Does My Credit Card Give Me Car Rental Insurance?
With the holiday travel season fast approaching, we know many of you will be hopping in your cars to see friends and family, or even just for a winter getaway. A question I often get from readers and friends is, "Does my credit card give me rental insurance?" Well, here's your answer!
Check the fine print
If you rent a car and have your own personal insurance, that insurance will likely cover collision and theft coverage. Whether or not you'd like your insurance to find out about this, though, is your call. Purchasing the add-on at time of rental prevents your own insurance from going up when you rent a car and have an accident (plus, you're off the hook for the deductible).
So, if you thought your card provided you with primary insurance, check the fine print. The cards that offer primary insurance (meaning your personal insurance never finds out) while renting a car include:
- United MileagePlus® Explorer
- United MileagePlus Club
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Ink Business Preferred
- Ink Business Cash
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage®Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.
Again, check the fine print
There's a maximum amount of coverage that credit cards provide. This is important for longer-term rentals. Amex is 30 days (42 days in the premium program). Chase is 31 days. Also, if you're renting luxury cars, your card most likely won't cover it. Many countries aren't covered as well. Check the fine print!!
Should I get the car rental company's insurance?
It seems to me that all the fine print and red tape, coupled with the potential for being on the hook for damages anyway, makes it easier to just take the rental company's insurance when you rent a car. But if you're a risk taker (or a lawyer), and have one of the cards mentioned, go for it!
Where do I get the best rental car deals?
Rental cars are a notoriously obtuse area of travel – there are tons of discount codes, brands, and channels of rental to sort through. We've written a great how-to guide to save you the most money on your next rental, as well as our guide to the best credit cards for car rentals.