Select ’ s column team works independently to review fiscal products and spell articles we think our readers will find utilitarian. We may receive a deputation when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners. With the start of summer just a few weeks away and vaccine distribution in full swing, the open road is calling out to many Americans. A form or summer road slip is becoming a popular, socially-distanced alternate to flying, and it can be a bang-up way to spend quality time with family or friends. If this road trip requires a lease cable car, you ‘ll want to make sure that you ‘re covered by either your personal car indemnity policy or by your credit tease. Most travel rewards cards come equipped with special car rental indemnity which allows you to skip the rental company ‘s indemnity.

Ahead, Select explains how credit calling card car lease coverage works, and reviews the best credit cards for road trips, with information on the car lease indemnity coverage you get with each .

Credit card car rental insurance: The basics

first and foremost, if you want to be covered by your credit rating poster ‘s cable car rental policy you must pay for the entire lease monetary value ( plus fees ) with that card. typically, the cardholder besides must be the primary tenant, though early drivers are frequently covered if they are on the rental sign. last, your recognition menu ‘s terms normally require that you decline the car lease agency ‘s Collision Damage Waiver ( CDW ), which would cover damage to the rental vehicle ( but not bodily damage or damage to other vehicles ). But do n’t worry : Opting out of the car lease agency ‘s CDW plainly makes it possible to use the coverage provided by your accredit card in the event of an accident. Just make sure that you know precisely what your batting order covers and whether it offers primary coverage and/or secondary coil coverage. not all types of cars are covered under a CDW. Luxury cars and amateur vehicles, for example, are frequently not included. There ‘s besides normally a limit on the number of days that you can take out coverage, frequently up to two weeks ( 14 days ) or a calendar month ( 31 days ) .

Primary vs. secondary coverage

Most credit cards offer secondary coverage, which means the coverage kicks in after your personal cable car indemnity policy. In the case of an accident, larceny or wrong, you ‘d first need to file a claim with your own car indemnity caller before submitting a claim through your credit calling card ‘s policy provider. If you do n’t have a personal car indemnity policy ( i.e. if you do n’t own and/or drive your own cable car ), secondary coverage may silent kick in — just check your policy to make indisputable you ‘re covered. primary coverage, on the early hand, is fair like the identify suggests. With credit cards that offer primary insurance coverage, you can submit an accident title good away by calling the number on the back of your tease, without beginning submitting to a personal policy .

What about liability coverage?

Liability coverage is n’t included in most credit calling card and/or rental cable car CDWs, which alone cover wrong to and/or larceny of the rental cable car ( but not bodily damage or other personal property damage ). If you ‘re involved in an accident resulting in injury to another person, you probably wo n’t be covered. Full indebtedness protection comes with the rental ship’s company ‘s indemnity. You typically have to add it on at the counter and/or at the clock time of reserving the car, unless you have extended rental cable car coverage through your personal car policy policy. Liability auspices is probable more expensive for rental cars than for your own car ; it runs about $ 8 to $ 25 per day. Some countries may actually require that you opt into liability coverage when renting a car .

Best credit cards for a road trip

Best for car rentals

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Learn More On Chase ‘s secure locate

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on publicize locomotion and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $ 300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other locomotion and dining & 1 steer per $ 1 spent on all early purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account open

  • Annual fee

    $ 550

  • Intro APR

    none

  • Regular APR

    16.99 % to 23.99 % variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5 %, minimum $ 5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    none

  • Credit needed

    excellent

See our methodology, terms apply .

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit for travel purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access at 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Free DashPass subscription for a minimum of a year when you activate by March 31, 2022
  • Complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership

Cons

  • High $550 annual fee, but it can be offset by taking advantage of all the card’s perks
  • No introductory APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,469
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $3,346

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonusLearn More View More The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and its lower annual fee cousin, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, both provide primary cable car rental coverage for car rentals in most countries. These cards offer coverage for rentals of up to 31 consecutive days at a time. The sapphire policy covers losses, including physical wrong and/or larceny of the rental fomite, valid loss-of-use charges assessed by the lease company and reasonable and accustomed tow charges related to a brood loss. View the Sapphire benefits guides for more in-depth information on rental car coverage :

  • Sapphire Reserve guide
  • Sapphire Preferred guide

Best for gas

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Learn More On PenFed ‘s fasten locate

  • Rewards

    5X points on gas purchases at the pump and electric vehicle charging stations, 3X points on supermarket purchases, 1X point on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    15,000 points when you spend $ 1,500 in the beginning 3 months from explanation opening

  • Annual fee

    $ 0

  • Promo APR

    0 % promotional poise transmit rate for 12 months on transfers made from now until March 31, 2022*

  • Regular APR

    13.49 % to 17.99 % variable on purchases ; 17.99 % non-variable on balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3 %

  • Foreign transaction fee

    none

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply .

Pros

  • High 5X points on gas at the pump and 3X on supermarket purchases
  • No bonus category activations
  • Good special financing offer on balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $513
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,167

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus. *After the promotional proportion transfer time period, the APR for the unpaid balance and any raw balance transfers will be 17.99 %. A 3 % balance transplant fee applies to each transportation. This transaction is capable to citation approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit calling card unless you pay the stallion report balance, including balance transfers, in wax each calendar month by the payment due date .Learn More View More The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature card comes with Visa Signature perks including a secondary car collision damage release ( CDW ) that reimburses cardholders for the cover larceny or damage american samoa well as valid administrative and loss-of-use charges imposed by the car lease caller and fair tow charges that occur while you are creditworthy for the lease vehicle.

coverage lasts up to 15 consecutive days within your state of residence or 31 straight days outside the U.S .

Best for groceries

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Learn More On the American Express impregnable site

  • Rewards

    6 % cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $ 6,000 per year in purchases ( then 1 % ), 6 % cash back on blue-ribbon U.S. stream subscriptions, 3 % cash spinal column at U.S. boast stations, 3 % cash back on transportation system including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1 % cash binding on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit .

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $ 300 statement credit after you spend $ 3,000 in purchases on your newfangled Card within the first 6 months .

  • Annual fee

    $ 0 introductory annual tip for the beginning year, then $ 95

  • Intro APR

    0 % for the inaugural 12 months on purchases, N/A for poise transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99 % to 23.99 % variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7 %

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply .

Pros

  • High 6% cash back at U.S. supermarket spending (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%)
  • Unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

Cons

  • 2.7% fee on purchases made abroad
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $679
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,397

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonusLearn More View More The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express provides car collision damage release ( CDW ) covering larceny and/or wrong improving to the price of the fomite for up to 30 consecutive days. Learn more about Amex ‘s rental car insurance .

Best for dining and takeout

American Express® Gold Card

Learn More On the American Express plug web site

  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants ( plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. ) and at U.S. supermarkets ( on up to $ 25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X ), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $ 4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months from report opening

  • Annual fee

    $ 250

  • Intro APR

    not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    none

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply .

Pros

  • Up to $120 dining credit annually ($10 a month) for purchases made with Grubhub, Seamless and eligible restaurants (after a one-time enrollment)
  • Up to $120 Uber Cash annually ($10 a month) for U.S. Uber Eats orders and U.S. Uber rides (card must be added to Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit)
  • Strong rewards program with 4X points earned at restaurants and 3X points earned on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • Baggage insurance plan covers up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage that is damaged, lost or stolen
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • No introductory APR period
  • $250 annual fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,074
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,969

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonusLearn More View More The american Express® Gold Card provides an car collision damage release ( CDW ) covering larceny and/or damage up to the monetary value of the vehicle for up to 30 consecutive days. Learn more about Amex ‘s rental car insurance .

Our methodology

To determine which cards offer the best prize, CNBC Select analyzed 234 of the most popular citation cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, remainder transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, arsenic well as factors such as required accredit and customer reviews when available. We besides considered extra perks, the application action and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points. We besides estimated how a lot the average consumer would save over the course of a class, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the calling card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee. Our final examination picks are weighted heavily toward the highest five-year returns, since it ’ mho by and large wise to hold onto a credit card for years. This method acting besides avoids giving an unfair advantage to cards with boastfully welcome bonuses. For libra transfer cards, we used a Bankrate calculator to match the interest rates and fees you could incur if you transferred $ 6,028, the average libra Americans carry on their credit cards in 2019, according to Experian. If the average consumer with a $ 6,028 remainder on their credit tease pays $ 200 each calendar month, they will spend $ 1,911 in extra pastime, assuming the median 17.7 % APR. And it will take them 40 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt. With four of the five cards featured on this list, if you take full advantage of the presentation APR time period and pay $ 200 per calendar month, you ’ ll pay up less than $ 450 in interest and cut your repayment time in one-half to 20 months. That ’ s a significant savings. For the cards that offered a advantage platform, we besides estimated how much cash second you might earn over a five year period. CNBC Select teamed up with localization intelligence firm Esri. The company ’ randomness data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive examination consumer outgo data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here. Esri ’ south data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $ 22,126 in retail spend. The budget includes six main categories : groceries ( $ 5,174 ), gas ( $ 2,218 ), dining out ( $ 3,675 ), travel ( $ 2,244 ), utilities ( $ 4,862 ) and general purchases ( $ 3,953 ). general purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, dress, personal caution products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses. CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the circuit board for all applicable purchases. All rewards entire estimations are web the annual fee. It ’ s important to note the respect of a point or mile varies from card to card and based on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders are redeeming points/miles for a typical maximum prize of 1 penny per point or mile. ( extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value. ) When choosing the best balance wheel transfer card, we focused on the card that provides consumers with the cheapest manner to pay off their debt rather than the number of rewards they could potentially earn. When you ’ re in credit card debt, your elementary focus should be refund. Earning rewards should be seen as a bonus, and you don ’ metric ton want to spend beyond your means in order to earn points. The five-year rewards sum and the interest rate and fees estimates are derived from a budget like to the average american english ’ mho spend and debt. You may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spend habits. For rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred Card, cluck here

For rates and fees for the Amex Gold Card, chatter here Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff ’ south alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or differently endorsed by any third party .

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