13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Rental Car Insurance

13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Rental Car Insurance

Million Mile Secrets13 Credit Cards That Offer Primary Rental Car InsuranceMillion Mile Secrets Team

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, Capital One, 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.

Update:   A credit card offer in this post may no longer be available, but check the Hot Deals for the latest offers!

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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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the editorial content nor the comments on this site are provided by the companies whose products are featured. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser.

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Dear MMS :
Do you have an updated list of which credit cards offer "primary" auto insurance coverage ? Also, if at the car rental counter, we use a card that is in my wife's name (it's her turn for getting cards now; and we are going to get one for her with primary coverage, since we'll need it in a month or two), can I actually drive the rental vehicle? (I usually do the driving for us) Or since we will use a card with her name on it, does she have to be the driver ? Thanks for any info.
Mark

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.

Diners Club Professional is still one of the best.

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.

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

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