We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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?
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
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.
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 Reserve, you 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.
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 (excluding $300 travel credit).
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 Card, 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 (no longer available), 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.
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.