Car Rental Savings With Credit Cards

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Find out How Your Credit Card Can Help You Save Money

Your credit card could make you eligible for discounts, rental upgrades, insurance deals and maybe even a free car rental. If your card does allow for these benefits, you could see significant savings. It all depends on your credit card, though. Some offer rental insurance, some allow you to redeem the points you have earned against car rental and some may even get you access to premium benefits like discount rates and car upgrades.

Insurance

Insurance allows for mental peace whenever you’re on the road. Check with your card provider and how to activate the insurance as well. It’s likely that you may need to pay for the full amount with your credit card and not go in for the insurance deal they offer. You’ll also need to check whether the insurance offered by your credit card is primary or secondary. If it’s primary, then you can file your claim directly with the company that provides the benefit with your card. Some cards may offer primary benefits at a lower rate than the insurance company. Compare costs and choose accordingly. It could end up saving you thousands. If your card offers secondary insurance, then you may need to first file a claim with your personal auto insurance and then, the coverage offered by your card pays for what your insurer does not cover.

Rewards

If your card is linked to a hotel, airline or offers its own reward points, you may be able to use these points to offset rental costs completely or at least in part. But you should check the conversion rates as you may get a better deal booking a stay at the hotel or with airline tickets than with the auto rental. Some cards may also offer premium perks with special deals or special access to car rentals that could unlock savings not available to everyone. They could offer car upgrades, savings on premium or luxury vehicles, discounts on chauffeur driven cars, or exclusive member-only vehicles.

Which Card?

If you’re wondering what credit card to apply for in order to get all these perks and benefits, we’ve got the points you need to keep in mind.
  • Fees – Premium cards that offer discounts, perks and benefits can charge high yearly fees. If you are likely to use the benefits regularly and stand to save a significant amount of money every year, then it makes sense to apply for such a card. But if not, you may not find it worth paying that annual fee. Additionally, you should consider if you are likely to use these benefits for the years to come, as the fees may change as the years go by and canceling a card could hurt your credit score.
  • Limits – Some cards may only offer benefits with certain companies. These companies may not be useful for you as they are at locations you don’t frequently visit or offer services that you don’t need. And those rental companies may be premium companies that could end up costing you more after discount than a regular rental option. So you may find better ways to save without the credit card.
Check all the options and make sure you use all the benefits your card offers.