Finest bank cards for automotive leases: Protection and advantages

CNN Underscored critiques monetary merchandise resembling bank cards and financial institution accounts based mostly on their general worth. We could obtain a fee by way of the LendingTree affiliate community when you apply and are authorised for a card, however our reporting is all the time unbiased and goal. Phrases apply to American Specific advantages and provides. Enrollment could also be required for choose American Specific advantages and provides. Go to to study extra.

We’ve all skilled it earlier than. You go to hire a automotive and also you’re handed a laundry record of protection choices — all with a price ticket hooked up. You need to make sure you’re coated, however you additionally aren’t wanting ahead to spending much more in your automotive rental. Fortuitously, there’s usually a distinct possibility: your bank card journey insurance coverage.

There are various bank cards that can truly offer you automotive rental protection so long as you utilize the cardboard to pay for the rental. This largely unknown perk may, in truth, prevent an honest sum of money in your subsequent automotive rental. Moreover, some bank cards even provide particular perks, resembling automotive rental elite standing and reductions.

However not all bank cards provide protection, and a few provide higher protection than others. So earlier than you hire your subsequent automotive — whether or not it’s on trip or simply round city — ensure you have one of the best bank card in your pocket to make sure you’re coated.

At the start, when renting a automotive, you need to pay on your rental with the particular bank card that provides automotive rental safety. And, if there are a number of drivers on the rental contract, the first renter should be the cardboard holder. Moreover, for the bank card protection to take impact within the unlucky case that an accident happens, you need to decline the Collision Injury Waiver (CDW) — generally referred to as Loss Injury Waiver (LDW) — in your rental settlement. You may discover that some automotive rental firms robotically embody this additional insurance coverage — and price — into your settlement, so that you’ll need to double-check your paperwork.

When you hire the automotive, you’ll then be coated in case your rented automotive incurs theft or harm from a collision. This protection will defend you from the monetary accountability of overlaying the price. Nevertheless, the included coverage won’t defend you from the price of harm or accidents to a different automotive when you’re discovered at fault. Usually, your private automotive rental insurance coverage will cowl you in these conditions or you should purchase separate insurance policies from the automotive rental firm.

Getty Photos

You’ll additionally discover that there are two several types of bank card automotive rental protection: major and secondary. Major protection signifies that if there’s a coated accident, the declare will go straight by way of the bank card firm, permitting you to keep away from the effort of involving your personal auto insurance coverage coverage. This won’t solely prevent time however may also keep away from any premiums to your personal coverage.

If the bank card provides secondary automotive rental insurance coverage, you’ll should first make a declare with some other coverage you’ve got. As soon as the declare is settled, you possibly can then file a declare together with your bank card and also you’ll be coated for something that wasn’t initially coated together with your major coverage, resembling your deductible. Nevertheless, one factor to notice is that many bank cards that supply secondary protection change to major protection when you don’t have automotive insurance coverage or when you’re renting exterior the US the place your private coverage received’t cowl you.

You’ll additionally discover that many protection choices are barely totally different from each other. Some insurance policies will solely cowl you to the utmost worth of the automotive you’re renting, whereas others have increased limits. Many insurance policies may also solely cowl you for a sure time interval — 31 days is quite common. So when you’re renting a automotive for a couple of months, you may discover that your bank card protection won’t truly apply.

Moreover, there are some automotive sorts that aren’t coated, resembling luxurious automobiles and pick-up vans. You’ll additionally discover that some international locations are excluded, and whereas the record adjustments relying on the cardboard issuer, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Jamaica are some widespread international locations to look out for.

With that in thoughts, let’s check out our seven picks for one of the best playing cards for renting automobiles. Whether or not it’s due to the cardboard’s insurance coverage protections or further advantages, some playing cards are higher than others.

Finest card for automotive rental insurance coverage

capital one venture x credit card with sunglasses

Capital One

On the subject of automotive rental advantages, you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a card higher than the brand new Capital One Enterprise X. The cardboard provides the entire package deal with elite standing alternatives, elevated protection and the power to earn a ton of rewards each time you hire. With the Capital One Enterprise X Card, you’ll obtain major rental insurance coverage and as much as $75,000 in protection when you use the cardboard to e-book your automotive.

The Capital One Enterprise X can be one of many few playing cards to supply complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle elite standing. Whereas some playing cards provide standing or financial savings with Avis and Nationwide — or perhaps a decrease stage with Hertz — it’s laborious to beat this specific standing stage.

With this standing, you’ll have the ability to skip the automotive rental counter and head straight to your automotive. And, at choose airport areas, once you e-book an intermediate automotive or increased, you possibly can select any automotive you want within the President’s Circle aisle. At most different areas, you’ll obtain a assured car-class improve.

