The Amex Platinum Card: Maximizing Car Rental Insurance & Benefits

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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 Amex Platinum Card offers a few different types of benefits you might want to take advantage of when renting a car:

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 Amex Platinum Card

First, let’s take a quick look at the Amex 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 Amex Platinum Card offers, it might earn a spot in your wallet.

Key Benefits of the Amex Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Car Rental Insurance
Image Credit: American Express

Amex Platinum Card Car Rental Privileges

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

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


Avis offers discounts and upgrades to Amex 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.


As an Amex Platinum cardmember, 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 Amex 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

Amex Platinum cardholders 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.

Amex Platinum Card Rental Car Loss & Damage Insurance

The first thing you should know about the car rental loss and damage insurance offered by the Amex 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 Amex Platinum Card
  2. Decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company

Even then, there are exclusions. The coverage provided by the Amex 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 Amex 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 a 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 Amex 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.


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

Email: [email protected]


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 Amex 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 Amex Amex 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 Amex Amex 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 Credit: 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 Amex 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 Amex Platinum card is secondary, meaning it only covers what your primary insurance won’t cover.

These perks are all included with the Amex 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 Amex Platinum Card.

Frequently asked questions

Does my Amex Platinum Card have car rental insurance?

Yes, the Amex Platinum Card comes with car rental loss and damage insurance. To be eligible you need to pay for the entire rental with your Amex 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 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. 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

      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.


    • Thanks for this article! I was comparing/contrasting the various Travel & Purchase Protections of my Platinum Card vs. my Ritz-Carlton card just today and this article was insightful with regards to the car rental provisions.


  2. Jeffrey Newton July 31, 2019

    What if I don’t have a primary insurance carrier because I don’t own a car? Will my Amex platinum insurance benefits then kick in? Or do I need to have a primary carrier?


    • Hi Jeffrey,

      You do not need a primary carrier. Per the Amex terms, if you do not have primary insurance the Amex Platinum Insurance will still kick in. Thanks for reading!


  3. Rodney Miller August 19, 2019

    If my personal auto insurance does not cover car rentals in Europe, will my Amex card then provide insurance coverage?


    • Hi Rodney,

      Yes, since the Amex Platinum provides secondary insurance it will cover you if your personal policy does not.

      Thanks for reading!


      • I can’t find that statement you made about AMEX Platinum acting as Primary on rental cars in other countries. It only states secondary. Is this in writing anywhere?


        • Hi!

          The Platinum card offers Secondary Insurance. Secondary insurance means it will only come into play if your personal auto insurance does not apply. So If your personal auto insurance will not cover damage to your rental car in another country, then you can submit a claim with your secondary insurance. If you have other concerns or hesitations about what the coverage extends to I would recommend contacting American Express directly. Thanks for reading!


  4. Thanks for this article! I was comparing/contrasting the various Travel & Purchase Protections of my Platinum Card vs. my Ritz-Carlton card just today and this article was insightful with regards to the car rental provisions.


    • Hey Ryan! Thanks for your feedback. We enjoy it tremendously when readers find our pieces useful.


  5. Francis Scofield November 9, 2019

    Ok, the American Express Platinum covers with secondary insurance when renting a car. If I am involved in a accident do I have to call my personal insurance to file a claim?


    • Christine Krzyszton November 9, 2019

      Hello Francis. Yes, the car rental coverage that comes complimentary with the Amex Platinum is secondary which requires you to file a claim with any other applicable insurance you might have, first. Amex also offers an optional Primary Car Rental Protection plan you can purchase for a low flat fee which covers you for the entire rental period. This optional protection provides primary coverage which does not require you to file a claim with your insurance company first.


  6. As a point of clarification, the National Executive status is great but it doesn’t transfer to Enterprise. The only additional benefit you receive with National Executive status is earning points with Enterprise. Glad I checked this out because I was going to rent with Enterprise and thought I could upgrade for free 🙁


    • Andrew Kunesh November 21, 2019

      Hey Lisa, unfortunately that is correct. You can earn National points with Enterprise but other benefits do not carry over.


  7. If I have claims for a number of accidents that occurred on separate occasions, will future attempts to cover CDW on my credit card be stopped?


    • Hi Tim,

      There does not appear to be anything in the T&C that states a hard limit on the number of times you can submit a claim. But feel free to contact Amex directly regarding this, as they may have a policy that is disclosed elsewhere. You can contact them at 1-800-338-1670.


  8. I don’t have car rental privileges at all on my Charles Schwab Platinum card. Did AMEX cancel it?


  9. Hi,

    The policy says it does not cover cars rented in Italy. However if I rent in France and return to Italy will that be covered?


    • Christine Krzyszton January 27, 2020

      Hi Pb. The policy states that Italy is excluded but we are not in a position to interpret the policy further. You will want to contact the claim administrator by calling the number
      on the back of your card before you travel. You can then present your specific question to them and receive further clarification. Thanks for reading.


  10. If the rental vehicle is paid for entirely with an Amex Platinum that belongs to someone other than the authorized driver, would Amex still provide coverage for any damages if the cardholder is not in the vehicle?


    • Christine Krzyszton March 3, 2020

      Hi Valerie. Amex defines an eligible renter as the following: “An Eligible Renter means a Card
      Member with an Eligible Card, and their spouse or Domestic Partner, and Authorized
      Drivers.” Because of the word “and”, it appears others are covered only in addition to the Card Member.
      However, for clarification regarding a specific situation, you should always call the benefit administrator directly using the number on the back of your card.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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