Which Credit Cards Have The Best Rental Car Insurance?

One of the tricks that seasoned travelers know is to always deny the insurance when renting a car. Why? Because the credit card that they are using already comes with insurance that they are familiar with, and because you are required to deny coverage from the rental car company in order to take advantage of your credit card’s insurance. But how do you pick a credit card that has good rental insurance?

We found this handy chart on CreditCards.com (a credit card comparison site):

Payment network
Do all cards offer basic coverage?
Amount of coverage
Vehicle exclusions
Limit on rental length
Country exclusions

American Express

Yes, but you can upgrade to to premium protection for a fee

Up to $50,000 for Green, Blue, Gold, Optima, Small Biz, & Small Biz
Gold cards; up to $75,000 for Platinum, Centurion, & Small Biz
Platinum cards

Any type of pick-up truck, full-sized SUV, luxury van, any exotic sports car and any type of cargo van

Up to 30 days

Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica New Zealand


No: Available to holders of only Platinum, Miles by Discover, Discover
Motiva, Discover Titanum, Discover Business & Discover Business
Miles cards

Up to $50,000

Off-road, antique or limited edition motor vehicles; trucks,
recreational vehicles, campers, pickup trucks, and minibuses; limited
edition motor vehicles or high value, exotic, high performance or
collector type; any vehicle which has not been manufactured for 10
years or more

Will not exceed 31
consecutive days, or 45 consecutive days if the insured is an employee
of an organization which has provided a card for business use

Coverage applies to vehicles rented in the U.S. and Canada only


No: Available only to Gold, Platinum, World & World Elite cardholders

The lesser of the actual repair amount, current market value (minus salvage), or $50,000 per incident

All trucks, pickups, full-size vans mounted on truck chassis, campers,
off-road vehicles, and other recreational vehicles; trailers,
motorbikes, motorcycles, and any other vehicle having fewer than four
wheels; antique vehicles

Up to 31 consecutive days

Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand



Up to actual cash value of the vehicle as it was originally manufactured

Expensive, exotic, and antique automobiles; certain vans; vehicles that
have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes;
limousines; and recreational vehicles

Up to 15 consecutive days in your country of residence or up to 31 consecutive days outside your country of residence

Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand

As you can see, you’re not automatically covered just because you have a credit card, so make sure you read and understand your credit card’s rental car insurance policy. That way you can avoid wasting money on an unfamiliar policy offered by a rental car company.

If you’re currently researching credit cards, try CreditCards.com or Bankrate.com to compare offers easily.

Compare credit cards’ rental insurance policies [CreditCards.com]
(Photo: Marike79 )