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Car rental insurance: These cards cover you with primary insurance in the U.S. on most rentals

Renting a car with a card that offers rental car insurance can protect you if your rental car is damaged or stolen. A credit card with primary insurance gives you an auto rental collision damage waiver benefit that kicks in before your personal auto insurance. When you rent using a card with primary insurance, you can avoid making a claim with your car insurance company if you damage your rental car.

Here are the cards that offer primary car rental collision insurance within your country of residence.

Cards that offer primary rental car insurance

Primary coverage whenCoverage limitsNotable exclusions
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fee: $95
Every rental.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual fee: $550
Every rental.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value or $75,000.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
Renting for business purposes within your country of residence.
Outside country of residence.
You do not have automobile insurance.
Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
Renting for business purposes within your country of residence.
Outside country of residence.
You do not have automobile insurance.
Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Annual fee: $95
Renting for business purposes within your country of residence.
Outside country of residence.
You do not have automobile insurance.
Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
United℠ Explorer Card card art
United℠ Explorer Card
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Every rental.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla
United Quest℠ Card card art
United Quest℠ Card
Annual fee: $250
Every rental.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
United Club℠ Infinite Card card art
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Annual fee: $525
Every rental.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Annual fee: $400
Every rental.Rental length:
Up to 15 consecutive days within country of residence.
Up to 31 consecutive days outside country of residence.

Up to actual cash value or $75,000.
Expensive automobiles: Any vehicle with an MSRP of more than $75,000 when new.

Countries:
Israel
Jamaica
The Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art
Venture X
Annual fee: $395
Every rental.Rental length:
Up to 15 consecutive days within country of residence.
Up to 31 consecutive days outside country of residence.

Up to actual cash value or $75,000.
Expensive automobiles: Any vehicle with an MSRP of more than $75,000 when new.

Countries:
Israel
Jamaica
The Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland
Capital One Venture X Business card art
Venture X Business
Annual fee: $395
Renting for business purposes.Rental length: Up to 31 consecutive days.

Up to actual cash value.
Countries:
Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Australia
Italy
New Zealand
Credit cards with primary car rental insurance within your country of residence

What does credit card car rental insurance cover?

Credit card car rental insurance or auto rental collision damage waiver insurance will typically cover damages caused by a collision to a car you rent from a rental car agency using your card. This benefit can also cover your rental car if it is stolen.

Perhaps more important than what the insurance will cover is what it won’t cover. Your credit card car rental insurance won’t cover injuries to you, people in your car, or other people’s property. If you injure someone or damage someone else’s car in a car accident, your credit card car insurance will not cover your liability should that person come after you. Your credit card insurance also won’t pay for your medical bills if you are injured.

Only you and named additional drivers are covered

Most policies require you, the cardholder whose name is on the card, to be the primary renter of a covered car. If your spouse, partner, friend, child, or anyone else rents a car using your credit card, they generally will not be covered under your card’s rental car insurance policy. Your policy will also cover additional drivers that are permitted by the rental car agreement.

Towing, loss-of-use, and administrative fees

If you are involved in an accident with your rental car, you may need to have the car towed, compensate the rental car agency for the loss of the use of their car while the car is being repaired, or pay administrative fees. These types of charges are typically covered by credit card car rental insurance policies.

Credit card car rental insurance only covers rentals from rental agencies

You’ll only get coverage from your credit card on cars you rent from a car rental agency. Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Thrifty, Sixt, Budget, National and Alamo are examples of car rental agencies. Car-sharing services like Turo are typically not covered. You also won’t receive coverage for on-demand car sharing subscription services like Zipcar or cars you rent directly from a dealership or other individual person.

