicated, off-road, or for any other criminal behavior
    There are a wide range of automobiles that are not allowed to participate in the program. Exotic automobiles, on the other hand, are not exempt from the perks outlined in the benefits handbook.
  • Rentals in countries sanctioned by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control), such as Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.
  • Damage to anybody or anything other than the rental automobile, including personal responsibility, uninsured or underinsured motorists, worker’s compensation injuries, and disability benefits of any type

Amex cardholders can purchase primary insurance through Amex for up to 42 consecutive days for $19.95 or $24.95 every rental term, despite the fact that the card does not offer main coverage. Comparatively, renting a car costs between $20 and $30 per day.
With Amex, you get up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage, as well as additional medical expenses and personal property protection.

With the Platinum Card from American Express, you may get a complimentary premium membership with Avis and Hertz that includes exclusive upgrades and savings, as well as rental vehicle insurance.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Using sources like Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guides, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s main coverage provides up to the rental vehicle’s real cash value. Physical damage and theft are covered, as are loss-of-use fees and fair and customary towing to the nearest competent repair shop for rentals lasting up to 31 consecutive days. These are some of the exclusions and limitations:

  • Specialty automobiles such as unique and vintage models; large passenger vans; vehicles with removable cargo beds; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, motorbikes; limos; and recreational vehicles.
  • Amounts covered by your own vehicle insurance or by the insurance provided by your company
  • Injuries to passengers or bystanders
  • Inheritance or loss of one’s own personal effects
  • Any breach of the terms of the vehicle rental agreement

Chase Sapphire Reserve

A $75k restriction on the main coverage provided by the Chase Sapphire Reserve is in place instead of offering coverage up to the vehicle’s real cash value. It has all the same conditions, restrictions, and limits as the Sapphire Preferred credit card.

In addition to the gratis participation in premium reward programs with Avis, National, and Silvercar that this card offers, it also comes with an annual fee waiver. The benefits of these memberships include reductions in luxury and premium automobile rental prices, as well as access to various specials and incentives.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

This credit card provides primary coverage up to the vehicle’s real cash worth, but only if you’re using it for business reasons or if you’re traveling overseas. Personal usage in the United States is only covered as an afterthought. Most of the card’s conditions, exclusions, and limits are similar to those of the Chase Sapphire cards. However, the benefits guide for the card has all of the pertinent information.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

As with the Ink Business Preferred, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card provides primary coverage up to the rental car’s real cash value if the vehicle is being used for business or foreign travel. If you’re vacationing in the United States, insurance isn’t an issue.

United Explorer Card

In terms of rental vehicle insurance, this United Explorer’s coverage mimics that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. On rentals of up to 31 consecutive days, you’ll obtain primary coverage up to the vehicle’s real cash worth. You can also count on the insurance having the same restrictions, limits, and exclusions as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

What to look for in your credit card’s rental car insurance

As a general rule, the rental automobile insurance provided by a credit card only covers the cost of a collision damage waiver (CDW) (LDW). If the automobile is damaged, vandalized, or stolen during the rental term, this insurance will cover you. If you cause an accident and damage another car or hurt someone else, however, you will not be covered by liability insurance. As a result, it may be a good idea to get additional coverage for peace of mind.

Rental automobile insurance coverage varies from credit card to credit card. The primary or secondary status of the insurance is the most important consideration. If you need to make a claim, your first recourse will be the insurance on your rental automobile. Your own insurance company does not need to get involved.

As a result, if your primary insurance policy is in place, you’ll need to make a claim with your secondary insurance provider first. If your main coverage doesn’t cover your deductible or anything else, the protection offered by your credit card will kick in.

It’s important to note that secondary coverage on a credit card typically takes precedence over personal vehicle insurance policies in the event of an accident. Consider these additional characteristics while deciding which credit card offers the best automobile rental insurance:

  • Policy limits. Each policy has a maximum dollar amount it will cover, and some cards provide a larger dollar amount.
  • Exotic automobiles, motorbikes, and huge vans are often excluded from coverage under most credit card policies. In other countries, your card may not protect you at all.
  • It’s crucial to know how long you’ll be protected by your credit card, which varies depending on whether you’re going domestically or internationally.

Which credit card has the best car rental insurance?

Many credit cards provide rental vehicle insurance as a feature, so it’s easy to ignore the value of this perk. A card with secondary coverage might still save you money on a trip even if it doesn’t give main coverage.

Before you reserve a rental car, check your benefits guide to be sure you know what is and isn’t covered. In addition, the ridiculously low-cost rental automobile insurance offered by American Express may be worth considering. If you hire a car frequently or for an extended period of time, you may find it more cost-effective to use this service. However, don’t make a judgment based on a single characteristic alone while looking for the ideal card. The perks and benefits of each credit card should be compared.

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