Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance (2023)

This article covers only some of our picks for the best credit cards for rental car insurance. We may get compensation if you visit partner links on our site. We may not cover every available offer. Our relationship with advertisers may impact how an offer is presented on our website. However,our selection of productsis made independently of our relationship to advertisers.

Should you tick the box for rental car insurance at the Avis, Budget or other rental car counter? Or does your personal auto insurance or credit card already offer this benefit? Given that supplemental insurance for rental cars can cost around $15 to $30 per day or more, it's worth asking these questions first.

Figuring out card benefits before you travel is smart. But it can be arduous and confusing to wade through the perks offered by multiple rewards credit cards. A recent study from WalletHub did the heavy lifting for you, comparing the travel benefits of 94 credit cards from the ten largest issuers.

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But before you compare travel credit cards for rental insurance perks, consider that you might not even need this insurance.

Do you need rental car insurance?

If you live in the U.S. and own a car for personal use, you likely don't need additional insurance when you rent a car in the U.S. That's because your own auto insurance policy will cover your rental car. But some U.S. states, like Florida and New Hampshire, only require more limited coverage for auto insurance. If your personal auto policy lacks collision and comprehensive insurance, your rental car could be underinsured in an accident or mishap.

Some of the better travel credit cards for travel also have rental car coverage in many international locations. But there are exceptions.

Either way, you should call both your credit card and your auto insurer before you rent a car, as your policy may have changed. And make sure you understand the different types of auto insurance.

Here is a summary of what personal auto insurance and the highest-rated travel credit cards may cover when you rent a car:

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Personal Auto and Travel Cards Coverage
Rental Car Insurance ScenariosPersonal Auto InsuranceThe Best Travel Credit Cards
Travel in the U.S.YesYes
International TravelNo (except Canada)Yes (though most cards exclude Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, Israel, Jamaica and New Zealand)
Business Travel*NoYes, with some exceptions
Luxury car rentalYou may need additional insuranceYes
Exotic cars, off-road, trucksNoNo

*Government employees, such as military and postal workers, may have auto insurance coverage as an employment benefit. If you work for a private employer, check if you are covered under a company policy.

So, even if you have a personal auto insurance policy, it makes sense to get one of the best travel cards to cover a rental car in the following instances:

  • The car or cars you have insured are worth much less than the car you intend to rent. Since most rental cars are fairly new, this is a common scenario.
  • You plan to rent a car outside of the U.S. or Canada.
  • You are planning to rent a car in the U.S. or abroad while traveling for business.
  • Your personal auto insurance policy offers much less protection than a good travel credit card.

Comparing credit card issuers

Many financial institutions, like Bank of America or U.S. Bank, offer auto rental benefits. And perks will vary from card-to-card, so it's important to understand the terms of each card.

WalletHub found that of the personal credit card issuers in the chart below, Chase Bank offered the best rental car insurance benefits.

Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance (2)

(Image credit: WalletHub)

No coverage: Citi, Synchrony and Discover do not offer any car rental coverage on any of their credit cards.

Best coverage from Chase and American Express

Chase credit cards offer the best car rental insurance when compared to other issuers. Chase will insure rentals globally, including in countries like Italy and Ireland that other cards may prohibit. Chase also boasts the highest per-vehicle coverage amount (up to $75,000), and coverage extends up to 31 days, whereas most competitors will insure only up to 15 days in your home country.

Finally, Chase cards cover damage that occurs when driving on a dirt or gravel road, and damage to tires and rims.

The top-scoring personal credit card according to WalletHub is Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

All other Chase consumer cards scored second for car rental benefits. For example, theChase Sapphire Preferred® Cardhas a lower annual fee than the Sapphire Reserve card, but still offers solid travel benefits. For a review of the card, read our detailed article.

Third place goes to all American Express personal credit cards. In addition to excellent coverage, American Express offers Premium Car Rental Protection for a small fee per rental period, not per day. This benefit also extends to SUVs and luxury cars, unlike many other plans. For a review of the Green, Gold and Platinum American Express cards, read American Express Credit Cards: the Best Pick for You.

Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance (3)

First Place: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This card is ideal for those willing to book travel, dining, and other services through Chase's rewards programs. Earn between 5 and 10 points for each dollar booked through Chase. Plus get a $300 yearly statement credit for travel purchases.