Moreover, once you hire your automotive by way of the Capital One Journey Portal, you’ll earn 10 miles per greenback spent in your automotive rental. This successfully offers you a ten% return in your rental towards future journey — an enormous incomes potential each time you hire.

And since you possibly can add as much as 4 approved customers to your Enterprise X Card without cost, this enables 4 different associates or relations — who you belief together with your bank card — to reap these advantages as nicely.

The Capital One Enterprise X Card at present comes with a sign-up bonus of 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months after opening the account. The cardboard carries an annual charge of $395.

Learn CNN Underscored’s full overview of the Capital One Enterprise X.

Finest earn price for renting automobiles

underscored chase sapphire reserve


The Chase Sapphire Reserve additionally provides major rental insurance coverage and as much as $75,000 in protection. The protection actually doesn’t get higher than this relating to bank cards, so if top-tier insurance coverage is a key factor when deciding on a bank card to make use of, this can be a nice possibility, together with the Capital One Enterprise X.

Moreover, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card provides reductions and particular provides with varied automotive rental firms. For instance, you’ll obtain Nationwide Automotive Rental Emerald Membership Government standing, which can can help you select any automotive in a set government space whereas solely paying the midsize rental price (within the US and Canada), earn free rental days quicker and add a second driver onto the rental for no further price. You’ll additionally obtain particular pricing and provides.

You’ll additionally earn reductions and upgrades with Avis — due to the complimentary Avis Most well-liked standing — and particular automotive rental privileges with Silvercar.

When reserving a automotive rental straight by way of the Chase Final Rewards journey portal, you’ll earn 10 factors per greenback spent. Nevertheless, when you e-book straight with the automotive rental firm or a third-party reserving web site, you’ll nonetheless earn 3 factors per greenback. Frequent flyer web site The Factors Man values Chase Final Rewards factors at 2 cents apiece, that means you possibly can stand up to a 20% return in your automotive rental.

Whereas this card comes with a hefty annual charge of $550, you possibly can simply offset this price with future automotive rental reservations. The Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 journey credit score yearly that can be utilized on any travel-related buy — together with automotive leases. With just some automotive leases all year long, you’ll almost certainly have the ability to obtain the complete assertion credit score, which implies the cardboard successfully prices $250 for the yr. You’ll then additionally obtain complimentary airport lounge entry, buy safety and journey safety advantages, as much as $100 in assertion credit for International Entry or TSA PreCheck and far more.

The Sapphire Reserve at present comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus factors after spending $4,000 inside the first three months of holding the cardboard.

Be taught extra and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Finest low-annual-fee card for renting automobiles

underscored chase sapphire preferred credit card on background


The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card may also offer you entry to major automotive rental insurance coverage — whereas additionally permitting you to earn journey rewards — however at a considerably decrease annual charge than the beforehand talked about Sapphire Reserve. The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card is simply $95 per yr, which is a discount in comparison with among the different choices on this record.

The primary distinction relating to protection is the reimbursement quantity. With the lower-annual-fee Sapphire Most well-liked, you’ll be reimbursed as much as the precise money worth of the automobile, which needs to be greater than substantial for many accidents, however not as excessive because the $75,000 protection you’ll obtain with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Whereas the cardboard doesn’t present any automotive rental elite standing advantages, you’ll obtain a complimentary 12-month DoorDash subscription (should activate by Dec. 31, 2024) and $50 in assertion credit every account anniversary yr for lodge stays bought by way of Chase Final Rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked additionally earns 5 factors per greenback spent on journey, which incorporates automotive leases, when bought by way of Chase Final Rewards. You’ll earn 2 factors per greenback on all different journey purchases — so that you’ll nonetheless be incomes a stable quantity of factors each time you hire a automotive.

The Chase Sapphire Most well-liked at present comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus factors after spending $4,000 inside the first three months of holding the cardboard.

Be taught extra and apply for the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked

Finest no-annual-fee card for renting automobiles

underscored chase freedom unlimited.jpg


With many bank cards costing as much as a whole lot of {dollars} in annual charges, it’s good to know that you could nonetheless obtain automotive rental perks with a card that costs no annual charge. With the Chase Freedom Limitless card, you’ll nonetheless obtain major automotive rental insurance coverage for automotive leases exterior of the US.

The one caveat to utilizing this card internationally is that you just’re charged a overseas transaction charge. You’ll should weigh the professionals and cons on the charge charged with the financial savings you’re receiving by declining the automotive rental firm’s personal insurance coverage choices.

For automotive leases inside the US, you’ll solely obtain secondary insurance coverage. This implies protection solely kicks in after you’ve got already exhausted some other insurance coverage choices you’ve got, resembling your personal private insurance coverage.

