Credit Card Rental Car Insurance

If you are travelling for work or fun, do so with faith. Equip your wallet with a credit card which surprisingly provides rental insurance known as Credit card rental car insurance which is used to get the extra help needed while you are on the road. Certain credit cards provide primary coverage and allow you to fully bypass your standard insurance, eliminating deductibles and premium increases. Some cards have secondary benefits, which would at least cover anything the insurance does not cover.

What is auto insurance?

You must be familiar with what is insurance but if you do not know what is auto insurance have a look at this article which gives every possible brief detail about auto insurance and related terminology.

Auto insurance is a policy between you and the insurance provider that prevents you against financial loss in the case of an accident or robbery. The insurance firm agrees to pay your losses as described in your insurance policy in exchange of your paid premium.

What does auto insurance covers?

Some U.S. states require basic personal car insurance but the regulations differ. Auto insurance coverage is individually priced to allow you to customise coverage amounts to suit your exact requirements and budget.

In general, policies are issued for six-month or one-year cycles and are reversible. When it is time to amend the policy and pay the premium, the insurance firm sends a note.

Auto insurance offers coverage to:

A brief about what does auto insurance covers is given below.

1. Property

Auto insurance covers things Like damage to or theft of your vehicle which fall in property category…

2. Liability

Your legal liability for physical harm or property damage to others is also covered by auto insurance.

3. Medical

The cost of injury treatment, rehabilitation and sometimes lost salaries and funeral expenses are also covered.

What is rental car insurance?

Wading through a menu of car rental insurance choices on the spot can be stressful and frustrating when you arrive in a new city and you are about to rent a car. Rental car insurance covers the vehicle you have rented in your own vehicle against the same threats or dangers you would face. Coverage for rental vehicles is similar to traditional auto insurance, but has distinct terminology.

Car rental insurance may be beneficial because if the rental car is damaged, robbed or vandalised, it will pay for repairs and other costs. You could be on the hook for these expenses without coverage. Usually, car rental companies provide insurance plans, although some coverage might already be included through your private car insurance, homeowners insurance or health insurance policy, or via your credit card company as a bonus.


Car rental insurance will help shield you from the economic risks associated with renting a car. It is available at most car rental companies, so make sure you are not wasting money on redundant insurance until you get this coverage. To see if you are already covered, search your private auto policy, credit card rewards and health insurance policy.

How to get rental car insurance coverage?

If you do not have a personal Vehicle insurancepolicy, you still have options before you opt for the rental agency’s expensive coverage. There are three additional rental car insurance. Regardless of which you choose, you will need to decline the coverage offered at the rental counter.

1. Credit card Rental car insurance coverage

Your credit card will provide the answer when your personal auto insurance does not protect your rental car fully.

It can come in the form of either primary or secondary coverage as credit cards provide rental car insurance.

Primary coverage

In the event of a collision or theft of your rental car, even before you need to file a claim with your personal car insurance, primary coverage kicks in. The loss will be completely compensated by primary coverage.

Secondary coverage

Primary coverage tends to cover much less losses and operational costs. After you have already filed a claim with your own personal auto insurance company, this is mainly due to additional insurance coverage, because if you don’t have your own personal car insurance, additional credit card coverage would become your primary coverage.

This could also be the case if you rent a vehicle in a foreign country that is not covered by your insurance. No matter which credit card you have, you will still want to double check how much coverage you have before you use it to rent a car.

2. Third-party Rental car insurance coverage

There are insurers that write stand-alone rental plans that encourage you to buy coverage before you take a vacation. They are known as third party car rental insurance companies. You can get quotes and purchase car rental insurance online. Coverage is normally cheaper than the auto insurance you can purchase at the leasing desk, and this is what making it a worthwhile choice.

How can I get third-part rental car insurance?

There are many third-party rental car insurances available some of the are mentioned below along with their premium plans.

Allianz Travel

Allianz Travel offers standard rental car insurance coverage for a rental vehicle up to $40,000 in value with a 32-year-old driver for $9 per day.

Insuremyrentalcar provides third-part rental car insurance whose price for a premium vehicle worth up to $100,000 including lost key service is roughly $12 per day.

