13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Rental Car Insurance

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Now that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers primary rental car insurance coverage, some Million Mile Secrets readers have asked which other credit cards also offer primary rental car coverage.

There are 13 credit cards that offer primary rental car insurance coverage.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Does Your Credit Card Offer Primary Car Insurance on Rental Cars?

13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Car Insurance on Rental Cars

Most credit cards offer secondary rental car insurance coverage.  Secondary coverage means your personal or business car insurance company pays first.  This means you have to pay your insurance deductible and could cause an increase in your insurance rates!

Some credit cards offer primary rental car coverage.  I’ve written about using your credit card for rental car insurance and the difference between primary and secondary rental car coverage.

Primary rental car insurance with a credit card only pays for damage to the rental car or theft.  You still have to pay for damages to other cars, property, or injuries.

However, when you rent cars outside the US, all insurance is primary IF you don’t have car insurance in that country (which you usually don’t!).

You should use 1 of the following credit cards that offers primary car insurance when you rent cars.

Although all 13 credit cards listed below are great cards I’d choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred because:

  • You get primary rental car coverage in all countries, including Israel (other cards exclude Israel)
  • You get 2X points on your car rental
  • You pay NO foreign transaction fees

1.  Chase

A.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can get primary rental car insurance when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay for a rental car.  This is great for personal trips, since many cards restrict the primary insurance to business trips.  You also get double points on travel and dining and no foreign transaction fees!

B.   Fairmont

Link:   Fairmont

You get primary rental car insurance coverage when pay for your car rental with your Fairmont card.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Using Your Fairmont Card When Renting Cars Gets You Primary Rental Car Insurance Coverage

C.   Ink

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Bold

Update:   The Chase Ink Bold card is no longer available for new sign-ups.

Both the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold give you primary rental car insurance coverage when used for renting a car for business.

Note:  You can get a 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus when you apply for the Chase Ink Plus card at a Chase branch.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Use Your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Bold for Business Car Rentals and Get Primary Rental Car Insurance Coverage

D.   Marriott Rewards Premier Business

Link:   Marriott Rewards Premier Business

If you use your Marriott Rewards Premier business card when renting a car for business, you get primary car rental insurance.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

You Get Primary Rental Car Coverage When Renting a Car for Business and Use Your Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card

E.   Ritz-Carlton

Link:   Ritz-Carlton

You get primary car rental insurance when using your Ritz-Carlton card to pay for your rental car.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Your Ritz-Carlton Card Gets You Primary Car Rental Insurance

F.   Southwest Business

Link:   Southwest Premier Business

Link:   Southwest Plus Business 

The Southwest Premier Business and Southwest Plus Business cards give you primary rental car insurance when you rent a car for business purposes.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

You Won’t Be in a Crunch When You Paid for Your Car Rental With Your Southwest Premier Business or Southwest Plus Business Card

G.   United Club Business

Link:  United Club Business

You get primary rental car insurance coverage when using your United Club Business card to rent a car.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Primary Car Rental Insurance Is Provided When You Rent Cars With Your United Club Business Card

H.  United MileagePlus Explorer

Link:   United MileagePlus Explorer  

When you use your United MileagePlus Explorer card to pay for your rental car, you get primary car rental insurance coverage.

Note:  Some folks might be able to get 50,000 United miles and a $50 statement credit which is better than my affiliate link.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Pay for Your Rental Car With Your United MileagePlus Explorer Card to Get Primary Car Rental Insurance Coverage

2.   Citibank

Link:   CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard

You get primary rental car insurance when renting a car for business and paying with your CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Your CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard Gives You Primary Rental Car Insurance Coverage

3.   Discover

Note:  You have to call Discover at 800-618-4943 to apply for the Discover Escape card.

Your Discover Escape card offers primary rental car insurance coverage when you use it to pay for your car rental.

You get primary rental car insurance coverage on rentals of up to 31 consecutive days.  However, coverage is not provided for cars rented in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Visiting Doonagore Castle? You Can NOT Get Primary Rental Car Insurance Coverage Renting in Ireland

4.   American Express

You can pay for primary insurance coverage with AMEX cards.

You can enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program.  But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 consecutive rental days for Washington State cardholders).

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

You Can Get Primary Rental Car Coverage When You Pay With Your Enrolled American Express Card

5.   Others

You get primary rental car insurance worldwide (except where prohibited by law) when you pay for your rental car with your Diners Club card.  You can also get primary rental car insurance when you pay with your JP Morgan Select or JP Palladium card.

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance

Your Diners Club Card Doesn’t Offer Primary Rental Car Insurance Coverage When You Rent a Car in Italy to See the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Note:  The Diners Club card and JP Morgan Select card are NOT available for new applications.  According to this thread on Flyertalk, the JP Morgan Select card will be converted to a Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

The JP Palladium card is only available to invited Chase Private Bank customers.  But in case you already have 1 of these cards and might not know about the rental car benefit, I’ve included the information.

Bottom Line

You get primary rental car insurance when you use certain credit cards to pay for the rental.  My favorite card (among those on the list) is the Chase Sapphire Preferred because you also get double points on travel and dining and no foreign transaction fees!

However, credit card primary rental car insurance only pays for damages to your rental car, NOT damage to the other car, property, or injuries.  And you could be liable for millions of dollars in personal injuries.

So don’t rely on your credit card’s rental car insurance if you’re not comfortable with the risks.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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40 responses to “13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Rental Car Insurance

  1. Anyone know if any of these cover the additional driver? I get free additional driver with USAA rentals, but was curious if my wife is driving if she is covered under this…

  2. Hi. Does the Chase Sapphire also provide primary rental coverage or is it just CSP?

  3. I want to leave a comment about the Amenity Aid piece but both the continue reading and leave a comment link seem to be broken.

