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 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 credit card that earns miles or points, 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 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 Chase Freedom Unlimited, Citi Rewards+, or Fidelity Rewards, 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. Unless mentioned otherwise, 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 logo. Pre-paid cards or any other non-credit card without one of these logos is not accepted.

Renters without a ticketed return travel itinerary will need to provide a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the rental plus an additional amount between $200 to $400 based on rental location.

At airport locations, debit card deposits are only accepted at the time of rental if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary. The name and address shown on the renter’s driver’s license must match their current home address. Active duty military personnel are exempt from address requirements. Other than the renter’s spouse or domestic partner, no other additional drivers are allowed. At the time of rental, charges will be placed on the debit card which reduces the available funds in the account associated with the card used. Renter is responsible for any overdraft fees incurred. Disembarking passengers will be asked to provide a credit card or debit card with funds to cover the cost of the rental. Renters without a ticketed return travel itinerary will need to provide a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the rental plus $200. Debit cards are only accepted at the time of rental if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary.

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 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

A valid driver’s license and debit or credit card must be presented. Debit cards issued under 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 when the following requirements are met.

Dollar Airport locations, the renter is required to provide proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental and present two (2) valid forms of identification.

  • Valid forms of identification are a valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License AND One (1) of the followin forms:
    • An alternative valid credit or debit card embossed/printed 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;
    • 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).

Dollar Off Airport locationsthe renter has a reservation made at least one (1) day in advance, must be at least 25 years old, must present two (2) valid forms of identification and one of the following: (a) provide a Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number or (b) proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental (airline or cruise).

An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 for Credit Cards and (effective April 1st) $500 for Debit cards, will be assessed for all renters.

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 with a VISA credit or debit on their profile.

Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented. Effective April 1st, In most cases a credit check will be performed for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. If Dollar cannot secure credit approval and/or proper identification credentials are not supplied, Dollar will decline your rental.

Any funds that are held for a 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.

At airport locations, debit card deposits are only accepted at the time of rental if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary. The name and address shown on the renter’s driver’s license must match their current home address. Active-duty military personnel are exempt from address requirements. Other than the renter’s spouse or domestic partner, no other additional drivers are allowed.  At the time of rental, charges will be placed on the debit card which reduces the available funds in the account associated with the card used. Renter is responsible for any overdraft fees incurred. Disembarking passengers will be asked to provide a credit card or debit card with funds to cover the cost of the rental. Renters without a ticketed return travel itinerary will need to provide a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the rental plus an additional amount between $200 to $400 based on rental location.

DEBIT CARDS

Debit cards are not accepted at time of rental, but are accepted as payment upon return.

Hertz Car Rental

Using Debit Cards to Qualify for a 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:

Vehicle class reserved is Compact through Fullsize ONLY;

  • 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., neighbourhood locations that are located off airports, debit cards may be used at the start of a rental. To qualify for a rental using a debit card, you will be required to make your reservation at least 24 hours in advance of your rental pick up date; must be at least 25 years old; have a Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number listed in the reservation or proof of return trip travel ticket to coincide with the rental dates(airline or cruise); and present two (2) valid forms of identification.

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, regardless of vehicle type, or the rental is an Insurance Replacement rental.
  • Debit cards are not accepted to qualify at time of rental on Premium vehicles and above, including Tesla, Dream Cars and Adrenaline Cars.
  • Debit cards are not accepted for Prepaid (PayNow) rentals. A major credit card must be used.

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 for credit card and US$ 500.00 for debit card 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. Pre-paid cards or any other non-credit card without one of these logos are not accepted. (Discover not accepted in Canada.)

At airport locations, debit card deposits are only accepted at the time of rental if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary. The name and address shown on the renter’s driver’s license must match their current home address. Active duty military personnel are exempt from address requirements. Other than the renter’s spouse or domestic partner, no other additional drivers are allowed.  At the time of rental, charges will be placed on the debit card which reduces the available funds in the account associated with the card used. Renter is responsible for any overdraft fees incurred. Disembarking passengers will be asked to provide a credit card or debit card with funds to cover the cost of the rental. Renters without a ticketed return travel itinerary will need to provide a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the rental plus an additional amount between $200 to $400 based on rental location. Debit cards are only accepted at the time of rental if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary.

Payless Car Rental

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

At most locations, Debit Cards are accepted when renting an Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-size, Premium car, SUVs and Minivans only. Check your specific rental location for any exceptions. The estimated amount of the rental plus an additional amount of up to $300.00 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 and the following Downtown locations: Inglewood (Local Customers), Philadelphia (Local Customers). 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 domestic renters with a debit card cannot rent any Full-sized and Over-sized SUVs, Premium, Luxury, Extraordinary or Specialty vehicles, with the exception of Pickup trucks and Vans. Customers travelling 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

Thrifty accepts American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Visa, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, China Union Pay and some debit cards. We may place an authorized hold on your credit/debit card to cover the estimated rental charges plus up to USD $200.00 for credit card and $500 for debit card for any additional charges that may be incurred. These funds will not be available for your use. A valid driver’s license and credit card must be presented. Debit cards issued under 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 when the following requirements are met;

  • Vehicle class reserved is Compact through Fullsize ONLY
  • In most cases, a credit check will be performed for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. If Thrifty cannot secure credit approval and/or proper identification credentials are not supplied, Thrifty will decline your rental.
  • Thrifty Airport locations, the renter is required to provide proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental and present two (2) valid forms of identification.
    • 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).

Other policy exceptions:

  • Debit Card can be used if it is already in your Blue Chip profile, regardless of vehicle type.
  • Debit cards are not accepted on Premium vehicles and above, including Convertibles.

An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 for credit card and $500 for debit card 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 with a VISA credit or debit on their profile.

Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented. In most cases a credit check will be performed for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. If Thrifty cannot secure credit approval and/or proper identification credentials are not supplied, Thrifty will decline your rental.

In the event the renter is unable to produce the above required documents, a credit card may be used to secure the rental. Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: