Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Review

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Review

Million Mile SecretsChase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance ReviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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 (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.

And certain Citi cards, like the Citi Prestige Card and Citi ThankYou Premier Card 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!

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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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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 Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If you use your points to book a rental does it come with this insurance?

I was in a rental because my car was in the shop. Someone scraped my car and I’m being held responsible. The original rental cost was on me, but my warranty company has decided to pay the rental.

However, the deductible is now on my CSR. Can I still file a claim even though ultimately I will not be paying for the rental as I originally thought>

I got a flat tire with Budget and they charged me $250! (Including $56 roadside assistance and $25 administrative fee.) I booked with CSR, will that cover? (If I’d know they were going to charge me to change it, I could have call AAA for free.)

When renting a car for business or personal purposes one of the questions that may come up is do you need rental car insurance. Auto insurance protects you from unforeseen circumstances. When renting a car most car rental agencies will try and sell you auto insurance coverage. Rental car insurance always baffles car owners as most of them don’t even know whether it is worth buying or not. Most of the experienced agents from the top auto insurance companies will inform you that getting this kind of insurance is completely inefficient. Of course it is still applicable for some of the car owners, but most drivers are simply overpaying. Got to know all details from

Spoke to benefits from Reserve. Booking on points does have primary coverage.


Planning an upcoming 5 day trip to California in a few months, and trying to get a regular car to rent (nothing luxury or too fancy). I’d like to use my UR points from the CSR to book the rental, but I called CSR customer service and they stated that using points does not allow primary rental car coverage to apply. Fine, whatever.

If I book the car using CSR points, is it possible to purchase the rental insurance thru the rental agency at the counter? Has anyone tried this?

The rental agency will be super happy to sell you rental insurance if you book using UR points, they certainly tried to do so with me.

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