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rated:
In 2017, is it better to use a VISA or a MasterCard to rent a car overseas?

If it varies by card, then can you use these two examples please:

VISA: https://www.theexplorercard.com/
vs.
MasterCard: https://secure.fly.aa.com/citi/ccpage-plat

How do they compare for local car rentals?

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rated:
Really you just want a card that offers primary insurance coverage - I don't think there is a meaningful difference between V and MC beyond that.

rated:
There's far more variance AMONG Visas and Mastercards than between Visa and Mastercard.

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cestmoi123 said:   There's far more variance AMONG Visas and Mastercards than between Visa and Mastercard.
  Thank you.
Would you be able to tell which of the two cards in post#1 is better and why?

rated:
Both cards will have primary insurance coverage outside the US. All travel cards do basically. The main reason is that they know your regular insurer typically does not cover you overseas so they know this is coverage people want.

But the United card also appears to be primary insurance in the US according to their chart. So if renting in the US as well, this is a bonus. But annual fee is not waived so it depends if you need that US car rental insurance or not. I know the Chase Sapphire Preferred also is primary insurance overseas and in the US and the annual fee is waived the first year too.

The whole thing is more dependent on the card issuer than the VISA or MASTERCARD network.

rated:
Thank your for posting.
A term like 'primary insurance coverage' is definitely the thing to look for when discussing this topic.

If an identical event happens when using one card vs. the other, if both meet the main condition of having 'primary insurance coverage', then what of the final out-of-pocket costs to us, which may be affected by the actual coverage numbers, deductibles, anything of that nature... are they both the same when it comes to the end event - when it comes to how much more or less comes out of our pocket if a rental car is hit/damaged, depending on the extent of any damage?

rated:
There's no deductible ($0) when the card provides primary coverage (or if you don't have other primary insurance). There is a coverage limit, probably between 50K and 100K, and it's described in the benefits brochure. Find the brochures and read, why are you making us do this work for you?

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It helps  to have "card coverage" booklet. I was renting abroad once and they were ready to charge me the insurance fee and wouldn't budge until I threw the benefits booklet at them.

rated:
c627627 said:   In 2017, is it better to use a VISA or a MasterCard to rent a car overseas?

If it varies by card, then can you use these two examples please:

VISA: https://www.theexplorercard.com/ 
vs.
MasterCard: https://secure.fly.aa.com/citi/ccpage-plat 

How do they compare for local car rentals?

  
Also what country matters, some countries are harder to find cards that include them than others.  The three notorious "I" countries -- Israel, Italy and Israel for example, were not covered at all by AMEX.   Chase Sapphire became my go-to card mostly - -because it does not have any country exclusions.  (but it DOES have a cap of $75000 -- which is easy to exceed in Australia and possible if you get a good upgrade many other places too)  https://www.chase.com/card-benefits/sapphirereserve/travel

 

rated:
scripta said:   There's no deductible ($0) when the card provides primary coverage (or if you don't have other primary insurance). There is a coverage limit, probably between 50K and 100K, and it's described in the benefits brochure. Find the brochures and read, why are you making us do this work for you?
Hi, so as you said, numbers like you mentioned may be the same or different, and the only way to find out is if brochures were found.
I have login access to both card accounts right now.

The most I can find is:
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company's collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your MileagePlus Explorer Card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.



It is impossible for me to locate any specifics online after logging in. I have spent a considerable amount of time looking before posting here. Even if I did not spend any time and "just" posted here, others could have helpful information... if someone else asked themselves the same question before, maybe they could post here how they found it, I mean, is this information available only upon request from them? Or only when originally getting the cards, in the enclosed fine print?

American Airlines and United Airlines are major carriers. It would be interesting to know how their official cards compare, even if there were third party cards that are better. People get these cards because of special offer miles. I accepted their offer of 75,000 miles and I guess lots of people out there get them for that reason only. I mean a flight to the Caribbean is as little as 12.5K / 15K so 75K is a huge monetary benefit for travelers.

So comparing these cards just for informational purposes is important. I don't think anyone on the forums has ever dug in to post with certainty if they are identical as far as actual coverage numbers for rental cars....


   

rated:
My records agree with Shandril's post above -- CDW on United MPE is primary, but I don't know the $ limit. Rental period must be < 31 days, as with all the cards I've ever had. For the cards that don't have a benefits brochure online, the issuer usually mails them right after you get the card. You can also call and request it.

