Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

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dh
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Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by dh »

Greetings Bogleheads,

I need to rent a car for a six day 950 mile (round trip) vacation. Is there a best credit card to use to guarantee primary coverage and to avoid having to buy insurance from the rental agency? Or am I being penny wise and pound foolish in not paying for the rental car insurance?

I have the following cards: Mastercard, Discover, and Chase Freedom.
Lalamimi
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Lalamimi »

Do you not own a car?
Topic Author
dh
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by dh »

Yes, I do own a car. It is in the shop and won't be repaired in time for this trip. I would rather not buy a last minute flight. Thanks for your reply.
Rex66
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Rex66 »

Every company has different cards with different rules. You should contact the ones you have.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit- ... ental-cars
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by RickBoglehead »

dh wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:03 pm I have the following cards: Mastercard, Discover, and Chase Freedom.
Meaningless. The card issuers are irrelevant, it is the specific card. You need to review the benefits of each card. Most issuers have cut back on benefits dramatically.

https://upgradedpoints.com/the-best-cre ... -insurance
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rich126
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by rich126 »

Chase Sapphire Reserved card's insurance is primary. Many are secondary. Many American Express cards offer secondary insurance but you can also sign up for Premium Car Rental Protection which charges you a one time fee (it varies based on where you live) around $25 each time you rent a car and it is primary insurance and covers you for about a month (details on the link below).

I don't rent cars often but I did sign up for the Amex Premium insurance since it is fairly cheap.
When you enroll to purchase Premium Car Rental Protection and you use your enrolled Card to pay for rental charges for a Rental Car, you pay the same flat rate per rental for up to 42 consecutive days1, including for rentals of eligible luxury cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

With Premium Car Rental Protection, there is no deductible and if your rental vehicle is damaged, you can file that claim with us first as your primary provider. Plus, it can provide secondary medical coverage if you are injured in an accident.
https://global.americanexpress.com/card ... amex-green
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John Z
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by John Z »

Another vote for Chase Sapphire. Annual fee $95

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/24Q2/s ... 5-31799/na

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.*offer details Opens overlay.

Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.*offer details Opens overlay.

Travel Accident Insurance
When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.*offer details Opens overlay.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you're covered up to $3,000 per passenger.*offer details Opens overlay.

Baggage Delay Insurance
Reimburses you for essential purchases, like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.*offer details Opens overlay.

Travel and Emergency Assistance
If you run into a problem away from home, call the Benefit Administrator for legal and medical referrals or other travel and emergency assistance. (You will be responsible for the cost of any goods or services obtained.*offer details Opens overlay.)

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company's collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your 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.*offer details Opens overlay.

Roadside Dispatch
If you have a roadside emergency, call 1-800-847-2869 anytime to dispatch the help you need—anything from a tow or jumpstart to a tire change, lockout service, winching or gas delivery. Roadside service fees will be provided when you call and will be billed to your card.*offer details Opens overlay.

Fraud Protection
Get fraud protection all day, every day.*offer details Opens overlay.

Zero Liability Protection
You won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.*offer details Opens overlay.

Fraud Alerts
Round-the-clock, real-time monitoring for unusual account activity.
Topic Author
dh
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by dh »

Thank you all! Excellent information.
nonnie
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by nonnie »

dh wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:18 pm Yes, I do own a car. It is in the shop and won't be repaired in time for this trip. I would rather not buy a last minute flight. Thanks for your reply.
I think the intent of this post might be to suggest you ask your own auto insurance carrier if you are covered for rental cars.
placeholder
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by placeholder »

nonnie wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 8:30 pm
dh wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:18 pm Yes, I do own a car. It is in the shop and won't be repaired in time for this trip. I would rather not buy a last minute flight. Thanks for your reply.
I think the intent of this post might be to suggest you ask your own auto insurance carrier if you are covered for rental cars.
This is definitely of interest to those of us who have dropped collision and comprehensive on the existing vehicle.
HIinvestor
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by HIinvestor »

We also always rent cars with chase sapphire preferred. We have had to make a claim when our rental car had hatchback window smashed and son had backpack stolen with electronics & CCards. They were pretty easy to work with and covered 100% of repair per receipt from rental car company.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by ResearchMed »

HIinvestor wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:11 am We also always rent cars with chase sapphire preferred. We have had to make a claim when our rental car had hatchback window smashed and son had backpack stolen with electronics & CCards. They were pretty easy to work with and covered 100% of repair per receipt from rental car company.

Thanks.
This is good to know, from a first-person account (vs. "the term of the contract" but never actually used).

Did the insurance also cover the stolen items?

RM
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heartwood
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by heartwood »

placeholder wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:18 am
nonnie wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 8:30 pm
dh wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:18 pm Yes, I do own a car. It is in the shop and won't be repaired in time for this trip. I would rather not buy a last minute flight. Thanks for your reply.
I think the intent of this post might be to suggest you ask your own auto insurance carrier if you are covered for rental cars.
This is definitely of interest to those of us who have dropped collision and comprehensive on the existing vehicle.
I rely on my auto insurance for C&C, but suggest you check with your agent or read your binder. Mine covers me up to the lower of the limits of the C&C of my two cars.

