Many credit cards provide car rental insurance among its travel benefits, but which are the best of the best? According to a new study from WalletHub, credit cards from Chase and Wells Fargo top the list.
While many cards offer coverage up to the cash value of your rental vehicle, the best credit card rental car insurance policies up the ante to as much as $75,000.
Amazingly, the WalletHub study found that less than half of consumers (47%) even know that credit cards often provide car insurance coverage. This is a big deal, since having protection—either from your personal auto insurance or from a credit card—can mean that you don't have to opt for expensive over-the-counter insurance offered by the rental car company.
Best and Worst Credit Cards for Car Rental Insurance Coverage
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WalletHub analyzed the car rental insurance offers from 71 different credit cards and determined that these were the best of the bunch as of June 2019.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
- All Other Chase Credit Cards
- All Capital One World Elite MasterCard Cards
- All USAA American Express Cards
- All Wells Fargo Visa Cards
- All Capital One Visa Cards
- Bank of America Visa Cards
- Bank of America BankAmericard
- All Capital One Platinum Mastercard Cards
- All American Express Cards
- All U.S. Bank Visa Cards
- USAA Rate Advantage Platinum Visa Card
- All U.S. Bank American Express Cards
According to WalletHub's analysis, Chase is the best credit card company for rental car insurance, covering cardholders for up to $75,000 and 31 days. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card was deemed the very best credit card for car rental insurance coverage.
The worst credit cards for car renters are issued by Citi and Discover, which no longer provide rental coverage on their credit cards. An exception is the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi, which has no annual fee for Costco members and is one of few Citi cards to still offer car rental insurance and other travel benefits.
WalletHub reviewed the publicly available online car rental policies of all the credit cards currently being offered by the 10 largest issuers, excluding student and co-branded offers, and collected the information needed to answer the following questions: 1) What vehicles are excluded?; 2) What other exclusions do the policies have?; 3) What is the quality of the coverage?; 4) How does one activate the benefit?; 5) How should claims be filed?; and 6) How easy it is to obtain complete policy information?
Avoid renting a truck, open-bed vehicle, exotic/antique car, large van or full-size SUV if you want credit card rental car insurance coverage. Most credit cards exclude those categories from car rental insurance benefits.
Double check your coverage if you plan on renting longer term. More than a third of cards only cover domestic rentals for up to 15 days.
Stay on the paved roads. About a quarter of credit card rental car insurance policies won't cover damage that occurs while driving on a dirt or gravel road.