How Chase Freedom Unlimiited Rental Car Insurance Stacks Up [2021]

If you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, see what rental car insurance benefits you qualify for.
Last updated May 13, 2021 | By Dori Zinn
Four friends driving in a rental car

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Your credit card does more than just pay for your vacation — it can actually help you save money while traveling, too. Whether you’re picking a rental car up from the airport or heading to a rental agency near you, make sure you have the right piece of plastic handy.

Many credit cards have rental car insurance benefits so you don’t need to buy it separately from the rental company. And the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card’s rental car insurance policy might offer you more coverage than you think.

Not only is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card one of the best cash back credit cards, but it also provides additional protections when you're out of town and renting a car. See what your rental coverage looks like before hitting the road.

In this article

What does Chase Freedom Unlimited’s rental car insurance cover?

Your Chase Freedom Unlimited auto rental collision damage waiver (CDW) will reimburse you for damages due to a collision or theft up to the cash value of your rental car for up to 31 consecutive days. To be eligible for this coverage, you’ll need to use your Chase Freedom Unlimited to pay for the booking and decline the insurance offered by the rental company.

The CDW offered through the Chase Freedom Unlimited is secondary insurance that supplements the auto insurance you have on your personal car. You’ll need to file a claim through your primary insurance company first — any amount that’s not covered by that policy may then be covered by the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s benefits.

Coverage is valid in the United States and most foreign countries for you and any other drivers in your rental agreement. Coverage includes:

  • Physical vehicle damage or theft
  • Charges by the rental company while the vehicle is being repaired
  • Related towing charges

The benefit is only good for rental periods of 31 days or less. Most vehicles — including cars, minivans, and utility vehicles — are eligible, but some restrictions may apply.

Rental cars that aren’t covered by Chase Freedom Unlimited

Specialty cars might be fun to rent, but your Chase Freedom Unlimited may not cover the insurance on one. Some antique, exotic, or nontraditional cars aren’t covered. Exclusions include:

  • Specific vans that carry nine or more passengers
  • Trucks or vehicles with an open cargo bed
  • Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes
  • Antique cars over 20 years old
  • Limousines
  • RVs (Recreational Vehicles)

Specific brands of expensive vehicles that aren’t covered include:

  • Alfa Romeo
  • Aston Martin
  • Bentley
  • Corvette
  • Ferrari
  • Jaguar
  • Lamborghini
  • Lotus
  • Maserati
  • Maybach
  • McLaren
  • Porsche
  • Rolls Royce
  • Tesla

Some models of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Range Rover are covered through the rental car insurance. Contact the Benefit Administrator or review the Guide to Benefits you received with. your card if you have questions about a certain vehicle.

Other things not covered by Chase Freedom Unlimited car rental insurance

  • Injuries of anyone in or out of the car
  • A vehicle’s normal wear and tear or mechanical breakdown
  • Damage to your personal items
  • Damage that occurs due to driver negligence, such as off-road driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or transporting illegal items
  • Claims submitted more than 100 days after the accident
  • Any losses that haven’t received proper documentation within a year

How good is rental car insurance on the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card?

If you have a Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, let's see how the rental car insurance stacks up to other Chase cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers secondary insurance, the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards offer primary insurance coverage. That means you don’t have to file a claim with your personal car insurance provider to receive coverage. If you use the Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll need to file a claim with your primary insurance company first.

The Sapphire Reserve card covers up to $75,000, while the Sapphire Preferred and the Freedom Unlimited card covers up to the cash value of the car. The Sapphire Reserve card may cover more vehicles, like some expensive or exotic cars, while the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom Unlimited cards don’t. No card will cover antique vehicles.

Otherwise, all credit cards will cover you and other authorized drivers on the rental agreement, along with physical damage to the vehicle, theft, and towing charges.

FAQs 

Can you pay for a car rental with points and still have rental car coverage?

Yes, cardmembers are covered with rental car insurance through Chase as long as the rental was made using Ultimate Rewards points, charged on an eligible Chase credit card, or paid for using a combination of the two. Keep in mind you’ll need to decline the rental car company’s CDW or loss damage waiver (LDW) in order to be covered through your Chase credit card.

What does primary and secondary coverage mean?

Primary coverage is your first line of protection in the event of an incident. Generally, your personal car insurance policy acts as your primary coverage, however, some credit cards offer primary car rental insurance coverage also. If your credit card offers primary car rental coverage, then you would not need to file a claim through your personal auto insurance policy, which would likely mean that premiums and deductibles on your personal policy won't be adversely affected.

When a claim is filed through primary car rental coverage insurance, you may be covered up to the policy’s maximum limit. If the claim exceeds the primary coverage’s limit, that’s when secondary coverage can be useful. Secondary coverage, which is a more common benefit from certain credit cards, can help cover that gap.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited have roadside assistance?

Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders have the benefit of roadside assistance in the event of a flat tire or other roadside emergency. Contact 1-800-847-2869 or the number on the back of your card to request help. Roadside fees may apply and will be billed to your Freedom Unlimited card.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited have travel insurance?

If your trip is canceled or interrupted due to weather or illness, your Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.

Does a Chase debit card cover car rental insurance?

Although you can use your personal Chase debit card to book a rental vehicle, using your debit card does not provide car rental insurance. In general, the best credit cards offer a lot more in the way of both protections and perks than debit cards.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer liability insurance for rental cars?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited does not offer liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance covers you if you're at fault in an accident that results in property damage or injuries to someone else. 

Typically, credit card companies do not offer this type of coverage, and you'll need to rely on your personal auto insurer in this case or purchase coverage through a rental car company.


The bottom line on Chase Freedom Unlimited's rental car insurance

Now that you know what’s covered under the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s rental car insurance, you can find the perfect vehicle for you. Make sure you choose a car that’s covered on the card. Skip the fancy or extra-large vehicles and pick a car that the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card will cover — or else be prepared to pay extra for the rental company’s pricey insurance. Take advantage of the credit card rental car insurance through the Chase Freedom Unlimited. You have more benefits than you think — you just have to use them. 

To get the most of your travel earnings and redemptions, you may also want to consider pairing your Freedom Unlimited with a Chase Sapphire travel rewards card. The Sapphire Preferred offers 25% more value for your points when you redeem them for travel through Chase, while the Sapphire Reserve offers 50% more value for your points for travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards. When you transfer your Freedom Unlimited points to one of the Sapphire cards, you can make them stretch even further toward the cost of future trips. 

Unlimited Cash Back

Intro Offer

$200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (up to $12k in your first year)
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year)
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 23.74% (variable)

Author Details

Dori Zinn Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist with work featured in Huffington Post, Quartz, Wirecutter, Bankrate, Credit Karma, and others. She loves helping people learn to be better with money.