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Now that states are opening up more, you may be considering a road trip. Did you know that many credit cards also come with rental car insurance protection benefits? While not all cards are created equally when it comes to these protections, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Cards come with some of the best protection benefits available.

This can be especially useful if you are planning on taking an epic road trip this year. If you don’t have a Sapphire card, keep reading to learn more and decide if one of these cards is for you.

I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance while driving to Palm Springs. Photo by Johnny Jet

Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefits

This Sapphire car rental benefit can save you thousands of dollars if your rental car has collision or theft-related damage. Plus, you don’t have to purchase optional coverage to qualify. You only need to charge the entire car rental amount to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to qualify for this complimentary travel perk.

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  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 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.
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  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
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What are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Rental Car Insurance Benefits?

Here’s what you should know about the Chase Sapphire rental car insurance perks.

Almost every credit card comes with some version of rental car insurance. But, you may not realize that most credit card coverage isn’t as extensive as you think. That’s because most cards only offer secondary car rental loss and damage coverage.

Secondary coverage requires you to file a claim with your auto insurance policy first. Then, the credit card car rental benefits may cover any remaining expenses.

Even the lavish The Platinum Card® from American Express (with a $550 annual fee – See Rates & Fees) only offers secondary coverage. The $95-a-year Sapphire Preferred covers up to the actual cash value of the rental car and activates before your personal auto insurance policy.

Secondary coverage is a built-in benefit for all Visa Signature credit cards, regardless of the issuing bank.

Several Chase-issued Visa Signature credit cards, including some of the best Chase credit cards, offer enhanced coverage at no additional charge.

Primary Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has primary coverage. This means your Chase Sapphire car rental benefits cover the first portion of the damage costs, up to the vehicle’s actual cash value.

It’s possible that you won’t have to file a claim with your auto insurance policy because the Sapphire benefits cover the entire bill. This helps keep your car insurance premium low as you have a clean CLUE Report.

This coverage applies to most rental car types and most foreign destinations. We’ll explore the coverage limits so you know when to purchase additional coverage.

How to Get Coverage

There are three basic requirements you must meet to activate your primary rental car benefits:

  • Charge the entire car rental to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Decline any rental car agency insurance policy
  • The rental period doesn’t exceed 31 days

It’s essential that you decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver and liability damage waiver.

Otherwise, you forfeit the Chase Sapphire rental car benefits. If the rental car insists you purchase their coverage, you must call the Sapphire benefits administrator at 1-888-320-9961 before you accept your rental car.

Any additional drivers are covered if their names are listed on the rental property documents. Chase only requires the name of the primary driver to match the name on your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card or be an authorized user under your Sapphire account.

What Damages Are Covered

The Chase Sapphire rental car insurance covers these rental car expenses:

  • Physical damage to the rental card from collision or theft
  • Loss-of-use charges assessed by the rental car company
  • Reasonable and customary towing charges to the nearest qualified repair facility

You will still need to file a claim through your personal if there are any medical injuries. The Chase benefits only apply to damages for the rental car itself.

Vehicles Not Covered

Most, but not all, rental cars qualify for this rental car insurance.

These rental car types are not covered:

  • Expensive or exotic vehicles. Luxury brands include Alfa Romeo, Corvette, and Tesla. Select models from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Range Rover qualify for coverage.
  • Antique automobiles. Any vehicle at least 20 years old or hasn’t been manufactured in at least 10 years.
  • Large vans. Only vans manufactured to transport up to 9 people qualify for coverage.
  • Pickups and Large SUVs. Most pickup trucks and full-size SUVs are also disqualified.

If you have any questions about a certain vehicle make or model, you should contact Chase before booking your rental car.

Countries Not Covered

The Chase Sapphire guide only states that rental car benefits extend to rentals within the United States and most foreign countries.

Coverage can depend on which rental car agency you use and where you are traveling.

If you are renting a car for international travel, call Chase before booking your rental car.

Other Non-Qualifying Events

Chase won’t cover every collision or theft-related expense, even if you decline the rental agency’s insurance. These are some examples:

  • Any violation of the rental car agreement
  • Confiscation by authorities
  • Expenses waived or paid by the rental agency, its insurer, or another party
  • Injury of anyone or anything inside or outside the vehicle
  • Loss due to hostility (i.e., war, rebellion, or insurrection)
  • Loss or theft of personal items
  • Intentional acts or driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Off-road operation of the rental vehicle
  • Fail to report or file a claim in time

As long as you are driving responsibly, Chase will most likely cover your claim. Remember that Chase doesn’t reimburse personal injuries or losses for any personal property.