Common car type exclusions

Your credit card car rental insurance is meant to cover most car rentals meant for personal use. Here are types of vehicles that most credit card rental car insurance won’t cover:

  • Antique cars. Antique cars, defined as cars that are over 20 years old are typically not covered. Many policies also exclude cars that have not been manufactured for 10 years or more. If you’re renting a car that could be considered a collector car, don’t expect it to be covered.
  • Luxury vehicles. Some policies exclude certain luxury car brands from coverage. Other policies limit the original MSRP of the cars they will cover.
  • Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbokes. Car rental insurance policies usually exclude vehicles with two or three wheels like motorcycles.
  • Commercial vans. A minivan or van that you would use to transport a family that can hold 7-9 people is usually covered, but a larger commercial van or school bus wouldn’t be covered under a typical credit card car rental policy.
  • Recreational vehicles. If you’re renting an RV or camper van for your family vacation, it usually won’t be covered under your card’s policy.

How to get coverage

To be covered under your credit card’s car rental insurance, you must reserve and pay for your car rental using your card and you must decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver or similar insurance.

Some countries require you to carry local liability insurance to rent a car. This insurance does not cover damage to your rental car, but rather covers your liability to others if you injure someone or damage someone’s property in an accident. Having this insurance, which does not cover damage to your rental car, will not impact your credit card car rental insurance.

Cards that offer primary rental car insurance

Here’s a bit more on each of the cards that offer primary rental car insurance within your country of residence.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Primary car rental insurance on every rental

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will give you primary rental car insurance on every rental under 31 days, with no country exclusions. Although, if you like to rent electric cars, know that Tesla is on the list of excluded brands. It’s a great card for its other travel insurance benefits and the opportunity to earn transferable points on your purchases. Learn more about the card from our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus: 75k points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. (Annual fee: $95)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Limited time offer. This welcome offer was recently increased from 60k. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Premium travel insurance. Point transfers to partner. 25% more value for redemptions through Chase Travel℠. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: The only Chase card that covers luxury cars

The Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s primary rental car coverage is notable because it does not include a list of excluded brands within its guide to benefits. This makes it the only Chase card we know of that offers primary rental car insurance when renting luxury cars. Those renting electric cars, take note: If you’re renting a Tesla as a Chase cardmember, be sure that you use your Sapphire Reserve card—other Chase cards exclude all Teslas as a luxury brand.

Rental car insurance is limited to actual cash value or $75,000. So, if you crash your rented Lambo or Aston Martin, you might still want additional insurance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer: 75,000 bonus points after $4,000 of spending in 3 months. (Annual fee: $550)

Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Limited time offer. This welcome offer was recently increased from 60k. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Best-in-class travel insurance. Airport lounge access. Point transfers to partners. 50% more value for redemptions through Chase Travel℠.

This is an affiliate link.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: Primary rental car insurance when renting for business purposes with no annual fee

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is one of vanishingly rare credit cards that offers you primary rental car insurance with no annual fee. The catch is that you must be renting for business purposes for the coverage to be primary within your country of residence. Outside of your country of residence, the coverage is primary for both business and personal rentals. The card will also cover you if you do not have personal auto insurance. Learn more about the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card from our card overview.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offer: Get up to $750 in new cardmember rewards. (Annual fee: $0)

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Chase recently made this bonus easier to earn. Best no-annual-fee Ink card welcome bonus. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Bonus rewards in business-related categories, at gas stations, and at restaurants. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Primary rental car insurance when renting for business purposes with no annual fee

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is the other $0 annual fee Chase Ink-branded card that can cover your business rentals with primary rental car coverage within your country of residence. Like the other Ink cards, you’ll also get primary coverage for all rentals outside your country of residence or if you do not have automobile insurance. You’ll earn more points on your car rental with the Ink Business Unlimited than you will with the Ink Cash—the Ink Unlimited earns 1.5x points per dollar on all purchases. You can learn more about the Ink Unlimited and its benefits and features from our card review.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

This card occasionally offers a higher welcome offer, so you might consider waiting for a better offer to come around. The current offer is the card’s business-as-usual offer. The Ink Business Unlimited is marketed as a cash back card, but earns Ultimate Rewards®.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card card art

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 1.5% on every purchase. 5% on Lyft rides through March 2025.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Primary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance when renting for business.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Primary coverage when renting for business and more rewards on travel

