Friday, April 5, 2013

Need FREE Rental Car Coverage in Ireland? Get the Chase Amtrak Card!

In a couple of months, we're going to be taking a week-long trip to Ireland with Mrs. TIL.  This will be my second trip there, and I'm looking forward to being with my wife on her first trip.

If you've ever tried to rent a car in Ireland, you know it can be quite a hassle.  Like a number of other countries (Costa Rica, I'm looking at you), Ireland has a few notoriously bad sections of road, and car rental companies that love to charge an insane rate for collision and damage coverage (CDW).

To make matters worse, most credit cards explicitly exclude coverage in Ireland.  Visa is out.  American Express is out.  Even Amex's Platinum and "premium" rental car coverage excludes Ireland.  From what I've read, only a few select World Mastercards provide coverage, and the common Mastercards hoisted by points and miles junkies (the Barclay's US Airways World Mastercard, for example) provide their own coverage that excludes Ireland.

I love this card!

You might be surprised, then, to hear that the one card in my entire stack of points cards that does provide coverage in Ireland is the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard.  Yes, that wonderful no-annual-fee, rarely promoted, low budget card that everyone in the travel community seems to overlook.  Of course, the Amtrak card is also the key to some incredible hotel redemptions, but that's not what we're talking about today.

If you're traveling to a country like Ireland or Costa Rica, it's always a good idea to get a letter of coverage prior to your travels.  For MasterCard, you can simply call 1-800-MC-ASSIST and they'll email you a letter within a few minutes of your call.  Here's the one I received a few days ago:

Yes, it covers rentals in Ireland!

If you don't already have this card, the best way to find the current bonus offer is to create an account and sign in to the Amtrak Guest Rewards website.  Look at the bottom of the page and you'll find an ad for the card.  Currently, the bonus is 12,000 points.  I've seen up to 38,000, but 12k is still a pretty good bonus for a no-annual-fee card.

This little card continues to amaze me, and it blows my mind that its benefits often exceed even those of Chase's flagship Sapphire Preferred.  If you're planning a trip to Ireland, be sure to pick one up!

For your card's full terms and conditions be sure to call 1-800-MC-ASSIST.  The agent told me that benefits vary from card to card (and state to state?).

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