As I wrote about yesterday, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the hottest all around credit cards. In addition to offering double points on dining and travel, the card also offers a very generous sign-up bonus, with the first year’s annual fee waived.
In this post I wanted to talk about what I consider to be one of the other best benefits of the card. Specifically, the Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s rental car coverage.
Chase Sapphire Preferred collision damage waiver protection basics
I consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred to be the all around best credit card for rental cars. On the most basic level:
- You earn double points on car rentals with the card
- The card offers primary collision damage waiver protection, even in the US; this means you can use the coverage of this benefit without having to file a claim with another insurance company (just be sure you decline any collision damage waiver offered by the car rental company)
- Even authorized users are eligible for this benefit (you can add authorized users to your card at no additional cost)
- As long as you’re paying for the rental, you’re also covered if someone else was driving the car, as long as they were authorized to under the terms of the rental agreement
- This benefit even covers most luxury car rentals, but rather just “expensive and exotic” cars are excluded
You can find the full Chase Sapphire Preferred guide to benefits here, which provides all the details of the car rental protection offered by the card. I do think it’s worth clarifying that this is collision damage waiver protection, which limits your liability for the damage to your car. However, this doesn’t limit your liability to other parties and cars if you’re at fault for an accident.
Chase Sapphire Preferred collision damage waiver protection details
Here’s what’s covered, under the benefits guide:
Auto Rental CDW reimburses you for covered losses to the rental vehicle while it is in your control or in control of another Authorized Person. The benefit only covers vehicle rental periods that do not exceed or are not intended to exceed thirty-one (31) consecutive days within or outside of your country of residence.
Covered losses are:
- Physical damage and/or theft of the covered rental vehicle
- Valid loss-of-use charges assessed by the rental company while the damaged vehicle is being repaired and is not available for use, as substantiated in the company’s fleet utilization log
- Reasonable and customary towing charges related to a covered loss to take the vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility. Auto Rental CDW is primary coverage and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle as it was originally manufactured. Most private passenger automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles are eligible for coverage, but some restrictions may apply.
My experience with Chase Sapphire Preferred’s car rental coverage
Fortunately no one was injured. You’d think the process would have been simple, given that I got rear ended, so it wasn’t my fault. However, the problem was that it became a three car accident.
So while it wasn’t my fault regardless (I was in the very front), the two other drivers’ insurance companies got into a dispute about who was at fault:
- The driver who hit me claimed that he was hit first, and that caused him to be pushed into my car
- The driver in the back claimed that she hit the other guy’s car after he had already hit my car
Long story short, even though it wasn’t my fault regardless, this would have been a massive pain if it weren’t for having using a card with primary coverage. That’s because neither insurance company wanted to pay for my damage, and obviously Silvercar wanted their money.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred coverage is handled through a third party, and they were great. Of course there was some paperwork, but after that they just kept me updated on the situation throughout.
I don’t know what ended up happening in the end (if the two insurance companies settled, or what), but I didn’t have to pay a dime, even though Silvercar claimed the damage on my car was $12,000+, including their fees for the car being out of service.
While there are several credit cards offering primary collision damage waiver protection internationally nowadays, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the all around winner, in my opinion. You earn double points on the cost of the car rental, you and your authorized users on the card are covered globally, and the primary coverage even applies in the US, unlike on many other cards. There are significantly fewer exceptions than with other similar policies.
When I had an accident the experience filing a claim was seamless, so this is the card I’ve long used and continue to use for my rental cars, and I recommend you do as well.
What card do you use for rental cars, and have you ever had to use the coverage?