Credit cards with complimentary car rental excess insurance

Compare credit cards that offer car rental excess insurance when you’re travelling in Australia or overseas.

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If you're planning a road trip or looking at rental cars for work, insurance is an important part of the package. While car hire companies have their own insurance to cover accidents or other issues, almost all of them charge an excess if you need to make a claim.

You may have the option of lowering the excess cost by paying the car rental company an extra fee. You can also pay an insurance company for car rental excess cover. But there are also some credit cards that offer complimentary insurance to help you cover the excess cost. So, let's take a closer look at how this card perk works.

Qantas Money Credit Card Offer

Qantas Premier Platinum

Earn up to 120,000 bonus Qantas points
Discounted $199 first year annual fee

Offer ends 26 February 2020

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Qantas Money Credit Card Offer

Receive up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, complimentary lounge passes and a discounted first year annual fee.

  • 20,000 bonus Qantas Points each month for the first 6 months when you spend $1,500 each month (120,000 points total)
  • Discounted $199 annual fee for the first year ($299) p.a. thereafter
  • Purchase interest rate of 19.99% p.a. and cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Two complimentary lounge invitations each anniversary year
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Comparison of credit cards with complimentary car rental excess insurance

Updated December 13th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points per month for the first 6 months when you spend $1,500/month. Total of up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points.
St.George Amplify Platinum
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$99 p.a.
Get $400 e-gift card when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$99 p.a.
Get a $400 e-gift card when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Plus, complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Velocity
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)
$399 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($499 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
Qantas Premier Everyday
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$29 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 25,000 bonus Qantas points, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary insurance covers.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent.
Westpac Altitude Black - Velocity
20.49% p.a.
$300 p.a.
Earn 80,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, complimentary seat upgrades and lounge passes.

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What is car rental excess insurance?

Car rental insurance is designed to reduce your excess if you have an accident in a hired or rental car. If you choose not to take up this cover, the excess you have to pay if something happens could be around $3,000 to $5,000.

As a rough guide to costs, car rental companies typically offer excess insurance (or excess reductions) for about $20 to $30 per day, per car. In comparison, insurance companies offer it for between $6 and $10 per day. However, it can vary based on factors including the company, the type of car or even where you're going.

How does credit card car rental insurance work?

Credit card car rental insurance is designed to protect you against high car rental excess costs. While you may still need to pay an excess to claim this insurance, it's typically much lower than the excess you'd pay the car hire company. For example, you might have to pay an excess of $200 for the insurance offered through your credit card, compared to $3,000 with a car rental company.

In most cases, you will need to activate the cover by using your eligible credit card to pay for the booking. For the cover to be valid, the person doing the claim needs to provide the formal rental agreement and comply with the policy's terms and conditions.

two couples hanging by the card with a beach view

What credit cards offer car rental excess insurance?

Credit card provider Credit cards Insurance details
American Express Cover for loss or damage to rental vehicles for hire periods of up to 31 days
ANZ Applies for car rentals in Australia. There is a $0 excess for most claims. For claims relating to rental vehicle collisions, there is an excess of $350.
BankSA Rental vehicle excess insurance only available in Australia. You must pay the first $250 of each claim.
Bank of Melbourne Rental vehicle excess insurance only available in Australia. You must pay the first $250 of each claim.
Bendigo Bank Offers global cover up to a maximum of $5,000. A $250 excess applies for each claim.
Citi All of these cards offer rental vehicle excess cover for international trips as part of the complimentary international travel insurance policy.

The Citi Prestige, Citi Rewards Signature and Emirates Citi World Mastercard also offer rental vehicle excess cover for trips in Australia.

CommBank Offers overseas rental vehicle excess insurance of up to $2,250. You may also be given the option of increasing the value of this cover for specific trips.
HSBC For international trips, you get cover of up to $3,000. For domestic trips, you get cover up to $6,000. An excess of $200 applies for each claim.
IMB Offers up to a maximum of $2,750 for domestic car rental as part of the interstate flight inconvenience insurance.

This means you are only eligible for cover when you have used the card to pay for the entire cost of a return, interstate flight and also hired a car during the trip.