3. Adding a rider through your vehicle insurance

Another choice is to ask the new car insurance agent to sell you a rider on the trip to fill any coverage gaps you find. Add-on costs can cost as little as $50 a year — which obviously is less than a few days of coverage at the rental counter.

Types of Auto Insurance offered by Credit Cards

If you already have personal auto insurance, you may want to check how it protects you when you rent a car. While collisions and thefts are usually covered, they often only reach a certain extent. Usually, car insurance does not cover the rental company’s costs, which may amount to hundreds of dollars.

If your personal car insurance is not entirely protected by your rental car, your credit card will give you the answer.

1. Primary collision damage waiver

Primary collision damage aid can be used in consideration of your own insurance or priced add-on coverage, which means that you can refuse any extra insurance provided at the rental counter. This coverage usually includes protection against physical harm and theft, towing costs , loss of use, and more.

2. Secondary collision damage waiver

Secondary collision damage waiver refers to the same form of loss, but it can only be used when all insurance plans have been exhausted. This indicates that you must have filed an insurance claim for your own insurance provider before this coverage must apply.

Options for credit card rental car insurance

Some of the best suitable, easily available and affordable credit card rental car insurance include rental insurance using visa, rental car insurance using Mastercard credit card and rental car insurance using American express card. Further important details are explained below.

1. Visa Credit Card Rental Car Insurance

Premium Cards provide secondary rental car insurance. This means that it will come into effect after your personal insurance coverage. If you rent abroad, your Visa coverage will serve as your primary coverage.

In order to take advantage of Visa’s rental car insurance, you will need to waive the insurance of the rental company and use your Visa card for the rental.

If you are not sure what your Visa credit card would cover, you can call the Visa Benefit Counselor at 1-800-348-8472. You may also contact the issuer of your credit card. You are not going to be stuck at the rental car counter on your next business trip or family holiday.

What is covered

  • Visa covers up to 15 consecutive days of an auto rental in the U.S.
  • Visa covers 31 consecutive days of an auto rental outside of the U.S.
  • Most passenger cars, minivans and sports utility vehicles are covered.

What’s not covered

  • Visa does not cover rentals in Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
  • Trucks, some luxury cars and certain vans are not covered.
  • Any vehicles valued above $50,000 are not covered.

2. Mastercard Credit Card Rental Car Insurance

Mastercard may compensate for any insured physical damages to your vehicle or theft of a rental vehicle. You would have to waive your own insurance from the rental company and list yourself as the primary car renter to qualify for this coverage.

You can file a claim or check the status of an existing claim online at or by calling 1-800-MASTERCARD.

Not all Mastercard credit cards provide secondary car rental insurance. The cards that offer this feature are Gold , Platinum, World and World Elite Credit Cards.

What does Mastercard credit card covers?

  • If you are using a Gold or Platinum card, generally, you can rely on Mastercard rental car coverage for up to 15 consecutive days with a rental car.
  • Mastercard World and World Elite credit cards offer longer time periods which is up to 31 consecutive days.
  • Cars with a value of up to $50,000 are covered.

What Mastercard credit card does not cover?

  • Mastercard does not cover auto rentals in Israel, Jamaica, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.
  • Any cars over price of $50,000 are considered as luxury and will not be covered.
  • SUVs and full-size vans are not covered.

3. American Express Credit Card Rental Car Insurance

American Express credit cards cover injury, theft and related towing, storage and loss of use costs. All American Express credit cards come with auto rental insurance.

If you have a basic AmEx card, you will receive a secondary coverage of up to $ 50,000. If you have a Platinum credit card, you’ll get a secondary coverage of up to $75,000. You will have to deny the full coverage of the rental company and use your American Express card to take advantage of the car rental insurance card.

What is covered by American Express credit card

  • American express credit card covers for rentals lasting 30 consecutive days.
  • Damage, theft, loss-of-use charges, towing charges are covered.
  • Most passenger cars valued under $50,000 are covered.

What is not covered by American Express credit card

  • Trucks, pick-ups, full-sized or cargo vans, commercial minivans, off-road vehicles, full-sized sport utility vehicles, antique cars, limousines etc are not covered.
  • American express credit card does not cover auto rentals in Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.
  • Cars valued above $50,000 are not covered.
  • Liability, injury, personal property, damage to other vehicles etc are not covered.

