Home Rental Cars How To Use Debit Cards For Car Rentals

How To Use Debit Cards For Car Rentals

by joeheg

One question we’ve been asked on our Facebook page is how to rent a car using a debit card. While I’m a believer that the best way to get the most from your spending is to use a miles or points earning credit card, there are people who choose to not have or cannot get one of those cards. This post is for them.

Rental car companies like the security of having your credit card in case they need to charge you for not returning the car, damage to the car or anything else they’d like to charge you for once you return the car. If you use a debit card, they’ll often put a large hold on your account that will prevent access to your funds until the hold is removed.

Looking through all these websites, there’s one thing that stands out among all of them. Car rental companies don’t want to rent to you if you’re using a debit card at the beginning of your rental. They’ll gladly accept a debit card as a payment when you’re finished but the security of a credit card, and the credit hold they can put on it, is what they really want access to. If you’re against using credit cards, here’s one example where having one will make your life much easier. It makes sense to have a card with no annual fee like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Citi Rewards+ or the Discover It, as they can be used to guarantee your rental and you can still use your debit card to pay when you return your car. If your credit is not good enough to get a credit card, you can still get a secured credit card (you deposit money that is equal to the credit limit of the card) from several banks listed in this article.

Another way to use a debit card is to rent from Hertz, Thrifty or Dollar. They’ll let you use one if you have your debit card on file with them in your frequent renter account before you make your reservation. You can find the links to sign up for the rental car programs here.

Below are the policies, as listed on their respective websites, for using a debit card with the major car rental companies. The policies are for rentals to U.S. residents renting from airport locations when arriving on a flight. Rentals made from local area locations may have different policies. All policies were current as copied from the rental car websites at the time of writing this article. Check the respective websites for current policies before renting.

Advantage Rent A Car

No information can be currently found on the Advantage website about using a debit card for rentals.

Alamo Rent a Car

Debit/Check cards are considered to be any non-credit card bearing the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo. Any other non-credit card without one of these logos is not accepted.

  • When renting in the US, Debit/Check cards are accepted for customers with proof they have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location. Customers must have proof of a ticketed return or outbound trip from the location where the vehicle will be returned on an airline, cruise ship or train. For customers not deplaning or disembarking at the rental location and/or do not have evidence of a return or outbound trip, Debit/Check cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of return. This applies to all airport, sea port, train and bus station locations in the US and Canada.

Avis Car Rental

Yes, most U.S. Avis locations accept debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo as credit identification at the time of rental if you are at least 25. A hold is usually placed on the funds in your account for at least the estimated cost of the rental. Some vehicle types cannot be rented if you present a debit card instead of a credit card.

The rest of the rules for renting with a debit card with Avis can be found here.

Budget Car Rental

Making a car rental with no credit card can seem complicated, but it is possible with Budget.

If you plan to use a debit card, you need to be at least 25 years old. You should also check the location’s rules first (see instructions below) because some locations don’t accept debit cards at the time of car pickup.

When you come to pick up your car, you’ll be asked to present a debit card or credit card. At this point, Budget will place a hold on some of the funds in your account. The typical hold is equivalent to the total estimated cost of the rental, but it may be higher or lower. For example, the minimum debit hold is $100, and that hold is amount usually applies to insurance replacement rentals or prepaid rentals. Be aware that a debit card hold limits the funds available in the attached account.

The hold on the account will be removed after the car is returned and all fees are paid.

Debit Cards at Airport Locations

In addition to a credit or debit card, you might need to show a ticket or boarding pass as well as proof of a return flight to pick up at airport locations.

Paying for Your Rental Car with a Debit Card

Renters have the option to prepay for a rental online with a debit card. Some locations may require a credit card at the time of pickup, but you can still pay for the rental with a debit card.

Does My Rental Location Allow Renting with a Debit Card?

