Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Caitlin


Choosing the right credit card to pay for your car rental is an important decision. Of course, not all credit cards are created equal. A premium credit card with built-in benefits can offer an extra layer of protections as well as some nice perks, from airport lounge access. The American Express Platinum Card offers a slew of perks for travelers, but they are mainly for airlines and hotels. You get a few perks for car rentals, including secondary rental car insurance coverage. That’s not bad, but not as generous as what you’d get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

American Express Platinum Card Benefits for Car Rentals

American Express issues nearly five dozen different credit cards, including four different Platinum Cards, not including co-branded cards. None of them offer primary car rental coverage, although most offer secondary coverage. American Express has a page where you can check the coverage for your specific card.

Buy Collision Insurance For Less Than What You’ll Pay at the Rental Counter

American Express Platinum Cards offer secondary coverage for damages of up to $75,000. The policy also covers “reasonable and necessary charges” related to damage or theft. These include Loss of Use, appraisal fees and towing charges not covered by other roadside assistance programs.

Regardless of which American Express credit card you hold, enroll for Premium Car Rental Protection coverage that can be added to car rentals (for between $12.95 and $24.95, depending on where you rent). This coverage is typically cheaper than what you would pay over the counter. That’s because it’s charged once for the entire rental, not per day. The policy is also primary coverage. That makes it a good choice if you don’t own your own car and do not have personal auto insurance. If you want this protection, enroll in the program online before renting the car.

The Premium Car Rental Protection can not be applied to car rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand. It also excludes some types of vehicles.

American Express Platinum Cards come with a slew of travel benefits, but mainly for airlines and hotels. The $695 annual fee is fairly easy to recoup thanks to perks like Uber credits, $200 airline fee credit, Global Entry, and 5x rewards points on hotels and flights. For car rentals, you get free memberships in the premium car rental programs of Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental.

Get Car Rental Insurance Through Your American Express Platinum Card

To receive Amex Platinum car rental insurance on your reservation, you must use your card to pay for the entire rental and decline the rental company’s coverage options. This coverage also applies when redeeming Membership Rewards points to pay for some or all of the reservation. The rental car protection covers Amex Platinum cardholders, their spouse or domestic partner and any authorized drivers.

Apply for an American Express Platinum Card

To apply for an American Express Platinum Card, visit the Amex website and fill out an application for the card of your choice.

How to File a Rental Car Claim with American Express Platinum Card

To make an American Express Platinum Card rental car insurance claim, call (800) 338-1670 in the U.S. only or call (440) 914-2950 from other locations worldwide. American Express will then mail you instructions for what to do next.

Let AutoSlash Track Your Car Rental for Price Drops

As always, it is important to document everything. Be sure to take multiple photos of the rental car—noting every ding and scratch—before you leave the car rental office when you pick up the car.