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Amex car rental coverage is ending restrictions for Ireland, Israel, and Jamaica

by on Tue June 6, 2017 • No Comment


American Express is changing up its car rental collision damage coverage, spotted by the Travel with Grant blog, and for the most part, there are improvements.

You can see all the new coverage documents here.

In recent years, Amex cards had more country and vehicle restrictions than comparable cards from Chase and Citi.

Now, it’s improving toward their level of coverage.

Effective September 1st, changes to coverage for rentals paid with an eligible American Express card include…

  • Ireland, Israel, and Jamaica rentals are now covered
  • Full sized SUVs like a Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, or Expedition are now covered (up to the coverage limit on your card, which can be $50,000 – $75,000)
  • ‘Expensive’ cars are now covered (the catch is you’re only covered to a $50,000 – $75,000 limit, so if the loss is higher, you’re on the hook)
  • Rentals paid for with rental car points or frequent flier miles are not covered (but using a discount coupon or certificate is OK for partial payment). This is not a change, but there’s now an explicit clarification that these aren’t covered, even if you use your card to pay for part of the cost
Beware these changes don’t kick in until September 1st, so you’re not covered in Ireland, Israel, and Jamaica this summer.
Even with the changes, Amex still won’t cover several basic things, like…
  • Rentals in Australia, New Zealand, and Italy
  • Damage over $50,000 ($75,000 for some premium cards like The Platinum Card)
  • Flat tires / blowouts

And coverage is still secondary, so you’ll have to file a claim with your own insurance provider first, unlike with the Chase Sapphire cards.

So why aren’t rentals in Australia, New Zealand, or Italy covered?

Australia has lots of damage from off road usage and hitting wildlife around sunset, while New Zealand has narrow, treacherous country roads, and Italy gets a mix of lots of damage from narrow streets and general theft.

Cards from some other issuers like Chase and Citi don’t have a specific exclusion for these countries, though they qualify it by saying if it’s prohibited by local law, you might not be covered. So you should always call the number on the back of your card to check your specific rental situation before relying on the coverage.

You can often request a ‘proof of coverage’ document to be emailed for your upcoming rental, which is handy to preempt disputes at the rental car counter.


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