Jetstar Offers global hire car excess waiver cover of up to $5,000, with an excess of $250 per claim, when you use the card to pay for the entire cost of the rental car.
Macquarie Bank Offer global hire car excess waiver cover of up to $5,000, with an excess of $250 per claim, when you use the card to pay for the entire cost of the rental car.
Qantas Money The Premier Platinum offers global hire care excess waiver cover of up to $3,000 when you pay for the rental car with your card. An excess of $500 applies for each claim.

The Premier Titanium offers global hire car excess waiver cover of up to $5,000 with a $250 excess. Cover is activated you pay for the rental car with your card.

RACQ Offers up to a maximum of $2,750 for domestic car rental as part of the interstate flight inconvenience insurance. This means you are only eligible for cover when you have used the card to pay for the entire cost of a return, interstate flight and also hired a car during the trip.
St.George Amplify Signature and Vertigo Platinum cards offer domestic rental vehicle excess insurance of up to $5,500. A $250 excess applies per claim.
Westpac Rental vehicle excess insurance only available in Australia. You must pay the first $250 of each claim.

Cover also applies to American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum and Black cards.

Pros and cons of credit card car rental excess insurance

Pros

  • Peace of mind. Car rental insurance helps make hiring a car more affordable by reducing your excess you must pay if you have a covered accident.
  • Potential rental savings. While rental companies and insurance companies allow you to pay for car rental excess insurance, getting it through your credit card can reduce the daily cost of the car hire.

Cons

  • Lots of terms and conditions. Each policy has different requirements to activate the cover, as well as details of what accident will be covered.
  • You may still pay an excess. Many of the complimentary car rental excess policies charge an excess of between $200 and $500 per claim. While that's better than the thousands of dollars you could potentially pay without excess insurance, it's still a cost you need to consider.

What to watch out for

If you're thinking of getting a credit card that offers complimentary car rental excess cover – or if your existing card offers this cover – make sure you keep the following details in mind before hiring a rental vehicle.

  • Eligibility. Most credit cards only provide this cover if you have used the card to pay for the rental vehicle or for the entire trip. Make sure you check these details in the insurance policy booklet before assuming you're covered.
  • Coverage limitations. While complimentary car rental excess cover typically applies for vehicle damage or theft, exclusions could apply for damage to the tyres, windscreen or under body of the car. Most policies also exclude claims that relate to off-road driving.
  • Location requirements. Credit card car rental insurance could cover you for domestic trips, overseas trips or both, but it does vary a lot based on the card.
  • Other card costs. If you're looking for a new credit card that offers car rental excess insurance, make sure you also consider the card's other costs, including the annual fee, interest rates and any overseas transaction fees that may apply. Remember, you can always pay for car rental excess insurance, so the priority should be finding a card that's affordable for you – regardless of whether or not it includes insurance.

How do I make a claim?

Any claims you need to make will go through the insurance provider, rather than your bank. You can find these details in your credit card's insurance booklet, or by contacting your provider. You will also need to provide a range of documents to support your claim. This usually includes the following:

  • Proof of your eligibility, such as a credit card transaction statement showing you paid for the rental vehicle.
  • A copy of your car hire agreement.
  • A copy of the incident report (which you would have to fill out after an accident or theft).
  • Details of the damage and repair costs.
  • Written notice from the rental company that outlines the amount you are required to pay.

Keep in mind that these requirements mean you'll usually have to cover the cost of the original car hire excess, then wait for your claim to be assessed before you're reimbursed.

Do I really need car rental excess insurance?

This type of insurance is optional, meaning you technically don't need it to hire a car. But if the rental company has a high standard excess, this cover could help you avoid paying thousands of dollars after an accident. While that doesn't mean you have to get cover, it is worth considering before you pay for a rental car.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BonnieDecember 11, 2017

    Hi I would like a card that ticks the following boxes:
    – Reward points (preferably velocity)
    – international + domestic travel insurance (includes car rental excess)
    – I will also be doing a Balance transfer

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The frequent flyer credit cards that earn Velocity points are listed here. As not all cards have the same benefits, you may need to go over each card featured on that page and see if they have complimentary travel insurance and Balance transfer features. Please also note that domestic travel insurance are not usually covered under the travel insurance benefit. The car rental excess are typically included in the overseas complimentary travel insurance though.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    JohnMay 25, 2017

