Car Rental Credit Cards – Credit Cards with Cheap Car Rental Deals

Credit cards can cater to those who rent cars in a range of ways. Find out how you can benefit.

Rewards credit cards offer rewards applicable to the vast majority of spenders out there—there's usually something for everyone.

A rewards credit card can benefit those who regularly rent vehicles in the following ways:

  1. You can use rewards points to pay for car rental
  2. You can earn bonus points when using car rental partners
  3. Some cards have complimentary rental vehicle excess insurance

Read on to learn more about how each of these benefits works, and how you can compare the cards which offer them.

Car Rental Credit Card Comparison

Rates last updated December 7th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum card benefits with $0 annual fee in the first year and complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum
This card features a 30,000 bonus points offer, introductory interest rates on balance transfers and purchases and an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year and earn up to 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Receive 50,000 bonus Reward Points after your first eligible purchase is made within 3 months of card approval and earn up 2 Reward Points for every dollar spent on purchases.
18.79% p.a. $95 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
$250 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black - Exclusive Offer
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases, choose between two reward programs offering Altitude or Qantas Rewards and receive premium cardholder benefits.
20.24% p.a. $395 p.a. Go to site More info

Using rewards points to pay for car rental

Most of the frequent flyer and rewards programs in the market today allow you to use your points to pay for car rental services. There's a couple things you should know about this.

Unlike using points to claim with hotels, most programs have only one car hire partner.

For Qantas and American Express this is AVIS, for Virgin Velocity this is Europcar (with Hertz and Thrifty supposedly on their way) and for Westpac Altitude it's Hertz.

If you regularly use the services of one car hire company in particular you'll want to see if they're a partner with any frequent flyer programs.

Different rewards programs allow you to use your points in different ways.

This will also have an impact on how you use your points towards renting a car. Some frequent flyer programs like Qantas', American Express' and Westpac Altitude only allow you to redeem your points for car hire vouchers. Others like Virgin Velocity allow you to directly redeem points for car hire.

You can earn bonus points when using car rental partners

Most frequent flyer and rewards programs also allow you to earn bonus points when using car rental services. If we take some of the above examples we can see the extra points able to be earned when hiring a vehicle.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Program

You can earn bonus points for the following car hire partners.


In AustraliaOutside of Australia
AVIS3 points per dollar spent700 points per rental
Budget3 points per dollar spent700 points per rental

Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer Program


In Australia and New ZealandOutside Australia and New Zealand
Hertz3 points per dollar spent800 points per rental
Thrifty3 points per dollar spent800 points per rental
Europcar3 points per dollar spent800 points per rental

There are also bonuses to this rate depending on what Velocity membership level you have.

Silver50% bonus points
Gold75% bonus points
Platinum100% bonus points

Westpac Altitude Program

The Altitude Program also gives cardholders the ability to earn bonus points when hiring a vehicle from Hertz.

Card usedBonus points earned
Altitude and Altitude Business Cards1 per dollar spent
Altitude Black, Altitude Business Gold, Altitude Platinum, Altitude Platinum Plus3 per dollar spent

Complimentary rental vehicle excess insurance

As part of the benefits of many gold and platinum credit cards card providers will give cardholders free insurance policies.

These policies can include complimentary travel insurance and of particular relevance to this article, insurance which covers your excess in the event you have an accident in your rental vehicle and it suffers damage.

How's it activated?

The activation of this policy differs depending on the card. In most cases you'll have to pay for your car rental booking using the card.

You'll also have to be booking with a licensed rental car provider and take out the standard comprehensive insurance provided with rental cars.

What's covered?

Some of these policies will cover the cost for the excess and the cost of returning a vehicle to the nearest depot in the event you make a claim under another section of the policy.

There's usually a cover limit for each of these two parts of the policies. For excesses the limit is generally around the $5,000 mark, and for the costs of returning a vehicle to the nearest depot you're usually covered for around $2,000. As always do your own research of the terms and conditions first.

Compare the market today

As you've probably noticed, there are quite a few cards out there which offer the benefits listed above, so you'll want to compare rewards cards out there to find the right one for your use.

The information about earning bonus points and redeeming points with car hire partners can be found easily on the rewards page of the card you're looking for.

If you want to compare car rental excess you can read about the limits and exclusions on one of our complimentary insurance pages or in the terms and conditions on the card provider's website.

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2 Responses to Car Rental Credit Cards – Credit Cards with Cheap Car Rental Deals

  1. Default Gravatar
    Evan | April 14, 2015

    My wife and have HSBC MasterCards and premier cards. We want to rent a car in Europe this summer and would like to know what the car insurance covers while using our HSBC MasterCard. Are there any restrictions and do we have to decline the rental company’s collision insurance? How much are we covered for and there restrictions as to the number of days we are covered? If we rent for six weeks will we be covered? Thank you!

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 15, 2015

      Hi Evan, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the details I have sent to your email outlining all the information to your questions.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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