I don't have this info recorded for the Citi AA card, but not only is the first result on google for "citi aa mastercard benefits brochure" a PDF with the details, but in case this one is not applicable to everyone, you should also be able to find the right PDF by logging in to your account and clicking on the benefits link, or by just logging in to https://www.cardbenefits.citi.com.

There are a few problems with doing these comparisons. First, I think the same card can have different benefits depending on the service level (Visa Traditional vs Signature vs Reserve or Mastercard Standard vs World vs WorldElite). And second, benefits can change at any time. So if you want to compare, you have to get the latest terms that apply to your cards.

rated:
Both Citibank and Chase are good options for overseas rentals, especially if you are going to Ireland or one of the other few countries that is often excluded.  From what I found, only Chase, Citi, Discover and Capital One World Mastercards come without country exclusions.  Coverage does vary based on the type of card.  This is what I remember off the top of my head.

Chase:  All cards offer worldwide coverage.  Sapphire Preferred, Reserve and other high end cards can offer Primary.  No limitation on dollar value of the vehicle, but excludes exotic and luxury vehicles - BMW, Mercedes are OK. Rolls Royce and Porsche not so much.

CIti:  Worldwide coverage.  Most cards limit to $50K.  I was upgraded from a Focus to a Mercedes E200 in Ireland and this could have been an issue.  Prestige goes to $75K.  Don't recall if any cards offer Primary.

Discover:  Low $25 of insurance and not widely accepted in many countries. 

If you are going to Ireland a Mastercard can be a slight advantage.  It used to be that the only US cards that covered Ireland were World Mastercards.  That is no longer true as Chase offers most of their cards as Visa now.  Several Irish agencies still used the outdated language in their T&C, so it would be within their rights to deny you a car if you try to use your Visa insurance.  I don't like to play games with rental agents looking to score a commission, so I follow the T&C to the letter. 

Business cards may have special requirements so be very careful to read the benefits guide if you are using for a personal rental.

World Elite Mastercards can give some additional perks, such as preferred status with National, Avis and Sixt.  Note that this is with any WE MC and does not require using that card to rent - just upgrade your account before you book.  My Citi Prestige MC got me Sixt Platinum which got me the Mercedes upgrade in Dublin even though the rental was on my CSP Visa.  The biggest bonus was that 15 others were waiting for regular compacts to come out but my free upgrade was sitting in spot #1 so I saved another 30+ minutes of waiting.  Most Citi cards are MC these days and Chase still offers the IHG (Holiday Inn) card as a MC.
 

rated:
Tom9999 said:   
Chase :  All cards offer worldwide coverage.  Sapphire Preferred, Reserve and other high end cards can offer Primary.  No limitation on dollar value of the vehicle, but excludes exotic and luxury vehicles - BMW, Mercedes are OK. Rolls Royce and Porsche not so much.

  The Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn't seem to exclude luxury vehicles.

rated:
Bend3r said:   
Tom9999 said:   
Chase :  All cards offer worldwide coverage.  Sapphire Preferred, Reserve and other high end cards can offer Primary.  No limitation on dollar value of the vehicle, but excludes exotic and luxury vehicles - BMW, Mercedes are OK. Rolls Royce and Porsche not so much.

  The Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn't seem to exclude luxury vehicles.

  
Not covered:

  • Antique automobiles; vans designed to carry more than 8 people; vehicles that have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles


So if you get a Ford F-150 or a Dodge Ram you are SOL with Chase Sapphire Reserve.  There is also a $75000 cap as I mentioned before.Coverage Amount/Period

  • Up to $75,000
  • Vehicle rental periods that do not exceed nor intend to exceed 31 consecutive days

They also exclude the popular (in Europe) mini-lease and do not cover injuries or contents.  (injuries should be under liability, which obviously varies as well by country)

rated:
Yeah I wasn't saying they don't exclude any vehicles at all. Just not the luxury exclusions that are on their other cards.  Sure, the $75k limit might be exceeded.

rated:
Bend3r said:   Yeah I wasn't saying they don't exclude any vehicles at all. Just not the luxury exclusions that are on their other cards.  Sure, the $75k limit might be exceeded.
  
The one that irritates me is motorcycles... which are already more to rent than cars before expensive insurance is added.   

rated:
One recommendation from personal experience: Before you travel you should get a printed coverage letter from your card issuer, whoever it may be. It's a standardized, yet personalized letter basically saying that YOUR card provides the coverage as described in the brochure/conditions.

I was not aware of this last year and had to call my card issuer to create and email said letter to the local rental agency in Germany (Hertz at FRA, if I recall correctly). Needless to say that it was a stressful situation and loss of time.

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