Costco Citi Card - Car Rental Insurance

Costco Citi Card – Car Rental Insurance

Costco Citi cards provide valuable travel perks like car rental insurance to save time and money when renting vehicles, travel accident coverage, roadside assistance services, and much more.

To be eligible for a Costco Citi card, you must be an existing member and meet its credit standards. There is an annual membership fee starting from $45.

Let us explore Costco Citi card car rental insurance.

What is Covered?

Credit card car rental insurance generally covers collision damage up to the actual cash value (ACV) of the rental car (subject to set limits) and theft, loss, and vandalism of said vehicle (with specific exclusions). 

Some cards, like Citi’s Costco Anywhere Visa Card, provide primary rental car coverage, taking precedence over insurance provided through rental agencies or any other policy you might hold, such as your personal auto or homeowner’s policy.

To utilize this insurance, you must pay for your entire rental with your card and decline the car rental company’s collision loss/damage waiver. 

Furthermore, the cardholder must sign as the primary driver on the rental agreement; any family members traveling with them are covered by this coverage up to $50,000 of repairs or the actual cash value of vehicle repairs.

NerdWallet no longer recommends the Costco Anywhere Visa as primary car rental insurance is no longer provided with most credit cards; however, its annual fee of $45 earns you 4% cash back on gas and EV charging, 3% travel/restaurant purchases as well as making an additional 1% across other assets – see full review for more info!

Does It Cover International Rentals?

Credit card rental car insurance can be an ideal complement to a personal auto policy. Commonly referred to as an “auto rental collision damage waiver,” this coverage reimburses drivers for physical damage caused by theft or accident up to the actual cash value of most cars rented from rental car companies – saving a considerable amount. Furthermore, traveling abroad makes this protection especially useful.

However, you must understand exactly what credit card car rental insurance covers and doesn’t. This coverage typically acts as secondary protection only after personal auto policies payout, is generally limited to a few days, and doesn’t extend liability or damage protection for other vehicles.

Though some cards offer primary car rental insurance – providing a direct payment option when renting a vehicle – this benefit is becoming increasingly rare. One card that offers this benefit, global protection, and primary coverage outside the U.S. is the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, which is for travelers traveling internationally who wish to reduce the risk associated with costly repairs or forgoing rewards programs. This card could be ideal.

Does It Cover Damage to Other Vehicles?

Many credit card holders mistakenly assume their car rental insurance will protect them when renting a car, but this depends on your policy and other coverage. For optimal protection, opt for cards offering a primary range that don’t require filing claims with your auto or home insurer first.

Most credit cards with collision damage waiver (CDW) offer up to $50,000 towards repair costs or cash value of rental cars damaged in accidents, theft, or another covered incident. Some also cover liability and loss of personal items. In general, this form of protection is much cheaper than what rental agencies typically provide.

Citi offers the Costco Anywhere Visa Card as a secondary form of coverage in addition to any range purchased through rental agencies or provided directly. 

To take advantage of this benefit, all rental payments must be made using your card, and any collision loss/damage coverage offered by rental agencies must be declined; damage due to accidents, theft, and natural disasters (earthquakes included) will also be covered by Citi’s coverage.

Note that this coverage doesn’t apply to rentals booked using points earned through loyalty programs or co-branded cards issued by airlines, hotels, or other travel partners. Furthermore, most policies exclude special vehicles like pickup trucks or luxury cars from person-to-person car-sharing services like Turo.

Does It Cover Liability?

Many credit card companies that offer car rental insurance also include liability coverage; however, most cards only cover collision and damage to the rented vehicle, not personal injuries or property damages to third parties. 

It is, therefore, essential to carefully read through and understand each credit card policy with car rental coverage before renting one – an effective place for this is your wallet or by calling customer service on its backside.

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, for example, covers rental vehicles up to $50,000 with CDW coverage; this excludes trucks, full-size vans mounted on truck chassis, off-road vehicles, and certain recreational vehicles as well as those driven by anyone other than themselves or an authorized user listed in their card agreement.

Other credit cards that provide car rental insurance provide primary coverage, which means the card company’s policy would take precedence when paying damages. However, this type of coverage usually only applies when rentals are paid entirely with credit cards and do not accept rental agencies’ collision loss/damage waiver policies. 

Furthermore, primary coverage cannot cover vehicles used for for-hire services, travel agencies, or airline brands co-branded with cards; secondary coverage can still be upgraded into direct range for an annual fee.


In conclusion, the car rental insurance provided by the Costco Citi Card offers valuable coverage for cardholders. Understanding the details, limitations, and steps to activate this benefit is crucial for maximizing its advantages during your rental. 

Explore our guide to unlock insights on how the Costco Citi Card insurance can enhance your peace of mind and financial security when renting a car.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *