Pro Tip On Your Next National Car Rental For Primary Insurance And Savings

Chase’s Ink credit cards offer primary collision insurance, but many folks forget to tell you that the rental is primary for business purposes

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary when renting for business purposes and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.

The Pro Tip

I had to rent a car from National for work and needed to drive from NJ to MA. The reservation was made via our corporate travel portal using the corporate card. When the rental was over, the charges posted on my personal AMEX card and not the corporate card.

The cause of this was having my personal card as “primary” at the time of booking and driving off the lot.

My recommendation for a personal rental is to make sure your “primary” card is the card that is your personal credit card with the best insurance coverage when you drive off the lot in the event anything happens. 

At the conclusion of the rental and the charges post,

  • Switch your primary card to your Chase Ink
  • Call National and have the charges be applied switch to your new primary card, which would now be your Ink.

You want to do that because you can save an extra 4% from using Visa SavingsEdge


Don’t forget, “earning” status on National is incredibly easy. Just having a MasterCard World Elite card will give you status or having the AMEX Platinum card. This will allow you to grab any car in the Executive aisle versus the Emerald aisle when you pay for a midsize or intermediate car class. 

In Closing

This “trick” can help you in a bind if you need the insurance without getting yourself into any trouble. After you wrap up the rental, you can swap it to a different card that will allow you to save some extra money. 

7 comments… add one
  • When you say “Call National and have the charges be applied switch to your new primary card, which would now be your Ink” does that mean National has to do a refund to the initial card and then a new charge to the Ink? And how soon after you drop off does this phone call need to take place…within an hour…a day? With the Ink you’re getting 1X UR pt/$ + 4% cashback…which, if you have the Reserve and value those at 1.5cpp, is not too far off from the 3X UR (4.5cpp value) that you get from the Reserve (which has pretty good rental car insurance). Not saying that I’d go that route b/c the 4% cashback immediately is more valuable to me than stockpiling some more UR.

    • That’s right, National will refund the first card and then charge the second card. If you have a good agent, the charges happen within 48 hours. The first time I did it, the charges failed and it took over 2 weeks so there is some time to move the charges. So the timing is really at your convenience.

      I really should include the CSR, but keep forgetting it because it’s not in my wallet and I don’t remember all the benefits and forgot to include that in the post

  • Why do you only mention the Ink? Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve also offer primary rental insurance and give bonus points on travel…

    • Also it’s confusing that you say to switch to a primary insurance card at the conclusion of your rental. That defeats the whole point of having the insurance during the eligible coverage period. Then at the end you say switch to a different card from the insurance one (i.e. one that would give more points or whatever). This post makes no sense.

      The bottom line is that at the end of the rental, you can switch your payment card which is indeed a useful trick.

      • Some people are under the fallacy that the Ink is a primary insurance, but it has to be business related, so I am suggesting using a card that has the personal first and then save some extra by switching to the Ink at the end. When you use the Ink Visa and sign up for the business Visa Savings Edge you’ll get back 4%

        But you’re right the CSP and CSR has primary and if that’s all you have then there’s no need to switch

  • So far as I could tell from calling AMEX, and checking the World Elite link, they both only give you Emerald Aisle status now, not Executive Aisle. Please, Please, prove me wrong. I’d love to get my Executive Aisle back.


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