How to Use your Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance in Ireland


How To Use Your Car Rental Insurance

During our Thanksgiving trip to Ireland, Joe and I decided to use the insurance offered by our Chase credit card for our car rental.  On all our previous trips, we’ve purchased the Super Collision Damage Waiver (affectionately called SCDW) from the car rental company.

SCDW is like platinum car rental insurance.  It gets your liability for any damage to the vehicle down to around €100. You don’t have to worry about those scratches or dents from those hellish hedges on the side of the road. You can just turn your keys in at the end of your trip and wave goodbye.

In my opinion, SCDW is completely worth the extra €15-20 per day, especially for someone’s first time driving on the left hand side. 

Needless to say, we really like SCDW despite the cost, and I was a little leery of trying the credit card coverage at first.

After spending quite a bit of time Ireland, Joe has become really comfortable driving on the left. So when Chase began covering Ireland car rentals as one of their credit card travel benefits, we decided to try it out.

Dunluce Castle Northern Ireland
Spots like this are worth figuring out car rental insurance, right? Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

The Reservation & Denying Car Rental Agency Insurance:

We rented an economy automatic for 8 days from Dan Dooley in Belfast with one driver (thanks for driving Joe!).

When you use credit card insurance, you have to deny all coverage offered by the car rental company, including the basic coverage (Collision Damage Waiver or CDW) and the platinum stuff, SCDW.

All Ireland car rental websites that end in .ie will include the basic coverage in your quote. Some sites, like, and, allow you to opt out of the basic insurance (Collision Damage Waiver or CDW) on the reservations page. Others, like, don’t.

Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance CDW Opt Out
The CDW opt out pop-up box to confirm that you aren’t using any of their insurance.

Just be aware of everything that is included in your online quote. If you plan on using the credit card coverage, you won’t use any of the insurances offered by the car rental company.

What this means for you: By denying coverage from the rental car provider, you are 100% relying on your credit card company for insurance coverage. If any damage is reported on the vehicle when you return your car, your credit card will be charged.  You will have to work with the Chase claims department to have the amount charged removed from your account.

Proving You Have Credit Card Insurance:

Since most credit cards still don’t cover Ireland (World MasterCard and Chase seem to be the only two at the moment), you have to prove in writing that your credit card covers car rentals in Ireland.

This is probably the easiest part of the process. I simply called my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Benefits Services number and asked for a verification letter stating they specifically cover Ireland and Northern Ireland. The representative emailed me one before I even got off the phone.

The car rental agency will want this letter dated within about two weeks of the rental, so don’t request it too far in advance.

Side note to save you a phone call: the Chase Benefit Services phone number is not the one on the back of your credit card.  You’ll want to speak with the department that deals with travel benefits and not credit card transactions.

Picking Up the Rental Car:

Once we landed in Ireland, the process was basically the same as any other rental pickup. I handed over our confirmation number and the verification letter. After a few clicks, he printed out a form for us to sign, which indicated we were refusing coverage. A £25 administrative fee was charged to our card. This was disclosed in the terms and conditions of the rental when we made the reservation online.

Joe and I went to the car, looked it over and documented a couple scratches by taking pictures and noting it on the vehicle condition report.

We signed a couple more papers and they handed over the keys. Easy peasy.

Credit Card Hold:

The biggest difference between this rental and ones where we’ve purchased the Super Collision Damage Waiver was that a hold was placed on our credit card for £3000 (euros if you are renting at Shannon or Dublin) for the duration of the rental. This basically ensures that the rental company can charge at least that much in damage when the car is returned.

Credit Card Hold

The hold was removed before we were home and I had a chance to check the credit card.

Returning the Car:

Surprisingly enough, we didn’t have enough damage to warrant any charges to the credit card. I say surprisingly because we almost always have at least one sizable scratch.

Fortunately (unfortunately? No, definitely fortunately), I can’t really report on the claims process for our Ireland rental with Chase since no damage was found.

But, we did have some damage in France while using our Chase Sapphire card…

Damage to the Vehicle:

In June of this year, Joe and I went to France and rented a car using the Chase car insurance benefit. We scraped the side of our vehicle on a cement wall, damaging the right wheelhouse and mirror (the cement wall left the scuffle unscathed—next time wall, next time).

Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance Damage

I am fairly confident that the claims process is the same regardless if the rental is in Ireland or France. So here’s what it looked like for us:

  • When we returned from France, I called Chase Claims Services to open a claim.
    • In hindsight, I probably should have done this in France, but it since it wasn’t a two vehicle accident, it worked out ok
    • I described what happened to Chase
  • I created an account online to submit the documentation they needed to process the claim (the below is what documentation they want directly from the current benefits guide):
    • A copy of your receipt or monthly billing statement showing that the entire vehicle rental was charged to and paid for with your eligible card
    • A copy of the Accident Report Form and claim document: this should indicate the costs you are responsible for and any amounts that have been paid toward the claim
    • A copy of the entire auto rental agreement(s)
    • A copy of the repair estimate or itemized repair bill
    • Two (2) photographs of the damaged vehicle, if available
    • A police report, if obtainable
    • Any other documentation deemed necessary, in the Benefit Administrator’s sole discretion, to substantiate the claim
  • Began gathering and submitting the documentation

Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance Claims Process

This is where my journey with Chase claims services ended. I tried to get an accident report from our car rental agency, Avis, in France, but they had lost it. Avis, realizing their mistake, actually refunded me the $1400 damage charges to my credit card! Woohoo. :-)

I called Chase and cancelled the claim.

Up to that point, the process for submitting the claim with Chase was rather easy. The biggest hassle was getting everything around to upload to the site.

I am really confident that I was going to be refunded in full by Chase.

The Verdict:

Will I use my Chase credit card for car rental insurance again? Probably.

Will I recommend it to others going to Ireland? Maybe.

I still really like Super Collision Damage Waiver. The peace of mind it provides for a first-time driver in Ireland is hard to put a price tag on. When an accident occurs, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to worry about how much it is going to cost.

Driving in Ireland with Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance

When we hit that cement wall in France, I can tell you it took me a few days to forget about it and enjoy our trip. We didn’t even have to deal with getting the car fixed or getting a new rental, but was still worried about the process. I would hate for someone to have to go through that in Ireland and have it taint their experience.

If you Plan on Using your Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance in Ireland:

Remember, a large €2000-3000 hold will be placed on your credit card.

The car rental company can charge the full value of your rental car to your credit card (or some cards, like the Chase Sapphire, state up to$50,000).

Credit card insurance usually does not cover expensive or exotic cars (no Ferrari for you!).

If there is damage, it will take time to gather the documentation that Chase needs in order to have the charge removed—you’ll have to just be ok with the charge sitting in your account.

You need to collect all of your documentation within 100 days of the damage.  Once all the documentation is submitted—claims are usually paid within 15 days.

Tip: Print out the above documentation list and take it with you. If you have an accident it is much easier to collect everything needed when you are in Ireland.

Want more car rental advice? Get even more detail on how to rent a car in Ireland, A Comprehensive Guide to Renting a Car in Ireland.

 Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance
 Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance

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  1. When did Chase and MasterCard World Card start covering Ireland? When I started planning in December for our trip for this June, I was told by both Chase and BofA that they specifically did not cover Ireland (one of three countries not covered.)

    1. Hey Russ,

      The World MasterCard has been covering Ireland for at least 10 years, but only the World version and no others to my knowledge. Chase has more recently added Ireland within the last year or so. If you have a Chase card, I’d try calling again and be sure to talk to someone in the benefits department. I hope this helps!

      1. Thanks. I’ve already decided to go with ‘super coverage’ since it will be my first time driving on the left with the controls on the right! Seems to me the potential for something to go south is pretty good even though I consider myself a better than average driver (I maneuver a 40′ school bus down very narrow roads in rural Texas as well as being an ex highway patrolman.)

        1. I think that’s a pretty solid move Russ–although I imagine as a bus driver–you’re going to be in pretty good shape! :-)

  2. I have World MasterCard and will be using that on my upcoming trip. I called first and the insurance covers everything the super coverage does. It also covers theft, but not liability. I would recommend calling first and asking in detail exactly what it covers.
    Will let you know how it all goes.

  3. Stephanie

    Thank you for helping fellow travelers out with such great blog. I checked with Dan Dooley and while there is a way to decline CDW, I am not seeing an option to decline for Theft Protection. As per Chase benefits they cover theft protection too. Do you have any experience with this?

    1. Hi Ashish–I think that when you decline the CDW with Dan Dooley, you are also declining the Theft Insurance too. See the very first sentence in the pop-up when you choose YES to decline the CDW. It basically says that some credit cards might allow you to decline the Theft and CDW Insurance. So I think you are all set if you wanted to cover both CDW and Theft with your Chase card. I hope this helps! Have a great trip!!

  4. Can anybody elaborate on these two statements

    “Remember, a large €2000-3000 hold will be placed on your credit card.”

    “The car rental company can charge the full value of your rental car to your credit card (or some cards, like the Chase Sapphire, state up to$50,000)”

    Leaving yourself open to a charge of $50,000 is much more worrisome than the $300 hold. If anything went wrong with the claim you could be out the price of a new car…

    1. Hi John! You are completely right–if you can’t handle the large hold, you likely aren’t a good candidate for having to deal with a temporary (but potentially huge) bill for the damages.

