What your credit card covers for car rentals

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Hispanic businessman using electronic key to open car door

BY MITCH LIPKA

In the midst of moving from Atlanta to St. Louis last year, Thomas Nitzsche discovered his parked rental car had been hit by another car, causing $791 in damage.

To keep costs low, he had rejected the “collision damage waiver” (CDW) insurance offered by the rental car company, which can run as much as $45 a day and can include a deductible.

Nitzsche, who works for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, says it was big relief to learn the damage was covered by his credit card.

“That was a pretty big chunk of change,” he said.

It took three months or so for the payment to be made from Visa to Hertz, mostly because of requests for more information or the filing of paperwork. In the end, though, the accident cost him nothing out of pocket.

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