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One of the most valuable benefits of the credit cards we carry is rental car coverage. First let’s take a step back and go over what this thing called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is. Why do rental agencies keep trying to get us to pay for? Simply put, it’s extra insurance that will cover damages should you get into an accident. The best part…the cards in your wallet may already cover this.
You also want to make sure that your card provides primary rental coverage so that you don’t have to use your own auto insurance policy to make a claim first.
Primary coverage is just one of the reasons why we love these cards:
- Chase Sapphire cards (Both the Preferred and Reserve)
- United Explorer Card
- AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
- Discover Escape
- Fairmont Visa Signature Credit Card
- Ink Plus Business Credit Card
- Citi Thank you Premier (primary coverage only on rentals abroad)
- American Express cards (you can purchase primary coverage for a fee)
Some exclusions to the coverage your card may provide include the rental of luxury autos (don’t expect the coverage to apply to the Ferrari you’re eyeing) and the country of rental (Ireland and Italy appear on many excluded lists).
Don’t expect these cars to be covered:
Even if your card does provide CDW, it may be a good idea to go ahead and pay for the rental agency’s CDW. When we were in Italy we wanted to avoid ANY issues with the rental car so we opted in. We heard plenty of horror stories about being charged for the smallest of issues so we figured that we avoid this headache altogether. Good thing too, since we did scrape up the car a bit trying to navigate the smallest of streets in Tuscany. When we returned the car, the attendant saw the damage and noticed that we had CDW; he just waived us through as it nothing happened. All sorts of delays and paperwork, not to mention stress, were avoided.
To use your card for CDW coverage, decline the rental agency’s CDW and use your card to pay for the rental (you’ll need to be the primary renter). Check with your card to see if it’ll cover additional drivers as well.
The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.