Using Credit Card May Save on Car Rental Costs

Tips That May Save You Money On Your Next Vacation

Going plastic may help you save money.
Going plastic may help you save money.
  • Going plastic may help you save money.
    Going plastic may help you save money.
    Going plastic may help you save money.
    Going plastic may help you save money.
If you plan on renting a car during an upcoming summer vacation, using a
credit card to pay for it may save you money and provide some increased

When you rent a car, the rental agencies will try to sell a collision damage
waiver, commonly referred to as a CDW. This is the insurance that provides
coverage for damage to the rented vehicle. This can cost about $15 per day.

Depending on your policy, your personal auto insurance may cover any
damage to the rental car. In addition, your credit card issuer may offer CDW
coverage, but you must pay for the rental car in full with your credit card
for this coverage to be valid. You must also decline the coverage from the
rental car company. The CDW coverage from your credit card will be
secondary to your personal coverage.

"Make sure you understand the coverage on your personal auto insurance
and your credit card before you rent a car," says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of "Since coverage varies from one issuer to another, it is a
good idea to call both your car insurance and credit card company to get
the specific details of your rental car coverage. Ask for the coverage
information in writing."

Coverage can vary depending upon a number of issues:

* Rental periods vary. Visa and MasterCard only provide coverage if the
rental is less than 15 consecutive days within your country of residence,
and 31 consecutive days outside your country of residence.

* There may be limits on the dollar amount of coverage. For instance, the
Discover Car Rental Insurance Plan provides $25,000 of secondary collision

* Does the coverage protect just the cardholder (American Express) or
the cardholder and authorized drivers (Visa and MasterCard)?

* The insurance may not cover damage done in a foreign country, or may
not apply to expensive, exotic or antique automobiles.

* Some cards do not cover damage from dirt or gravel roads, or damage
done due to off-road driving.

The first thing to do when you need to file a claim is to contact the credit
card company and inform them of the accident. They will usually have
you do the following :

* Submit the completed and signed CDW form, postmarked within 90 days
of theft or damage.

* Include a copy of the receipt or monthly billing statement as proof that
entire rental was paid with your credit card.

* Include a statement from your insurance carrier showing the costs for
which you are responsible and any amounts that have been paid toward
the claim.

* Include a copy of the accident report form, the auto rental agreement,
and the estimate or repair bill. simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a
free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare credit cards
in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance
transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking
and review for each card. The Complete Credit Card
is the most objective and comprehensive resource on the Internet which
allows consumers to compare rates for over 1000 credit cards offered in this
country. Created by Hampton & Associates, the company has been analyzing
the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer
expenses for twelve years.

For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 1-800-388-1910 or