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You know about some of the best travel credit cards with airline perks (and even some of the best business credit cards for airline miles) and some of the best hotel credit cards. But what about credit cards that offer car rental perks? If you travel the wide-open road more often than not, and you don’t use your own personal car to do so, then you might want to consider one of these five best credit cards with rental car perks.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire family of credit cards (i.e., the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) is well known as a favorite among the travel community, but what exactly does it offer when it comes to car rentals?
It’s actually quite a lot.
Firstly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you car rental coverage in every country you travel in. You’re covered for the cash value of most rental cars. Plus, it’s primary coverage, meaning you might be able, depending on the situation, to not report the damage to your own auto insurance provider. Not reporting means your insurance bill won’t go up because of a rental accident.
The coverage includes damage and theft, loss of use during repairs and towing costs.
The only thing that the card doesn’t cover in regards to rentals? Antique and luxury cars. However, you can get the same coverage on luxury cars if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve article if you want a further comparison. Alternatively, if you want to explore another worthy travel credit card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture in-depth comparison post.
2. United Explorer Card
The United℠ Explorer Card, one of the best United credit cards, has perks for its loyalty program members which includes car rental coverage for rentals made worldwide. However, again there is an exception for luxury and antique cars.
However, the good thing about this card is that you earn extra miles when you rent cars with certain providers. This makes it a good choice if you’re specifically looking to earn bonus airline miles without actually flying with the airline. Qualified providers include Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty.
3. Any American Express Card
Seriously? Any American Express card?
Yes, and here’s why.
All American Express credit cards come with the option to add on a premium rental policy. This policy, while it costs $25 for each rental period, offers you coverage for 42 days, versus the standard month of coverage that you get with some of the other best miles credit cards. The rental coverage includes up to $100,000 in coverage and then secondary coverage for medical expenses and personal property.
Some American Express cards also come with additional benefits for car rentals, such as complimentary memberships to premium rental car loyalty programs, car class upgrades, discounts and more. Check out some of the best American Express credit cards for more info. There’s also this in-depth best Amex business credit cards post if you’re looking for a business option.
4. Chase Ink Business Cards
The family of Chase Ink Business cards includes the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. They all offer primary coverage for any non-luxury or non-antique vehicle. This coverage is ideal for business owners who frequently rent cars and need some coverage.
The cards provide coverage up to the cash value of the car, including coverage for physical damage, theft, loss of use and towing.
The primary coverage applies to business rentals, personal rentals outside your country of residence, and any time you rent without having actual personal automobile insurance. Also, note that the Ink Business cards are some of the best small business credit cards for travel you can have in your wallet.
5. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, one of the best Southwest credit cards, is also good for business owners, especially those who want to earn miles to fly without doing the flying. This Southwest card earns:
- 3x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases
- 2x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners
- 2x points on rideshares
- 1x point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardholders also get access to 2 EarlyBird Check-In® abilities each year, plus they can earn unlimited tier qualifying points towards A-List status.
It won’t be difficult to shop with select car rental partners, because they’re just about every brand you could rent with, including Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, Dollar, National, Thrifty, and Payless.
What Do I Need to Know About the Best Credit Cards With Rental Car Perks?
The main thing you’ll want to know about the rental car perks your credit card offers is the type of insurance provided. Specifically, you want to know if it’s primary or secondary coverage.
Primary coverage is better but also rare. However, it’s what you want to go after if possible and you’re shopping around for a new credit card. The coverage allows you to get around your personal insurance provider, meaning no deductibles and no increase in your rate.
Secondary coverage is still nice, but not as much. It means you do have to go through your auto insurer and they pay the claim. But, the card usually repays you for your deductible and might cover some other costs not covered on your personal policy.
In order to use your credit card’s rental car privileges and insurance, you want to make sure that you book your rental car directly with the rental car company, and that you pay for your rental with that card that offers the coverage. You also will likely have to verbally decline the rental car company’s coverage, opting to use your own instead.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.