Best Credit Cards for Rental Car Insurance Coverage

If you are looking to save on car rental costs during your travels, here are some of the top credit cards for car rental insurance described along with their categories.

Amex Credit Cards

Most American Express credit cards come with complimentary secondary CDW coverage and allow you to purchase optional Premium Car Rental Protection.
This means that American Express credit cards are practically comparable when it comes to CDW coverage.

As a result , it makes sense to use an American Express card that offers premium travel benefits and earns flexible points or hotel incentives while renting a vehicle. Some of them are given below along with their details.

1. The Platinum Card® from American Express

It’s hard to top the Amex Platinum card for luxurious travel benefits. You will receive special benefits, discounts, and elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National Car Rental. Airline tickets and hotels receive 5 valuable Membership Bonus Points per dollar spent and can be passed to travel partners.

Use the free secondary CDW that comes with the pass, or select Premium Car Rental Insurance for primary coverage using this card.

2. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

When you book your car rental with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, you’ll earn 7 Hilton Honors Points per dollar spent. You will also have the option to register your card and buy Premium Car Rental Insurance or use the free secondary CDW coverage that comes with your card.

The card provides premium travel benefits including lounge access, elite status, resort credits, airline credits, and annual free nights.

Chase credit cards

Most Chase excels or Chase cards in offering car rental coverage by providing worldwide primary CDW coverage free of charge for its credit cards. Some of them are described below

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

One of the best overall car rental credit cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Not only can you receive 2 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar spent on your car rental and all other travel, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you have primary CDW coverage worldwide.

What is included

You should expect the following worldwide coverage with your Chase credit card:

  • Reimbursement for damage or theft to the rental car up to the total cash value of the vehicle.
  • Valid loss of use charges levied by the car rental company
  • Fair loading charges
  • Rentals shall be paid for 31 days or less

What is excluded

  • Certain luxury, antique and exotic cars
  • Cargo trucks, bicycles, leisure vehicles
  • Certain countries may be excluded if they are prohibited by law
  • Coverage of responsibility

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with the same global primary CDW coverage as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but with a maximum coverage of $75,000 for the rental car.

The most convincing reason to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for your rental car is that you can pay for your rental with Ultimate Rewards Points and get 50 percent more value for your points.


  • If you want to charge a car rental to your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you will receive 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar spent.

  • You can also pay points in advance or reserve with your card and use the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you check-in at the rental counter — you will be covered for primary CDW coverage.

  • With this card, you also get elite status with National Car Rental and Avis, plus a 30% discount on Silvercar rentals.


Chase credit cards are a great choice to use when renting a car because they offer complimentary worldwide primary CDW rental car coverage for rentals of 31 days or less.

Business Credit Cards

If you rent a car for business purposes often, it can make sense to sign up for a business credit card that offers auto rental coverage.

1. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Enjoy worldwide primary CDW car rental coverage with the Ink Business Preferred Card while renting a company car.

Coverage becomes secondary if you rent a car for personal use in the United States.

2. Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

The annual Ink Business Cash card also includes primary global car rental coverage and
secondary coverage when you rent a vehicle for personal use in the United States.

Airline cards

Best airline card for some excellent rental insurance benefits is listed below.

1. United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card makes it easy to collect miles for United MileagePlus flights, but you will also qualify for some excellent travel benefits as a cardholder. This provide primary car rental coverage that is eligible for up to the cash value of your rental for most U.S. and international leases. If you want to take advantage of one card for flights and rental cars, this is a good one to consider.

Pros and Cons of Credit Card Rental Car Insurance

Before choosing any insurance policy or insurance plan the important concept to remember is it’s pros and cons.

Pros :white_check_mark: Cons :negative_squared_cross_mark:
Allows you to skip additional car rental fees Some vehicle types excluded
Coverage usually limited in duration
Can let you avoid filing a claim with your insurance company Coverage usually limited in dollars
Coverage limited in scope

How to choose best credit card rental car insurance

Even if car rental insurance is your primary concern while searching for a credit card, you should also consider other features and characteristics while making your decision. Car rental collision damage waiver is also included in a host of card benefits that you may need or like.

There are mentioned some of the important questions that should be kept in mind before choosing any credit card rental car insurance.

Does the card offer primary or secondary car rental coverage?

Many cards provide secondary coverage, but only a handful provide primary coverage.