      Just another reason to just foot the bill for the extra coverage from the car rental company and not have to worry about either! :-)

  5. Thank you so much for all the car rental info, Stephanie. Do you know if you book a car through AARP’s site and preferred company, Avis, if the free 2nd driver (spouse) benefit is honored in Ireland?

  6. Thanks so much for all of this. I plan to get all of the coverage I can through the rental agency (probably going with Dan Dooley). My own insurance does not cover personal liability etc. Does the SCDW cover damage to people, not just to the vehicle? I can’t seem to find anything that specifically says this, but I will admit that everything about insurance leaves me confused.

  7. ***Re-posting this from another blog post here, dealing with renting cars in Ireland.

    I did just speak with RBC Visa about this whole insurance issue and they’ve summed it up pretty nicely for me.

    For Canadians, holding the RBC Visa Platinum Avion Business card (there is actually a pretty long list of RBC’s cards that also work), they will happily cover the car rental CDW insurance, in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    The RBC representative did tell me that they will cover the damage/collision of the car I am driving, but not the other car (if there is another car), so it’s important for me to know this and to buy the 3rd party liability insurance from the rental company.

    I mentioned to her that I had read online that in order for the credit card company to step up and offer the collision/damage coverage, that all insurances had to be declined from the rental company. She told me, not from RBC Visa, and again told me that even if I bought 3rd party liability from the rental company, they would absolutely still be responsible for looking after the CDW portion of the insurance. “We will look after you and your car, not the other car.”

    I had asked if the claims process was easy and she assured me it was. On the paper that I’m supposed to present to the car rental agency, it also has the phone number that I am supposed to call (within 48 hours) in the event of any damage occurring to the car. She said that they call the rental agency and look after everything. Not sure exactly how that would be done, but that was what I was told.

    She said that they cover cars only, and up to $65000 CAD.

    When I asked for the letter to be sent to me, she said I’ll have it by the end of the week. Very cool. I’ll call them again when I’m close to the travel date.

    Anyway, on my upcoming trip in May, I’ll be using my card to avoid the CDW insurance premiums.

    Many thanks, once again!


  8. Has anyone found out anything about liability insurance coverage if you damage someone else’s property or cause injury with the rental? I haven’t seen any info on that. We are planning a visit to Ireland soon, but my biggest anxiety is the car rental.

    Thanks for any intel available.

    P.S. Stephanie this site is amazing, thanks

  9. Thanks for this much needed information.

    I spent more time than I would admit trying to figure out how to get around the CDW and “excess” insurance requirements in Ireland and then I came across your link.

    I just received an email response from Enterprise rental car in Ireland and they do accept the Chase Sapphire card as long as you do not have the CDW or excess insurance already included in your booking.

    I got a nice rate from Enterprise via Hotwire without the CDW or excess included and have already received my Sapphire card from Chase.

    Enterprise said to be sure to have a letter from Sapphire showing that Ireland is covered.

    Thanks again.

  10. Is it really necessary to have the letter dated within 2 weeks of the rental? I am renting a car in Ireland on September 4 and have a letter dated July 26.

    1. I have Chase Sapphire Preferred (888-320-9961) which provides full coverage in Ireland and they sent me a letter documenting their Ireland car rental coverage – the letter is dated 08/23/16 (very easy, they attached it to an email).

      Also on 08/23/16, I had Enterprise verify via email ( that the Chase Sapphire coverage letter dated 08/23/16 would be valid for my trip to Ireland in October/November. They said yes, no problem.

      The two-week requirement is not valid.

      Dan Clinton

      1. All this is very useful to me in finding an alternative. I just left back a Hertz car in Dublin.I had paid premiim for Super Cover, and the only incident was a scrape on one of the hubcaps from a high curb. On returning the car a man darted out with an iPad, without a word, and photographed all four wheels, shoved a form in my face asking me to acknowledge responsibility and informed me tha either way they would charge my Visa with 165 Euros. Whereas it was my fault for scuffing the hub, and whereas the wheels are not covered (probably because they know that is where the most damage will be), it was a nasty experience just before you catch your flight out. Also, a disc ount agreed by phone (in Houston) was not honored, and nobody knew anything about it. There must be a better way to enjoy a careful road trip in that lovely land, so, lads and lassies, let’s keep trying.

  11. According to my Citi statement of benefits (effective March 26, 2016), they cover up to $50,000 anywhere in the world with no stated exclusions. They also mention that some countries/agencies will require a letter.

  12. I just got off the phone with Chase. My Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card provides primary insurance in Ireland.

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