Renting A Car In Israel? Convert Your Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature Card Into A World Mastercard!


Update, 01/16/12: Through the help of commenters here I realized that Chase had accidentally downgraded my account from Sapphire Preferred to the plain Sapphire (which doesn’t have the benefits of the Preferred card like No foreign transaction fees, double points on airfare/car rentals/hotels, point transfers to airlines/hotels, and the 7% annual dividend) during the conversion process.
I just got home from visiting the in-laws in Kansas City and my brand new Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard was waiting for me. And yes, it is made from that great heavier metal cardstock we all know and love ;)

Originally posted on 01/06/12:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Linky

Renting a car in Israel can be a challenge.  And I’m not talking about the rental car facility being located ridiculously far from the terminal.  You are required to buy CDW and liability insurance when you rent even if your personal insurance at home covers you and the insurances they make you purchase also have high deductibles.  The rental agencies are all franchises and they love to create imaginary damages to upcharge you with at the end of your rental.  (Always take lots of pictures when you rent and get every nick and scratch signed by an agent on a paper when you rent!)

Most credit cards exclude Israel from their CDW coverage (with agencies like these I can’t imagine why…)  For a while all World Mastercards covered Israel, but then many, such as the Continental OnePass Plus world Mastercard stopped providing CDW coverage in Israel (although the Continental and United cards provide excellent primary CDW coverage in almost every other country in the world).

The Sapphire Preferred card is a Visa Signature by default, but I was able to call up Chase and have them switch it to a World Mastercard without any hassle at all.  Once I received the card I called up MasterRental and they confirmed in writing that my card does provide CDW coverage in Israel!

You still are forced to buy liability coverage in Israel, but with the Sapphire Preferred world MasterCard you will be able to decline the CDW coverage as you receive zero deductible coverage from the card free of charge.  Without a valid World Mastercard that works in Israel you pay for CDW coverage and you pay for imaginary charges as they fall within the deductible.  With a valid World Mastercard you don’t pay for CDW coverage and MasterRental will pay you back for any damages done to your rented car.

Best of all?
-The Sapphire card does not charge any foreign exchange or transaction fees so you will get the best possible rates!
-You will get 2.14 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the car rental!

The downside of making the card into a World Mastercard? My new card is not the heavy card made from metal and no longer says “Preferred” on the front, but all other benefits remain the same.

Instead of switching and losing your nice metal card, you are actually allowed to have 2 Chase Sapphire cards. You probably won’t get automatically approved for a 2nd card, but if you apply for a new card you can just tell a reconsideration rep, a credit analyst rep, or your local banker that you want a Sapphire World Mastercard and a Visa Signature card and if your credit allows (or even if it doesn’t allow but you can shift around credit lines or close other older cards in exchange) you will be able to get both cards.

The argument for needing 2 Sapphire cards should be fairly easy to make, Mastercards can come in handy if you want to shop at Sam’s Club and for renting in Israel.  Visa cards are accepted at more locations internationally than Mastercard and most dollar stores only take Visa.  Plus both cards charge no foreign transaction fees, so the need to have both should be easy to explain.  And I have been successful getting the signup bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card multiple times…

Front image (Visa/Mastercard)

Back image (Mastercard/Visa)

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138 Comments on "Renting A Car In Israel? Convert Your Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature Card Into A World Mastercard!"

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It may worth noting that its best if you can get it in writing before going to Israel that your cc has primary CDW. Otherwise, they can just say that they don’t believe you and they will force you to buy CDW.


MasterRental can email or mail you a letter of coverage if you ask for it.


Does the saphire mastercard also have the 50k bonus sign up? Or just the visa?


You can only apply for the Visa.
Which leaves you with 2 options, convert your existing Visa to a Mastercard and then apply again for a Visa (as I will soon), or apply again for the Visa and request from the reconsideration rep that they change one of the 2 cards into a mastercard.

Either way when you signup for the card you get 50,000 points for spending $3,000, plus a 7% annual point bonus on the signup bonus and on all spending and spending bonuses.

Miriam A.

How much does liability and CDW each cost per day?

On another topic, can you please make a post about what credit cards you recommend for Americans living in Israel, or do you already have one? Do you recommend SPG for instance? Thanks, Miriam


@Miriam A.:
It varies for each agency and it varies by car.

Sapphire Preferred is a great card as is Ink Bold as they both have no foreign exchange fees and points can be transferred to Continental for mileage tickets across the Star Alliance (including direct flights to North america on Air Canada, Continental, and USAirways, as well as on flights with excellent availability via Europe) with no fuel surcharges.


