Credit Cards With Rental Car Insurance

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor

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There are lots of benefits you can get from using your credit card. One of the most under-rated benefits is getting free rental car insurance. Many people don’t realize that this insurance is available to them. Even more, most credit cards offer this perk and many people don’t realize it.

That’s why we put together this helpful article and FAQ. We’ll cover everything you need to know about rental car insurance and credit cards. Use the information in this article to gain a better understanding of the benefits you can take advantage of using your credit card when you rent a car.

Topics Covered

Understanding Credit Cards and Car Rental Insurance

Most major credit cards offer rental car insurance as a free perk. However, different cards offer different kinds of rental insurance and also offer different levels of insurance. Moreover, each company has different restrictions with regards to what they offer. You’ll need to check with your specific card issuer to see what benefits you have access to.

Credit Cards With Rental Car Insurance
 

There are two major kinds of car insurance, primary and secondary. Primary insurance is the first insurance a claim goes to. It foots the bill for repairs and damages up to a certain limit.

Secondary insurance covers any gaps in your primary insurance. It also usually pays for the deductible on the primary insurance. Secondary insurance also covers damages that exceed the limit on your primary insurance.

Usually credit cards offer secondary insurance. However, some of the biggest premier cards will offer primary insurance instead. If your credit card only offers secondary insurance, then your primary insurance will come from your normal car insurance company. There are also restrictions and special qualifications that you’ll need to do in order to get your credit card company to cover your insurance needs.

We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of using your credit card for car rental insurance in the next section.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Your Credit Card for Rental Insurance

There are lots of benefits and a couple drawbacks when you decide to use your credit card for rental car insurance. You should carefully weigh these to make the best decision regarding your choice for rental car insurance.

Benefits

Many of the benefits of using your credit card for rental car insurance have to do with the costs and the potential savings. The main benefits of getting car insurance through your credit card include:

  • No additional charge
  • May offer primary insurance – saves on your standard car insurance
  • Secondary insurance still makes things cheaper
  • Easy to use
  • Don’t have to try and figure out the rental company’s insurance paperwork

The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to pay anything extra for most credit card rental car insurance policies. The policy comes standard as part of your credit card contract. That means you might already have insurance for a rental car through your credit card and not even realize it.

The second benefit of using a credit card for rental car insurance is that many of the best credit cards offer primary insurance coverage. That’s an awesome thing to have. Primary insurance through your credit card means that your insurance company doesn’t even need to get involved if you have some kind of accident. As a result, your premiums will be protected and you won’t need to worry about your deductible.

Even if your card only offers secondary insurance, that’s still huge. Secondary insurance will cover any deductible from your primary insurance. It will also cover damages that aren’t covered by your primary insurance. That dramatically reduces your liability should the worst happen.

While there are restrictions on most credit card rental car insurance agreements, the benefit is still fairly easy to use. Check your credit card contract to see what your particular requirements are. Usually you’ll just have to waive the insurance from the rental car company and book your rental car with the card you want to use.

Being able to confidentially waive the rental car company’s insurance is another perk to using your credit card. Usually people are a bit rushed when they’re renting a car. Either your car is in the shop or you’ve just been traveling. That means it’s a bad time to have to struggle through the fine print you’re offered at the rental agency. Using the insurance from your credit card means you won’t have to do that at all.

Drawbacks

There are a few drawbacks to using your credit card for rental car insurance. Those include:

  • Not all credit cards offer rental car insurance
  • There are restrictions on qualifying for rental car insurance with your credit card
  • Only secondary insurance means you still might face premium increases

First, while most credit cards offer insurance, some of them don’t. That means you’ll need to check to make sure your card offers insurance and that you understand the terms of the insurance. You also might be forced to use a different card if the one you want to use doesn’t have insurance.

The second drawback is that there are some restrictions on when your credit card will cover your insurance. These restrictions can include lots of things, or they can be relatively light. You’ll need to check your specific credit card agreement to find out more about how you can take advantage of the free rental car insurance you’re offered.

Finally, most credit cards only offer secondary insurance. That means you’ll still need to use your standard car insurance as your primary insurance policy. As a result, your premiums will go up if you get into an accident. You also might face additional charges for covering the rental car, depending on the nature of your insurance agreement.

Credit Cards With Rental Car Insurance

Things to Consider Regarding Credit Cards and Car Insurance

When you’re trying to decide whether or not to use your credit card’s car rental insurance, you should consider the following questions:

  • What kind of insurance does my credit card offer?
  • How much insurance do I need?
  • Does my normal car insurance cover me and how much?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to easily decide whether or not you should use rental car insurance from your credit card.

FAQ

This can be a confusing subject. That’s why we put together this handy FAQ. Use this information to make an informed decision about how you sure insure your rental car and to understand if your card offers rental car insurance.

General Credit Card Rental Insurance FAQ

This section answers general questions about credit cards and rental insurance.

Does My Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Many credit cards do. You’ll need to check with your specific credit card contract to see if they offer car insurance when you rent a car.

Can You Pay Car Insurance with a Credit Card?

