The Platinum Card® from American Express: Maximizing Car Rental Insurance & Benefits

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U.P. Rating for The Platinum Card® from American Express:

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the premier credit cards on the market today. It’s known for amazing perks, but it also carries a steep annual fee.

While the dollar figure may seem daunting, this card comes with a lot of benefits to offset the cost. In this post we’ll focus on its perks related to renting a car.

The Platinum Card® offers a couple different types of benefits you might want to take advantage of when renting a car:

  • Car rental privileges with Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental
  • Rental car loss and damage insurance

This post will dig into these benefits to explore what they cover, what they don’t, and how you can benefit from them.

Benefits of The Platinum Card

First, let’s take a quick look at the Platinum Card® as a whole. This premium credit card comes with a premium price tag.

Make no mistake, it’s a pricey card — but if you can take advantage of all the perks the Platinum Card® offers, it might earn a spot in your wallet.

Key Benefits of The Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Car Rental Insurance
Image courtesy of American Express.

Platinum Card® Car Rental Privileges

As part of the benefits of holding The Platinum Card, you will receive complimentary memberships with the Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental programs.

Once you enroll in any of these programs, you will enjoy special benefits and perks.

Avis

Avis offers discounts and upgrades to Platinum Card® members. These perks only apply to U.S and Canadian residents who are renting at a participating Avis location in the U.S or Canada.

  • Make your reservations using Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) #756900 for up to 25% off base rates. (Discount does not apply to taxes, fees, and surcharges)
  • Use Coupon #UUNA007 when making a reservation to receive a complimentary one car class upgrade when available.

These perks are subject to blackout dates and can change at any time. Specialty cars (group x) are not eligible for these discounts.

Click here or call 800-331-1212 to enroll in Avis.

Hot Tip: For more information about Avis car rentals, check out our complete guide to the Avis Preferred Car Rental Program.

Hertz

As a Platinum Card® member, you will receive free enrollment in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. You are also eligible to receive a one car class upgrade when you rent an intermediate through full sized car (subject to availability) and pay with your Platinum Card®.

Use code CDP#211762 when enrolling in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards to ensure you receive your benefits. Click here or call 800-525-3355 to enroll in Hertz Gold Rewards.

Hot Tip: See our complete guide to Hertz Gold Rewards for more information about the Hertz program.

National Car Rental

Platinum Card® holders also receive complimentary Emerald Club Executive membership. Benefits include:

  • Choose your own car from the ExecutiveSelection area
  • Upgrades when renting a full size through luxury car
  • Accelerated earnings toward free rental days
  • Speedy returns with an e-receipt

Click here or call 800-525-3355 to enroll in Emerald Club.

Platinum Card® Rental Car Loss & Damage Insurance

The first thing you should know about the car rental loss and damage insurance offered by the Platinum Card® is how to remain eligible.

To be eligible for the coverage provided by American Express, you must:

  1. Pay for the entire rental cost with your Platinum Card
  2. Decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company

Even then, there are exclusions. The coverage provided by the Platinum Card® does not include any of the following:

  • Full-sized or cargo vans
  • Commercial mini-vans
  • Customized vehicles
  • Antique cars
  • Limousines
  • Off-road vehicles, motorcycles, campers, trailers, recreational vehicles
  • Any vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand
  • Any situation where the rental car was taken out of the authorized rental area or off road
  • Any situation in which illegal drugs and/or alcohol are involved
  • Any residents of American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau and the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands
  • Any ride sharing companies that allow individuals to rent out their personal cars

This coverage only applies to the first 30 days of a rental.

Bottom Line: To be eligible for car rental loss and damage insurance from The Platinum Card, you need to pay for the entire rental cost with your card and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company.

What Does the Plan Cover?

First, if the cardmember, authorized driver, or passenger is injured as a result of an accident that occurs in the rental car, the plan pays up to $5,000 for medically necessary treatment.

