Do Any Credit Cards Cover You for Damage to Rental Equipment?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Gaspipe, tweeted:

Which credit cards would cover damage to equipment rentals like skis, golf clubs, etc.?

Great question!

Several cards provide great benefits like warranty protection when you purchase certain items.

But you will NOT get the same coverage when you rent equipment.

In most cases, you’ll be personally responsible for any damage to rental equipment like skis, scuba gear, golf clubs, etc.  So you’ll want to check the fine print in your rental waiver to look for potential liability.

Rental Equipment Liability
Credit Cards Do NOT Provide Protection When You’re Renting Equipment Like Scuba Gear. So Check the Fine Print of Your Rental Waiver to See What You Will Be Responsible For!

I’ll tell you what to look out for when you rent equipment on vacation.

What Is Rental Equipment Liability?

Folks who travel may rent equipment on vacations including:

  • Bicycles
  • Camping equipment
  • Golf carts
  • Golf clubs
  • Kayaks
  • Paddle boards
  • Scuba gear
  • Segways
  • Skis and snowboards

For example, many folks who visit Catalina Island in California rent golf carts to tour around the island.

Rental Equipment Liability
On Catalina Island in California, Many Folks Rent Golf Carts to Drive Around

For most equipment rentals, you typically complete a waiver form and leave a security deposit.  But using a credit card for your deposit will NOT help you if your equipment is damaged.

Because purchase protection benefits with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card only cover you when buying new items.

This means you’ll be personally responsible for any damage to equipment you’re renting.

For example, Million Mile Secrets team member Keith stopped by a local Segway rental shop.  And upon reviewing a rental waiver, he saw the shop collects an upfront deposit of $250 to cover any potential damage during the rental period.

Here’s what the waiver says:

“The Lessee has given Lessor a security deposit of $250, in the form of a charge against a credit card.  Said security deposit may be used to pay for any damage or loss to the Property.”
Rental Equipment Liability
Renting a Segway? Read the Waiver to Find Out the Amount of the Security Deposit

Collecting a security deposit is usually standard when you’re renting equipment.  This protects the business that’s renting you their equipment should anything go wrong.

But the deposit amount can vary depending on the type of equipment you’re renting and the location.  So it’s best to review any agreements you sign.

Because you’ll want to know if your maximum liability is the amount of the security deposit.  Or can the business charge you more?

Before you rent equipment or sign any waivers, I’d recommend checking reviews of the business on TripAdvisor or Yelp.  So you can read firsthand reviews from folks who have rented equipment before.

Bottom Line

You will NOT get purchase protection benefits when using a credit card to rent equipment on vacation like golf clubs, scuba gear, or skis.

In most cases, you’ll be personally responsible for any damage that occurs.  So be sure to read the fine print of any rental waivers to check the amount of any security deposits and your maximum liability should damage happen.

Have you ever damaged rental equipment on vacation?  I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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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