Most car insurance companies and rental car agencies will let you pay with a credit card. You can also usually get rental insurance through your credit card company if you use the card to pay for the rental car.

What Credit Cards Cover Car Rental Insurance?

Most major credit cards will cover rental car insurance. You can get a huge list of which cards cover insurance by reading the specific credit card FAQ section below.

Which Credit Card is Best for Car Rental Insurance?

That depends on a lot of factors. The Chase Sapphire is great if you travel internationally, Whereas the United Mileage Explorer Plus is good if you want rewards. American Express Blue Cash is the best option if you have a longer rental.

Is Rental Car Insurance Covered by Credit Card?

In most cases, yes. There are some restrictions. For example, you’ll need to pay for your rental car with the credit card you want to pick up the insurance.

How Does Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Work?

Different credit cards work differently for car insurance. Most credit cards require you to waive the insurance offered by the rental company and book the car rental with your card in order to get coverage. Many credit cards also provide secondary coverage, which means it fills in the gap from your primary car insurance, pays your deductible, and so on.

What Credit Cards Offer Primary Car Rental Insurance?

The upper-echelon credit cards are the most likely to offer primary insurance. Chase Sapphire Preferred, United Mileage Plus, Ritz-Carrolton Infinite Visa, and the J.P. Morgan reserve card are good examples of cards that offer primary car rental insurance.

Does My Credit Card Insure Rental Car Accidents?

In many instances it does. You need to have booked the rental car with your card and declined the insurance offered by the rental agency. Moreover, most credit cards only offer secondary insurance, the primary insurance will be through your normal insurance provider.

Do Credit Card Companies Offer Rental Car Insurance?

Lots of them do. You should check your specific credit card agreement. That will tell you if your card offers insurance and what kind of insurance it provides so you know how well you’re covered.

Does Credit Card Insurance Cover Deductibles on Rental Cars?

Almost always. You should check the terms of your credit card agreement to see if you meet the conditions. However, most credit card insurance for rental cars is secondary insurance which covers the deductible of your primary insurance. As long as you waived the rental company’s CDW and paid for the rental with your card you should be set.

Credit Cards With Rental Car Insurance

Specific Credit Cards and Car Rental Insurance

This section answers questions about whether or not specific credit cards offer rental car insurance.

Does Capital One Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Yes they do. You’ll need to rent a car with your credit card in order to qualify. They’ll cover accidents and damage waivers your other insurance doesn’t cover.

Does My Southwest Credit Card have Car Rental Insurance?

Yes, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Visa card will automatically give you rental car insurance, accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement while you’re on your trip

Does Discover Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

In most cases. Discover card says that you should check with your card issuer to be sure. You’ll also want to check because the coverage and limitations vary from card to card.

Does Wells Fargo Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Most of them do. The Wells Fargo Signature Visa, Platinum, and secured cards all come with at least some kind of auto insurance waiver that you can use to get rental car insurance.

Does Chase Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

They do. Both the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom unlimited offer insurance for damage and theft. The collision coverage offered is secondary insurance. The Chase Sapphire Preferred does offer primary insurance.

Does Citi Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

They do, but they only offer secondary insurance. That means they only cover damages your primary insurance doesn’t cover. The coverage you get goes up to $50,000 and you need to pay for the whole rental with your card.

Does Visa Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

That depends on who your card issuer is and what type of card you have. After all, there are a lot of Visa cards. Most of them offer at least secondary insurance, but you should check your credit card contract to be sure.

Does USAA Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

USAA has a rental car program that you can book your car through for automatic insurance. If you don’t use the program, then you’ll need to use your card and decline the coverage offered by the rental car company to be covered.

Does Bank of America Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

Yes, rental car insurance is a complimentary benefit offered by all Bank of America credit cards. The actual coverage is provided by Visa or Mastercard, and the specifics on the type of coverage you get vary based on your particular account.

Does American Express Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

They do. However, the coverage, restrictions, and terms will differ based on what kind of American Express card you have. For example, the American Express Platinum card by Goldman Sachs and different coverage than the American Express Green Card.

Does Alaska Airlines Credit Card have Rental Car Insurance?

Yes, the Alaska Airlines card is issued by Bank of America, and all BoA credit cards have car rental insurance. The terms of your specific agreement will specify what kind of insurance you have.

Does Navy Federal Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

It does. If you pay for the whole car rental with your Navy Federal credit card then you’ll have Collision Damage Waiver coverage as long as you’re renting the car for 15 days or less.

Credit Cards With Rental Car Insurance

Does Costco Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

The Costco Anywhere Visa card does offer rental car insurance as well as trip cancellation interruption protection, and travel accident insurance.

Does Chase Sapphire Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Yes, the Chase Sapphire credit card offers primary rental car insurance. That means you won’t even need to use your regular rental car insurance to get the coverage.

Does My Southwest Airlines Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

Southwest Airlines credit cards do cover car rental insurance. Both the Visa Signature and Visa Platinum cards have auto insurance for rentals in the US and abroad. It’s secondary to your personal insurance and you’ll have to waive the insurance from the car rental company.