My United card is Visa, it still covers CDW?
Or does it have to be a MasterCard like the CO?

Also, have you ever discovered a car rental agency in EY which treats people properly, and doesn’t do all theses terrible shtick (chilul H’)?


The United and Continental cards both cover primary CDW outside of Israel, but neither cover CDW in Israel.

They’re all awful in my experience. They leave a terrible taste in my mouth every time I visit. Last time they dinged every single person who returned their car around the time that I did, the entire place was full of outraged customers. They never fix the scratches so that they can keep charging unsuspecting tourists over and over again…thank G-d for World Mastercard!
Plus it took over an hour for a shuttle going back to the terminal to show up which nearly caused me to miss my flight. Just horrific as usual.

the young couple

Hey, thanks Dan!
Im in Israel and have rented a car many, many times from Hertz, Avis, and Eldan and my Citi Dividend World card (silver colored card) always worked perfect. No need to prove anything.

Question. I followed option number 2 and they told me that i already received the 50,000 bonus so i can’t get it again. Called 3 times. What am i doing wrong? How are YOU able to get it a 2nd time?


Which card covers CDW when renting in Australia. It seems that american express does not.

the young couple


Yup. Eldan has the best customer service. Cheaper to book online. Book a lower class and at the desk they will almost always let you upgrade a few classes for a couple of dollars.


Dan i just booked a car from Avis with BA miles. Are they gonna hit me up with CDW or other Ins? If yes, I have a world Mastercard. How Can i avoid them?

amex platinum

Dan the man,
What about amex platinum? I know they don’t charge foreign transaction fee. What about the CDW in Israel do they cover or have huge deductible???


Chachem B........

As a general rule, when calling in to to ask to waive the yearly annual fee on any card & they offer to downgrade from a card that has a fee to a card with out a fee (of course less benefits) do you get the signup bonus promo that’s running for the new no fee card ?


Same goes for Ireland. What a racket. Taking photos of the car before you leave the lot is a must. By the way, Chase is excellent overseas for charges – no transaction fee – but watch out for ATM usage. If you use your Sapphire to withdraw money overseas from an ATM I believe it’s an immediate cash advance and 5% transaction fee. Best to overpay your cc (send a check or stop in Chase office to add money to your account, Chase won’t allow you to overpay online) so interest charges aren’t so bad. There’s a lag between when you pull money from the ATM and when it’s posts – a way for Chase to guarantee they make some money from cardholders.


Does Continental Presidents world mastercard cover the CDW in Israel?


my husband just got back from Israel, and his Continental President club mastercard covered his cdw at Dollar car rental


Just called trying to switch my Sapphire Preferred from Visa to MC, agent checked and said that only regular Sapphire comes in MC,not preferred… Should I just call back and try another agent?
If I’m successful switching to MC, how long should I wait to apply for Visa Sapphire Preferred again (I opened mine in Oct 2011)
Thank you


Eldan in my opinion does have the best customer service, however lately I started renting at budger thru budget israel in america and thay “noachrentacar” via email and they offered me hertz or avis and the rates where way lower then Eldan. ($125 less on a 10 day rental). The customer service was ok, and I made sure they signed every single scratch like dan said



How does pictures help? How do you prove that the pics where taken prior to rental and not after?


just wanted to clarify, if you have two sapphire cars for visa and mastercard do you have to pay an annual fee on both after first year and if you do you still think its worth having both? or are you planning on getting a new one at some point with another first year free and then canceling older sapphire cards?


the new ink bold with out foriegn tranasctions is also a world elite mastercard


@the young couple:
Lol, every card says that…do you always believe what underpaid phone reps tell you ;)

Many World Mastercards work worldwide.

Which World Mastercard do you have?

@amex platinum:
No AMEX card covers CDW in Israel.

@Chachem B……..:
Of course not. But often they will waive the annual fee or give you points to keep your card.

Never use a credit card for cash, that’s what debit cards are for.


They may have let him waive the mandatory CDW by showing a World Mastercard without knowing that it did now cover Israel, but had he damaged the car he WOULD NOT have been covered by any of the Continental consumer Mastercards. He would have been on the hook for any damage!

As we say on the forums, HUCA (Hang up, call again)
There’s no set rule as to when you can apply again.

Take a picture with your cell phone clock in the background? With an agent in the background?
Be sure to have the agent sign any tiny scratch, that’s for sure!

Both carry their own fees after the first year, but you can always call retentions to get a bonus for staying or apply for new cards using the Sapphire cards as leverage to get approved for the new cards if you don’t want to pay the annual fee.

I haven’t confirmed personally, but DDF members have reported that Ink Bold DOES NOT cover CDW in Israel.

