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
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Cash (no annual fee)
- Chase Ink Unlimited Business Credit Card (no annual fee)
- United Business Card
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.
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10 Cards Available:
Annual Fee: $0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99
Annual Fee: $99
Review: Get a free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines. The free checked bag is valid for for you and up to 4 travel companions. 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.
Chase Ink Preferred
Here’s how we calculated your Rewards Value:
Point Value X Multiplier = Rewards Value
Here’s how we calculated your Bonus Value:
Point Value X Bonus = Bonus Value