Renting a car can be expensive, especially for longer trips. That’s why Turo has become an increasingly popular option for travelers. It connects car owners with people who need temporary vehicles for much cheaper rates. But does paying with your American Express(Amex) Platinum card qualify you for the card’s excellent rental car coverage if you book through Turo?
I recently looked into this myself when planning a two-week road trip. In this post, I’ll share everything I learned about maximizing Amex Platinum benefits for Turo car rentals.
Amex Platinum Benefits for Rental Cars
The Platinum Card from American Express offers one of the best rental car insurance policies available. When you use the card to pay for a rental vehicle, you automatically get coverage for:
- Loss/damage waiver: This acts as primary coverage when renting for 31+ days, so you can decline the Collision damage waiver (CDW) from the agency.
- Theft and damage. You’re covered up to $75,000 for theft and damage to the vehicle.
- Roadside assistance. Includes towing, lock-out service, jump-starts, and tire changes.
So at first glance, it would seem Turo rentals should be included. But when reading the fine print, there are certain exclusions. Rentals from car-sharing companies don’t always qualify for coverage. However, Turo isn’t your average car-sharing service.
What Makes Turo Different From Car Sharing
Unlike traditional car rental agencies, Turo connects private car owners with people who want to borrow vehicles. But Turo offers protections more in line with professional agencies, including:
- Background checks for drivers
- $1 million insurance policies
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Extensive car selection and rental terms
So while you borrow someone’s car, the experience mirrors an agency in many regards. Turo’s unique hybrid model seems to fall into a grey zone when it comes to Amex protections. In other words, Turo may not fit within the scope of protections offered by American Express (Amex).
Does Amex Platinum Cover Turo?
After thorough research and direct confirmation from Amex representatives, I can definitively say the Platinum card does provide coverage for Turo.
As with standard agency rentals, there are certain requirements:
- The cardholder must decline Turo’s protection plans
- Be the primary person renting and driving
- Use the Platinum card to pay for the full rental
Meeting these criteria qualifies you for:
- Primary insurance is legally mandated for car rentals
- Secondary coverage for damage/theft up to $75,000
- Roadside assistance
The secondary insurance acts as the main source of protection in case of any incidents. I confirmed the underwriters do view Turo as an official rental car company when claims are filed by cardholders.
Step-by-Step Guide to Maximize Coverage
Below I’ll walk through the entire process of booking a Turo rental with a Platinum card to ensure you receive full benefits:
- Browse vehicles and select your rental dates as normal on Turo’s site.
- On the payments page, uncheck the “Protection” section to decline Turo’s insurance.
- Enter your Amex Platinum card information as the payment method.
- Review all policies and rental terms before completing the booking.
- Pick up the vehicle as scheduled on your rental agreement.
- Inspect the car thoroughly at pickup and document any prior damage. Report concerns to Turo before driving off the lot.
- Save receipts, rental contracts, and inspection photos in case you need to file an insurance claim later.
- Return the car as scheduled and complete another inspection. Document the return process with Turo.
How Other Cards Compare to Amex Platinum
As a Visa Infinite and World Elite Mastercard holder myself, I looked closely at how the protections stacked up.
Almost all premium travel credit cards offer some degree of rental car coverage. But when it comes to Turo, Amex Platinum is far more comprehensive in what’s included:
The Amex Platinum offers primary CDW coverage for rentals over 31 days. So for longer Turo rentals, you can decline insurance from the platform itself confidently.
It also provides secondary damage and theft protection up to a $75,000 limit. This acts as a crucial backup layer if something happens during your rental period.
Rounding out the offerings is complimentary roadside assistance. So you’ll have peace of mind being covered for tire changes, jump starts, towing, etc.
The Visa Infinite card falls short of the Amex Platinum in a couple of key ways. Most importantly, it excludes peer-to-peer platforms like Turo explicitly in their policy language. So you likely won’t have coverage for Turo bookings made with a Visa Infinite card.
It does offer secondary damage/theft coverage similar to Amex but with a lower $50,000 ceiling on reimbursement.
World Elite Mastercard
World Elite Mastercards are a step up from the Visa Infinite, getting closer to the Amex Platinum. You can receive secondary protection for damage and theft up to $65,000.
Additionally, roadside assistance is included as with the Amex card.
But there is no primary CDW benefit offered. And the Turo exclusion still seems to apply to many issuers.
So while these other premium card options provide strong rental car protections in their own right, the Amex Platinum is on top for Turo specifically.
Practical Examples of Amex Platinum Usage
To give you an idea of how this works in practice, below are two examples of Turo renters using their Amex Platinum benefits after incidents:
- Flat tire mishap in San Diego:
Mandy used her Amex Platinum to reserve a Mini Cooper for a California road trip. A few hours into her drive, she got a flat tire on the highway. Mandy called Turo’s roadside assistance line and they dispatched a mobile tire change unit. The repair was covered completely under Amex’s premium roadside protection perk with no hassle involved.
- Fender bender leaves $1,200 bill:
James borrowed a vintage Mustang through Turo for a weekend trip to Miami paid for with his Platinum card. On his drive back to the airport, another vehicle backed into him in a parking garage – leaving scratches and a small dent. James submitted a claim to Amex with the repair estimate from Turo for $1,200. He was compensated by Amex within 2 weeks, minus his $100 deductible.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have some burning questions, below I answer some of the most common FAQs:
Does Amex cover personal liability for Turo accidents?
No – you need to ensure the Turo host has adequate liability coverage listed on the policy. Amex will not assist with bodily injury claims.
What vehicles are excluded from Amex protections?
Exotic/collectible cars, cargo vans, and trucks over rental industry standard capacity are sometimes excluded.
Does coverage differ in other countries for Turo?
Yes, speak to Amex representatives about the limitations of renting outside the USA.
The Amex Platinum brings unparalleled peace of mind to Turo car rentals. While more unconventional car-sharing platforms can cause hiccups, the Platinum policy is designed with flexibility to accommodate new models like Turo.
So next time you need an SUV for a family trip or want something sporty for a special occasion, Turo + an Amex Platinum card makes for the ultimate convenient and protected car rental pairing.