The Guide to AmEx Gold Rental Car Insurance

Skip car rental insurance at the counter to use the card's included coverage for damage or theft.
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Written by Ramsey Qubein
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Edited by Meg Lee
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Car rental insurance is designed to cover damage or theft while renting a car, but it can be a confusing subject. Rental agencies typically offer this kind of coverage as an upcharge at the counter, but renters may already have protections based on the credit card they use for the reservation.

One of those cards is the American Express® Gold Card, which offers cardholders rental car coverage as a benefit in certain situations. Terms apply.

Here are the details on the American Express car rental coverage when paying with the American Express® Gold Card, including who and what is covered, and if there are any exclusions to understand in advance. Terms apply.

What does the American Express® Gold Card car rental insurance cover?

As long as you pay for the full car rental with the American Express® Gold Card and decline the collision damage waiver offered at check-in, your rental car will be covered if damaged or stolen within a covered territory for up to $50,000 per rental agreement. Terms apply.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

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Keep in mind that this is secondary coverage to your own car insurance policy, which means you need to rely on what that policy covers first before the AmEx car rental protections are available.

It means you have to file a claim with your car insurance policy and pay the deductible first. It also means that your monthly premiums may go up, too.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Primary coverage is better, but few cards offer it. The secondary coverage that most cards offer typically means your auto insurer pays the claim but the card will reimburse your deductible and potentially other costs not covered by your personal policy.

This coverage can also kick in when using Membership Rewards points or Pay With Points to cover the cost of your rental. Receiving coverage when redeeming points is always a great perk.

What are the exclusions?

There are several exclusions to American Express car rental protection.

Intentional damage

Any intentional damage by any authorized driver is not covered. This includes those under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as any form of illegal activity.

Damage to other property

The policy does not cover damage to other vehicles and property. Damage to any property other than the rental vehicle, owner’s property or items not permanently attached to the rental vehicle are not covered by AmEx car rental protection.

Tire damage or general wear and tear

Damage or theft of tires, or general wear and tear of the vehicle are not covered.

Acts of war

If the car is damaged due to an act of war, it would not be covered.

Several vehicle types

AmEx does not cover:

  • Cargo or custom vans or those seating over eight passengers.

  • Cube vans or box trucks, or any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds.

  • Commercial trucks.

  • Leased or mini-leased vehicles.

  • Cars at least 20 years old or those manufactured more than a decade since the rental agreement began. 

  • Motorcycles, mopeds, recreational vehicles, golf or motorized carts, campers or trailers.

  • Off-road vehicles.

  • Moving vans.

  • Vehicle sharing or peer-to-peer vehicle arrangements.

Certain locations

Any rentals in Australia, Italy or New Zealand are not eligible for coverage.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The American Express® Gold Card auto rental insurance is not as inclusive as the AmEx car insurance that comes with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

How to file a claim for car rental insurance from American Express

If you determine you are eligible for a claim and have filed with your auto insurance first (since AmEx coverage is secondary), here are the next steps to take.

  • Call customer service at 800-338-1670 or file a claim at this website.

  • File quickly. Despite potential delays from your own personal insurance, take note of the window to file the claim for coverage benefits. It must be completed within 30 days of the loss.

  • Complete the required claim forms and any additional forms that are sent within the requested time period.

  • When and if requested, you will need to submit proof of loss within 60 days with any required documents like repair bills or police reports. 

Once the claim is reviewed and if approved, it would be paid within 30 days.

Does American Express cover car rental insurance?

Car rental coverage can protect you, but instead of paying for it at the counter, rely on your American Express® Gold Card to use its insurance benefit.

Paying with the American Express® Gold Card comes with its own car rental insurance to protect against damage or theft, but be sure to understand the specifics of what it covers. Terms apply.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page.

Insurance Benefit: Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit for more details.

  • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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