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Which credit cards provide primary insurance coverage against loss/damage to rental cars? I have a Costco AMEX card, Discover, Penfed Visa and Citi Mastercard. To my best knowledge, none of them provide it. Is there any fee I can pay to any of these credit card companies and purchase primary coverage?

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They still offer primary coverage, but unfortunately haven't been accepting any new card applications for a while.

ExtremeSaver (Jan. 28, 2011 @ 5:03p) |

My latest benefits for "Citi® Dividend World MasterCard®" seems to show this coverage.
The benefits pamphlet refers to Ci... (more)

DeGlass (Jan. 31, 2011 @ 6:36p) |

I believe the USAA coverage is for United States rentals only. But it is great for those!

jenslo77 (Feb. 28, 2011 @ 11:58a) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

It's difficult to find anywhere that consolidates primary CDW information for credit cards, so I put together some links, using the information from this FWF thread, as well as other FWF threads and sources:

Citi Cards - Auto Rental Insurance Product List & Disclosures. The following cards offer primary CDW coverage:
Citi Professional Card
Citi Professional Cash Card
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage MasterCard
Citibusiness Card
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Visa Card
AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card
The latter two are under a plan with slightly different terms.

Personal cards that offer primary CDW coverage:
AMEX (fee charged per rental; fee varies by state; must enroll in free Premium Car Rental Protection Plan)
Diners Club
Continental (Chase) Presidential Plus - click on Blue Carpet Protection-Auto Protection
Continental (Chase) OnePass Plus - FlyerTalk thread about this and Presidential Plus - can't find direct link for OnePlass Plus
Delta Community CU cards offer $25K in primary LDW coverage
Discover Escape Card

Some other "specially negotiated" Visa and MasterCard personal cards might offer primary CDW coverage as well.

Read the terms very carefully, as most CDW coverage by credit card issuers seems to have limitations and/or exclusions.
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You need a 'premier' or 'gold' or platinum type card to get those benefits usually.

Chase Business - they have the primary rental car coverage.

Thanks for the tips. I checked out the terms/conditions of the Citibank Platinum and Diamond cards. The car insurance they offer is secondary. Meaning your insurance company pays first. If anything is not covered by your own insurance company (such as deductibles), the credit card will pick it up.

Does one have to be self employed to own a business card?

AMEX offers a Primary Insurance. Cost like $25 rental I think
Must preenroll

https://www152.AmericanExpress .com/premium/car-rental-insurance-coverage/home.do?source=CCSG#01

Visa signature offers free CDW coverage when you book through your card. My chase freedom card is a signature card.
http://usa.visa.com/personal/visa-signature/benefits/auto-rental...

website said: Receive Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver coverage for damage due to collision or theft on auto rentals. Simply complete the entire rental transaction with your eligible Visa Signature card and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage if offered by the rental company to activate the coverage. You will be reimbursed for the repair or replacement of covered losses to your rental vehicle when certain terms and conditions are met.

I thought my AMEX gold rewards card had primary coverage, but when I clicked on the link under my account this is what is says:

The Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Plan provides coverage against theft of or damage to most rental vehicles. Coverage applies for the first 30 days, and is in excess to your other sources of insurance.

Does this mean that it is secondary coverage?

forbin4040 said: AMEX offers a Primary Insurance. Cost like $25 rental I think
Must preenroll

https://www152.AmericanExpress.com/premium/car-rental-insurance-...


$18 for California residents.

OffroadFever said: Visa signature offers free CDW coverage when you book through your card.

secondary, not primary

P9142 said: Does this mean that it is secondary coverage?

yes

You might find some information on this in the Travel Discussion forum on FW, which contains a lot of info about renting cars.

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I have, in the past, managed to find rental car coupon codes which included at least one of the two required insurances, which saved me $14 a day.

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I don't think that any credit card offers primary rental car insurance coverage.... at least without one's being required to have insurance on a car one owns, as well.

If one has liability only auto insurance, would this effectively make CC insurance primary?

