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A Complete Guide to American Express Car Rental Insurance

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

The best credit cards often have a lot of perks that make it worthwhile to use. One of the special benefits that comes with owning certain American Express cards is the protection and peace of mind that comes from having car rental insurance. Keep reading to learn more about the American Express car rental insurance and what's included.

Amex car rental insurance

Also known as car rental loss and damage insurance, American Express car rental insurance comes with most Amex cards, including select business and travel credit cards. However, it's important to note that coverage will vary depending on the type of card you have. For example, a premium credit card with a higher annual fee may have more coverage than a non-premium rewards card.

Most Amex cards, with or without annual fees, have a max benefit of $50,000 in coverage*. A few of the more premium Amex cards have a higher benefit limit of $75,000.

Here is a list of the cards that currently offer up to $75,000 in coverage benefits** (terms apply for all the cards on this list):

What is covered

Always check your individual credit card's terms to see the type of coverage you're getting. In general, you can expect the following to be paid for:

  • Repairs for damage and theft up to the covered amount ($50,000 to $75,000) or the actual cash value of the rental vehicle, whichever is less
  • Charges beyond repair, such as necessary towing costs or appraisal fees

Amex car rental insurance covers the cardmember, their spouse or domestic partner, and authorized drivers listed on the rental agreement. It provides secondary insurance that comes after any other primary insurance that you carry. If you max out the benefits that your car insurance covers, your Amex car rental insurance could take over for additional costs.

For an additional flat-fee rate per rental, American Express offers premium car insurance. It provides primary coverage up to $100,000 but doesn't cover vehicles rented in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Israel, Italy, or Jamaica.

Choosing a credit card

Don't you wish you could take a peek inside a credit card expert's wallet sometimes? Just to see the cards they carry? Well, you can't look in anybody's wallet, but you can check out our experts' favorite credit cards. Get started here:

What's not covered

There are limitations to your American Express car rental insurance. This includes the following:

  • Certain vehicle types are excluded, including most vans, commercial vehicles, any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, or any vehicle that a rental company did not provide.
  • Vehicles that are at least 20 years old or have not been manufactured for 10 or more years are excluded.
  • Vehicles rented from the following companies are also not covered: moving companies, auto dealerships, auto body repair shops, or vehicle sharing companies.
  • If you participate in illegal activity or intentionally take drugs, your American Express car rental insurance won't cover losses.
  • This insurance doesn't cover vehicles rented in New Zealand, Australia, Italy, or any country subject to comprehensive sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

It's a smart idea to carefully review the terms of your American Express car rental insurance, as there may be more exclusions. Additionally, Amex can update these terms at any time. Reviewing these terms will help to ensure that you're covered during your rental period.

How to get coverage

To activate coverage for your Amex car rental insurance, you must reserve and pay for the entire cost of a rental car with your eligible Amex card. You will also need to decline a full collision damage waiver and other similar rental car coverage. Once you do the above and sign the rental agreement, you'll be taking the car into your possession and will be able to utilize your Amex car rental insurance benefits.

How to file a claim

Filing a claim for your American Express car rental insurance is easy to do. Visit americanexpress.com/protectionbenefits or call 1-800-338-1670. If you're outside of the United States, you can call collect at 1-303-273-6497. This should be done as soon as possible, but you have within 30 days of the loss.

If you're sent a claim form, be sure to complete it and answer all questions. If you don't receive one within 15 days of filing your claim, you can write to them, explaining your covered event and the details of your claim.

You must submit proof of loss within 60 days of filing your claim. You may be asked to provide documentation, such as a copy of your:

  • Repair bill
  • Rental agreement
  • Charge slip
  • Car insurance coverage
  • Applicable police report

Once the claim is deemed payable, you will receive your benefits, usually within 30 days.

Our favorite American Express cards with rental insurance

If you don't yet have an American Express card but are looking for a new option, be sure to consider this coverage when comparing credit cards. There are many cards out there, but not all of them will have a perk like the Amex car rental insurance.

Here are three of our favorite American Express cards with rental insurance.

As of Aug. 04, 2022
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The Platinum Card® from American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Apply Now for The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

100,000 Membership Rewards® Points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

75,000 points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

150,000 Hilton Honors points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

2x - 6x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

3X - 14x points

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

See Pay Over Time APR

Regular APR:

17.99%-26.99% Variable

Regular APR:

17.99% - 26.99%, variable

Annual Fee:

$695

Annual Fee:

$450

Annual Fee:

$450

Highlights:

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $4,000 in the first three months of card opening.
  • Earn 14 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties.
  • Earn 7 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airline, rental cars booked through certain agencies, and dining in eligible U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.
  • Earn up to $600 in statement credits.
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Complimentary Diamond status

Apply Now for The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

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FAQs

  • If you have an eligible card with Amex car rental insurance, you must charge the full cost of the rental to your eligible card. You'll also need to decline the full collision damage waiver and any other similar coverage offered by the rental company. After doing these things and signing your rental agreement, you're able to use your American Express rental car insurance benefits. This insurance is secondary to your personal auto insurance policy.

  • No. There are many vehicles that aren't covered by this insurance. Vehicles used for commercial purposes, moving trucks, car share vehicles, vans, certain trucks, off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles, and campers are just some of the vehicles not covered.

  • You can file your claim at americanexpress.com/protectionbenefits or by calling 1-800-338-1670. You need to file a claim as soon as possible and within 30 days of the loss. If you're sent claim forms, be sure to fill them out. If you don't receive claim forms within 15 days of filing your claim, you can submit written communication explaining your claim. You must submit proof of loss within 60 days of filing. You may be asked to provide documentation such as: copies of your rental agreement, repair bill estimates, the rental charge slip, car insurance coverage, driver's license, or an applicable police report.

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