When you rent a car, I bet you don’t give much thought into the times you say you’ll pick up and drop off the vehicle. Most people enter in the time their flight is due to arrive and then maybe give themselves an hour, or two, before your flight is due to leave. But what if your flight home is delayed and you know you’re going to be stuck at the airport? You might decide to just show up a bit later. What if you change your arriving flight at the last minute to get on an earlier plane? Those decisions could cost you an entire day worth of rental car charges, if you’re not careful.
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.
Once you’ve been getting credit cards for different sign-up bonuses and benefits for long enough, eventually one of the cards you have will be discontinued. One day the bank will stop accepting new applications for the card and you’re in credit card limbo. Most of the time banks will allow you to keep the cards open and continue to offer the same benefits as before. This can be for months, years or even decades after the card is initially ended.
The most common reason a card is discontinued is that the bank is refreshing a product and decides to relaunch the card with a new name and new benefits. However, there are sometimes where a bank just decides that the card is no longer a good fit for their portfolio. Another reason is contractual, such as when AMEX lost the Costco contract or when Citi’s Hilton agreement ended. In these instances, you’re not able to keep the old product and will either be offered a different card from the old bank or the equivalent card from the new bank.
Back to discontinued, yet still active, cards. Should you keep them? What’s the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
When you rent a car anywhere in the U.S.A., you will always encounter some charges tacked on to the cost of the actual rental. Taxes. Fees. Surcharges. Upcharges. You know what I mean. If you’re going to be on any toll roads during your rental period, you should know ahead of time what the charges will be for tolls, especially if you’re going to be on a toll road that doesn’t take cash (a situation that is happening more and more often). Not following each rental car company’s respective rules for same could potentially gain you extra penalties that could run from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Here’s the rundown on what to expect:
When you rent a car, there are almost always costs not included in the advertised price. Sales tax. Vehicle license recovery fee. Customer facility charge. Concession recovery fee. Parking surcharge. Insurance charge. An added fee if you’re under 25 years old. An added fee for additional drivers. Upcharges for satellite radio and car seats. Stuff like that. In Orlando, as is the case in other cities, the cost of a toll transponder is often quietly added on, as well. And folks, it ain’t cheap!
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