We've used the AMEX Premium Car Ins for decades. One claim, well handled.
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Nate79
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Nate79 »

Also agree with the chase sapphire preferred. I signed up when there was a great bonus and then kept it for any rental car and other travel coverage.
Lastrun
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Lastrun »

ResearchMed wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 5:39 am
HIinvestor wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:11 am We also always rent cars with chase sapphire preferred. We have had to make a claim when our rental car had hatchback window smashed and son had backpack stolen with electronics & CCards. They were pretty easy to work with and covered 100% of repair per receipt from rental car company.

Thanks.
This is good to know, from a first-person account (vs. "the term of the contract" but never actually used).

Did the insurance also cover the stolen items?

RM
FYI, we had a good, no excellent, experience last fall (with damage to our Hertz rental) through Chase’s primary insurance. Hertz sent us a letter for the claim, we called Chase and sent along the letter and then received a letter back from both that all was taken car of. Very painless.
HIinvestor
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by HIinvestor »

Stolen items were not covered. That would be a claim with homeowner’s insurance. We didn’t make one and S didn’t have a homeowner’s policy.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by CardinalRule »

rich126 wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:30 pm Chase Sapphire Reserved card's insurance is primary. Many are secondary. Many American Express cards offer secondary insurance but you can also sign up for Premium Car Rental Protection which charges you a one time fee (it varies based on where you live) around $25 each time you rent a car and it is primary insurance and covers you for about a month (details on the link below).

I don't rent cars often but I did sign up for the Amex Premium insurance since it is fairly cheap.
When you enroll to purchase Premium Car Rental Protection and you use your enrolled Card to pay for rental charges for a Rental Car, you pay the same flat rate per rental for up to 42 consecutive days1, including for rentals of eligible luxury cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

With Premium Car Rental Protection, there is no deductible and if your rental vehicle is damaged, you can file that claim with us first as your primary provider. Plus, it can provide secondary medical coverage if you are injured in an accident.
https://global.americanexpress.com/card ... amex-green
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has primary coverage, just like the CSR.

I like the American Express coverage in some situations, but it looks like the OP doesn't have an Amex card.
fullham
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by fullham »

Do you think you are more likely to get in an accident with the rental car than you are with normal every day driving with your own car? Your normal car insurance should cover any rental car accident just like if you were driving your own car. Not sure it’s really necessary to pay $95 for the credit card if that is the only reason you are getting it. Although you could take advantage of a signup bonus to more than offset the fee and the primary insurance would be like a bonus.
HIinvestor
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by HIinvestor »

If you make a claim because someone damaged your rental car ( which sadly happens quite often in SF), it MAY increase your auto premiums. The $95/yr also gives us trip delay and trip cancelation and lost luggage coverage. I the value worth the $95/yr, tho ymmv.
leland
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by leland »

Bilt is no fee with primary coverage. Fortunately I can't vouch for the claims process.

Otherwise Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve. If you're on BofA rewards system they have a high fee option (premium rewards elite) as well that includes it (my current card for primary until I get another Sapphire) - I like the card but IMHO you have to want priority pass and have a path to recover the credits. Again glad that I can't vouch for the claims process.
HIinvestor
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by HIinvestor »

I have had to make a claim for trip delay insurance as well and after some wrangling with chase sapphire preferred’s vendor on the paperwork, was compensated for the meal expenses the airline didn’t cover for our 18 hour overnight delay.
bombcar
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by bombcar »

Lalamimi wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:09 pm Do you not own a car?
Depending on the trip and cost (and if you get unlimited mileage) it is often an overall better deal to put the mileage on a rental than on your primary vehicle.
Lastrun
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Lastrun »

fullham wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:57 pm Do you think you are more likely to get in an accident with the rental car than you are with normal every day driving with your own car? …….
Yes, unfamiliar car, roads, driving laws, local habits, and add in travel stress. My wife still does not like the horizontal traffic lights in Santa Fe. She is used to vertical. Can I turn left?
max b
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by max b »

United airlines credit cards I am familiar with have primary coverage. See terms and conditions for details, eg excluded cars and countries, and deadlines for filing a claim etc.

I got dinged for a flat tire charge many months after returning a car a couple of years ago and it was too late to file a claim with this card.
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heartwood
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by heartwood »

fullham wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:57 pm Do you think you are more likely to get in an accident with the rental car than you are with normal every day driving with your own car? Your normal car insurance should cover any rental car accident just like if you were driving your own car. Not sure it’s really necessary to pay $95 for the credit card if that is the only reason you are getting it. Although you could take advantage of a signup bonus to more than offset the fee and the primary insurance would be like a bonus.
As above, I suggest checking your policy binder or with your agent to confirm rental car coverage on your normal car insurance.

For rentals, mine has the same coverage as the lowest/highest??? deductible C&C on my two cars.

