With gasoline prices at a low, many travelers will be hitting the road this summer. A new 2017 study published on the WalletHub website summarizes an analysis of credit card rental car insurance policies: It compares 52 rental car insurance policies provided by 10 major credit card issuers.

Before you sign on the dotted line and pay extra charges for rental car insurance for liability or a collision damage waiver (which can be substantial), it’s always prudent to check into the coverage you may already have through your auto insurer at home OR as one of the perks of your credit cards. This particular credit card benefit may also factor into your decision to apply for or use a particular credit card on your travels.

Some of the major WalletHub findings on credit card rental car insurance policies:

1) It’s basic! Always check your policy before you leave home, not at the rental counter.

2) Citi credit cards have the most favorable rental car insurance policies.

3) Whatever card you intend to use, be sure to check the duration of your auto rental coverage: Almost 39% of the credit cards in the analysis covered rentals for only 15 days or less.

4) Coverage varies depending on whether an auto rental is domestic or international. (For example, Ireland, Israel and Jamaica are the countries most commonly excluded from credit card auto insurance policies). Compare the coverage to your itinerary.

5) There are differences in coverage afforded by business vs. personal cards so check multiple cards even from the same credit card company/bank. For example, some business cards offer enhanced coverage (e.g. longer term rental coverage) over personal ones.

6) Rental car insurance activation isn’t always standard. In addition to calling your credit card carrier to verify the provisions of your policy, bear in mind that in some cases you may need to activate coverage.

We really think this article, which also includes “8 Money-Saving Car Rental Tips,” will be helpful to read before leaving on any vacation that includes a car rental.


  • You can read a more complete report about the study on the WalletHub website. We’ve bookmarked the page and suggest that you do so as well.