    I am a platinum ANZ credit card holder and I want to hire a car in NZ do I get the same access cover as I do in Australia?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldMay 29, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      ANZ Platinum credit cardholders are covered under QBE complimentary overseas medical and travel insurance. There’s comprehensive cover for a range of events, including an unlimited benefit payable for overseas medical and dental. If you already have an ANZ Platinum credit card, you’re eligible for the insurance when you hold a return ticket to Australia and have purchased at least $250 of your prepaid travel expenses using the ANZ Platinum credit card. See the insurance terms and conditions to confirm what you’re covered by.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  3. Default Gravatar
    AlokaFebruary 5, 2017

    Hi I’m about to rent a car using my ANZ platinum card. Do I need to purchase additional insurance from the Rent a car company ?
    If event of accident without additional insurance what does the car cover?
    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MauriceFebruary 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Aloka,

      While it’s not compulsory to purchase rental vehicle excess insurance from a car rental company (if you already have cover with your credit card) you might need to purchase damage insurance from the rental car company. Car rental excess insurance included in your credit card covers the excess payable on damage insurance.

      It’s a good idea to clarify with your rental company what type of insurance you are buying from them.

      According to the product disclosure statement (PDS) of ANZ, the maximum amount you are covered for is $2,400 in rental excess cover.

      I hope this helps,

      Maurice

  4. Default Gravatar
    JpJJuly 22, 2016

    I am the cardholder of an HSBC Australia Visa Platinum card. If I hire a car in Australia and have an accident, am I automatically covered for rental vehicle insurance excess? Many thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayAugust 2, 2016Staff

      Hi JpJ,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      As the complimentary travel insurance is applicable for international trips, I’m afraid that the rental vehicle excess cover is only applicable for trips overseas as well. Please feel free to check this page for more information about HSBC complimentary travel insurance cover.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    PamDecember 24, 2015

    I am the holder of an anz visa platinum card. When I hire a rent a car in Australia, am I automatically covered for accidents and to what extent.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyDecember 24, 2015Staff

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your question. Yes, the ANZ Visa Platinum Card does offer cover for domestic car rentals in Australia. You’ll need to meet QBE and ANZ’s eligibility requirements before you can access the rental cover. I’ve emailed you a copy of the insurance policy so you can confirm that you meet those requirements.

      QBE will reimburse you for the amount of any collision excess that you have paid under any vehicle rental agreement that you enter into with a car rental company to hire a vehicle registered in Australia and its offshore territories, where:
      • you are the hirer, or
      • you are a joint hirer and you were driving the hire car when the accident occurred.

      The process for how you can make a claim is also included in the document I have emailed to you.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  6. Default Gravatar
    RexJune 23, 2014

    We have booked a hire car in the UK for 20 days. We have had gold card with ANZ for many years. What cover will this card give us with our rental.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJune 24, 2014Staff

      Hi Rex and Rosly,

      Thanks for your question.

      ANZ Car Rental Cover covers the ANZ credit card account holder who has paid the relevant cover fee. Once you’ve become an ANZ credit card customer, you can obtain ANZ Car Rental Cover for an annual fee of just $24 (inc. GST) at the time of writing.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

    • Default Gravatar
      TrentDecember 14, 2016

      Hi, does this type of cover only cover the cardholder or their partner (who would be a nominated driver) as well? ie if it was my card but say my partner was driving at the time?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 14, 2016Staff

      Hi Trent,

      Thanks for your question and for contacting finder.com.au – a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions.

      Usually, with the complimentary travel insurance attached to a credit card, the cover extends to your immediate family (if they also meet the eligibility conditions of the insurance), so the rental vehicle cover will also be extended to them. But, depending on the conditions surrounding the car rental insurance of your policy and provided you meet them, your partner may or not be covered. I suggest that you contact your credit card’s provider of complimentary travel insurance to be sure.

      Cheers,
      May

Credit Cards Comparison

Updated December 13th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points per month for the first 6 months when you spend $1,500/month. Total of up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
0% for 9 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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