Credit Cards With Complimentary Car Rental Excess Insurance

Planning on going on a road trip soon? Before you pay extra for rental car excess insurance directly with the hire company, check your credit card policy – your credit card could offer this insurance as a special feature.

Many credit cards, rewards and platinum cards offer some useful benefits that make them competitive. While these benefits can include high points returns, travel insurance, concierge services and promotional interest rates, another common feature some credit cards offer is complimentary excess insurance. This excess insurance can be cheaper but just as reliable as the insurance on offer from the rental company, if not more so.

You may not be aware whether your credit card offers this feature, so here we will briefly summarise what free rental car excess insurance is, what credit cards offer it and how you can get it.  

What is car rental excess insurance?

Car rental excess insurance will 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 company will be charged by the hire car company, and you will then be reimbursed by your travel insurer.

This feature is handy to have, as excesses on rental car damage can be quite expensive, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. For a flat daily fee that tends to be less than the rates offered by rental companies, you could save thousands in the event of an accident.

Case study: Justin crashes his rental car 

Justin is going on a holiday to Adelaide, and he decides to pay an extra $30 a day for excess insurance. On top of the $40 per-day fee of using the rental car, and he is now paying $70 a day for his 4-day trip.

 

It’s fortunate that he did this however; another driver T-boned him on his way back to the rental lot, and he was faced with an excess of $4,500. However, thanks to his excess insurance, this excess was reduced to $630 – $3,870 less. For an extra $120, he was able to save himself nearly $4,000.

Your rental car excess would cover you if:

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

Your rental car excess will not cover you if:

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

Rental car companies are not insurance companies so are not subject to the same laws set out by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS will not be able to assist you if you have a dispute with your rental car company. You may, however, be able to take your complaint to your local state or territory small claims tribunal.  

How many credit cards offer free rental car excess insurance?

At Canstar we currently research and rate 72 credit cards on the market that offer complimentary rental car excess insurance. With 213 cards in our database, that’s about 34% of the total cards on the market!  

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

  • Rewards credit cards 
  • Premium credit cards 
  • Frequent Flyer credit cards 
  • Low Rate and Low Fee credit cards

Getting excess insurance from credit card providers (or other standalone providers for that matter) often provide better value than the rental car companies, so why not see if you can get a card with this feature?

Rewards cards that offer free rental car excess insurance

The table below shows rewards cards in Canstar’s database that offer free rental car excess insurance. The display is sorted by Star Rating and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. The table only displays a portion of the rewards cards available; click here to see more. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of each deal before signing up.  

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Frequent flyer cards that offer free rental car excess insurance 

The table below shows frequent flyer cards in Canstar’s database that offer free rental car excess insurance. The display is sorted by Star Rating and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. The table only displays a portion of the frequent flyer cards available; click here to see more. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of each deal before signing up.  

 

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Premium cards that offer free rental car excess insurance

The table below shows premium cards in Canstar’s database that offer free rental car excess insurance. The display is sorted by Star Rating and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. The table only displays a portion of the premium cards available; click here to see more. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of each deal before signing up.  

Compare Premium Credit Cards

Low rate and low fee cards that offer free rental car excess insurance  

The table below shows low rate and low fee cards in Canstar’s database that offer free rental car excess insurance. The display is sorted by Star Rating and is based on a monthly spend of $5,000. The table only displays a portion of the low rate and low fee cards available; click here to see more. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of each deal before signing up.  

 

Compare Low Rate Credit Cards

Do you need rental car excess insurance?

The cost of excess insurance varies from company to company, but when you add the various types of cover together, you can easily end up spending an extra $30-40+. This isn’t to say you 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. But before you buy your insurance from the rental car agent, 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 excess insurance, or if you just want to get a new insurance policy for your own car, you can compare your options with Canstar:  

Compare Credit Cards with Canstar

Car Insurance with Canstar

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