Yes there is free primary coverage available...ive answered this numerous times search the archives

There is also an active thread in hot deals about the AMEX optional plan where i laid out details on the free plans

According to this thread Citi Professional card might provide primary coverage, but when someone contacted Citi and then Mastercard, he was told it was just secondary coverage. I find it very frustrating how nebulous this whole thing is. I would hate to think I had primary coverage, only to find out later it was secondary coverage.

its not nebulous it is clear as day, all you need to is ignore what a dumb csr tells you and read the printed disclosures that govern and explain coverage in detail

I had a claim paid out for an accident in a rental car paid with Citi Business Mastercard (claim was handled through Mastercard). They didn't request any information on my personal auto insurance.

As has been mentioned, most applicable credit cards provide Secondary insurance behind your home-based coverage. I subscribe to the AMEX option which is a flat $25/car rental and provides for Primary coverage:

Up to $100,000 of primary coverage for damage or theft of a Rental Car.
Up to $100,000 of Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage.
Up to $15,000 for excess medical expenses.



With AMEX, you don't have to file a claim with your insurance company. In Massachusetts, any claims (if I'm at fault) jack up my annual premium....

not true at all

Why waste $25 per rental when many cards offer primary coverage for free?

AMEX does not cover loss of use whereas visa usually does

Also renember this only covers damage to the rental car

If you hit someone else and damage their car or hurt them, AMEX provides no coverage for that. They are not offering liability insurance. You WILL need to go through your insurance for liability claims

I suggest everyone carefulky u derstand what is their coverage and what they are paying for

SUCKISSTAPLES said: not true at all

Why waste $25 per rental when many cards offer primary coverage for free?



My understanding is that VISA only covers the deductible on your personal car insurance policy. For simple damage to a rental car, you still have to file a claim with your own insurer.

Within your country of residence, Visa Auto Rental CDW supplements, and applies excess of, any valid and collectible insurance or reimbursement from any source. It does not duplicate insurance provided by or purchased through the auto rental company; it will not pay for losses reimbursed by your own insurer, employer, employer’s insurance, or any other valid and collectible insurance; however, it will pay for the outstanding deductible portion or other charges, including valid administration and loss-of-use charges not covered by your applicable automobile insurance policy

I do agree that any personal liability must be covered by your home-based policy as well.

There are visa cards which offer primary coverage

SUCKISSTAPLES said: There are visa cards which offer primary coverage

Which ones??

please read my prior responses in this thread and the link another user posted

Ive detailed this dozens of times and do not care to keep repeating when you can simply search

SUCKISSTAPLES said: please read my prior responses in this thread and the link another user posted

Ive detailed this dozens of times and do not care to keep repeating when you can simply search


Thanks. It appears that the VISA and MC business cards do provide PRIMARY CDW coverage as long as the rented vehicle is being used for BUSINESS. They only provide SECONDARY coverage if the vehicle is being used for PLEASURE.

I only rent vehicles when I'm away on vacation. For folks like myself, the supplemental AMEX coverage for $25 therefore makes sense.

One thing that folks forget about is that in addition to the physical damage to the automobile, you may be responsible for the rental agency's loss of income from the use of the vehicle while it's being repaired.

ssr2 said: Which credit cards provide primary insurance coverage against loss/damage to rental cars? I have a Costco AMEX card, Discover, Penfed Visa and Citi Mastercard. To my best knowledge, none of them provide it. Is there any fee I can pay to any of these credit card companies and purchase primary coverage?

Your financial risk when driving a rental car is essentially no greater than when driving your own car. If you total your own car, you make a claim on your policy, get a check, and buy a new car to replace your old one. If you total a rental car, you make a claim on your policy, the rental car company gets a check, and you keep your old car. What makes us think we are somehow many times MORE likely to have accidents in a rental car driving between the airport and the hotel then we are in our own cars?

If AMEX offered a zero-deductible insurance policy for your own car at $2,500-$3,000 a year, would you buy it? Probably not, so why would you buy it for rental cars that are covered under your existing policy?

I received a brochure recently that my personal Chase Continental OnePass mastercard will soon be changed to the OnePass Plus Card and will provide primary physical damage coverage for rented vehicles. I haven't seen any any official terms and conditions yet.

sayhey said: As has been mentioned, most applicable credit cards provide Secondary insurance behind your home-based coverage. I subscribe to the AMEX option which is a flat $25/car rental and provides for Primary coverage:

Up to $100,000 of primary coverage for damage or theft of a Rental Car.
Up to $100,000 of Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage.
Up to $15,000 for excess medical expenses.



