One of the great benefits of most credit cards is the automobile collision damage waiver insurance. Yet like any insurance product, the coverage offered to cardholders is subject to a wide range of terms and conditions. For world travelers, some of the most insidious restrictions involve territorial limitations.
Most cards do not provide coverage to members at several popular destinations such as Israel, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand. It is difficult enough to find these restrictions in the fine print of the cardholder agreement, and impossible to learn the rationale behind them. When renting a car in these countries, cardholders are often forced to buy expensive policies from the rental company. Nevertheless, persistent travelers have discovered a handful of cards that offer automobile insurance without these limitations.
The Sapphire Preferred World MasterCard from Chase
The vast majority of cards offered by Chase are part of the Visa network. Yet some cardholders have been able to request a version of the Chase Sapphire Rewards card issued to the MasterCard network. One of the only advantages of this request is that the automobile insurance is said to lack territorial restrictions.
The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card
This card offered by the Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a fantastic product with our without any automobile insurance. Yet a close reading of the car rental insurance policy reveals a lack of any territorial restrictions on coverage. This stands in stark contrast to all other American Express cards that have nearly all of the most common exclusions.
The good news is that no Discover credit cards have territorial limitations on their auto insurance policies. Unfortunately, the card itself is rarely accepted outside the United States, let alone in the countries most commonly excluded by other card’s policies. Nevertheless, it may be possible to pre-pay for a foreign rental with a Discover card.
What To Do When Traveling To A Normally Excluded Country
Cardholders should use extreme caution when taking advantage of the auto insurance offered by these cards in countries that other cards don’t cover. Always obtain a written copy of the coverage before traveling and a letter that specifically spells out coverage in that country. Be prepared to present that policy and the letter to the rental agency in order to prove that a card has coverage. By planning ahead and finding one of the few cards that will provide rental car coverage around the world, travelers can save money on their rentals while retaining peace of mind.