According to WalletHub, this card offers the best rental car insurance for coverage at home and abroad.

Get 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening; that'sa $900 bonus value toward travelwhen you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, more than offsetting the $550 annual fee.

This card provides the kind of travel perks you would expect from a high-end card, like access to VIP airport lounges, hotel room upgrades, and up to $100 every four years to help offset the cost of TSA PreCheck®or NEXUS applications.

  • Interest rate: 22.24% to 29.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $550; $75 for each authorized user
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Rewards: Get 10 points per dollar on spending at participating restaurants through the Chase Dining program as well as on hotel and car rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; five points per dollar on flights booked through Chase; three points per dollar on other restaurant and travel spending and one point per dollar on the rest of your purchases
  • Other benefits: An annual statement credit of up to $300 for travel purchases (purchases that qualify for the credit do not earn points until the $300 travel credit has been applied), a Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access, perks at properties in the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2025, at least a year of free membership to DoorDash's delivery subscription service, and a $10 monthly statement credit toward purchases from home delivery service Gopuff
  • Redemption: Points are transferable to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs, or trade points at a healthy rate of 1.5 cents each when you redeem them for travel bookings through Ultimate Rewards, or for statement credits against purchases in rotating categories through Chase's Pay Yourself Back program (including Airbnb, dining, charitable donations, and other categories)
  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months, for a total value of $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase ultimate rewards
  • Member FDIC

Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance (4)

Second Place: Other Chase personal credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

TheChase Ultimate Rewards®points that you earn with this card are redeemable for travel bookings through Chase at a heightened value of 1.25 cents each, or get a respectable value of 1 cent per point for cash back or gift cards. Alternatively, transfer points to a solid list of partner travel loyalty programs, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.For our review of this bonus offer, readChase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.

  • Interest rate: 21.24% to 28.24% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, and 29.99% variable APR on cash advances
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Rewards: Five points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and two points per dollar on other travel spending; three points per dollar on dining, and select online grocery and streaming services; and one point per dollar on other spending
  • Other benefits: Get $50 in statement credits annually for hotel stays booked through Chase; on each yearly anniversary of opening your account, you get a 10% points bonus on total purchases made the previous year; the card offers some of the best car rental insurance benefits in the industry
  • Redemption:Get 25% more value when you redeemfor airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Bonus offer:Earn 60,000 bonus pointsafter you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Member FDIC

Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance (5)

Third Place: All American Express cards, like

American Express® Green CardVariable rewards

This is a solidtravel card, offering three points per dollar spent on travel, transit and restaurants. The card recently upped its welcome bonus to 60,000 points, plus you can earn up to $200 cash back on certain travel and transit purchases.See rates and fees.

  • Intro bonus:Earn60,000 Membership Rewards® Pointsafter you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn20% back on eligible travel and transit purchasesmade during your first 6 months of Card Membership,up to $200 backin the form of a statement credit.
  • Interest rate: 20.99%to28.99% variable APR
  • Annual fee: $150
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Rewards: Earn three Membership Rewards® points for every dollar spent on travel and transit (airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rental, campgrounds, vacation rentals, trains, taxis, rideshares, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways). Also earn three points for every dollar spent on eligible dining, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Airport Security Clearance: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • Other Travel Benefits:Trip delay insurance up to $300 for certain expenses on a round-trip ticket paid for exclusive with your card - see terms for limitations; plus get a $100 annual statement credit toward LoungeBuddy, and app that helps you gain access to travel lounges
  • Redemption: There is no option for cash back; the greatest value comes from booking travel with points, and from the many discounts and other perks
  • Terms apply

How to use your card for rental car insurance

Using your card's travel benefits, rather than the rental company's insurance, is simple. Once you have obtained or decided to use a card with solid rental car insurance, use that card to reserve a rental car. Then decline the theft and damage insurance offered by the rental company, and be sure to pay for the car rental with the same credit card.


As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.

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Credit Cards That Cover Rental Car Insurance? ›

Not all credit cards offer car rental coverage. For example, Discover doesn't provide car rental insurance. Citi also dropped this benefit on most of its cards. Some Capital One cards offer this perk as a benefit from the card network.