Does My Slate Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

It sure does. The Slate credit card by Chase offers secondary insurance and will pay the deductible for your primary insurance in the US. It will also provide primary insurance abroad if your main insurance doesn’t cover you overseas.

Does CIBC Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

It does. The Adventura Visa gets you $25 a day off of your car rental plus CDW as long as you use your card for the whole rental and waive the insurance offered by the rental company, including the CDW and the LDW.

Does the AAdvantage Credit Card have Car Insurance?

The AAdvantage offers up to $100,000 in protection toward the cost of repairs to the rental car if you’re in an accident. It also adds insurance for theft of the rental car and works world-wide.

Does a Sam’s Club Credit Card offer Car Insurance?

It sure does. You can be covered for up to $50,000 in repairs as long as you waive the rental company’s CDW and use the card to pay for your whole car rental.

Does Chase Freedom Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

The Chase Freedom credit card does cover rental car insurance. It’s secondary insurance, so it only kicks in after your primary insurance is maxed out.

Does Chase Visa Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

The Chase Visa card offers secondary rental car insurance. You can get up to $50,000 towards repairs so long as you waive all other insurance offers (other than your primary insurance) and pay for the whole car rental on your card.

Does Triple A Credit Card have Rental Car Insurance?

The Triple A Visa Signature card offers supplemental rental car insurance to cover repairs up to the cash value of almost any car that you can rent. You’ll need to charge the whole rental to your card and waive the insurance offered by the rental car company for it to apply though.

Does Banana Republic Credit Card provide Car Insurance?

Yes and No. The BananaCard can only be used at Banana Republic, so you can’t use it to rent a car. The Banana Republic Visa card does offer supplemental CDW that takes over if your primary insurance isn’t enough to cover the cost of repairs.

Does MBNA Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

The World/World Elite, Platinum, and Gold cards from MBNA all offer CDW insurance. The preferred card doesn’t offer any extra insurance protection. There are certain restrictions on each of the cards. These restrictions are covered in the materials you receive when you’re approved for a card.

Do TD Credit Cards Cover Car Rental Insurance?

Most of them do. The list of TD cards that offer car insurance include the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Cards, TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Cards, TD Platinum Travel Visa Cards, TD Business Travel Visa Cards, TD Business Visa Cards, TD U.S. Dollar Visa Cards, Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Cards, Aeroplan Visa Infinite Cards, Aeroplan Visa Platinum Cards, and Aeroplan Visa Business Cards.

Does HSBC Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

The HSBC Premier World Mastercard, Gold Mastercard, and Advanced Mastercard all offer car rental insurance. The insurance is primary insurance outside of the US. However, HSBC doesn’t require you to pay for the whole rental with your card, you only need to pay for one full day to be covered.

Does KeyBank Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Yes, the Key2More card does offer rental car insurance. However, KeyBank’s secured credit card and the KeyBank Latitude card do not list rental car insurance on their benefits page.

Does IHG Credit Card do Car Rental Insurance?

It does. You get secondary coverage with the IHG premier reward club card by Chase. You also get baggage delay insurance, and trip cancellation and interruption insurance through the card.

Does Amazon Credit Card Offer Car Insurance?

The Amazon credit card covers theft and collision damage for most rental cards in the US and abroad. However, the coverage offered is secondary to your regular car insurance, so make sure your primary car insurance covers you if you’re traveling internationally.

Does Uber Credit Card have Car Insurance?

Yes, the Uber credit card has free car rental insurance. It also comes with cell phone insurance and other perks. You’ll need to check your contract to get the specifics on the insurance the Uber credit card offers.

Does PayPal Credit Card Offer Car Rental Insurance?

Yes, the PayPal credit card has rental car insurance as long as you decline the rental car company’s damage and collision waiver and pay for your car with the card. Damage and theft will be automatically covered at this point.

Does DCU Credit Card Support Rental Car Insurance?

The DCU Platinum Secured credit card does cover collision damage and theft on auto rentals, along with other exclusive Visa travel services. Your travel insurance will protect you for up to $500,000.

Which Amex Credit Card is Best for Car Rental Insurance?

The Blue Cash Rewards card is the best American Express card for rental car insurance. It covers longer rental periods than other cars and also offers $50,000 in coverage, which should be more than enough for any repairs or damage to the rental car.

Does Barclay Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?

It does. The Barclay credit card reimburses you for the deductible portion of your personal car insurance. It also covers you as a primary insurer if you don’t own a car. The vehicle rental period can’t be longer than 15 days though.

Does Delta Skymiles Credit Card Include Rental Car Insurance?

Yes, it covers standard commercial rentals. It doesn’t cover things like damage to other vehicles or property. The coverage from the Delta Skymiles card applies o the first 30 days of your rental period. There are also some limitations on what kind of cars are covered. For example, the coverage doesn’t apply to limos or off-road vehicles.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor - Best.CreditCard

Michelle is part of our expert team of financial advisors with a proven track record in the credit card industry. After graduating with an Economics Degree focusing on Personal Finance, she got involved with several credit and debt counseling startups.