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American Express car rental insurance: How does it work?

Get up to $50,000 to $75,000 in coverage.

American Express offers Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance with all of its available credit cards. This insurance is secondary, which means you must make a claim with other sources of insurance available before claiming with Amex.

Depending on the card, you’ll typically find $50,000 to $75,000 in maximum coverage toward the value of the rental vehicle. Premium cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card usually offer higher coverage.

How to use American Express car rental insurance

  1. Before renting a vehicle, read your American Express Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance plan.
  2. Pay for your entire rental with a valid Amex payment method — this includes an Amex card, Membership Rewards points or Pay with Points — and decline the coverage from the car rental agency.
  3. In the event of a theft, accident or act of vandalism, immediately notify law enforcement of the incident.
  4. Within 30 days, call the Amex benefit administrator at 800-338-1670 — or 216-617-2500 if you’re overseas.
  5. If necessary, fill out and return the claim form, along with the requested supporting information, within 60 days. Required details may include — but aren’t limited to — an itemized repair bill, photos of vehicle damage, proof of your personal insurance and proof you paid for your rental with an eligible Amex payment method.

How long will it take to receive payment?

If the Amex benefit administrator approves your claim, you’ll receive payment within 90 days after you submit the required information.

How long does Amex car rental insurance cover me for?

Amex car rental insurance covers you for 30 consecutive days after you enter into a rental agreement.

What does Amex car rental insurance not cover?

There are several instances in which Amex car rental insurance might not apply. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Using the rental car in violation of the rental agreement.
  • Engaging in illegal activity and driving while intoxicated.
  • Driving certain types of vehicles, such as cargo vans, leased vehicles and limousines.
  • Intentional damage to the car, manufacturing defects, theft or damage as a result of your failure to secure the vehicle and more.

Pro-tip

The Amex car rental insurance policy is quite uniform across the country, but it may vary depending on where you live. Check your Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Plan to see how the policy might change based on your state or territory.

Who gets to use American Express car rental insurance?

You’re eligible for American Express car rental insurance if you:

  • Are the primary cardholder or authorized user.
  • Signed the car rental agreement.
  • Have a permanent residence in the 50 United States of America, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.
  • You’ve activated your Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.

How to activate Amex Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Here’s how activated coverage is defined:

  • You decline the coverage from the rental car company or purchase a partial collision damage waiver.
  • You or an authorized driver is on the rental agreement, and the vehicle comes into your possession.
  • You pay for the entire rental with your Amex card, Membership Rewards points or Pay with Points. This includes any deposits you must make when you collect the vehicle.

Compare Amex credit cards with car rental insurance

Here are the credit cards from American Express that offer this feature.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Earn up to 6% cashback as statement credit on everyday purchases and a big welcome offer for a cashback card. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
This everyday cashback card offers a higher than average welcome offer for no annual fee, letting you earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months for up to $150 back, plus $100 after you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
American Express® Gold Card
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on all other purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
$250

Rose Gold is back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Amex is an excellent choice for car rental insurance, as all of its currently available cards offer the benefit. Before renting a car and relying on Amex insurance, check the Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance policy for any state- or territory-specific exclusions.

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