Yesterday, I’d planned to go see “Identity Thief.” I was going to tie it into a blog post about identity theft and a previous post I wrote, Why You Need to Monitor Credit Card Accounts Online, to encourage everyone to stay alert for credit card fraud.

I changed my mind after reading the reviews, especially this Washington Post review. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll just say that I find it hard to believe a bank manager could be this dumb.

So instead I went to see “A Good Day to Die Hard.” My husband and teenage son were thrilled with the replacement. It was a tad violent, but it was a great escape for a Sunday afternoon. I was still determined to connect a movie to credit cards, so I started thinking about how this Die Hard movie really focuses on car chases.

I mean, this movie takes the car-chase scenes to a new level. There are several moments in the movie where you have to stop thinking logically and just enjoy the ride. But being a financial person, I’m sitting there wondering how much it cost to destroy so many cars. The movie is set in Moscow, so undoubtedly, some of the crashed cars were driven by tourists.

From there, my thoughts drifted to rental car insurance. How’s that for a segue? Well, one of the things I get asked about a lot is if you need to get the damage waiver that’s offered by car rental agencies. If you have good car insurance, you might not even need the rental car insurance at all. But you can add more coverage by using a credit card to rent a car.

Now, your insurance company is usually the primary insurer so the coverage offered by your credit card is typically your secondary insurance. The problem is that even credit cards on the same payment network (e.g., Visa, MasterCard) can differ in coverage. You absolutely have to read the fine print that comes with your credit card to know what’s covered. If you’re still unsure, call the bank and ask questions.

Related:  3 Dumb Things to Do with Smart Cards

One of the best articles I’ve seen on this topic is on NerdWallet: Rental Car Insurance: Which Credit Cards Have You Covered. You’ll find an overview of the benefits by network. The article also points out that two credit cards, United’s MileagePlus Explorer Card and Escape by Discover Card, offer primary car rental insurance. One of these cards might be helpful if you don’t own your own car and have no primary auto coverage.

 

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