Always call first to confirm and get a letter of coverage in writing!


does the citi card have an annuel fee? living in israel, i need a card that doesnt have transaction fees, but also no annuel fee….are there any? i know when i was single TD didnt have any transaction fee cards….


Hi, I just want to clarify. I currently have the Citibank Thank You Preferred card. It has no yearly fee, but I do pay a forex fee for the rentals. It covers my CDW (hundreds of dollars each time). I use Avis and get a letter from them before each trip. My fees turn out to less that $100 per year. If I switch my Sapphire Preferred Visa to a world master card, I will save the forex fees, but pay a $95 yearly fee for the card? The only difference I see is that I would get points on the Sapphire card. Am I seeing this correctly?reward


Citi thank you Preferred


The Sapphire card is free for one year and you can get retention bonuses after that.
Sapphire points are worth much more than Citi points and you get 1.07 or 2.14 points per dollar spent.

Even if you just spent a couple hundred dollars a month on the Sapphire card you will come out ahead even with the annual fee between no Forex fees, more points per dollar spent, and points that are worth much more as they transfer into real airline/hotel miles.


I have the Citi advanatge world master card and it covers CDW in Israel. They sent me the policy which is from Mastercard worldcard (not neccesrily citbank)and it covers israel


That’s correct, although that card also charges a foreign exchange fee, gives less AA points per dollar than you can get on other cards, and has an annual fee after the first year.


True but unfourtant my credit card debt is so high (although I never missed a payment)nobody will give me a new credit card so I am stuck with what I have……


Your link to the citiworldpremier offers 1.2 not 1.33?
They charge a $125 annual fee


I tried your insturctions and got the below emaill from Chase, what now ?i dont want to get hit with a 3% transaction fee?
am writing in response to your email regarding changing
your account to a MasterCard World.

I would like to inform you that you can change your
account to a Chase Sapphire MasterCard World card. Please
note that there is no Annual Fee for this product. You
will receive 2 points per dollar spent on dining- from
quick serve restaurants to fine dining, 1 point per
dollar spent on all other purchases, 1 additional point
per dollar spent when you book airfare or hotel
accommodations online through Ultimate Rewards with your
Chase Sapphire card. No caps on the amount of points
earned. No expiration on points. Product includes a 3%
foreign transaction fee for any transactions made in a
foreign currency or made outside of the United States of
America, including some internet transactions.

Further, your new card will be assessed with foreign
transactions fees.

I would also like to provide you with additional
information before we process your request:

– All enrolled features on account will be retained.

If you would like to proceed with the request, please
reply using the Secure Message Center. Your request will
not be processed unless we receive your confirmation.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the
Secure Message Center.


Citi points are worth 1.33 cents each towards travel AND you earn 1.2 points per dollar in select categories.
After the first free year there is an annual fee unless you have a CitiGold checking account.

That is for the regular Chase Sapphire, which has no annual fee, can’t transfer points into miles, doesn’t give a 7% point bonus, and has a foreign transaction fee.

You want the Chase Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard with has an annual fee after the first free year, can transfer points into miles, gives a 7$ point bonus, and has no foreign transaction fee.


they tell me that since i have the card for less then a year so they cant give me the preferred card, help


So apply for the Preferred card with the link at the top of this post.


will i still get the bonus?
i already have chase sapphire preferred but they wont let me switch because the account is less then 1 year old


My preferred card is just 3 months old and I had no problem switching it from Visa to MC over the phone.


Dan, thnx for ur reply, i have the prefered visa and just got off the phone with the Chase rep. She confirmed the same as above email. if i switch to Mc i lose the preferred status and therefore foreign fees apply. she suggested i apply for mc world , but i dont see that?


“@amex platinum:
No AMEX card covers CDW in Israel.”

This is NOT TRUE. The PenFed American Express Premium Travel Rewards card 1) covers CDW in Israel (worldwide, with no exceptions, in fact), 2) does not have an annual fee, and 3) does not charge foreign transaction fees. I don’t know why you refuse to post about this card – sure, the reward points might not be as valuable as some of the other cards you like, but this card is an excellent choice for someone who wants to rent a car in Israel.

(rented an Avis in April 2010 with this card and declined CDW successfully, also have a letter from PenFed confirming they cover CDW worldwide)


BTW no rental car company in Israel will let you use this card for your rental!!! because in order to rent a car in Israel you need a credit card with raised numbers and since this card does not have raised numbers even though its a master card world its still not going to work!!!
p.s. i live in Israel and i tried renting a car with card but it did not work

A frielichin purim

I have the citi advantage gold world mc does that cover car rental insurance in Israel?


i did tell them that i know some other people that were able to switch , and she said that every account is different this is from 2 representative is this worth calling again until they do?