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card carries an annual fee, but will earn you more rewards on your car rental charges. That’s because the Ink Preferred gives you 3x points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined purchases in categories that include travel. You’ll get primary coverage on your business car rentals and your rentals outside your country of residence when you charge them to your Ink Preferred card. Read more about the Ink Preferred in our review of the card.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offer: 100,000 bonus points after $8,000 of spending in 3 months. (Annual fee: $95)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Largest welcome offer available on an Ultimate Rewards® card. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Travel insurance for employees. Point transfers to partners. 25% more value for redemptions through Chase Travel℠.

This is an affiliate link.

United℠ Explorer Card: Two United Club℠ passes each year and primary rental car insurance

The United℠ Explorer Card covers most car rentals up to 31 days with primary car rental insurance with no country exclusions. Many luxury brands, including Teslas, are excluded from the card’s coverage, so be sure to double check the card’s benefit guide if you’re renting an expensive car. If your travels have you occasionally flying United and renting cars, the Explorer Card can be a great choice. Learn more and compare the card against the other United credit cards in our United credit card overview.

United℠ Explorer Card offer: 50k miles after $3k spent in 3 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.

A good welcome bonus, especially considering that the card has a $0 introductory annual fee in the the first year. Rewards are earned as United MileagePlus milea.

United Club one-time passes. Free first checked bag. Earns PQPs. (More in our United card roundup.)

This is an affiliate link.

United Quest℠ Card: Great for MileagePlus® enthusiasts who want primary rental coverage

The United Quest℠ Card is the card you want if you like redeeming MileagePlus® miles and rent cars during your travels. The card offers primary rental coverage on rentals up to 31 days with no country exclusions. Compare the United Quest card against the other United Cards in our United card overview.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Chase seems to increase the welcome bonus on this card every few months. If you don’t need the card immediately, it might be worthwhile to wait on another bonus.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

United Quest℠ Card card art

United Quest℠ Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $250.
Rewards: 3x miles on United purchases. 2x miles on dining, select streaming services, and all other travel. 1x miles on other eligible purchases.
Perks: Up to $125 in United purchase credits. Up to 10,000 in award flight credits. Free first and second bags. Trusted traveler credit. Earns Premier Qualifying Points.

United Club℠ Infinite Card: United Club℠ access and primary auto rental insurance

You probably have the United Club℠ Infinite Card if you travel frequently on United and want airport lounge access to the United Club lounges. If you have the card in your wallet, it’s a great choice to use the card for renting cars, thanks to its primary rental car coverage on rentals up to 31 days with no country exclusions. Similar to the other Chase cards, a handful of luxury brands are excluded from coverage, so be sure to check your card’s benefit guide if you’re renting an expensive card. Compare the United Club Infinite card against the other cards in United’s credit card lineup in our United credit card overview.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: In early 2023, the welcome bonus on this card offered 100k points, but the current bonus is the best bonus we’ve seen recently on this card.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

United Club℠ Infinite Card card art

United Club℠ Infinite Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $525.
Rewards: 4x miles on United purchases. 2x miles on dining and all other travel. 1x miles on other eligible purchases.
Perks: Untied Club membership. Free first and second bags. Trusted traveler credit. Earns Premier Qualifying Points.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: 3x on mobile wallet with primary car rental insurance

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers primary car rental insurance coverage on every rental. And if you can pay with a mobile wallet, you can get 3 points per dollar—worth 3% cash back or 4.5% toward travel redemptions—on your rental. The card covers cars with an actual cash value up to $75,000 in all but a handful of countries. (Israel, Jamaica, The Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland are excluded from coverage.) Learn more about the Altitude Reserve, in our opinion one of the most under-rated travel rewards cards, in our card review.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $400

This is a direct bank link. All information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card sign-up bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can get a bigger welcome bonus with several other competing cards with similar annual fees.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
$325 in annual statement credits for travel and dining purchases.
Primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip delay reimbursement.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Extended warranty.
Purchase security.
Return protection.

