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Credit Cards with Primary Car Rental Insurance

When choosing a credit card, one consideration is the car rental insurance coverage provided. Using a credit card with Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance included means you can decline that (often very expensive!) coverage at the car rental counter.

Credit Cards with Included Primary CDW Insurance

In all cases, you’ll want to make sure that you reserve and pay for the car rental with your credit card with the coverage, decline the rental company’s CDW (but do take the liability coverage if you don’t have personal insurance – that’s important!) and you make sure that your rental meets all applicable terms of the provided insurance. For example, many credit card CDW coverages exclude cars over a certain value (or car types) and exclude various countries, such as Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Australia, and Israel.

While a great many credit cards offer “secondary” insurance, which means they will cover the excess after you file a costly claim with your own car insurance provider, a handful of cards offer primary coverage. Primary car rental CDW insurance means that even if your rental car is damaged, the credit card will handle all covered costs (again, subject to their fine print!) without you having to involve your own insurance.

Also keep in mind that these will not cover extended rentals, generally over 28-30 days. They also do not cover non-passenger car vehicles (that means no pickup trucks or vans!).

Here are our top picks for credit cards with included and primary CDW car rental insurance coverage:

 

Personal Credit Cards Cards with Primary Car Rental CDW Coverage

Both of the premium Chase Sapphire cards include primary CDW. The main difference is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve covers a higher limit on the car value ($75,000 as of time of writing – confirm when applying). However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a much lower annual fee.

Note that if you don’t qualify for Chase cards, most American Express credit cards provide secondary rental coverage.

Business Credit Cards Cards with Primary Car Rental CDW Coverage

When using a Business credit card domestically for a car rental, please keep in mind the coverage is only primary if the car rental is for legitimate business purposes. Our top choices for this benefit alone are the Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Unlimited Business Credit Card because they don’t carry annual fees.

In all cases, the precise benefits for credit card provided CDW insurance varies from card to card. Always confirm before renting that the card’s provided benefits meet your needs.

The Bonus amounts listed below refer to the value of the bonus you can get for opening a new card and meeting the required minimum spend.

Advertiser Disclosure: Your Best Credit Cards has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Your Best Credit Cards and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Commissions do not affect or prioritize placement within our results and not all cards displayed earn us a commission. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

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8 Cards Available:

Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

Offer: Get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.

The Chase Ink Preferred card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel, advertising, and shipping, as well on Internet, cable and phone services, up to $150,000 a year.

If your business spends a lot in any of these categories, you can earn a ton of points.

Complimentary cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with this card. No foreign transaction fees.

Offer: Get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

Offer: Up to 100,000 Miles: Get 50,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months and 50,000 more bonus miles if you spend $25,000 in total within 6 months.

Allows for a free checked bag, priority boarding, 2 United Club one-time passes each card anniversary, the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, access to United MileagePlus events, and expanded economy award availability. It offers bonus categories of 2x on office supply stores, restaurants, and gas stations, as well as on United itself, of course. It also offers 10,000 bonus miles and a PQD waiver upon spending $25,000. Perhaps best of all, cardholders get access to expanded saver award availability.

Need to Know: The calculations for this card assume that your "airfare" spend is on United only. If a portion of your airline spend is on other airlines, your reward values will be slightly lower than stated.

Offer: Up to 100,000 Miles: Get 50,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months and 50,000 more bonus miles if you spend $25,000 in total within 6 months.
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

Offer: 70,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months

Get a free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines. Earn a $99 companion certificate for domestic main cabin travel.

Earn AAdvantage miles at the rate of 2x for American Airlines, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, plus 1x for everything else.

Gain access to Reduced Mileage Awards for up to 7,500 miles off rotating origins and destinations each month.

NOTE: Our estimated rewards values assume all of your airline spend is with AA for the purposes of valuing your rewards for this card. If you spend across multiple airlines, your rewards will be lower as this card earns 2x on AA purchases only.

Offer: 70,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

Offer: 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months

Perhaps the best starting out card in miles and points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a low annual fee, unlocks transfers from this and any linked Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card to airline and hotel partners, comes with excellent built-in trip delay insurance, primary car rental CDW coverage and earns 2x points on travel and dining.

Offer: 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

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Annual Fee: $0

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

Offer: Get $500 in the form of 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months

The simplest of the Chase Business cards, it earns a flat 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent on the card.

It is best used in conjunction with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card that is enabled for points transfers to airline/hotel partners, such as the Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve, as you can transfer points from this product to one of those.

Please note: The Estimated Rewards Value of an Ultimate Rewards point earned from this card assumes that you have a Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve as well, which allows portal redemptions worth 1.25 - 1.5 cents per point and the opportunity for even greater value with airline and hotel transfer partners. If you do not have one of these cards, points would be worth a flat 1 cent per point and this bonus would be worth exactly $500.

Offer: Get $500 in the form of 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months
Credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual Fee: $450

Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

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Annual Fee: $450

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

Offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months

The card that re-revolutionized points-earning credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a high-end travel rewards card that unlocks transfers from this and any linked Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card to airline and hotel partners and offers rich benefits for a frequent traveler.

It offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining. It provides a 50% boost in point value within the Chase portal and you get an annual $300 travel credit each card year which greatly offsets the card's annual fee.

Offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months
Credit card

Chase Ink Business Cash

Annual Fee: $0

Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

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Annual Fee: $0

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$875

Offer: Get $500 in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months

This card generously offers an excellent 5x on up to $25,000 annually at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services. It also offers 2x on up to $25,000 annually at gas stations and restaurants.

Businesses with a lot of spend at office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot can really clean up.

Please note: The Estimated Rewards Value of an Ultimate Rewards point earned from this card assumes that you have a Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve as well, which allows portal redemptions worth 1.25 - 1.5 cents per point and the opportunity for even greater value with airline and hotel transfer partners. If you do not have one of these cards, points would be worth a flat 1 cent per point and this bonus would be worth exactly $500.

Offer: Get $500 in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months
Credit card

United Explorer Card

Annual Fee: $95

Estimated Bonus Value :

$845

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$845

Offer: Earn up to 65,000 Bonus United Mileage Plus Miles: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and 25,000 additional bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total in your first 6 months.

This United card offers a free checked bag for you and a travel companion (must pay with card) and priority boarding. You get two one-time United Club passes per card year, the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, and access to both Inside Access events and United MileagePlus Events. You earn 2x at restaurants, hotels purchased directly, and, of course, United. You can earn a PQD status waiver with $25,000 spend and, best of all, this card entitles you to expanded saver award availability on United flights.

NOTE: Our rewards calculator and Estimated Rewards Values assume all "Airfare" is on United and is therefore counted at 2x points. If you also fly another carrier, you will only earn 1x points for those purchases and your Reward Values would be lower than indicated.

Offer: Earn up to 65,000 Bonus United Mileage Plus Miles: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and 25,000 additional bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total in your first 6 months.

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