Well now things get interesting. Apparently I was switched to a non-preferred card.
I just called and they profusely apologized for messing up and said I would be sent out a Preferred Mastercard ASAP…will keep you posted!

It has a terrible points system. And I was referring to AMEX cards issued by AMEX, that card isn’t issued by AMEX.
Anyway why should someone use that card to rent with instead of a Sapphire Preferred Mastercard?

@A frielichin purim:

Sure, keep on trying!


i’ve had the same experience


if i switch my sapphire preferred to the MC, can i then sign up for the sapphire visa again and get the 50k ultimate rewards again?


I have a Bank of America World Mastercard and I believe there is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and they cover CDW on rental cars in Israel. They also have pretty good Purchase insurance protection etc.



AMEX SPG (issued by AMEX) also covers CDW in Israel. They gave me a letter stating so to present to the rental agency.


That (AMEX SPG covers CDW in Israel) runs counter to any information out there.

Would it be possible to post this letter (blocking any personal info, of course)?

It would be very useful for many people if indeed this was the case.

Chechen B..........


Are u sure that Amex SPG covers CDW in israel ?
Cause the word out there is that only certain world master cards cover CDW in israel


@David: Interesting, i just hung up with Amex and they told me that they don’t cover israel. Take a look at you spg amex contract…


The Chase Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard defintely exists. I have it. And it’s a heavy card if you were wondering.


WAm back can u give me the # on the back as they swear its not available?


I just called them and they confirmed it most certainly exists, and with the same chase benefits. CS# 800 493 3319


i just called and he could not find a way to convert my “chase preffered visa” into a masercard but for some reason after research he was able to convert my “chase freedom card” into a “chase preffered mastercard”!!!


Well, I have the Canadian issued AMEX SPG and the CDW letter they gave me is from Royal & Sun Alliance, a Canadian insurer, so I suppose it is only the Canadian AMEX card that covers CDW in Israel.


ber; does that mean theres no foreign exchange? also does that mean you get off cdw in israel?! howd you do that?!


@shulem:I spoke to the manager of the King David (Jerusalem) branch of Avis, and he told me that although the policy USED to be to only allow raised-lettering cards, they now allow flat cards as well. They will photocopy the card face instead of imprinting it.

So feel free to try again at an Avis near you… ;-)


YOu can do the same with the chase freedo, card. But if you want it for CDW in Israel go eith the sapphire preffered as that avoids the forex fee as well

A Morgan

We have this card: CITI AAdvantage World Elite

Do they cover rental insurance in Israel and also the 3rd party liability insurance?

I was told by Avis in Israel that it pays to get a special deal with them including all their insurance coverage and it would come out less than having CDW covered by your credit card while paying out the 3rd party insurance from pocket.

Update: Just got off the phone (800-622-7747) with Mastercard. AAdvantage is handled by another department within Mastercard so mention it right at the onset. They cover up to $50,000 per incident. However, no liability or 3rd party coverage at all. You must decline CDW at counter. MC insurance becomes primary – not sure how that affects me. I got them to email a letter of coverage.


@TZvee: i won’t be able to confirm till i receive my credit card, but it was converted into a “sapphire preferred world master card” so i guess it has those benefits.


May I suggest the following site for Visa and Mastercard users:

Type in the first 10 digits of your credit card and it will give you your card specific benefits!


Any update about the best way to do this?
SM to chase failed.


just spoke to a rep to switch, he told me it’s the second request he got tonight but doesn’t see an option to do it so he’ll escalate it and i’ll get a letter in 7-10 bus days,

think it’ll work?


@Anonymous: but does that mean you have an annuel fee as well? does it pay to have an annuel fee just for that time i rent a car in isreal? or no forex fee?


@TZvee: he waved the fee for the first year


I just received my new Ink Bold Business, the back says it is Mastercard Elite (with World Logo)
Will this cover car rental in Israel?


From reading through several “Guide to Benefits” with different World MasterCard’s, I think when Israel is excluded in CDW, so is Ireland, which is where I am going to rent a car. The CDW situation is the same, with only certain World MasterCards accepted by the car rental agencies. I thought I had it all worked out with applying for a Continental World MC through Chase. Nope, the Guide to Benefits for this specific World MC excludes Israel, Jamaica, and Ireland. With many hours of calls to MasterRentals and banks, I found they will not tell me what is in the Guide to Benefits brochure. So, I do not want to apply for another World MC unless I know it WILL COVER IRELAND. Does anyone have the latest Guide to Benefit info and know if the Sapphire Preferred World MC does cover CDW in Ireland?



