January 26th, 2014
Update: 01/26/14: Some people reported problems getting the car rental agency in Israel to waive the CDW purchase requirement because the Chase letter of coverage didn’t specifically mention that Israel was included.
I’m happy to report that you can now request a letter that specifically states that coverage in Israel is included. Just call the number on the back of your card to be forwarded to the department that can instantly email you a letter of coverage. You can also try calling 888-880-5844 to get that letter of coverage. That number is intended for the United card but should work for all Chase cards.
Originally posted on 11/01/13:
Effective today all Chase cards, Visa or Mastercard, now offer free car rental CDW insurance worldwide! Gone are the exclusions on rentals in countries like Israel, Ireland, and Jamaica.
CDW covers any damage or theft to your rental car.
If you renting a car outside of your home country you will receive free primary coverage on rentals of up to 31 days, so Chase will cover you even if you have your own insurance without having to file a claim with your own insurance.
Additionally Chase will now provide primary coverage on leisure rentals on business cards when renting outside of your home country.
Additional drivers that are listed on the contract are covered as well.
Secondary cardholders also get primary coverage when they rent.
Note that in Israel even if you decline the CDW all agencies still require to buy liability insurance for damage to other property or people. But you’ll still save money by having a card that provides its own CDW coverage. Israeli car rental agencies are notorious for charging over and over again for the same scratch. Even if you buy the CDW from the car rental agency you’ll still have to pay for the scratch as they have a high deductible on their own CDW coverage. When you use your Chase card and decline the car rental agency’s CDW coverage you’ll have zero deductible. If you do not decline the car rental’s CDW coverage then your credit card will not cover your rental.
-The best card to rent a car with abroad is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It offers 2.14 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all dining and travel expenses, including car rentals. It also has no foreign exchange fees, so you’ll always get the best possible exchange rate without any fees. You’ll have free primary coverage when renting anywhere outside of your home country and secondary coverage to your own insurance when renting within your home country. If you don’t have your own car insurance policy then coverage is primary worldwide.
-When renting within the US the United Explorer card is the way to go thanks to its primary coverage. It also is one of the only cards that comes with primary rental car CDW insurance in the US. Almost every other card only has secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage.
Of course if you do rent on a United card and you return the car with no damage you can have the car rental agency counter change the card to Sapphire Preferred so that you get the 2.14 points per dollar spent.
Sample Chase cards that have no foreign exchange fees: