Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Review

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Until now, I’ve recommended the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a terrific card to use when you rent a vehicle, because you get primary insurance coverage for collisions and damage.

But the new Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers similar primary auto rental insurance.  And lots of other improved travel perks!

So how good is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance? Is it the best credit card for car rentals?

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve Have Better Primary Rental Coverage Than Other Cards?

I’ve read the fine print.  So let’s find out how the Chase Sapphire Reserve stacks up against other cards that offer primary rental insurance!

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve Guide to Benefits

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get primary rental insurance when you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay for your car rental and decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver (often called CDW or LDW).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance applies to rentals of 31 consecutive days or less in the US and most foreign countries (but it’s always best to call the benefits administrator to verify coverage).  You’re covered for theft or damage to your vehicle, but not damage to other vehicles, property, or injuries.

 Chase Sapphire Reserve Car Rental Insurance is Primary!

And because coverage is primary, you won’t have to file a claim with any other insurance policy you have first.

This could save you lots of money in the event of an accident or damage to your vehicle!

For example, folks on FlyerTalk report being reimbursed thousands of dollars they would have had to otherwise pay out of pocket.  And Million Mile Secrets team member Joseph saved ~$2,300 when he scraped his rental against a cement pillar in Ireland.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

Million Mile Secrets Team Member Joseph Was Reimbursed by the Chase Sapphire Preferred for ~$2,300 in Damage When He Scraped His Car in Ireland

And authorized users are covered when they use their Chase Sapphire Reserve to rent a vehicle.  So what’s different compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

1.   Maximum Amount of Coverage

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll be reimbursed for up to $75,000 in covered losses.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred will cover you up to the actual cash value of most vehicles.  Generally, rental cars are worth far less than $75,000!

2.   Vehicle Exclusions

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has fewer exclusions than the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  For example, with the Chase Sapphire Reserveyou will NOT be covered for:

Antique automobiles (defined as any vehicle over 20 years old or any vehicle that has not been manufactured for 10 years or more), certain vans, vehicles that have an open cargo bed, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes, limousines, and recreational vehicles.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

You Aren’t Covered If You Rent an Antique Car (More Than 20 Years Old – Does That Mean I’m Antique?) ;)

But the Chase Sapphire Preferred excludes these, plus:

Aston Martin, Bentley, Bricklin, Daimler, DeLorean, Excalibur, Ferrari, Jensen, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.  However, selected models of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Lincoln are covered.

So if you’re renting a very high-end car, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better bet!

3.   Points Earning

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases, including rental cars.  So you’ll do better with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel.

4.   Booking Through the Chase Travel Portal

I’ve written that the Chase Travel Portal often has the cheapest deals on rental cars.  And when you use points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, they’re worth 1.25 cents each (even if you pay with a combination of points from your card and cash!).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better deal if you use points to book your rental through the Chase Travel Portal.  That’s because each point is worth 1.5 cents!

So on a $100 rental, you’d pay:

  • 8,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or
  • ~6,666 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve

What About Other Cards?

Cards like the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, Chase Ritz-Carlton, and Chase Fairmont also offer primary rental insurance, similar to that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Small business cards like the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Cash offer primary rental insurance when you use the card to rent for business purposes, otherwise coverage is secondary (meaning you’ll have to file a claim through your own insurance first).

American Express cardholders can pay a flat fee of ~$12 to ~$25 for primary coverage on rentals of up to 42 consecutive days.  Read the terms & conditions for exclusions.

And certain Citi cards, like the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier offer primary insurance in foreign countries, but only secondary coverage within the US.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental car insurance offers terrific primary car rental insurance, which can save you thousands of dollars if your rental car is damaged!

The coverage it provides differs only slightly from that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  For example, certain high-end vehicles aren’t excluded, and you’re covered to a maximum of $75,000 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Remember, liability insurance is NOT included.  So be sure to check your own coverage or purchase liability insurance from the car rental agency.

Check out my series on how to save more money on car rentals, including folks under age 25!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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.

11 responses to “Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Review

  1. does the authorized user have access to all the benefits? Especially rental insurance, airport lounges, etc??

  2. One of the benefits I am hoping you cover is the Car Rental Benefits in detail. I was approved for the Reserve yesterday and was looking at those benefits. I have also saved a lot of money in the past with USAA and Costco. I realize that not everyone will have access to those two services, but I was hoping you could compare costs and benefits (and help me understand as well). thanks

  3. How does proof of insurance work for rentals? Typically when you’re in a vehicle in the US you need to have 3 things. Title, registration, and proof of insurance. If I’m asked for that by an officer how do I prove to them I have insurance…they won’t just take my credit card and say looks good.

  4. Good Information, Is there a webpage on Chase that actually list the cars covered? I couldn’t find it. I called before my trip to ensure that I was covered. I had a nasty surprise when I arrived at my Car Rental place in Costa Rica, after arguing with the agent that I was CDW covered by my chase card… calling a front line rep on the phone, getting a ‘benefit’ specialist on the phone, only to find out after several hours that the Toyota landcrusier was not covered by Chase, it was the only vehicle they don’t cover. That cost me a lot of money, and I was upset that I did not know this ahead of time, even after a reasonable effort to make sure I was covered.

  5. @mrpaul those three are covered by the company renting the vehicle to you. Look in the glove compartment next time you rent a car and those documents will be there. That is why insurance is optional for you when renting. You only need to provide your driver’s license

  6. So you can rent entirely on points and still be covered? For some reason, I thought you had to pay with the card. That’s great news!

  7. I’d like to know also if you’re covered with the CSR primary insurance if you book the rental entirely through the UR travel portal with points.

  8. I think purchasing rental insurance from the rental agency is a waste of money, anyway. As long as you’re a safe driver, there’s really no need to spend the extra money on a damage waiver.

  9. I find that the CDW is untrue.
    I rented a car overseas and was rear ended by a city vehicle. OI called the police and was informed they do not come to fender benders with no injuries and to exchange information. I called the rental company SIXT who said change the info and come in with the car and don’t worry, you have coverage. I also took multiple photos and got the driver to admit guilt.
    I then got charged $645.97 from SIXT that the CDW was not willing to cover. They said the repair was less and the rental company said they had loss of time and higher repair.
    Each side, the rental company and the insurance company refused to budge and I end up the fool who paid $650.00 for an accident I did not cause and the total repair wasn’t $650.00
    So CDW is “buyer beware”

  10. Not sure i saw it explicitly stated — but do you still get Primary Rental Car insurance coverage if you pay entirely by points? Haven’t seen this in any Terms document.

  11. Have not seen this repeated question answered: isn’t it true that you do NOT have the primary insurance coverage if you rent the car with POINTS rather than with the card?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *