- Petros Ring
One of my favorite perks of the American Express Platinum card is its rental car benefits. It alone has saved me hundreds of dollars on vacations through having to not pay for the collision damage waiver (CDW), providing status at multiple rental car companies, and discount codes that regularly give me 20% off of my car rental! Let’s go through all the benefits you can use with your American Express Platinum card.
In This Post
How Does Amex Rental Car Insurance Work?
When you use your American Express cards to pay for the entire rental car and decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) you automatically receive secondary car rental insurance that will cover you in the case that your rental car is damaged or stolen for up to $75,000 in value for up to 30 consecutive rental days. Since the insurance is secondary insurance though it only kicks in after your primary insurance is used. For most people, their primary insurance would be their regular car insurance.
As you can see this means that for the majority of people even if you do have an event you will likely never get to use the benefits unless your primary car insurance coverage is fairly minimal and in any case filing a claim will likely cause your rates to increase in addition to the deductible you’ll have to pay.
One trick though is that you can actually sign up for Amex’s Premium Rental Car Protection program for between $19.95 to $24.95 per rental car period (not per day!). With this benefit you’ll receive up to $100,000 of primary insurance coverage for up to 42 consecutive rental days, meaning no need to file a claim with your insurance if an accident occurs. If you’re going to use your American Express to rent a car this is the program to sign up for!
What is Excluded From Amex Rental Car Insurance?
The insurance will work in most circumstances when you’re renting a regular car at any standard rental car agency but there are some places and cars that are excluded.
First, American Express rental car insurance excludes a few countries such as Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and any country that is currently sanctioned by the United States (ex: Zimbabwe).
Second, there are also a few types of vehicles that the insurance coverage does not cover either:
- Cargo vans
- Custom vans
- Vans with a seating capacity of over eight passengers
- Cube vans
- Box trucks
- Any truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more
- Antique cars
- Off-road vehicles
- Recreational vehicles
- Motorized carts
When you do use this benefit you should always try to read some of the fine print. Amex offers over 65 cards with this benefit though and some are different than others though so feel free to check out what’s covered for your specific card.
Amex Platinum Rental Car Status and Benefits
Beyond saving money on expensive collision damage insurance you can also get free upgrades, earn extra points and get benefits like a free extra driver when you use your American Express Platinum card to sign up for one of three different car rental company rewards programs.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Hertz Five Star benefits because of their competitive rates and the ability to pick any car in the Five Star car section. Now, whenever I book a car I always choose the cheapest option (unless I want one of the many Teslas they own now) and always end up picking a better car when I arrive for the same price. Anyway, let’s go through all the benefits of the 3 programs you receive with the American Express Platinum.
Avis Preferred Plus Status
With the American Express Platinum, you can sign up for Avis Preferred Plus Status. With Avis Preferred Plus you’ll receive a complementary 1 class upgrade every time you book and every 6 months you’ll have the ability to earn a coupon for a free 2-day weekend rental if you do 2 or more qualifying rentals during that period.
In addition to this, you can use Amex’s discount code with Avis to get 15% off your rental costs when you use your American Express Platinum to pay for it. Just enter A756900 into the AWD section to receive the benefits of the discount code.
National Rental Car Emerald Club Executive Status
If you prefer National Rental car you can sign up for the Executive Status level for National Rental Car’s Emerald Club. With Executive status, you can choose your own car from the Executive section which is mostly filled with full-size and larger car classes. When you book a full-size through luxury car class you’ll also get an automatic upgrade. Finally, after 6 qualifying rentals, you’ll receive a free rental day.
Also, don’t forget to use the American Express discount code to receive up to 25% off of your rental. To do that book your car through this link and enter 5030795 in the Contact Code section.
Hertz Five Star Elite Status
If you’re like me and a fan of Hertz’s selection of cars (eg. Teslas) and locations you can get automatic Five Star Hertz status by signing up! When you use your Five Star status you can pick any car in the Five Star section, you’ll receive a one-class upgrade whenever possible and you’ll get a 4 hour grace period for returning the car late (very useful with all the current flight delays the industry is experiencing).
After signing up for Five Star status make sure to use the Amex Corporate Discount Code (CDP) of 211762 whenever you book your rental to get up to 20% off of standard rental rates.