by Kimberly Rotter | April 22, 2021
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Find out if your credit card provides insurance that allows you to waive the coverage offered by the rental car agency.
A simple money-saving strategy can help you get more bang for your buck the next time you rent a car. By using the right credit card, you can safely decline the optional coverage offered by the rental car agency and save anywhere from $9 to $45 per day.
Keep reading to learn more about what credit card rental car insurance covers and how to make sure you're eligible.
The most common type of optional insurance offered at the rental car counter is the collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as a loss damage waiver. You can purchase CDW coverage from the rental car agency for virtually any kind of rental vehicle. It's designed to lower your costs and hassle in the event the car is involved in an accident, damaged, or stolen.
CDW coverage only applies to the vehicle. It doesn't extend to expenses related to anyone else's property damage or any injury. For those expenses, the rental car agency might offer to sell you other add-on coverage, including:
Credit card rental car insurance rarely offers these other types of coverage. Most often, these coverages are specifically excluded in your credit card's terms and conditions. However, if you have car insurance for your personal vehicle, you might already have these coverages when you rent a car.
Your credit card issuer will offer CDW coverage as either primary or secondary coverage. If it is primary, you don't need to do anything special before making a claim. Also, you won't have to pay a deductible.
If the coverage is secondary, it will only apply to expenses not covered after you file a claim with your primary insurer. You'll have to file two claims -- one with your primary insurer and one with the credit card company's partner insurer. If you have to pay a deductible, your credit card's collision damage waiver might reimburse you.
The best way to find out about your credit card's rental car insurance benefits is to log in to your account online and look for a "Benefits" link on the menu. You can also call the number on the back of your card to ask.
Credit card benefits change now and then. So before you rely on your credit card for coverage, be sure to confirm that the benefit is still being offered.
Many of the best credit cards offer car rental insurance. These are just a few issuers that provide this coverage:
You might already look for rental car specials and deals, or maybe you strategize the points and miles you earn with your credit cards. Either way, add rental car coverage to your travel hacking arsenal. It's a valuable credit card benefit that can save you money while providing a layer of financial protection.
Lastly, check out our guide if you're wondering "Do I need rental car insurance?"
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