Did you know that most Visa cardholders have rental car auto collision coverage at no additional cost to you? Which means that if you get in an accident with your rental car and you used Visa to pay for it, Visa will pay for the damages!!!
I've found out this lesson the hard way. But basically, you should never accept a rental car company's offers of collision damage protection (usually at around $10/day) because your credit card can provide it to you for FREE! Some of the basic terms and conditions I've learned are:
- The cardholder must be the primary renter or an authorized driver
- The rental must be paid for through Visa
- Collision damage coverage offered through the rental car company must be declined
- The rental term must be 15days or less
- If you already have personal auto insurance, this coverage is supplemental and will cover only your deductible. If you don't have personal auto insurance, Visa will pay for the entire cost of damages up to the legal value of the vehicle
- The incident must be reported within 45days of occurrence
I used Visa as the example since that's the card I used, but I think other companies like MasterCard and AmEx offer similar services. You should check to make sure. These types of services are offered directly through Visa and not through the bank issuing the card. At Visa, this group is called "Enhanced Services."
In this case, it really sounds like there is such a thing as a free lunch....