Are you willing to pay an annual fee?

All the cards we find that give a primary coverage charge and an annual fee.

What kind of benefits are you expecting to earn?

Would you like to gain extra points when you rent a car, and/or points that can be exchanged for rental cars?

Are you interested in additional travel benefits?

Some of the cards providing primary car rental coverage often offer these kinds of perks, but they have higher annual fees.

Are you hoping to win a major sign-up bonus?

There could be hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars worth of welcome deals. But again, cards providing these benefits can charge a higher annual fee.

If you have answered those questions, it helps compare cards based on their incentive programmes, their fees, and the value of the car rental coverage they provide. Also make sure that you’re comfortable with coverage limitations on the cards you’re considering in their terms and conditions as well as the coverages they provide.

Here’s another look at the cards that we think are perfect for car rental insurance benefits:

Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Best Overall $95
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Best Insurance Coverage $95
United Explorer Card Best Airline Card $0 for the first year, then $95
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Best for Businesses $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for Earning Rewards on Car Rentals $550
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Best With No Annual Fee $0

Frequently asked questions

1. Is rental car coverage primary or secondary?

Primary coverage is greater, but only a few cards are providing it. In the case of an accident, primary compensation pays first, allowing you to circumvent your personal car insurance. This ensures that you can stop paying a deductible and eventually see your premiums increase.

The secondary coverage that most credit cards provide normally means that your auto insurance covers the claim, but the card will cover the deductible and any other costs that are not covered by the personal policy.

2. How am I going to make sure coverage applies to my rental?

Usually, you have to pay for the rental with a credit card that provides the benefit, and you have to refuse the crash coverage of the rental car business. The driver must be included in the rental agreement at the time of the crash.

3. What coverage is included in credit card rental car insurance?

Credit cards often typically provide some coverage of towing and administrative costs. Many cards also cover loss of use, which ensures that the rental company will be paid for the time the vehicle is out of operation while the damage is being fixed.

4. What type of vehicles are not covered in credit card rental auto insurance?

Credit card coverage typically excludes certain types of vehicles, such as luxury or exotic cars, as well as bikes, trucks and large vans. Mastercard, for example, covers cars for nine or fewer passengers.
Credit card coverage usually covers rentals from conventional car rental firms, not car-sharing services such as Zip Car and peer-to - peer car rental services. If you also use these facilities, check with your card issuer that they do not have coverage.

5. How long is the rental going to be covered?

The duration of credit card coverage is generally limited. For example, Visa usually covers rentals for 15 consecutive days in your country or 31 days outside your country. But if your coverage is primary, 31 days is normal for all rentals.

6. What is method of submission of the claim?

Tell your card issuer what documents you need to apply. Examples include a copy of the rental company accident report, a lease agreement, a repair estimate, photos and a police report, if any. If filing claims sounds like a hassle, you could buy compensation from the rental car company instead, which could result in less paperwork.

7. Which credit card is best for rental car insurance?

A variety of credit cards have some form of car rental coverage. To assess which one is best for you, consider the fees and incentives of each card and decide which one is best for you. This list of the best car rental insurance cards is a great place to start which is given above in this article.

8. How Rental Car Insurance on Credit Cards Works

To take advantage of car rental insurance on your credit card, do not extend a crash injury exemption (CDW) to your car rental company. If you harm your rental car, you will need to make a claim to your credit card provider if you have primary insurance policy, or a claim to your auto insurance, then a claim to your credit card company for any excess expenses.


The policy that is usually provided at the rental car counter is not in fact insurance, although many people refer to it as such. The car rental company provides car insurance. What they are offering at the counter is a waiver that ensures the rental company and its insurance company won’t come after you financially if the vehicle is damaged or stolen.

Many people can opt out of rental car security because it duplicates the coverage they already have, usually because their own auto insurance policy applies. For most people driving for personal purposes, paying extra for car rental insurance is possibly a waste of money.

The compensation that most credit cards provide which is known as credit card rental car insurance or credit card rental auto insurance , is usually for damage to or theft of a rental vehicle, kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been paid. But the so-called secondary coverage may be useful. And most importantly, you will be reimbursed for your automobile insurance premium, which could be as high as $1,000.

Some cards also provide primary coverage for rental cars, which means you pay first, and you don’t have to have your own insurer involved.

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