The AMEX Premium is primary for C&C with no deductible, but no liability coverage. We used it once for rental car damage in a parking lot where the person who hit us just left w/o a note.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by CardinalRule »

max b wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:47 pm United airlines credit cards I am familiar with have primary coverage. See terms and conditions for details, eg excluded cars and countries, and deadlines for filing a claim etc.

I got dinged for a flat tire charge many months after returning a car a couple of years ago and it was too late to file a claim with this card.
Most of them are. The Chase UA Gateway Visa that I have is secondary, though.
cowbman
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by cowbman »

You want PRIMARY rental car benefits and (in general) you need a Visa Infinite card for that (Chase Sapphire Reserve and Capital One Venture X are the best examples).
placeholder
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by placeholder »

heartwood wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:56 am
placeholder wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:18 am This is definitely of interest to those of us who have dropped collision and comprehensive on the existing vehicle.
I rely on my auto insurance for C&C, but suggest you check with your agent or read your binder. Mine covers me up to the lower of the limits of the C&C of my two cars.
I'm not entirely sure what you are saying but to clarify I don't have either collision or comprehensive with my auto insurance so those could not cover a rental as they don't exist.
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cowdogman
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by cowdogman »

John Z wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:38 pm Another vote for Chase Sapphire. Annual fee $95

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company's collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your 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.
There was a similar thread 2-3 years ago and one poster took the position that the Chase Sapphire coverage covers collision and theft of the car but not vandalism (including breaking a window to steal objects in the car). I found this doubtful but the Chase language of what is covered is vary vague and could arguably exclude vandalism.

So, I now use the AmEx premium car rental coverage. It's $19.95 per rental, but I feel more comfortable with it.
Lalamimi
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by Lalamimi »

bombcar wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:22 pm
Lalamimi wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:09 pm Do you not own a car?
Depending on the trip and cost (and if you get unlimited mileage) it is often an overall better deal to put the mileage on a rental than on your primary vehicle.
I was asking, since your car insurance should be sufficient for a rental car.
flyingcows
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by flyingcows »

I don't think Credit Cards give you liability insurance for a rental car.

I have a credit card (Amazon Prime Visa) that gives me "insurance" for damage to the rental vehicle, if I pay for the rental with that card, I supposedly get that protection, although I haven't used it yet so unclear if it will actually work. The alternative is purchasing the damage waiver from the rental company, or taking your chances that you or someone else won't cause any minor damage to the vehicle

Either way, that's a separate issue from liability insurance. My auto insurance gives me liability coverage when I drive a rental, but it won't help if there is minor damage to the rental car

Also, neither my credit card nor my auto insurance will pay junk fees like "loss of use" that rental car companies like tack on if there is any damage found to the vehicle. Many states do not place limits on loss of use junk fees per my understanding
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MathWizard
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by MathWizard »

I always pay for the rental insurance.
I consider it a part of the cost of renting.

I don't have comprehensive or collision, only liability,
and don't want to depend on my CC company, and worry
if they have changed conditions of service. I also do not
have CCs with annual fees.
hoofaman
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by hoofaman »

MathWizard wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:51 pm I always pay for the rental insurance.
I consider it a part of the cost of renting.

I don't have comprehensive or collision, only liability,
and don't want to depend on my CC company, and worry
if they have changed conditions of service. I also do not
have CCs with annual fees.
+1, I won't rent a car without a damage waiver, I don't want to spend my trip worrying about the rental getting a door ding and then getting slapped with $2,000 worth of loss of use charges because they couldn't repair the ding and they had to import a new door from overseas
vshun
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by vshun »

I use Saphire for Chase UR points transfer (or travel ticket purchases at 20% discount), and primary care insurance (as well as $50 hotel credit) are icing on the cake, plus 3% dining Cashback (unless other category specific cards offer 5% that quarter), well worth $100 annual expense.
TomBH
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by TomBH »

Some companies allow employees (and retirees) to rent cars for personal use with the same terms as the company would have for a business trip rental. In my case, I can rent from Avis with Loss Damage Waiver included at no extra cost. The rates are pretty good too. I need to go through the employee discount site and may be required to show my employee (retiree) ID. I'm not sure if this is common but it might be an option for some.
dbr
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Re: Best credit card to use to rent a car for primary insurance coverage

Post by dbr »

hoofaman wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 4:11 pm
MathWizard wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:51 pm I always pay for the rental insurance.
I consider it a part of the cost of renting.

I don't have comprehensive or collision, only liability,
and don't want to depend on my CC company, and worry
if they have changed conditions of service. I also do not
have CCs with annual fees.
+1, I won't rent a car without a damage waiver, I don't want to spend my trip worrying about the rental getting a door ding and then getting slapped with $2,000 worth of loss of use charges because they couldn't repair the ding and they had to import a new door from overseas
I also do this. For the amount of car rental we do the cost does not figure.

A note on your own auto insurance. Upon specific inquiry one thing I found is that my auto insurance would not cover loss of use cost.

A damage waiver has the benefit that you do not even get embroiled in the claims process. That may or may not be of value in your perception.
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