With AMEX, you don't have to file a claim with your insurance company. In Massachusetts, any claims (if I'm at fault) jack up my annual premium....


I've used this in the past and the claims are absolutely pain free. But as SIS said, liability is not covered.

Discover Escape has $50k primary for a $60 AF.

Also has 2% CB when redeemed for credits on "Travel/Entertainment" purchases.

BuckarooBanzai said: ssr2 said: Which credit cards provide primary insurance coverage against loss/damage to rental cars? I have a Costco AMEX card, Discover, Penfed Visa and Citi Mastercard. To my best knowledge, none of them provide it. Is there any fee I can pay to any of these credit card companies and purchase primary coverage?

Your financial risk when driving a rental car is essentially no greater than when driving your own car. If you total your own car, you make a claim on your policy, get a check, and buy a new car to replace your old one. If you total a rental car, you make a claim on your policy, the rental car company gets a check, and you keep your old car. What makes us think we are somehow many times MORE likely to have accidents in a rental car driving between the airport and the hotel then we are in our own cars?

If AMEX offered a zero-deductible insurance policy for your own car at $2,500-$3,000 a year, would you buy it? Probably not, so why would you buy it for rental cars that are covered under your existing policy?


I agree with you, but I think people buy it for 2 reasons:
They are driving in a very strange place with no idea where they are going, around people who drive different than "at home".
They do it as they feel the rental place will blame them for some small dent/scratch that magically appears.

BlueSeaLake said:
They do it as they feel the rental place will blame them for some small dent/scratch that magically appears.


I alway do a once-around inspection of my rental cars before I take them off the lot. If I see any scratches or dents, I ask them to be noted in writing by the check-out clerk.

i havent checked their current terms but diners club also offered primary coverage

ssr2 said: Thanks for the tips. I checked out the terms/conditions of the Citibank Platinum and Diamond cards. The car insurance they offer is secondary. Meaning your insurance company pays first. If anything is not covered by your own insurance company (such as deductibles), the credit card will pick it up.

Does one have to be self employed to own a business card?

sayhey said: BlueSeaLake said:
They do it as they feel the rental place will blame them for some small dent/scratch that magically appears.


I alway do a once-around inspection of my rental cars before I take them off the lot. If I see any scratches or dents, I ask them to be noted in writing by the check-out clerk.


There as a long discussion on this earlier.
I take a bunch of pictures and only pick cars that are looking pretty good.
But the fact that I and lots of other people do something, means we are all concerned about falsely being blamed for some dent/scratch.

It's difficult to find anywhere that consolidates primary CDW information for credit cards, so I put together some links, using the information from this FWF thread, as well as other FWF threads and sources:

Citi Cards - Auto Rental Insurance Product List & Disclosures. The following cards offer primary CDW coverage:
Citi Professional Card
Citi Professional Cash Card
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage MasterCard
Citibusiness Card
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Visa Card
AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card
The latter two are under a plan with slightly different terms.

Personal cards that offer primary CDW coverage:
AMEX (fee charged per rental; fee varies by state; must enroll in free Premium Car Rental Protection Plan)
Diners Club
Continental (Chase) Presidential Plus - click on Blue Carpet Protection-Auto Protection
Continental (Chase) OnePass Plus - FlyerTalk thread about this and Presidential Plus - can't find direct link for OnePlass Plus CDW benefit
Delta Community CU cards offer $25K in primary LDW coverage
Discover Escape Card

Some other "specially negotiated" Visa and MasterCard personal cards might offer primary CDW coverage as well.

Read the terms very carefully, as most CDW coverage by credit card issuers seems to have limitations and/or exclusions. For example, the above link for Discover Escape says, in part:

EXCLUDED RENTAL VEHICLES
* All trucks, pickups, full-size vans mounted on truck chassis, campers, off-road vehicles, and other recreational vehicles.
* All sport utility trucks. These are vehicles that have been or can be converted to an open, flat bed truck (including, but not limited to, Chevy Avalanche, GMC Envoy, and Cadillac Escalade EXT).
* Trailers, motorbikes, motorcycles, and any other vehicle having fewer than four (4) wheels.
* Antique vehicles (vehicles that are more than twenty (20) years old or have not been manufactured for at least ten (10) years), or limousines.
* Any rental vehicle that has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price that exceeds $50,000 USD.

