The Guide to AmEx Platinum Rental Car Benefits

AmEx Platinum cardmembers get perks like elite status across multiple rental companies and protection coverage.
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The Platinum Card® from American Express offers benefits far beyond just access to fancy airport lounges and hotel room upgrades. That includes the The Platinum Card® from American Express rental car benefits, which can save you hundreds of dollars by allowing you to potentially avoid buying a separate car rental insurance policy.

Sure, Centurion Lounge access ranks among the marquee benefits on the card famous for its $695 annual fee, but the less-glamorous benefits are sometimes overlooked. And it's often those benefits that end up saving you the most money in the long run. Here are some of the rental car perks that holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express receive:

AmEx car rental insurance coverage

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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Should you pay extra for car rental insurance at the counter, or purchase it from a third-party travel insurance provider? When you hold The Platinum Card® from American Express, you don't have to decide between purchasing the rental car's insurance policy or going unprotected.

When you pay for your rental with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you receive car rental loss and damage insurance, covering rental car theft or damage up to $75,000. Terms apply.

To get this secondary coverage at no additional cost, you only need to meet two requirements:

  1. Use The Platinum Card® from American Express to reserve and pay for the entire cost of the rental.

  2. Decline the collision damage waiver at the rental company counter.

Additionally, your personal property — such as luggage and electronics — is covered up to $1,000 per person (up to a maximum of $2,000) against loss or damage during your car rental.

If you incur medical expenses due to an accident in your rental car, AmEx will cover up to $5,000 in medical expenses per person for you and your passengers. Additionally, cardmembers and their passengers are eligible for accidental death or dismemberment benefits.

Limitations to car rental insurance on The Platinum Card® from American Express

As good as the AmEx rental car protection is, it doesn't cover every car rental or every situations, including:

AmEx insurance doesn't work in some countries: Rentals in certain countries, including (but not limited to) Australia, Italy and New Zealand, are not eligible for coverage.

Certain vehicles aren't covered: AmEx's car rental loss and damage insurance doesn't cover the following types of vehicle rentals:

  • Full-sized or cargo vans.

  • Commercial minivans.

  • Customized vehicles.

  • Antique cars.

  • Limousines.

  • Off-road vehicles.

AmEx's insurance benefit doesn't include liability coverage: While your card covers damage to the rental car, it doesn't cover liability for damage you cause to other vehicles or people.

If you already own a car, then check your car insurance policy, as it might have liability coverage that extends to rental cars. If not, you might need a separate policy for liability coverage.

It's secondary, not primary coverage: The Platinum Card® from American Express provides secondary coverage. That means you'll need to file with your insurance company first before you file with American Express. Terms apply.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Primary rental car insurance acts as your main source of rental car coverage, which can pay for repairs or a replacement, typically up to policy limits. Coverage can come from your personal car insurance policy extending to rentals, a policy purchased directly from the rental car company, a policy purchased from a third-party company or through your credit card. Secondary rental car insurance only kicks in after your primary coverage has been exhausted.

It's fairly common for credit cards with car rental insurance benefits to only extend to secondary coverage, save for a few exceptions, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Since Chase Sapphire Reserve® car rental insurance is primary coverage, not secondary, you don’t have to report the incident to your personal auto insurance company.

AmEx discounts on premium car rental protection

If you want primary rental car insurance coverage, you can purchase it separately from American Express. This paid product covers car rentals of up to 42 consecutive days and specifically includes luxury cars and other premium vehicles — all for a reasonable rate of less than $25 per rental. That's generally much cheaper than purchasing coverage through the rental car company.

Exact prices depend on your coverage selections and state of residency. To get up to $100,000 in theft and damage coverage, Florida residents would pay $15.25 per rental, California residents are charged $17.95 and residents of all other states pay $24.95 per rental.

In addition to covering your rental car, AmEx premium car rental protection provides:

  • Up to $100,000 of accidental death or dismemberment coverage ($250,000 for California residents).

  • Up to $15,000 for secondary medical expenses per person.

  • Up to $5,000 for secondary personal property coverage ($15,000 for Florida residents).