We recommend checking the debit card policies at your pickup location in advance, just to be sure. You can do this by searching for the location’s page on Budget.com, scrolling down to “Terms & Conditions,” and clicking on “Debit Card Policies.”

Dollar Rent A Car

At U.S. corporate locations, debit cards issued under a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover logo which draw funds directly from the renter’s account may be used at the start of the rental when the reservation is made more than 24 hours before the time of rental, and the rental is for car classes other than convertibles, Premium or Luxury rentals. An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 will be assessed for non-Express members, and Express members. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply. The above incremental hold will not be applied to established Express members using a VISA card after their first rental with a VISA card..

Reservation made less than 24 hours before the rental or renting a premium, convertible or luxury car class?

A debit card may be used on a reservation made less than 24 hours before the rental or when renting a convertible,  Premium or Luxury car class when the following information is provided:

  • Two (2) valid forms of identification; and
    • Valid forms of identification are a valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License AND One (1) of the following forms:
      • An alternative valid credit or debit card embossed with the same name as the driver’s license;
      • A United States or Foreign Country Issued passport in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • United States or Foreign Country Issued Military Identification Card in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • Non-Government Form of ID, examples that may be accepted include: store membership card with photo (Costco, Sam’s, etc.) or a company ID badge with photo. Names on both forms must match driver’s name on license and debit card; or
      • A current month Utility statement which is addressed to the renter with the same name and address as present on the renter’s driver’s license (e.g., gas, electric, cable bill).
  • Proof of travel plans, including (but not limited to) return trip travel tickets.

An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 will be assessed for non-Express members, and Express members renting for the first time. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply. The above incremental hold will not be applied to established Express members cards.

Any funds that are held for a debit card rental transaction that are due back will be returned once your rental is complete. Please refer any questions you have regarding the availability of those funds to your banking institution.

Exceptions: Debit cards are accepted for Dollar EXPRESS members when the card is already in the member’s profile or the rental is a Replacement rental.

In the event the renter in unable to produce the above required documents, a credit card may be used to secure the rental and at the end of the rental, a debit card may be used for payment.

Dollar franchise locations may set their own requirements for debit card acceptance. To see a list of franchise locations click here.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Debit cards are accepted at airport and non-airport locations in the US and Puerto Rico. In Canada, debit cards are accepted only at non-airport locations. Please be advised when using a debit card, special conditions may apply, so please read all conditions at the Enterprise website.

E-Z Rent-A-Car

No information on renting with a debit card is available at the E-Z Rent-A-Car website

Fox Rent A Car

DEBIT CARDS

In order to use a Debit Card as a method of payment at time of rental, the following policies must be met:

1. We do not accept Debit Cards from Local Renters (who have an address within 150 miles of rental location).

2. The Debit Card must have a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover logo.

3. The Debit Card and Drivers License presented must be in the same name. Drivers License photo must also be of the person at the counter.

4. Customer must have a 24-hour (or greater) advanced reservation.

5. Renter must be a minimum of 21 years of age

6. Must present round-trip airline ticket at time of pick-up

7. In addition to the Drivers License and debit card, the renter must present one of the following forms of ID:

A) An additional credit card or debit card, embossed with the same name as the Drivers License. The card is for identification purposes, and will not be used to charge or authorize.

B) Government-issue ID, in the same name as the Drivers License and debit card.

C) Valid passport: United States- or Foreign Country-issued.

D) United States military identification card.

E) Non government form of ID. examples that may be accepted include: photo store member card (Costco, Sams Club, etc.), a photo employee card (as long as the photo and name match the Drivers License and debit card).

F) Current utility statement in the renters name and the same address as on the Drivers License, example gas, electric, cable, etc.

8. All documentation including debit card, license, airline ticket, and additional ID must be presented at the rental counter at time of pick up.

9. The address on the Renters valid Drivers License will be referenced to determine the Renters primary residence.

10. Must have available funds to be taken as a deposit at the time of rental in the amount of the estimated rental charges plus USD/400.00.

