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Mastercard car rental insurance: How does it work?

Get it with select cards depending on the issuer.

Updated

Fact checked

You might find Mastercard car rental insurance with your credit card, but this ultimately comes down to your issuer. Here’s a rundown of how the benefit works, what it covers and how to use it.

Does Mastercard have car rental insurance?

Mastercard offers car rental insurance with select cards depending on the card issuer. If you’re not sure if your card comes with it, call your issuer and ask.

Citi, for example, is a prominent Mastercard issuer — but it’s eliminated car rental insurance from most of its cards. Meanwhile, Capital One lists car rental insurance as a standard feature and includes it in its Mastercard benefit guides.

What does Mastercard car rental insurance cover?

Mastercard car rental insurance covers your rental vehicle against physical damage and theft. It may also pay for reasonable loss-of-use and towing charges.

To get this coverage, use your Mastercard to pay for the entire rental and decline the rental company’s coverage.

How much does Mastercard car rental insurance cover me for?

This coverage will pay the lesser of:

  • $50,000.
  • The actual repair amount.
  • The wholesale market value of the vehicle.
  • The purchase invoice from the rental agency.

If you’re claiming for loss-of-use charges, you’re covered for a maximum of $500.

Where is Mastercard car rental insurance valid?

Mastercard car rental insurance applies worldwide, except where it’s prohibited by law or where it conflicts with a country’s laws.

What Mastercard car rental insurance doesn’t cover

Mastercard car rental insurance doesn’t cover all types of vehicles. These are excluded:

  • Trucks, including pickups, cargo vans, off-road vehicles, sport utility trucks and more.
  • Trailers, motorcycles, motorbikes and any other vehicle with fewer than four wheels.
  • Antique vehicles.
  • Limousines.
  • Any vehicle with an MSRP over $50,000.

Additional items and events not covered by Mastercard car rental insurance

There’s a long list of instances when your Mastercard car rental insurance will be void. But here are the highlights that cover the vast majority of exceptions:

  • Personal items, vehicle keys and portable GPSs aren’t covered.
  • You aren’t covered for damage or theft to your vehicle due to negligence, such as driving intoxicated, not locking or securing your vehicle, or using your vehicle in a manner contrary to your rental agreement.

Is Mastercard car rental insurance primary or secondary?

Mastercard car rental insurance is secondary, which means you can claim through it only after you’ve claimed through the following:

  • Your — or your authorized driver’s — primary auto insurance.
  • Coverage from the rental agency.
  • Other forms of insurance.

There is good news: In most cases, your Mastercard policy will cover your deductible for your primary auto insurance or other forms of coverage.

How to use Mastercard car rental insurance

Follow these steps to use your Mastercard car rental insurance:

  1. Pay for your entire rental with your eligible Mastercard. Decline the rental company’s coverage.
  2. In the event of an incident, call your Mastercard benefit administrator immediately at 800-MASTERCARD. A representative will give you the next steps and tell you which documentation to submit.
  3. If necessary, file a police report immediately.
  4. Within 180 days of the incident, return the documentation requested by your benefit administrator.

Information to include with your claim

The list of information to include with your claim is fairly standard, though you’ll have to do a bit more legwork if you’re claiming for loss of use. Required documentation includes:

  • Your claim form, signed and completed.
  • The receipt for your rental.
  • Your credit card statement showing you paid for the rental with your Mastercard.
  • A copy of the rental agreement — front and back.
  • A copy of your driver’s license — front and back.
  • A copy of the declarations page of your primary insurance or other coverage.
  • A police report if your vehicle isn’t drivable, was stolen or vandalized, was involved in a multivehicle collision or was involved in a collision that required the vehicle to be towed.
  • An itemized repair estimate from an authorized repair facility.
  • If applicable, a copy of the promotion or discount from the rental company.
  • If you’re claiming for loss-of-use charges, a copy of the vehicle’s class-specific fleet utilization log from the rental company.
  • Other information requested by your benefit administrator.

Compare Mastercard credit cards with car rental insurance

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
25x points at IHG hotels, 2x on gas, groceries and dining and 1x on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
15x total points at IHG hotels, 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$0
Earn 100,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on all other purchases.
Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®
5% back at Walmart.com, 5% in-store with Walmart Pay for the first 12 months (then 2%), 2% on restaurants and travel and 1% on all other purchases
17.99%, 23.24% or 26.99% variable
$0
5% back at Walmart.com, 5% on in-store purchases made with Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval. After the introductory period, you’ll earn 2% back on in-store purchases.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Who gets to use Mastercard car rental insurance?

You and individuals you add to the rental agreement are covered by Mastercard car rental insurance.

Bottom line

While certain Mastercard products do offer car rental insurance, this benefit’s inclusion ultimately comes down to the issuer’s discretion. Check with your issuer to see if you have access to the feature. If this feature is important to you and you don’t necessarily want a Mastercard, compare other credit cards with car rental insurance.

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