You’ve been saving your credit card rewards points for months and months to finally book a trip, and you’re all set to go. You use your points to pay for a car rental and, at the last minute, you remember your card has rental car insurance. Great—but does it still apply since you booked the car with points instead of cash?
Car Rental Insurance Generally Still Applies to Rewards Bookings
The good news is that, in most cases, a rental you book with points is covered if your card comes with a collision damage waiver (CDW). For example, if you use points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book a car rental for your next Hawaiian vacation, you’re covered by your card’s CDW policy as long as you meet the coverage requirements.
You’ll still need to meet the other general requirements, which include:
- Pay for the entire rental with your card (using points, in this case)
- Decline the rental car company’s optional insurance
- Follow the coverage rules, such as not driving illegally or renting a type of vehicle that’s not covered
Card Issuers That Allow CDW for Points Purchases
In our research for this article, The Balance reached out to eight major credit card issuers. Four companies responded with their policies for CDW and points bookings.
Any Chase credit card that offers CDW will provide CDW for rentals booked with points. The coverage applies to purchases in which you use points to cover some of the cost and charge the rest to your card.
Chase cards that offer CDW include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Chase Freedom Unlimited.
American Express offers the same coverage rules as Chase. Car rentals you book with Membership Rewards points are covered by the card’s CDW.
A few of the cards that offer CDW include the American Express Gold Card, the American Express Cash Magnet, and the American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
Barclays cards that provide CDW will cover rentals booked with points, but all of Barclays’ current card offerings offer rewards points linked to travel programs or brands (more on that in a moment).
Only two Citi cards offer CDW coverage for rentals booked with points: the Costco Anywhere Visa and the Costco Anywhere Business Visa.
Watch Out for Co-Branded Credit Cards
Things get a little trickier with co-branded credit cards. These are cards where banks partner up with other companies—commonly with airlines, hotels, and cruise companies……….Read More>>