11. Rental is permitted for the following vehicle classes only: Economy Vehicle, Compact Vehicle and Compact SUV, Mid-Size Vehicle and Mid-Size SUV, Standard Vehicle and Standard SUV, Full-Size Vehicle, Minivan Vehicle.

12. Upon return of the vehicle, unused funds will be returned through the credit card processor. Due to the Customers Bank processing standards for Debit Card transactions, it can take up to 14 days for a credit to appear on his/her account. FOX will not be responsible for any returned checks or insufficient fund charges or bank fees related to this process.

13. Customers who use a Debit Card may NOT add Additional to the rental.

Hertz Car Rental

At all Hertz locations, debit cards under a VISA, MasterCard and Discover logo which draw funds directly from the cardholder’s account may be used at the outset of a rental to qualify for the rental where the following requirements are met:

  • at Hertz Airport locations, you will be required to provide proof of a return airline flight to coincide with the rental and present two (2) valid forms of identification;
  • at corporate-owned Hertz Local Edition locations, i.e., neighborhood locations that are located off airports, you will be required to provide a valid United States or foreign country-issued driver’s license. Debit cards are not accepted at the outset of a rental to qualify for rentals in the New York Metropolitan Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT), areas of Hartford, CT, areas of Philadelphia, PA, areas of Boston, MA, areas of Manchester, NH, areas of Detroit, MI, areas of Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA.

You will be required to meet all age, driver and credit requirements. However, there are exceptions to this general policy:

  • You can use a Debit Card if it is already included in your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards profile or the rental is an Insurance Replacement rental.
  • Debit cards are not accepted to qualify at time of rental for Dream Cars and Adrenaline Cars.

Using Debit Cards as Payment for Your Rental

Debit cards and prepaid or store value cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental.

In most cases, the location will perform a credit check for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental.  The customer must meet the minimum criteria to rent using a debit card. In addition, the acceptance of debit, prepaid or store value cards is contingent upon the card having available funds to cover the estimated charges plus an authorization of up to US$ 200.00 given conditions depending on location, length and date of rental that will be outlined at time of rental. These funds will not be available for your use.

For debit card payment at airport locations, in addition to a valid United States or foreign-country-issued Driver’s License, you most present one of the following forms:

  • An additional credit card or debit card embossed with the same name as the driver’s license. The card is for identification purposes only;
  • A Government issued ID, in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card:
    • Passport – United States or Foreign Country Issued
    • United States Military Identification Card
  • Non-government form of ID, example that may be accepted includes photo store member card (Costco, Sam’s, etc.), a company ID badge with photo. Only acceptable if the photo and name matches the driver’s license and the debit card. Current month Utility statement in the renter’s name and the same address as on the driver’s license (e.g., gas, electric, cable bill).

Debit/Check cards are considered to be any non-credit card bearing the VISA, Mastercard® or Discover logo. Any other non-credit card without one of these logos is not accepted. (Discover not accepted in Canada)

Please review the following guidelines:

When renting in the US, Debit/Check cards are accepted for customers with proof they have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location. Customers must have proof of a ticketed return or outbound trip from the location where the vehicle will be returned on an airline, cruise ship or train. For customers not deplaning or disembarking at the rental location and/or do not have evidence of a return or outbound trip, Debit/Check cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of return. This applies to all airport, sea port, train and bus station locations in the US and Canada.

Other than the renter’s spouse or domestic partner, no other additional drivers are allowed if using a Debit card for the deposit at the time of pick-up.

When renting in Puerto Rico, a credit card in the name of the renter must be presented at the time of pick-up. Debit/Check cards are accepted only for payment at time of return.

Canada, a credit card in the name of the renter must be presented at the time of rental.

Payless Car Rental

At most airport locations proof of a return flight that coincides with the rental must be shown.