Just looked at my MC to confirm, the Visa card has the word “Preferred” on the front of the card and the MasterCard has it on the back. Kind of weird but that’s how they do it.


Dan. If my credit is not good now and I can only stay in citi by converting cards (no sign up perks). What card would you recommend that offers the best rewards. I currently have advantage but since they got rid of the million mile perk I don’t need that any more

Thank you


@lucky The coverage emailed to me by citibank only excluded Lebanon


Dan, did you apply for a new Sapphire MC? and did you get another 50K points?


sapphire preferred world mastercard will earn ultimate rewards?


Oh come on Dan, tell us how many points they have you as compensation for making this mistake??


does that mean u have no foreign exchange fees as well? i am moving to israel in a few days and i would lover to get a card that makes sense i have the chase freedom, you are saying call and transfer it to a chase world master card….i guess that means it goes from a freedom to a preferred sapphire?! and i will go into today and ask them for all these benifits and get the first yr waved to i suppose :-)


I have churned the card in the past and gotten the signup bonus each time.


2,500, which was just fine by me :)


i applied for chase sapphire visa card and called them to switch it to a m/c but they said i cant bec i already have the visa card.


Change your existing Visa into a MC?


i should change it and then reapply for the visa or i can use the same application i have made already?


First change it to a MC then call to get your app reconsidered as you need a Visa and a MC.


ok changed it to m/c. do i need to wait a few days? thank you dan for the quick response


I would wait until you get the MC and then call reconsideration.
You have 30 days to get an app reconsidered.


Dan you freaked me out because I just bought $6K worth of travel on ultimaterewards using my new Visa Signature Chase Sapphire Preferred and I worried that I had the wrong card to get 3x miles worth. I called them and it turns out that the Visa Signature Chase Sapphire Preferred DOES get 3x miles (like the MC Preferred) but comes with a bit better travel insurance/liability and Visa Signature benefits!


ok will do thank you


Not sure how I did that, but both the Visa and MC Sapphire Preferred cards will earn 3.21 points per dollar for money spent on travel via the Chase UR travel booking site.


is there any promotion for a chase preferred? can someone pls post one


thanks dan, i appreciate it a lot. i just saw that there was a promotion for 100K points u think it’ll still work? also my banker said i should look for a promo code to lower the initial amount needed to spend on the card for the promotion to kick in. (btw thanks again also for the obi, love it! and phones i found on ebay VERY CHEAP)


There was a period of a few days last year where Chase allowed you to match to a 10K targeted offer.

There is zero chance of that happening now.

3K in 3 months is really not hard, especially with free Amazon payments for $1K per month.


ok thanks so much! i appreciate it a lot. how does the amazon payment work?


@Dan. Called to switch Visa to MC and was told it will not be a preferred card because the account is less than a year old. I already tried three times. Does this make sense to you?



My card was just a few months old. Just keep calling until you get a good rep.


thanks dan! but how does that help? now im 1k down? or then he withdraws the money and gives it back..


Does anyone know if the Ink Bold Business MC will work for the Israel Rental:
The back has the World Logo and says ‘World Elite’


I had the same issue as dan they switched my card to a sapphire world master card i called them to switch it to a sapphire preferred and they were making issues about it finally they agreed but i dont know if they will get it to me on time so i called the benefits customer service of my citi aadvantage card and they told me that they do cover cdw insurance in israel and they will mail it to me so that i can show it at the rental so there is another card that covers cdw in israel


Yup, but the Sapphire card has no forex and 2.14 points per dollar and the Citi card charges 3% forex and just 1 mile per dollar.


Dan answered it above already,
“I haven’t confirmed personally, but DDF members have reported that Ink Bold DOES NOT cover CDW in Israel.
Always call first to confirm and get a letter of coverage in writing!”



I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa last week and received and activated my card. I have since applied for a 2nd card – to be able to be rejected and work with the reconsideration team to convert my Preferred Visa to the World Mastercard because I want to be able to have the rental car insurance in Israel. What very, very specifically should I tell the reconsideration agent the name of the card I want to convert my Visa to? Is it the Chase Sapphire World Mastercard? Or the Chase Saphhire World Mastercard Preferred?


Reconsideration doesn’t change the card type. Call the regular number on your card to change the card into a Saphhire Preferred World Mastercard and then you can call Reconsideration to get a Visa for the places that won’t accept a mastercard.


if you convert and open a new card, will the credit report show 3 accounts? (ie old visa new mc and new visa)