The Chase Freedom Limitless comes with a sign-up bonus of an extra 1.5% money again on all classes on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr.

Be taught extra and apply for the Chase Freedom Limitless

Finest for automotive rental elite standing

underscored american express platinum on slab background

American Specific

With a single card, you’ll obtain complimentary advantages with three totally different automotive rental firms: Nationwide, Avis and Hertz, although enrollment is required.

With Nationwide, you’ll obtain Nationwide Emerald Membership Government standing. For choose areas within the US and Canada, you possibly can merely pay for a midsize automotive rental, however once you present as much as hire the automotive, you’re ready to select from any full-size (or above) automotive within the Government space. You’ll additionally obtain free rental days quicker, waived second driver charges and member-only promotions and reductions.

With Avis, you’ll obtain Avis Most well-liked Plus standing. This lets you save time by bypassing the automotive rental counter in most areas and going straight to your reserved automotive. You’ll additionally obtain complimentary upgrades, bonus factors for each paid rental and unique reductions.

The Hertz profit doesn’t provide an elite tier stage, however you’ll nonetheless obtain a particular company low cost code, which may probably prevent cash in your subsequent rental

Sadly, that is the one card on the record that doesn’t prolong major automotive rental standing robotically. As a substitute, the cardboard provides secondary insurance coverage, which implies you need to undergo some other insurance coverage supplier you’ve got first. (For residents of Utah and Vermont solely, the insurance coverage is major.)

Nevertheless, if you wish to use your Amex Platinum card to pay on your subsequent automotive rental and like major protection, you should purchase “Premium Automotive Rental Safety.” You’ll pay a flat price on your complete rental — as much as 42 consecutive days of protection (nevertheless, when you dwell in Washington, you’re solely coated for as much as 30 consecutive days). Protection is on the market worldwide — apart from automobiles rented in Australia, Eire, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand — and there are two totally different protection choices to pick from.

The present welcome bonus provide on the Amex Platinum is 100,000 Membership Rewards factors after spending $6,000 within the first six months of holding the cardboard. The cardboard comes with an annual charge of $695, nevertheless it contains a lengthy record of alluring advantages (see charges and charges).

Be taught extra and apply for the Amex Platinum Card

Finest for journey credit to make use of towards renting automobiles

underscored us bank altitude reserve.jpg

U.S. Financial institution

The U.S. Financial institution Altitude Reserve provides the very same elite standing advantages because the Amex Platinum card, the place you’ll obtain Nationwide Emerald Membership Government standing, Avis Most well-liked Plus standing and choose Hertz Gold Plus Rewards advantages. You’ll additionally obtain a 30% low cost on Silvercar leases with no restrictions.

However there’s one huge benefit of this card over the Amex Platinum — you’ll obtain major automotive rental insurance coverage.

The cardboard carries a excessive $400 annual charge, however that may simply be offset with quite a few perks. Straight away, you’ll obtain as much as $325 in annual credit, which can be utilized towards eligible journey purchases and eating. Since receiving the reimbursement is extraordinarily simple, this successfully brings your annual charge all the way down to a way more palatable $75 per yr.

Moreover, the cardboard provides as much as $100 in assertion credit towards International Entry or TSA PreCheck utility charges each 4 years; a 12-month Precedence Go Choose membership, which lets you go to an airport lounge (or taking part eating places) 4 instances; no overseas transaction charges; and extra.

Be taught extra and apply for the U.S. Financial institution Altitude Reserve.

Finest card for renting automobiles for small companies

underscored chase ink business cash.jpg


When you’re in search of a bank card to cowl you whereas touring for enterprise, the Ink Enterprise Money Credit score Card is the proper decide. For a card that costs no annual charge, the Ink Enterprise Money provides a powerful profit the place you’ll obtain major rental automotive protection when renting for enterprise functions.

Better of all, the cardboard additionally extends major protection for worldwide leases, even when renting for private causes.

This is without doubt one of the few no-annual-fee enterprise playing cards that can actually cowl you when renting a automotive, so when you’re a small-business proprietor, this is a perfect card to have in your pockets.

Learn CNN Underscored’s full overview of the Ink Enterprise Money.

Be taught extra and apply for the Ink Enterprise Money.

Click on right here for charges and charges of the Amex Platinum card.

American Specific Eligibility and Profit stage varies by Card. Phrases, Situations and Limitations Apply. Please go to for extra particulars. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Firm. Automotive Rental Loss or Injury Protection is obtainable by way of American Specific Journey Associated Companies Firm, Inc.

Need a bank card that covers you once you’re touring? Try CNN Underscored’s information to the greatest bank cards with journey insurance coverage protections.

Supply hyperlink