One of the best benefits a credit card can offer you these days, is primary rental car insurance. With this benefit, by using your card to pay for a rental car in full, you are protected in the event of an accident. Not only is this protection automatic, use of the benefit will not impact your current rates or even involve your insurance company because of the primary coverage. At a cursory glance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve seems to be the only card that offers it. While it is true that it is the only card that includes it, American Express also offers the benefit as an add-on.


With American Express, you will pay a flat rate per rental in exchange for the primary car insurance. In most cases, you will pay between $17.95-$24.95 per rental which will cover you and your rental against theft and damage for up to 42 days per reservation. After enrolling, no additional steps are required. You will automatically be charged the flat rate each time you pay for a rental car.


The primary coverage includes up to $100,000 in damage and theft of a Rental Vehicle. It also includes that same amount of Accidental Death or Dismemberment Coverage, $15,000 for secondary medical expenses per person and $5,000 for secondary personal property coverage. Again, because this is a primary coverage plan, you will not need to involve your insurance company in the event of an accident; so your rates will not go up. In addition, there are no deductibles with this coverage so in the event of an accident, you will not have to pay deposits on any of the benefits.


Enrolling is easy: Simply visit the AMEX Website and register each AMEX card you want to have the coverage added for. I recommend adding it to your AMEX Green Card which offers 3X (6% back) on rental car transactions.


Notable exclusions include any truck other than a pickup truck, box trucks, cube vans, limousines, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, golf carts and trailers. In addition, this coverage is not valid in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica or New Zealand.