Rewards:
5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the Altitude Rewards Center.
3x on eligible travel purchases.
3x on mobile wallet purchases made with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay.
1x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent apiece, or toward travel at 1.5 cents each.

Learn more:
Learn more about in our review of the Altitude Reserve.

Venture X: Coverage on every rental, up to 15 days in country of residence and 31 days abroad.

The Capital One Venture X card may be a card you have in your wallet for its lounge access benefit and its $300 travel credit, but the card is a great choice to use for your car rentals as well. You’ll get primary coverage on car rentals up to 15 days in your country of residence. Abroad, you’ll get 31 days of primary coverage and you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees (like most other Capital One cards.) Israel, Jamaica, The Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland are excluded from coverage, so choose another card in these countries. Learn more about the rewards and benefits of the Venture X in our card review.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offer: 75k miles after spending $4k in 3 months. (Annual fee: $395)

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art

Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Get this welcome bonus.

Not nearly as good as the card’s 100k point launch offer, but an above-average bonus when compared to competing cards.

$300 Capital One Travel annual credit. Transferable points. Travel insurance. (More in our card review.)

This is a referral link. All information about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Venture X Business: Coverage on your business rentals, but several country exceptions

The Venture X Business can be a good choice for primary rental car coverage on your business-related car rentals worldwide, but it only provides secondary coverage for personal rentals. Be sure you check the card’s country exclusions when traveling internationally. You won’t get coverage in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Israel and Jamaica. Many cards exclude these countries, but you also won’t get coverage in Australia, Italy or New Zealand.

Capital One Venture X Business offer: 150k miles after $30k spend in 3 months. (Annual fee: $395)

Capital One Venture X Business card art

Earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months, which is equal to $1,500 in travel. Get this welcome bonus.

Giant bonus, but ridiculous spending requirement. Most will be better off with the bonus on the personal version of the card.

Priority Pass lounge access. $300 annual travel credit. Transferable points.

This is a direct bank link. All information about the Capital One Venture X Business has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Where to go with questions

Your first source for questions on your credit card car rental insurance should be your card’s guide to benefits. Many benefit guides can be found online, or you can call the customer service number on the back of your card to request a copy. Your card’s benefits guide will detail your policy’s restrictions, exclusions and terms.

If your question isn’t answered within your card’s guide to benefits, you should call your card’s benefits administrator with questions. Here are some phone numbers for benefit administrators that we found when researching this article:

  • Visa Infinite cards issued by U.S. Bank can call the benefit administrator at 1-800-546-9806 or 1-804-673-7481 outside the United States.
  • Chase Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited can call 1-877-631-0919 or collected outside of the US to 1-804-6734-1691.
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred cardholders can get more information about their benefits by calling 1-888-320-9956.
  • MasterRental insurance coverage on Mastercards can contact Mastercard at 1-800-Mastercard or visit www.mycardbenefits.com

Frequently asked quesions

Do I need travel insurance if I have a credit card with car rental insurance?

You may need additional insurance, even if your credit card offer primary car rental insurance. The insurance provided by your credit card won’t cover liability or medical expenses. Additional travel insurance can help protect you and your travels outside your rental car.

Does credit card travel insurance cover things stolen from my car?

Credit card travel insurance typically won’t cover items stolen from your rental car. However, some MasterRental insurance coverages on premium cards offer a limited amount of protection for personal items in a rental car.

Is it worth it to use a card with secondary car rental insurance?

Absolutely. While you’ll be required to make a claim with your auto insurance for rental car damages if you’re in an accident, secondary car rental insurance can cover your comprehensive deductible or some expenses that your regular car insurance doesn’t cover.

Does my credit card have car rental insurance?

The best way to figure out if your credit card offers car rental insurance is to check your card’s guide to benefits. In your card’s benefit guide, you’ll find details on your coverages if your card offers this coverage. Call the customer service number on the back of your card to request your guide to benefits if you do not have it handy.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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