However, as with the complimentary American Express Platinum car rental insurance, liability coverage isn't provided as part of this coverage.

Terms apply.

AmEx Platinum car rental elite status

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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Cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express receive elite status with three rental car companies: Avis Preferred Plus, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club.

Exact elite status benefits vary across programs, but generally entail rental car upgrades, accelerated credits toward free rentals and the ability to skip the rental car check-in counter when picking up your car.

Alas, car rental elite status isn't automatically granted. You'll annoyingly have to enroll with each car rental company by creating a loyalty account and linking your card.

Avis Preferred Plus

Cardmembers who enroll get Avis Preferred Plus status (which typically requires 12 rentals or spending $5,000 in a calendar year). This entails complimentary upgrades and bonus points each time you rent from Avis.

You'll also get access to a Avis Preferred Plus reservations and a customer service phone number. Plus, rental car deals are available when you use Avis Worldwide Discount discount code A756900. Terms apply.

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Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President's Circle

The Platinum Card® from American Express card members can enroll for President's Circle status in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program. This status lets you add an extra driver for no additional cost, bypass the counter and earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent, as well as receive guaranteed upgrades with all bookings.

Enrollment required. Terms apply.

National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive

Holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express can also enroll to get Executive tier status in National's Emerald Club program. With Executive tier status, you'll get to choose your preferred car from the Executive Selection area and get a guaranteed upgrade when renting at least a mid-size car.

Plus, as an Emerald Club Executive, you'll earn a complimentary rental day after earning just six rental credits instead of the typical seven rental credits. Terms apply.

How rental car benefits on the The Platinum Card® from American Express compare to other credit cards

The rental car benefits on the The Platinum Card® from American Express are solid, but they're not necessarily the best.

For excellent rental car insurance on a credit card, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Not only does it have a lower annual fee of $550 (versus The Platinum Card® from American Express annual fee of $695), but its coverage is primary rather than secondary. Terms apply.

Both of those cards also offer elite status at Avis and National. Though, the The Platinum Card® from American Express also throws in elite status at Hertz.

Here's a deeper dive into the car rental benefits on some premium travel credit cards:

Cards with auto rental benefits
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
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Apply now

on Chase's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95.

$0 intro for the first year, then $95.

$695.

$550.

Rental car benefits

• Primary rental car coverage with reimbursement up to the cash value of most rental vehicles.

• Booking a car rental through Chase Ultimate Rewards® earns 5 points per dollar spent.

• Redeeming points to book travel through Chase — including renting cars — gives you 25% more value per point.

• Primary rental car coverage that reimburses up to the cash value of most rental cars.

• Other day-of-travel benefits for United flyers include a free checked bag, priority boarding and lounge passes.

• Elite status with Avis, Hertz and National, which entitles the member to upgrades and discounts.

• Secondary rental car coverage.

• Other benefits include expansive airport lounge access and hundreds of dollars' worth of travel credits.

• Terms apply.

• Primary rental car coverage with reimbursement up to $75,000.

• Booking a car rental through Chase Ultimate Rewards® earns 10 points per dollar spent.

• Redeeming points to book travel through Chase — including renting cars — gives you 50% more value per point.

• Cardholders eligible for special benefits from Avis, National and Silvercar.

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Car rental benefits on The Platinum Card® from American Express

Just for being a cardmember of The Platinum Card® from American Express, you receive well-rounded benefits whenever you rent a car — from elite status with three rental car companies to complimentary rental car protection coverage.

Note that many of these benefits require enrollment. So, take a few minutes now to enroll for elite status with Avis, Hertz and National. Then, pay for your car rentals with The Platinum Card® from American Express to get coverage.

If you often rent cars, consider applying for a premium travel credit card that offers car rental benefits such as the The Platinum Card® from American Express. The car rental coverage isn't the best we've seen across all credit cards (that honor goes to theChase Sapphire Reserve®, but it's still pretty good.

Despite the hefty annual fees that these types of cards command, they can often pay for themselves among frequent travelers based off of the travel insurance benefits alone.

Terms apply.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

Insurance Benefit: Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 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 americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

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


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