  4. Daraius,
    You might want to doublecheck on the Ink. Awhile back I called the car rental benefits dept, 888-320-9956, option 2,1. This is what I was told from the rep.

    – As of Nov 1, 2013 if you use your Ink card to reserve a personal trip, you are covered as PRIMARY just as if it were for business. Prior to Nov 2013, you were only covered as secondary for personal use of the Ink business card.

    Unless things have changed since then, my understanding is that the Ink does cover you for Primary on a leisure or personal trip.

  5. What about the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card?

  6. What constitues business use? I’m traveling with family but happen to meet a client while on the trip? I have an Ink card.

  7. We have had the Chase Sapphire Preferred for awhile. Is this benefit standard now or is it only on new cards? Would love to drop the American Express car rental insurance. Thanks!

  8. I just got off the phone with Ink. They said that if there is an incident, they only need a letter on my companies letter head stating that the rental was for business purposes. I asked about if I’m on a business trip and my family is in the car with me and she said that was fine, as long as it’s for business.

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  10. Does Barclay World Arrival or Capital One Venture offer primary insurance?

  11. I have a personal Citi World Elite MC and a couple of weeks ago a rep told me I have primary coverage worldwide for CDW, with the restriction similar to others that it is necessary to decline coverage on the rental agreement. I have not used it yet so did not confirm coverage, but if that is your card you might give them a call.

  12. Connie, are you sure that is correct? If you check the terms, it specifically states this card only has secondary rental coverage.:

    “Auto Rental Insurance
    MasterRental® coverage (up to $50,000 per incident) is secondary coverage and is underwritten by Virginia Surety Company, Inc. Certain conditions, restrictions and exclusions apply. Not all vehicles and countries are covered. Details of coverage will be provided upon cardmembership.”

  13. Connie is correct, but there’s more to that statement than meets the eye. Coverage is primary when your primary insurance (your auto policy) does not apply. Any credit card that offers secondary coverage will default to primary when your auto policy doesn’t apply; nothing special about the Citi World Elite MC.

  14. Very useful info, Daraius! A quick question…you state above that one can enroll for primary insurance if they have an AMEX card. Does this also apply for AMEX SPG cards? I ask because the T&Cs for the SPG card state that it provides only secondary coverage and there is no mention of the option of enrolling in the AMEX program that provides primary insurance. Thanks in advance for your help on this!

  15. you informations are wrong
    Why my southwest permier and plus(visa platinum) are secondary.
    my sapphaire referred(visa signature) is secondary ,
    my United MP explorer(visa platinum) is Primary.

  16. I already have a Chase United Card, Amex Green and Amex Starwood. We love to travel so I thought I should get a Chase Saphire Preferred Card. The only question I had was whether this made sense since I had the United Card and points from Ultimate Rewards transfer there. I know Hyatt does as well but Hyatt also had a card and I didnt know if I was overlapping myself too much or what should I do. Any other cards like Barclays? Help!!!

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  19. Martin Killington

    CSP does not cover rentals in Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, etc.

  20. Eric Schneider

    I just got an American Express card through USAA, intending on signing up for the American Express primary rental car insurance, only to be advised by the AmEx insurance agent that my card is not eligible–only those issued by American Express are eligible for this benefit. Interestingly, nowhere on the AmEx rental car insurance car website does it indicate that AmEx cards issued by other banks are not eligible for this benefit…

  21. With regards to AMEX insurance (and say USAA’s amex card):

    * If you enroll a Card Account for which you are the basic Card Member, eligible Card Accounts will be automatically enrolled. This includes 1. Any other eligible Card Account for which you are the basic Card Member; 2. Eligible Card Accounts that you apply for in the future as the basic Card Member; and 3. Additional Cards issued under your enrolled Card Accounts. The only Card Accounts that are not automatically enrolled are Corporate Cards, any Card Account issued by a third-party bank partner of American Express, and any Additional Card issued under your eligible Card Accounts which is already enrolled in this product.

    Separately, if you have an Additional Card under someone else’s basic Card Account, that Additional Card will not be automatically enrolled.

    If you enroll an Additional Card on a Card Account for which you are not the basic Card Member only that Additional Card will be enrolled.

    ** Uninsured motorist or disability coverage are also not included

  22. Thanks for a great page of useful info!
    But I am concerned about your Bottom Line Comment: “However, credit card primary rental car insurance only pays for damages to your rental car, NOT damage to the other car, property, or injuries. And you could be liable for millions of dollars in personal injuries.”

    I am mainly hiring cars in the UK where all car hire comes with mandatory standard road coverage inc 3rd party – so does this mean that would cover the risks you outlined? Many thanks for good info.

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  28. Darius-
    The rental car companies are telling me that many cr cards do not cover loss of use charges on the rental cars. Do you know if the Chase saphire preferred card covers that? They told me usually Amex gold does. I don’t have that and your posts make it seem we would need to pay an extra $25 even if I did…. Is that true for gold cards too.

  29. Cindy – I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The CDW does cover loss of use and towing.

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  31. I’ve haven’t gone through the rental car physical damage coverage for Chase or Citi, but the “Premium” coverage offered by American Express for $24.95 has the following exclusion language:

    1. diminishment of value, unless required by law;
    2. depreciation, unless reimbursement for depreciation is required by law;

    The Amex advertising promo says you can forget the CDW from the car rental company when using this program, but it does appear there are at least two situations where you could be on the hook for some charges.

  32. Diners Club Professional is still one of the best.

  33. If I book a rental car through Citi ThankYou Network and also pay the amount with Chase Fairmont card online, will I still get the primary rental coverage? I assume CitiBank uses 3rd-party agency to deal with the rental car company.

    Does the driver name on the rental agreement need to match the name of the card owner to have the full rental car insurance? Thank you.

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