I Saved $130 in Car Rental Insurance Thanks to My Credit Card

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I Saved $130 in Car Rental Insurance Thanks to My Credit Card

EmilyI Saved $130 in Car Rental Insurance Thanks to My Credit CardMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Understanding the accurate car rental price in Costa Rica is notoriously difficult, and I’ve spent hours figuring out how to get the cheapest price.  My favorite method, Costco Travel, doesn’t work with rental cars in San Jose, Costa Rica, so I had to find another method.

I looked on sites like Hotwire, and ended up booking direct with Alamo Car Rental.  My total for the ~10 days was ~$179.  Sounds pretty good, right?  The cost quoted on the website DOES NOT include insurance, and insurance will add hundreds of dollars to the rental car cost.  Buying insurance in Costa Rica is not mandatory, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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Save Money on Rental Car Insurance When You Use A Credit Card With Insurance Benefits to Pay for Your Rental Car

I called my credit card company to see what insurance was included and what isn’t.  Collision Damage Waiver-Theft Protection insurance IS included in the car rental coverage, but no other coverage is included.  Having my credit card saved me $129.50 in Collision Damage Waiver-Theft Protection insurance.  If you’d like to check if your credit card is included, check out our Best Credit Cards for Car Rentals post.

Bottom Line

I’m always happy when I can use some of the lesser-known benefits of my credit card.  Have you used the car insurance benefit on your card? What tips do you have to share?

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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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Just got back from a trip home to Dublin, Ireland, and used my Chase Sapphire Reserve car rental benefits to also save hundreds! Rented from Enterprise at Dublin Airport, and interesting to note that they do NOT charge an “administrative fee” of e30 for declining their own insurance coverage (as I believe Hertz and others do). Also, Ireland, previously on the list of excluded countries where the Chase car rental coverage did not apply, has been removed from that list, and thus you can save a ton of money by using this benefit!

We just got back from Costa Rica two weeks ago and did this very same thing. We rented directly from Alamo and I used my Bank of America travel rewards card which includes CDW insurance (I contacted them ahead of time and had them email me a letter stating CDW was included to prevent any headaches at the car rental agency in case they made me show proof). We rented a Corolla for 7 days and total was about $165 and that included the mandatory liability insurance they require you to buy from them (price was already included when I reserved the car). They did give an option to upgrade the CDW to one that included no deductible, but we decided to decline and keep the one from the credit card that had the deductible. Overall no issues and was a good trip.


Thanks, Mike! Your experience sounds exactly like mine. I’ll be writing up a post on “How to Save Money on Rental Cars in Costa Rica” soon.

Woohoo! Awesome, thank you for sharing!