Renting a car, which credit card to use?

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Dog_Papa
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Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by Dog_Papa » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:54 pm

I often rent weekend specials, because the cost is low and I can rent a car, that gets better MPG, than the truck I own. I have Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Amex.
They all offer protection, in case of an accident, and/or some other types of problems. I just wonder, if anyone has any idea, which is the best of all the different
cards consumers own. If something goes wrong, like getting into an accident.

Many yrs ago, I rented a car in FL, it was stolen from the motel I was staying at. The rental company tried to charge the whole amount for the car- $12,000, to my
credit card. My bank would not let them do that. My auto insurance settled with the car rental co. Anyway, that bank is now owed by a different bank and Value
Rent Car is went defunct, a long time ago. But, I'm just wondering which of these cards tends to work the best if something goes wrong. Anyone have any ideas?

joebruin77
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by joebruin77 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:59 pm

The last time I rented a car on vacation was in 2010. At that time, AmExpress offered the best program. The key difference compared to the coverage offered by other credit cards is that the AmExpress was the only one that offered insurance coverage that was primary to your own personal auto policy. With Visa, if I got into an accident, the Visa insurance would only cover what was not covered by my own auto policy. If I used AmExpress and got in an accident, I could simply drop off the car, refer the rental company to AmExpress, and never have to deal with it again. The AmExpress program wasn't free, but was available for a nominal one time fee.

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Peter Foley
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by Peter Foley » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:49 pm

I too use Amex for the reasons listed by joebruin77. You do have to sign up with Amex for that option. It is something like $29.95 per rental rather than a daily fee. If you are renting overseas (except Ireland and Italy - HUM) it is a great deal.

Outer Marker
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by Outer Marker » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:51 am

For plain vanilla rentals in the U.S., I think it is better to use Visa for the free deductable coverage. I always assumed amex would have the best coverage as they market and cater to travelers. But, after a fender-bender in a ski area parking lot, discovered that amex does not cover "loss of use" claim by the rental company, whereas visa does. This discrepancy cost me $500 in extra out-of-pocket expense (after negotiating the loss of use charge down from $800 to $500). The loss of use charge is a real racquet -- assessed even though the company may have many unrented cars on the lot, and is based on damage amount, rather than actual days out of service. In my view, Visa's protection from these charges is an important advantage over amex.

ks289
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by ks289 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:19 am

Check your own auto/medical insurance coverage benefits (insurance agent may be knowledgable) to determine what are potential gaps in coverage as it pertains to car rental.
If you have little need for additional coverage, then buying collision damage waiver coverage from rental company would be unnecessary, and it may be a moot point which credit card is used and what benefits offered by cards.

---
One key factor we recently discovered in our rental car research was "loss of use charges" in the event of an accident. The rental company can charge you for the loss of revenue from loss of use of vehicle, which can be substantial, unless you live in one of 10 states (cannot remember which 10- you would need to google it) which require coverage from auto insurance policy.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/09 ... s-20120309

If you do not have this coverage from your auto policy in one of the 10 states that require it be covered, then VISA is the only credit card company that covers this.

http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/bene ... sonal.html

PowDay
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by PowDay » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:16 am

I always use my JP Morgan Chase Visa. It offer primary coverage so you don't need to get your insurance involved if anything happens.

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-ca ... -card.aspx

bhead33
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by bhead33 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:35 am

Any American Express card. I speak from personal experience.

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Driver
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by Driver » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:59 am

I had to rent a car over the summer for over a month. I used my Visa Signature card. I did decline the insurance from the rental car company. What others have posted about loss of use is true*. What I did was call up my insurance company (State Farm) and had them add a rider fro rental coverage which covers loss of use. I think it was an extra $5 a month.

*It looks like a Visa Signature does cover loss of use fees.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:53 pm

We just got a Chase United Airline card (in order to get a 55,000 mile bonus), I was surprised to see that it offers primary coverage for rental cars. Don't know if that includes loss of use as I have not yet seen the full explanation of benefits. There is a $95 per year fee after the first year and we won't be keeping it due to that, but should we rent a car while we have it, I will use it (assuming loss of use coverage is included).
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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grabiner
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by grabiner » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:00 pm

jeffyscott wrote:We just got a Chase United Airline card (in order to get a 55,000 mile bonus),

There is a $95 per year fee after the first year and we won't be keeping it due to that.


You might consider whether the fee is less than the value of the benefits. I fly across the country about twice a year (usually on United because I fly from Newark), and the free checked bag saves me more than I pay on the card. If you are an elite frequent flyer, you don't need the free checked bag, but double miles on your flights are probably worth more than the $95.
David Grabiner

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jeffyscott
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Re: Renting a car, which credit card to use?

Post by jeffyscott » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:06 am

Yep, the free baggage could make it worthwhile for some, not too likely to be the case for us though. There are limited United flights from the nearest airport and traveling to Chicago is not usually worth it unless it's an international flight on which they still let you check luggage without a fee.

Also, thanks to some of the crazy credit card bonuses, we have a pretty good stockpile of Southwest points and some Delta points that we will be using over the next few years. Both of those have much more service at our local airport. Delta card has the same luggage deal, but it will be a while before we get around to using those points, thinking I'll cancel my card before the fee hits and then have my wife get one sometime when we are ready to actually use those miles.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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