Debit Cards are accepted when renting an Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-size, Premium car, SUVs and Minivans only. The estimated amount of the rental plus an additional amount of $200.00 will be assessed against your debit card at the time of rental. We release the hold on funds when the vehicle is returned however, these funds may no longer be available for your immediate use and may take up to 14 days, depending on your bank, to become available.

We will not be responsible for any returned check(s) or insufficient fund charges or bank fees related to this process. Use of a debit card to rent a Vehicle may be subject to a review of your credit history. The inquiry will be posted on your credit report and may have an effect on your credit score. If the debit card fails to meet our debit card criteria, you may either be unable to rent a Vehicle. or required to present a major credit card in your name to qualify for rental at this location.

Silvercar

Silvercar only accepts major credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.  At this time, Silvercar does NOT accept debit cards or other methods of payment.

Sixt

Debit cards are not accepted for local renters at airport locations. Debit cards with available funds may be accepted at select locations at Sixt’s sole discretion with two forms of government-issued ID, and only if one of the following conditions are met:
(1) The renter presents a return airline ticket or roundtrip itinerary upon pick-up made at least 24 hours prior to the pick-up date, that coincides with the drop-off date and location. The return flight date cannot be before the vehicle return date, and the return flight city can not be outside of the immediate area of the vehicle return city. Non-local renters with a debit card cannot rent any Premium, Luxury, Extraordinary or Specialty vehicles, with the exception of Pickup trucks and Vans. Customers traveling internationally, whose debit card is issued in their country of origin may rent any category vehicle except for Specialty cars. OR
(2) A local renter at a downtown location can present an original and current utility bill which matches the name and address on the Driver’s License of the renter. Photocopies, printouts, digital images (digital format can be accepted provided that the source of the document comes from the official page; e.g. FPL site) are not permitted. Utility bills need to be the most current or from the last 30 days and cannot be Past Due. Local Renters with a debit card may need additional documentation and can only rent Vans, Economy through Fullsize sedans, Compact through Intermediate SUVs and Pickup trucks.

Thrifty Car Rental

IMG_7832

At U.S. corporate locations, debit cards issued under a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover logo which draw funds directly from the renter’s account may be used at the start of the rental when the reservation is made more than 24 hours before the time of rental, and the rental is for car classes other than convertibles, Premium or Luxury rentals. An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 will be assessed for non-Blue Chip members, and Blue Chip members renting for the first time. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply. The above incremental hold will not be applied to established Blue-Chip members with a VISA credit or debit card in your profile.

Reservation made less than 24 hours before the rental or renting a convertible, premium or luxury car class?

A debit card may be used on a reservation made less than 24 hours before the rental or when renting a convertible, Premium or Luxury, car class when the following information is provided:

  • Two (2) valid forms of identification; and
    • Valid forms of identification are a valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License AND One (1) of the following forms:
      • An alternative valid credit or debit card embossed with the same name as the driver’s license;
      • A United States or Foreign Country Issued passport in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • United States or Foreign Country Issued Military Identification Card in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • Non-Government Form of ID, examples that may be accepted include: store membership card with photo (Costco, Sam’s, etc.) or a company ID badge with photo. Names on both forms must match driver’s name on license and debit card; or
      • A current month Utility statement which is addressed to the renter with the same name and address as present on the renter’s driver’s license (e.g., gas, electric, cable bill).
  • Proof of travel plans, including (but not limited to) return trip travel tickets.

An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 will be assessed for non-Blue Chip members, and Blue Chip members renting for the first time. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply. The above incremental hold will not be applied to established Blue-Chip members cards.

Exceptions: Debit cards are accepted for Thrifty Blue Chip members when the card is already in the member’s profile or the rental is a Replacement rental.

In the event the renter in unable to produce the above required documents, a credit card may be used to secure the rental and at the end of the rental, a debit card may be used for payment.

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This post first appeared onYour Mileage May Vary

 

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