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How to Get Extra Rental Car Insurance From Your Credit Card

You need to follow certain steps to get the coverage, and limits apply.

I’m going to rent a car when I go on vacation this summer. I understand that my credit card will provide rental car insurance. Is there anything special I need to do to get the coverage?

SEE ALSO: 21 Secrets to Save on Travel

Most auto insurance policies cover rental car damage and liability, up to the same limits as for your own vehicle, and that insurance kicks in first. But your credit card can fill the gaps—typically, any deductible you’d have to pay out of pocket. Rental car coverage varies a lot by credit card company, however, and you need to follow certain steps to get it.

All Visa, Discover and American Express cards, and some MasterCards, provide rental car coverage. To qualify, you must reserve the rental car with the same credit card you use to pay for it. You must also decline the supplemental insurance and collision damage waivers the rental car company offers. The card company may also limit coverage to 15 or 31 days, and it may not cover cars rented in certain countries.


You also need to make sure the type of car you’re renting is covered—most cards don’t cover trucks, and American Express doesn’t cover some types of full-size SUVs (such as a Chevy Suburban or Tahoe, GMC Yukon, or Ford Expedition), according to a recent study by CardHub.

Coverage may also be limited when you drive on dirt and gravel roads. Contact both your credit card company and your auto insurance company for details about the coverage and a list of exclusions.

See How to Avoid Unnecessary Rental Car Fees for more information.

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