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The Platinum Card® from American Express provides a slew of travel benefits — including access to over 1,400 airport lounges and up to $200 in Uber cash each year. Among these marquee benefits, the less-glamorous ones can often get overlooked. However, these other travel perks and protections can really make a difference to your travels. One great example of this is the rental car benefits that come with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Terms apply.
Let's take a look at some of the rental car perks that holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express enjoy, including rental car elite status perks and complimentary car rental insurance.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Car rental elite status
Cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express can enroll to get elite status with three rental car companies: Avis Preferred Plus, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club.
While benefits vary across programs, you can generally expect elite status to provide rental car upgrades, accelerated credits toward free rentals and the ability to skip the rental car check-in counter when picking up your car.
» Learn more: How to avoid long lines at rental car counters
Avis Preferred Plus
Cardmembers can enroll to get Avis Preferred Plus status (which typically requires 12 rentals or spending $5,000 in a calendar year). This status level gets you a complimentary upgrade and bonus points each time you rent from Avis.
You'll also get access to a special Avis Preferred Plus reservations and customer service phone number. In addition, rental car deals are available when you use Avis Worldwide Discount discount code A756900. Terms apply.
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President's Circle
Another car rental benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express is 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 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.
Car rental insurance coverage
In the excitement of picking up a rental car for a trip, you probably don't want to consider all of the things that could go wrong during your rental. Thankfully, cardmembers don't have to decide between shelling out for the rental car's insurance policy or going unprotected.
Holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express can get car rental loss and damage insurance that will cover theft or damage to their rental car up to $75,000. This doesn't include liability coverage. To get this secondary coverage at no additional cost, you only need to meet two requirements:
Use The Platinum Card® from American Express to reserve and pay for the entire cost of the rental.
Decline the collision damage waiver at the rental company counter.
Even better, this car rental benefit extends beyond just the rental car itself. 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. And, in the worst-case scenario, 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. For example, car rental insurance on The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn't cover car rentals in Australia, Italy or New Zealand. Also, AmEx's car rental loss and damage insurance doesn't cover rentals of the following types of vehicles:
Full-sized or cargo vans.
While your card covers damage to the car you rented, it doesn't cover liability for damage you cause to other vehicles or people. Check your car insurance policy to see if your liability coverage extends to rental cars. If not, consider purchasing liability 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.
If you'd rather get primary rental car insurance coverage, American Express sells premium car rental protection. 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. Oftentimes, that's going to be a lot better of an option than purchasing coverage through the rental car company.
The exact price depends on your coverage selections and state of residency. To get up to $100,000 in theft and damage coverage, Florida residents have to 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.
If you're curious about the 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 enrollment is required for many of these benefits — even the paid premium car rental protection product. So, make sure to take a few minutes now to enroll to get elite status with Avis, Hertz and National. Then, make sure to pay for your car rentals with The Platinum Card® from American Express to get coverage. Terms apply.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card