If a thief breaks into your rental car, Chase covers the repair costs for the broken window or door but not your stolen laptop.

Filing a Claim

If your rental car gets damaged, you must begin the claims process immediately. You do have up to 60 days from the accident or theft date to notify Chase. However, all documents must be submitted to Chase within 100 days of the incident date.

In case there is a delay in getting the paperwork and also settling with the rental agency, try to contact Chase as soon as possible.

Here is the current timeline for filing a claim:

  • Notify Chase Benefit Administrator. Call 1-888-320-9961 inside the United States or call collect outside the United States at 1-804-673-1691.
  • Submit claim report to Chase within 100 days of the incident. All available documentation must be postmarked within 100 days of the incident report to qualify for compensation.

Chase pays most claims within 15 days of receiving all the required documents.

Other Chase Credit Cards with Rental Car Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance benefits aren’t exclusive to the Sapphire Preferred. Several other Chase credit cards offer primary rental car benefits.

There are few nuanced differences in the coverage terms and conditions:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rental Car Insurance Benefits

The primary rental car collision damage waiver benefits can save you thousands of dollars if a collision or theft happens. This coverage is just one of the many complimentary Chase Sapphire Preferred perks that come with owning the Sapphire Preferred. It’s another reason why this card is worth the $95 annual fee.

Other Sapphire Preferred Valuable Perks

Aside from earning unlimited 2x points on travel and dining worldwide, additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include the ability to earn 5x points on Lyft rides, through March 2022. 

If you’re a fan of food delivery, know that cardholders also get unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription. But, you must activate your card by December 31, 2021, to use this benefit. 

Cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.

Also, points earned are worth 25% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

Chase Sapphire Reserve Car Rental Benefits

Most travel credit cards focus mostly on airline and hotel benefits. A few of the best rewards cards give you extra rental car benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® car rental benefits are some of the best. From collision damage waiver protection to free upgrades, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you plenty of rental car perks.

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

Other Sapphire Reserve Valuable Perks

Cardholders earn 3x points on dining worldwide, plus earn 3x points on travel worldwide immediately after earning the $300 annual travel credit. Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.

Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. 

This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Points are worth 50% more through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Lyft benefits are some of the perks select Chase cards have to offer along with the Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance benefits. Credit: Lyft

Primary Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver

The primary auto rental collision damage waiver is the best-known Chase Sapphire Reserve car rental benefit and one of the many Chase Sapphire Reserve perks.

You must decline the rental car agency’s collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver. Doing so means Chase covers up to $75,000 in a collision and theft-related damages. This benefit applies to most car rentals in the United States and abroad. However, the rental period must also be 31 days or less.

Because this is primary coverage, you can report the incident to Chase first to begin the claims process. This means you may not have to file a claim with your regular auto insurance provider and potentially raise your future policy premium.

Coverage Exclusions

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car benefits, certain rental cars are excluded. But, there are slightly fewer restrictions because the Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel rewards card. For instance, most luxury vehicles qualify for coverage with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The following rental car types don’t qualify for coverage:

  • Antique vehicles (Vehicles at least 20 years old or out-of-production for over 10 years)
  • Select vans (Vans designed to carry up to 8 passengers are covered)
  • Vehicles with an open cargo bed
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes
  • Limousines
  • Recreational vehicles

If you plan on renting a luxury vehicle, large SUV, or exotic car, it’s still a good idea to contact Chase before you reserve your car. The Sapphire Reserve benefits guide still states, “Most private passenger automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles are eligible for coverage, but some restrictions may apply.”

Also, contact Chase if renting a car in a foreign country. Although Chase doesn’t exclude any specific countries in their benefits guide and using your card to travel to Chile (for instance) is a smart move, it’s still a good idea to check. Coverage depends on the rental car agency and rental car type.

Rental Car Privileges

Sapphire Reserve members enjoy special privileges at Avis, National, and Silvercar. These benefits come standard with all Visa Infinite cards.

To enjoy the following benefits, you have to book your car directly from the rental car agency. These special discounts do not apply to cars booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Avis

Use Avis Worldwide Discount Code S107100 to save up to 30% on car rentals. You also need to create an Avis Preferred loyalty account.