Does Discover have car rental insurance? ›

Not all credit cards offer car rental coverage. For example, Discover doesn't provide car rental insurance. Citi also dropped this benefit on most of its cards. Some Capital One cards offer this perk as a benefit from the card network.

Can you use credit card for car insurance? ›

Yes, you can generally pay for your car insurance with a credit card and doing so may lead to certain benefits like cash back or other credit card perks. Due to the prevalence of insurance apps and e-commerce, paying for insurance with a credit card is commonplace.

Can credit cards be used to rent cars? ›

A lot of well-known car rental agencies allow customers to use a credit or a debit card to secure and pay for a rental. However, there may be some caveats to keep in mind. For example, the company will typically place a hold on your account for at least the cost of the rental.

What car rental does not ask for a credit card? ›

Which rental car company does not require a credit card?
  • Alamo Rent A Car.
  • Avis Car Rental.
  • Budget Rent a Car.
  • Dollar Rent A Car.
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
  • Hertz Corp.
  • National Car Rental.
  • Payless Car Rental.
Jun 21, 2023

What is the phone number for Discover card? ›

You can verify your transactions online, or if you prefer to contact us by phone you can call us at 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683).

Why do they run your credit for car insurance? ›

Why do auto insurers check credit? Your credit history factors into your credit-based insurance score, which insurance companies use to help predict the likelihood of a future accident or claim. Note that certain states have laws that don't allow the use of credit information as part of car insurance pricing.

What bills can you pay with credit card? ›

The short answer is, entertainment and nonessentials can usually be paid with a credit card with no fees. Services, utilities, and taxes, can often be paid with a credit card but with a processing fee. Loan payments, are usually check or bank withdrawal payments only.

Can you pay car insurance with a credit card USAA? ›

Setting up payment accounts

For USAA bills, you can pay your bill with any checking or savings account. You can also use MasterCard, Visa or American Express to pay your auto and property bill. Non-USAA bills must be paid with a USAA checking account.

Is a debit card better than a credit card for car rental? ›

Credit cards vs debit cards

Companies prefer credit cards because it proves to them you're not a financial risk; their costs will be covered as they can recover part or all of the deposit if needed. With a debit card, the company cannot pull money from a bank account if it has insufficient funds.

How much does Hertz hold on credit card? ›

When you book with Hertz, your card will be charged a hold of up to $200 plus estimated rental charges. That sum is frozen until your credit card company returns it. Be sure to cushion your available balance and budget wisely for your trip expenses.

How legit is Turo? ›

Turo is a safe way to rent cars, but you have to be on guard like you would with anything else. Turo scams fall into a few categories. Phishing scams might ask questions about your account or direct you to a fake Turo website. Common questions involve whether you're still using your Turo car rental account.

Does Budget car rental check credit score? ›

Locations that do accept debit cards at time of rental will perform a credit check to determine and ensure credit worthiness before releasing the car to you.

Can my girlfriend use my credit card to rent a car? ›

CAN I PAY FOR THE RENTAL OF A CAR FOR ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL? The renter of the vehicle must be present to sign the rental agreement and provide their credit card at the time of pick up. The renter cannot provide a credit or debit card belonging to someone else for their use.

Why do rental car companies not like debit cards? ›

Why Rental Car Companies Avoid Debit Cards. Many rental car companies prefer not to let customers use debit cards because it increases the risk they take on when renting to you. Unlike a credit card, a debit card only has as much money on it as you put in your bank account.

Do you need a credit card to buy car insurance? ›

Car insurance is mandatory in most states, though required minimums vary. But if you don't have access to a credit card or even a checking account, it can be challenging to pay your premiums. Fortunately, you can still purchase auto insurance if you don't have a credit card or checking account.

Can you pay car insurance with a credit card State Farm? ›

How can I pay for my insurance if I decide to purchase it online today? State Farm accepts VISA®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, Diners Club®, and JCB® credit and debit cards.

Is credit card insurance a thing? ›

Typically, credit card purchase protection applies to purchases you make with your credit card for a specific amount of time. With this important coverage, you can be reimbursed for an item or receive a replacement if your purchase is damaged or stolen, usually within 90 to 120 days.

Can insurance companies run your credit? ›

Yes. A federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), states insurance companies have a “permissible purpose” to look at your credit information without your permission. Insurance companies must also comply with state insurance laws when using credit information in the underwriting and rating process.


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