Additionally, if the cardmember, authorized driver, or passenger suffers an accidental death or dismemberment as a direct result of an accident that occurs in the rental car, the plan pays up to $200,000 for the cardmember and $20,000 for an authorized driver or passenger with a per accident max of $300,000. The following exceptions apply:

  • For residents of Utah and Vermont, this coverage is primary instead of secondary (see below for more on this)
  • For residents of New Hampshire, there are reduced payouts and limits. Accidental death and dismemberment is limited to $20,000 for the cardmember and $2,000 for an authorized driver or passenger with a per accident cap at $50,000.

Any personal property that is damaged or stolen while secured in a rental vehicle is covered up to $1,000 per person and a total of $2,000 per accident.

For theft or damage to the rental vehicle, the Platinum Card® covers up to $75,000.

Contact Information

If you have a question regarding your insurance policy or filing a claim, use the following contact information.

Phone:

Customer Service and Claims Department Toll-free: 1-800-338-1670
International Collect: 1-216-617-2500

Email: AMEXCRLDP@UFAC-CLAIMS.COM

Mail:

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
P.O. Box 94729
Cleveland, OH 44101-4729

Car rental loss and damage insurance policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Bottom Line: The Platinum Card® will cover you if your rental car is damaged or stolen. It does NOT cover liability, damage to other vehicles, or injuries to people in other vehicles. 

Primary vs. Secondary Coverage

The Platinum Card® offers secondary coverage. This means that you need to file a claim with any other applicable insurance first before this coverage kicks in.

If you prefer primary coverage (meaning you don’t have to file a claim with your other insurance first), take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card comes with primary car rental insurance and only a $95 annual fee.

Bottom Line: The Platinum Card® offers secondary coverage, which means you need to submit a claim with your other insurance first before you can submit a claim through American Express.

How to File a Claim

If you believe you have a valid claim, you will need to submit supporting documents online.

Before you submit your claim, you will need the following documents and information:

  • Car rental agreement/contract
  • Personal insurance information
  • Police report that includes damage, theft, or accident information

    Amex Platinum Car Rental Insurance
    You will need to file a police report noting the damage or theft before you can make a claim with American Express. Image courtesy of American Express.

Filing your claim should take about 15-20 minutes, but you can stop and come back to it by clicking the Save and Finish Later button. If you do this, you must finish your claim within 72 hours, or all of your information will be deleted and you’ll have to start over.

It will take about 45 days to receive a final decision regarding your claim, however it could be up to 90 days for international rentals.

If you have any questions about your claim, call 1-800-338-1670.

Final Thoughts

The Platinum Card offers many benefits, including car rental insurance and car rental privileges with Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental.

Rental car loss and damage insurance that comes with the Platinum Card® is secondary, meaning it only covers what your primary insurance won’t cover.

These perks are all included with the Platinum Card® annual fee. For a comprehensive guide to all of the value you can get out of this card, check out these benefits of The Platinum Card.


Featured Image Credit: American Express

FAQ

Does my Platinum Card® from American Express have car rental insurance?

Yes, the Platinum Card® comes with car rental loss and damage insurance. To be eligible you need to pay for the entire rental with your Platinum Card® and decline the CDW offered by the car rental agency. This coverage is secondary, which means you will have to file a claim with any other applicable insurance first.

What is secondary car rental insurance?

Secondary car rental insurance means you need to file a claim with any other applicable insurance first. The secondary insurance can cover expenses that the primary insurance didn’t cover.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland - that's an experience she doesn't intend on repeating!). In late 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and it literally changed her life.

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2 comments

  1. Bradley · May 28, 2019 · Reply

    When I’m renting through Avis for coverages I don’t see CDW. I see LDW, PAI, PEP and ALI. Are these different?

    Thank you!

    • Christine Krzyszton · May 28, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Bradley. LDW stands for Loss Damage Waiver which is another term for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). PAI is personal accident insurance, PEP is Personal Effects Protection, and ALI is Additional Liability Insurance. All of these coverages are optional for purchase. Normally you need to decline the CDW (LDW) for credit card coverage to take affect. You should make a call to the benefits administrator (phone number on the back of your card) for clarification on which coverage you have on your card and also to your auto insurance carrier (if applicable) if you have more questions.

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