Using the code gives you Avis Preferred Plus status includes rapid checkout and complimentary upgrades (when available). You can also get free two-day weekend rentals on select rentals.

To enjoy these benefits, you will need to book your car on the Avis website (not through the Chase travel portal) at least 24 hours in advance.

National

Save up to 25% on rentals by using Contract ID 5030849 on the National website or booking by phone.

Owning the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives you automatic Emerald Club Executive loyalty status. You can earn free rental days faster. Executive perks for U.S. and Canada reservations include guaranteed free upgrades. It also includes choosing any car in the Executive Area when you reserve at the midsize rate. Plus, you’ll get faster free rental days. In Europe, you can get one free class upgrade.

As an Emerald Executive member, you can also choose your preferred rewards. Options include free rental days, frequent flyer miles, and hotel points. Another exciting benefit is no second driver fees. Usually. most agencies reserve this perk for AAA or Costco Travel.

Like Avis, a 24-hour advance reservation is required to enjoy all these perks.

Silvercar

Silvercar lets you rent Audi luxury cars and save between 10% and 30% on every rental. There are locations in 20 large airports across the United States. In-town locations are currently in Miami, New York City, and San Francisco.

Always free in-car premium features include SiriusXM, Bluetooth, WiFi, plus hands-free Apple CarPlay and Android integration.

Silvercar doesn’t require a promotion code. However, your Chase Sapphire card must be saved as your default payment method.

Hertz

Although Chase doesn’t actively promote Hertz rental car perks, it is another Visa Infinite travel benefit. Being a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards member gives you complimentary one-class upgrades (when available) and discounts on the Prestige and Adrenaline collections.

You will also have a 2-hour grace period on U.S. rental returns. You can skip the rental counter when picking up your car.

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® car rental benefits are primary collision and theft coverage up to $75,000. Plus, there are special discounts and perks at certain rental car agencies. No matter where you book your rental car, you always earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points.

In summary, both of the Chase Sapphire travel credit cards come with car rental benefits, among other perks. Depending on how often you travel, one may be better for you than the other. Either way, both cards are some of the best credit cards for travel available.

For a better idea of knowing what to expect, check out our guide to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve application rules.

You can also compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred if you need more information.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

recommended-cart-post-image
APPLY NOW
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 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.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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.

7 Comments On "Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefits Guide"
  1. Wolf|

    Chase Sapphire Preferred only offers primary rental insurance on some intentional car rentals but for domestic car rentals its secondary just like the rest of the credit cards. I read Chase rental card policy and it is clear that they do not offer it for domestic travel. Just wanted to make you aware of this so people aren’t being misled.

  2. Lonnell|

    I decided to go ahead and finally apply for the Sapphire preferred due to the upgraded bonus, I have always preferred AMEX personally, but de used to read the T&Cs.
    I have not been able to find Fl verbiage stating that CDW is primary. I went to the chase site, then. I sited their benefits guide only to read that it says CDW is secondary.
    I have heard for some time now that the coverage is primary so I am wondering if the policy has changed recently.

  3. Dee|

    Chase Sapphire Preferred clearly states the Car rental insurance is SECONDARY in the US. It is only primary outside the country.
    Regards

  4. Simon|

    Diners Club, now the Diners Club International “Professional” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) branded Mastercard — yeah, it really exists — now issued through BMO Harris Bank provides primary coverage, I’ve had it since before it became a Mastercard, and that’s the only reason I have it.

  5. Simon|

    From the Chase Sapphire T&C:

    ” ‘Primary’ means that within your country of residence, this benefit will pay for covered theft or damage to your rental car, without the need to go through your own auto insurance provider. ‘Secondary’ means that within your country of residence, this benefit will pay for the remaining covered theft or damage to your rental car after your own auto insurance pays out. If you do not have car insurance, or are renting outside your country of residence, both primary and secondary coverage will pay for all covered theft or damage.”

    It’s shown as primary coverage. It’s not a card that I have, so some of the comments about it being secondary within the USA seem to be at odds with these T&C.

  6. ethan|

    who covers the damage to other car involved in accident? assuming price of rental paid with chase sapphire preferred and the rental driver was at fault. Thanks

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Check the full terms here for Sapphire car insurance

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