WHERE YOU ARE COVERED
In general coverage applies worldwide, but there are exceptions:

* Coverage is not available for vehicles rented in the following countries Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.
* Coverage is not available where prohibited by law.

COVERAGE LIMITATIONS
* Primary Collision Damage Waiver will pay the lesser of the actual repair amount, current market value (less salvage), or $50,000 USD per incident for which the Escape by Discover Card Cardholder or any other authorized driver is legally responsible to the rental agency.
* Primary Collision Damage Waiver will not pay for or duplicate the Collision/Damage Waiver coverage offered by the rental agency. Note: I think this is really bad phrasing and it means if CDW is included with the rental or the agency offers it for free. See below.

WHAT IS NOT COVERED
* Any personal item stolen from the interior or exterior of rental vehicles.
* Vehicle not rented by the Escape by Discover Card Cardholder or authorized user on Escape by Discover Card account.
* Any person not designated in the rental agreement/contract as an authorized driver.
* Any obligations you assume other than that which is covered under Primary Collision Damage Waiver coverage.
* Any violation of the written terms and conditions of the rental agreement/contract.
* Any loss that occurs while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; racing; reckless driving.
* Losses involving the theft of the rental vehicle when the renter or authorized driver cannot produce the keys to the rental vehicle at the time of reporting the incident to police and/or rental agency, as a result of negligence.
* Mechanical failures caused by wear and tear, gradual deterioration, or mechanical breakdown.
* Subsequent damages resulting from a failure to protect the rental vehicle from further damage.
* Blowouts or tire/rim damage that is not caused by theft or vandalism or is not a result of a vehicle collision causing tire or rim damage.
* Rental vehicles where Collision/Damage Waiver coverage was accepted/purchased by you or given to you by the rental agency.
* Any damage that is of an intentional or non-accidental nature, caused by the renter or authorized driver(s) of the rental vehicle.
* Except for residents of the state of New York, this exclusion is modified by the following limitation. This exclusion does not apply if:
1) an individual or joint cardholder is liable for damages to the rental vehicle under the rental agreement/contract or liable for the charges from damages to the rental vehicle under the credit card agreement;
2) the individual or joint cardholder is a victim of domestic violence and did not cooperate in or contribute to the damage;
3) the damage arises out of a pattern of criminal domestic violence; and
4) the perpetrator of the damage is criminally prosecuted for the act or acts causing the damage for which a claim is being made under this coverage.
For New York state residents, this modification does not apply and is not in effect. Depreciation, diminishment of value, administrative, or other fees charged by the vehicle rental agency.
* Vehicles with a rental agreement/contract that exceeds or is intended to exceed a rental period of 31 consecutive days from a rental agency.
* Losses resulting from any kind of illegal activity.
* Damage sustained on any surface, other than a bound surface such as concrete or tarmac.
* Losses as a result of war or hostilities of any kind (including, but not limited to, invasion, terrorism, rebellion, insurrection, riot, or civil commotion); confiscation or damage by any government, public authority, or customs official; risks of contraband; illegal activity or acts.
* Any loss involving the rental vehicle being used for hire, for commercial use, or as a public or livery conveyance.
* Indirect or direct damages resulting from a covered claim.
* Theft of, or damage to, unlocked or unsecured vehicles.
* Value-added tax, or similar tax, unless reimbursement of such tax is required by law.
* Vehicles rented in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.


Edited post to change some links and added links to Quick Summary.

I use to work for Budget rental and advise for short rentals take the insurance saves alot of hassles if something happens. If the windshield comes back with a chip your responsible, if you blow a tire you have to pay for a new tire and list goes on. If you do chip the windshield or blow a tire your better off repairing it before turning in car because rental company is going to overcharge you for repair and charge you for loss of use.

