Credit Card Rental Insurance: What Is It? How Does It Work?

Below is a list of the best Visa signature car rental insurance public topics compiled and compiled by our team

Whether you need a way to get to the supermarket while your car is in the shop or you plan on renting a car in Europe to cruise from the French Alps to the Italian Riviera, credit card rental car insurance can save you money and give you peace of mind.

It’s important to understand how credit card rental car insurance works and what yours covers before you pull out your card, decline coverage from the car rental agency and drive away.

How does credit card rental car insurance work?

Credit card rental insurance coverage differs from card to card, so be sure to read the fine print on your card’s guide to benefits to learn exactly how to use this card benefit.

Here’s how credit card rental car insurance works. In most cases, you:

If you get into a crash, your rental car gets stolen, or you experience another covered mishap, file a claim with the credit card company within the required time. If the coverage on your card is secondary (more on that below), you’ll first need to file a claim with any other insurance that covers you.

What is a collision damage waiver?

Credit cards with car rental protection typically offer a collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as a loss damage waiver (LDW).

Rental car companies will also often offer to sell you a CDW at the time of rental (along with other types of policies), which typically adds a cost of $9 to $19 a day to your rental car bill.

If you have this coverage on the credit card you’re using to rent the car, or you’re covered by your own auto insurance, you may not need to buy this coverage from the rental car company.

Primary vs. secondary car rental insurance

There are two main types of credit card rental insurance: primary and secondary. With primary rental car insurance, you can file a claim first with your credit card car rental insurance. With secondary car rental insurance, you must first file a claim with your own auto, home or renter’s insurer, and the credit card insurance may pick up extra costs not covered by your policy. For example, it may pay your deductible on the other policy.

That’s because credit card rental car insurance often doesn’t cover medical expenses for you and your passengers if you get into a crash, or your personal property that gets ruined or stolen while in a rental car.

What’s typically excluded from credit card rental insurance?

Credit card car rental insurance can be a nice benefit to have, but it’s not full auto insurance coverage. While bare-bones liability insurance is included in the cost of car rental, it’s important to have or buy insurance that covers you fully.

Is credit card car rental insurance enough?

Wondering if your credit card car rental insurance is enough to cover you in a worst-case scenario?

Keep in mind that auto insurance covers car rental in most cases. But it’s always important to review all of your insurance coverage, read the details of the policy offered by your credit card and also review options for insurance you can buy from the rental car agency.

In general, credit card rental car insurance may be enough if you:

You should also consider your policy limits, deductibles and how much you want to avoid filing a claim on your personal insurance.

Does my credit card cover car rental insurance?

Many credit card issuers, including Chase and Capital One offer car rental coverage as a benefit on many cards. But it’s important to verify that your card has coverage and see what’s included.

If you plan to use rewards to cover all or part of the cost of the car rental, check in advance to make sure coverage still applies. For example, for Amex, coverage still applies if you use Membership Rewards points but not if you use other loyalty program rewards, such as airline miles.

Chase car rental insurance

Chase offers robust credit card car rental insurance on many of its cards. Chase coverage is:

Chase credit card rental car coverage also has a number of exclusions when you dig into the fine print. The coverage typically excludes antique, exotic or specialized vehicles. For example, Chase cards generally won’t cover expensive vehicles such as a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Porsche or a Maserati. The coverage also excludes cargo vans, large passenger vans, limousines, motorcycles and mopeds and RVs.

Top Chase cards for car rental

Capital One credit card rental car insurance

Many Capital One credit cards provide rental car insurance as a benefit from the card network, either Visa or Mastercard. You can get details on coverage by checking either the Visa or Mastercard guide to benefits that goes with your card.

In some cases, this benefit is available only on Visa Signature cards issued by Capital One, so check to see if your card has the benefit.

Top Capital One cards for car rental

Discover card car rental insurance

Discover no longer offers car rental insurance on its credit cards. Discover used to offer this coverage, but it’s been eliminated. If you need to rent a car and you want credit card rental car coverage, it’s best to use a different card — if possible, one with primary coverage.

Citi card car rental insurance

Citi no longer offers car rental insurance or other travel insurance on most of its credit cards, but you may still be covered on a Citi card through the credit card network. The major credit card networks, including Mastercard and Visa, typically offer car rental insurance as a benefit. Check with your card network to see if you’re covered, or use a different card that explicitly offers this benefit.

American Express car rental insurance

Some American Express cards offer car rental insurance. You can visit Amex’s car rental insurance page to find out whether your card offers car rental insurance, and to see details on the coverages and limitations.

Best credit card for car rental

Many credit cards offer solid primary car rental coverage. But our choice for the best credit card for car rental is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Here’s why we chose this as the best card for car rental coverage.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card doesn’t cover antique or specialty vehicles, it doesn’t specifically list expensive cars as not being covered. That can be a huge benefit if you decided to make a dream come true by renting a Maserati on your vacation.

How to claim car rental insurance on a credit card

Check your card for specifics, but these are the general steps you take to file a credit card car rental claim:

It may take some time to gather all the documentation required, so get started as quickly as possible to get the claim submitted in time.

Car rental Insurance FAQs

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