Credit Cards With Complimentary Domestic Car Rental Excess Insurance

Planning on going on a road trip across our wide brown land? Before you decide whether to pay extra for rental car excess insurance directly with the hire company, it could be worth checking your credit card policy – this type of insurance might already be included as a special feature.

Some credit cards, rewards cards and platinum cards offer useful benefits, including high points returns, concierge services and promotional interest rates. But an additional feature with some credit cards is complimentary travel insurance within Australia, and some of these travel insurance policies include rental car excess insurance.

Here’s a quick summary of what rental car excess insurance is, a snapshot of some of the credit cards that offer it as part of their travel insurance policies and some tips on how you can get it if you don’t currently have it.  

What is car rental excess insurance?

Car rental excess insurance is designed to cover you for the excess you’d otherwise be required to pay in the event that your hire car is damaged or stolen. If you’re involved in an accident, your credit card will be charged by the hire car company, and you will then be reimbursed.

This feature can be handy to have, as excesses on rental car damage can be quite expensive, up to thousands of dollars in some cases.Rental car excess insurance may cover you if:

  • The vehicle is involved in a motor accident while you were driving
  • The vehicle is stolen or damaged while in your possession

Your rental car excess insurance would typically not cover you if:

  • You have violated the rental agreement
  • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • You were not the licence holder listed in the rental car agreement

How many credit cards offer complimentary Australian rental car excess insurance?

Canstar Research has revealed 26 credit cards on our database from 13 providers that offer domestic rental car excess insurance as part of a complimentary travel insurance policy as of February 2019.  These products are outlined in the table below, sorted alphabetically by provider name. The provider’s stated conditions you must fulfil to be eligible for the insurance are also listed. In many cases, the credit card provider will require that at least some of your travel costs be charged to the card, meaning that if someone else is paying for your trip, you may not be eligible to receive the insurance.

Before committing to any particular credit card, check upfront with your provider and read the insurance policy’s PDS to confirm the activation conditions and cover details of any particular complimentary rental car excess insurance cover.

Company Product Name(s) Activation Conditions
ANZ – Rewards Travel Adventures Card Hirer must be current cardholder who is an Australian permanent resident, citizen or holder of eligible visa.
Auswide Bank – Platinum Rewards Mastercard Entire cost of return interstate flights charged to the credit card account, travel must be 14 days or less.
Bendigo Bank – Qantas Platinum Mastercard
– Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Insurance activated when you take legal control of rental vehicle and the total cost of the vehicle hire is charged to your card.
Citi – Signature Credit Card
– Emirates World Mastercard
– Prestige Card-Qantas Option
– Prestige Card-Rewards Option
– Signature Qantas Credit Card
Entire cost of return domestic flights must be charged to the credit card account.
Commonwealth Bank – Diamond Awards-Rewards Option
– Platinum Awards-Rewards Option
– Platinum Awards-Qantas Option
– Diamond Awards-Qantas Option
Pay for accommodation and/or domestic flights with credit card, activate cover via Netbank.
G&C Mutual Bank – Platinum Visa Credit Card Cover is effective when you take legal control of the hire car and the entire cost is charged to your credit card account.
HSBC – Low Rate Credit Card
– Platinum Credit Card
– Platinum Qantas Credit Card
At least 90% of the total cost of return domestic flights must be charged to your card.
IMB – Platinum Mastercard Entire cost of return interstate flights charged to the credit card account, travel must be 14 days or less.
Jetstar – Platinum Mastercard-Qantas Option
– Platinum Mastercard-Rewards Option
Entire cost of hire car must be charged to credit card account.
Macquarie Bank – Black Card-Macquarie Rewards
– Platinum Card-Qantas Rewards
– Black Card-Qantas Rewards
– Platinum Card-Macquarie Rewards
Cover effective when you take legal control of the hire car and the entire cost is charged to your credit card account.
Qantas – Qantas Premier Platinum Cover effective when you take legal control of the hire car and the entire cost is charged to your credit card account.
RACQ Bank – Platinum Rewards Mastercard Entire cost of return interstate flights charged to the credit card account, travel must be 14 days or less.

Source: www.canstar.com.au – 25/02/2019.

Cards displayed offer complimentary rental car excess insurance for domestic travel when activation conditions are met. Products are sorted alphabetically by provider name. To be eligible for insurance, you must meet the activation conditions and take out hire car insurance when renting the vehicle from a registered hire car provider. Please see the individual card product disclosure statements for full terms and conditions of complimentary insurance policies.

The following tables provide a brief snapshot of some of these credit cards that currently offer complimentary domestic rental car excess insurance at the time of writing. There are two tables in total – one each for: 

  • Rewards credit cards
  • Frequent Flyer credit cards
Related Article: Car insurance premiums in 2018

Rewards cards that offer free rental car excess insurance

The table below displays a snapshot of rewards cards on Canstar’s database that offer complimentary travel insurance that includes domestic rental car excess insurance. The display is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) then provider name (alphabetically), and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. Before committing to a particular credit card product, check upfront with the provider and read the terms and conditions to determine the details of the car rental excess insurance and whether the card as a whole meets your needs.

Frequent flyer cards that offer free rental car excess insurance 

The table below displays a snapshot of frequent flyer cards on Canstar’s database that offer complimentary travel insurance that includes domestic rental car excess insurance, with links direct to the providers’ site. The display is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) then provider name (alphabetically), and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. Before committing to a particular credit card product, check upfront with the provider and read the terms and conditions to determine the details of the car rental excess insurance and whether the card as a whole meets your needs.

Do you need rental car excess insurance?

The cost of excess insurance varies from company to company, but depending on factors such as your age, the sort of car you are hiring and how long you will have it for, it has the potential to make a noticeable difference to the cost of your trip. This isn’t to say you definitely shouldn’t get excess insurance – you never know when an accident will happen and you could be out thousands of dollars if you’re not covered, depending on the excess your particular hire car provider charges. But if you’re interested in this type of insurance for a hire car within Australia, then before you buy insurance policy from the rental car agent, it could be a good idea to check with your credit card provider to see if you’re already covered.  

If you’re in the market for a new credit card that offers hire car excess insurance, or if you just want to get a new insurance policy for your own car within Australia, you can compare your options with Canstar:  

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