How Rental Car Insurance Works with the Chase Ink

ink boldA little while back, I wrote about who the Chase Sapphire Preferred Damage Waiver is useful to uninsured drivers.

The sum is that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Damage Waiver isn’t primary, which means your primary insurance will kick in (plus whatever deductible you’d have to pay) before your Chase Sapphire Preferred covers the accident.  If you are uninsured, this becomes your primary insurance and you pay $0.

I got a question asking about the Chase Ink cards–the yearly-fee business versions.

I’ve (luckily!) not had personal experience with making a claim on the Chase Ink Card, but there’s two ways to look at it.

If you are traveling for personal reasons (non-business), it will be secondary, like the Chase Sapphire.  Your primary insurance will kick in first.  (The exception to this is international travel.  The Chase Ink will be your primary if you are outside of your country of residence).

If you are traveling for business reasons, congrats!  It is primary coverage.  What this means is, if you damage your rental car, you are covered (with exceptions including passenger vans and really expensive premium cars).  You must waive the rental car’s damage waiver insurance for this to take effect.

Your insurance won’t get contacted and you won’t have to pay a deductible.  Please note this is only for damage to your rental car. It does not cover damages to other people’s cars.  You need liability covered either through your insurer or rental car agency to cover that.

Traveling for business purposes means “primarily for business,” so if you decide to pop over to a friend’s house during a business trip, that personal leg of your trip shouldn’t be excluded.  (As always, read all the details, YMMV, and make sure you know all the rules before you use any rental car insurance.)

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Any advise on renting a car in Ireland?

  2. @Jim – I used my Ink Visa a few weeks ago to rent a car in Ireland. It was a personal trip but as stated above, for international trips your Ink card provides primary coverage. I had Chase send me a letter of coverage and had no problems at all.

  3. Any Advice on what to do if I want to redeem Hertz Points? (Have too many points from regular rentals) Note I dont have any insurance as I dont own any car.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I’ve heard people suggest using points, then swapping to a credit card if anything goes wrong. That seems really, really risky to me. You’d probably want to pay for the insurance in that case :-/

  4. Overall what credit card would you say is best for a car rental?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      It really depends on where you are renting, what your current situation is, and whether or not you are insured.

      For out of country rentals, I really like using Am Ex’s $25 (per rental) coverage. I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred in the country. I use my Ink when I’m traveling for work.

  5. I’d be traveling within the USA for personal reasons. I have personal car insurance. Which credit card would be best to use so it is my primary?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      If you have one of each, I’d personally use the AmEx and pay the fee. If you travel for personal reasons often, you may want to consider the United Explorer card, which offers primary damage waiver. If you travel once a year, it wouldn’t be worth the fee for the card (unless you also fly United!)

  6. Many thanks for the info. I rent cars approximately two times a month and am trying to avoid the high fees by the rental car companies. With that said, I would prefer to use a card that covers both the damage and liability. Is there such a card? Just a reminder, all my rentals are in the US.
    If the Amex will cover both how do I go about paying the $25 fee you mentioned to have that coverage? Also which Amex are you referring to?
    I already have the United Explorer. Does it provide coverage for both?
    Thank you for your help.

  7. I know this is an older posting but I just wanted to get clarity. If I have liability insurance and have the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which I do), then I don’t need to have any other insurance to rent a car in the US?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I cannot give you legal/financial advice, but if you have liability insurance for driving, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can decline the damage waiver. Because it isn’t primary, your insurance will kick in first, though the Chase Sapphire Preferred will cover the cost of the deductible.

      The one benefit to doing damage waiver is your insurance won’t be notified. If you have a credit card that is primary coverage, your insurance wouldn’t be notified in that case either.

  8. Good insight about chase ink cards that work with car rental companies. I wonder when will this introduced in middle east countries where car rental/leasing services are booming.

  9. Good insight about chase ink cards that work with car rental companies. I wonder when will this introduced in middle east countries where car rental/leasing services are booming. So much rules and regulations in middle east. But Don’t know when the technology shall mark a hit and really really revolutionize.

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