The best cards for car rental insurance

The credit cards with the best car rental insurance coverage will have primary car rental insurance policies (or available primary rental insurance) and offer more comprehensive coverage than their peers. Here are some highlights that might interest you, especially if you travel a lot.

Best for business travelers

  • Preferred by Chase Ink Business ($95 Annual Fee): This card and the Chase Ink Business Cash Card provide primary rental insurance coverage up to the full value of the vehicle for business-related rentals up to 31 days. But if you travel frequently for business, you may prefer this card because it offers a 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Chase Ink Business Cash ($0 Annual Fee): This card offers the same rental car coverage as the Business Preferred version plus 5% cash back on purchases worth up to $25,000 at office supply stores and on Internet, telephone and cable bills.

Best for leisure travelers

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 Annual Fee) – Provides loss of use coverage plus primary coverage for up to $75,000 in damage due to theft or collision, as well as a 50% points bonus when you redeem rewards points for car rentals and other trips through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • United Explorer Card ($95 Annual Fee): For a modest annual fee, this card provides primary coverage up to the full value of the covered vehicle with no country-based exclusions for up to 31 days.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($450 Annual Fee) – This card is one of the few we could find that comes closest to paying medical coverage, though it only pays between $5,000 and $200,000 for accidental injury, dismemberment, or death . It also covers loss of use plus $1,000 for personal property loss. (Primary coverage is available for $12.25-$24.95 per policy.)
  • The American Express Platinum Card ($550 Annual Fee) – This card offers the same car rental insurance benefits as the Hilton Honors Card, and comes with all the other premium benefits you’d expect from one of the top travel cards luxurious (Primary coverage is available for $12.25-$24.95 per policy.)

Some card issuers, like Discover, don’t offer car rental insurance with any of their cards.

Car rental insurance benefits may vary for the same card, depending on the card processor, such as Visa or Mastercard. Check your benefit guide to confirm coverage details for the cards you own or are considering.

How to make sure you’re covered

Car rental insurance is not automatic. The details may vary by policy, but in general, to qualify, you’ll need to do three things:

  • List your name as the primary driver
  • Reject the optional insurance of the car rental company
  • Pay the rent with the credit card that has the CDW policy you would like to use

If you ever need to file a claim, call the benefits administrator to get your card. You can contact them by calling the number on the back of your credit card. They will guide you through the process of filing a claim.

Vehicle types

Many CDW policies specifically exclude certain types of vehicles: trucks, motorcycles, full-size vans, RVs, and luxury cars are commonly left out. If you stick to common car rental models like the Nissan Altima, Chevy Cruze, or Toyota Camry, you probably won’t run into any problems.

Long term rental coverage

Most car rental insurance policies only apply to rentals of one month or less. If you rent cars for more than a month, you may be able to split your rental periods by returning the car for one day to stay under the limit and then renting again.

If not, you may want to look into a car rental insurance policy that covers longer-term rentals. Amex Premium Rental Car Protection policies, available for purchase if you have an Amex card, cover you for up to 42 days.

Additional hedging features

Knowing the essential details could help you in the future if you need to use your policy. Here are some of the most important points to consider in a rental car insurance policy:

Loss of use

Some car rental insurance comes with a “loss of use” policy. If the rental company needs to repair or replace your rental car due to damage or theft, you cannot make any money on the vehicle until it is back in working order. In that case, the company can go after you for the lost money. It is similar to how you can sue someone for lost wages if they because you harm that prevent you from working.

“Loss of use” is a nice feature to look for. If you’re looking for a good credit card for car rental insurance. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card. Chase Sapphire cards come with a policy that covers loss of use.

International coverage

Most policies restrict coverage in certain countries. For example, Israel, Ireland, and Jamaica are commonly excluded from car rental insurance policies. If you intend to rent a car while traveling abroad, you should find out if your car rental insurance policy covers you outside the US. Several Chase cards, for example, do not have country exclusions.


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