I elected to enroll in the AMEX $25 per rental premier coverage because I typically only rent on vacation 5-10 days

so to me it is worth it over that time period

Miky said: I use to work for Budget rental and advise for short rentals take the insurance saves alot of hassles if something happens. If the windshield comes back with a chip your responsible, if you blow a tire you have to pay for a new tire and list goes on. If you do chip the windshield or blow a tire your better off repairing it before turning in car because rental company is going to overcharge you for repair and charge you for loss of use.

I believe the rental company's basic insurance will cover these kind of minor issues and one need not have the FULL insurance (liability) right?

BlueSeaLake said: BuckarooBanzai said: ssr2 said: Which credit cards provide primary insurance coverage against loss/damage to rental cars? I have a Costco AMEX card, Discover, Penfed Visa and Citi Mastercard. To my best knowledge, none of them provide it. Is there any fee I can pay to any of these credit card companies and purchase primary coverage?

Your financial risk when driving a rental car is essentially no greater than when driving your own car. If you total your own car, you make a claim on your policy, get a check, and buy a new car to replace your old one. If you total a rental car, you make a claim on your policy, the rental car company gets a check, and you keep your old car. What makes us think we are somehow many times MORE likely to have accidents in a rental car driving between the airport and the hotel then we are in our own cars?

If AMEX offered a zero-deductible insurance policy for your own car at $2,500-$3,000 a year, would you buy it? Probably not, so why would you buy it for rental cars that are covered under your existing policy?


I agree with you, but I think people buy it for 2 reasons:
They are driving in a very strange place with no idea where they are going, around people who drive different than "at home".
They do it as they feel the rental place will blame them for some small dent/scratch that magically appears.


Add to the list: loss of use claims by the rental car company, which your insurance, supplemental credit card may not cover.

germanpope said: I elected to enroll in the AMEX $25 per rental premier coverage because I typically only rent on vacation 5-10 days

so to me it is worth it over that time period

I have just spent a few hours looking into this in detail. For years I have relied on using the "free" AMEX CDW insurance but it turns out that the AMEX insurance only pays out for "Loss of use" claims from the car rental company if the car rental company provides AMEX with a "Fleet utilization log". Many companies *e.g. Hertz" will not do this (why should they?) and then AMEX will refuse to pay for any Loss of use claims. Unfortunately this gap in the coverage also applies for the AMEX premium insurance product and Mastercard too! Here's two good articles that describes the issue:
http://whyusecredit.com/?q=node/3
http://www.mymoneyblog.com/do-you-buy-the-loss-damage-waiver-for-rental-cars.html

The comments section on this page also provides some examples of people who have had AMEX insurance that has not paid out for Loss of Use:
http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/american-express-car-renta...

When I talked to the AMEX insurance department (1-800-338-1670) to clarify this they use the carefully crafted words "we cover you for damage to the vehicle and potential loss of use". Note the use of the word "potential". When you dig deeper and ask under what circumstance you might personally have to pay out for any loss of use claim from the rental company they clarify the loophole that I mentioned above about the fleet utilization logs.

Also AMEX may not pay out for other claims such as:
- Diminishment in value
- Administrative charges

unless the rental company substantiates those charges with documentation that AMEX deems acceptable.

To me this basically means that I am no longer comfortable relying on AMEX CDW insurance since it leaves me exposed to thousands of dollars of claims and lots of time spent contesting all of this and trying to persuade rental companies to provide documents that they have no business incentive to provide.

So I called up the benefits line for my Chase Visa Signature card(1-888-320-9961) and they told me that unlike AMEX they do cover "reasonable loss of use" and don't require a fleet utilization log from the rental company. They still do not cover Diminishment in Value claims, but say that these claims are extremely rare (less than 1% of cases). Another advantage over AMEX is that they automatically provide Primary insurance coverage for vehicles rented when travelling outside of the US whereas AMEX only provides Secondary coverage.

At any rate it seems that the Chase insurance is superior to the AMEX insurance and even better there is no annual fee at all!
http://usa.visa.com/personal/visa-signature/benefits/auto-rental...

Skipping 21 Messages...
I believe the USAA coverage is for United States rentals only. But it is great for those!



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