Are you planning a tour in the United States, need to rent a car and don't have a credit card? Do not despair, there is good news in recent years. Car rental without a credit card is possible and always easier. in the USA, using debit cards or even prepaid cards and cash.
This payment option is not valid for all car rental companies, but only for some of them, which require special taxes, requirements and conditions to be respected. In fact, it is advisable to carefully read the rental and payment conditions before booking.
However, this exciting new opportunity will now allow even those without a credit card to take a pleasant road trip on the beautiful American highways.
Car rental with debit card
The debit card, unlike the credit card, is a fairly popular payment tool in Spain. Most debit cards are labeled as "Tarjeta de débito" or "Debit"; otherwise, they could be prepaid or rechargeable cards.
So, if you have a debit card, here's everything you need to know about renting a car without a credit card, before you book:
- Check which debit card logos are accepted. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa or MasterCard, although it is not excluded that some rental companies also accept other logos.
- The most commonly accepted debit cards are those linked to a real bank account. Therefore, prepaid debit cards or cards that are not linked to a bank account are often not accepted.
- You need to have sufficient financial resources on the card or in the associated checking account to pay the cost of the car rental, any insurance and the security deposit.
- Most car rental companies do not allow you to rent luxury vehicles or SUVs with debit cards, but only small and mid-size cars.
- The name shown on the debit card must be the same as the name on the renter's driver's license.
- When renting a car with a debit card, more than one identification document may be required, for example, in addition to a driver's license, a passport may also be required.
- You may need to purchase additional insurance to reduce the deductible, or to bring the deductible to 0, i.e. no deductible.
- Renting a car with a debit card takes more time than using a credit card, because operators will have to perform more checks and controls.
- The purpose of the credit and debit card is to leave a deposit to the rental company. Therefore, if you use a debit card, consider the fact that the company will block or withdraw a certain amount of credit and therefore it will not be possible to use it. This amount will be released after the delivery of the intact, undamaged vehicle.
- However, remember that it is always easier and faster to pick up a rental car with a credit card. Therefore, if there is enough time to leave for the United States, it is always advisable to try to apply for a credit card from your financial institution or bank. The issuance of a credit card can take up to a month.
Alamo, Enterprise and National car rentals
The car rental companies Alamo, Enterprise and National Car Rental state in the rental and payment conditions that debit cards will be accepted along with proof of a confirmed round-trip ticket (airline, cruise or train ticket).
Without proof of round-trip ticket, debit cards will only be accepted as a form of payment when returning the vehicle. Accepted debit cards must have the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo. Virtual credit cards are not accepted.
Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty
Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty car rental companies accept debit cards, but under certain conditions. At the time of car rental,a debit card authorization is required to cover the estimated rental costs and any additional charges. This amount cannot be used by the customer.
Accepted debit cards must have the VISA, MasterCard or Discoverylogo to draw funds directly from a bank account tied to the cardholder. You must also send a return airline ticket tied to the duration of the rental and two valid identification documents.
- 2 identification documents must be a valid driver's license plus a valid passport in the same license holder's name and debit card or other credit or debit card in the same license holder's name and with raised lettering.
- Non-airport agencies also require a minimum age of 25 years for car release and the reservation must be made at least one day in advance.
Car rental with prepaid card
There are some car rental companies, such as Enterprise, that also accept prepaid cards. Renting a car with a prepaid card costs much more research and documents compared to a debit card, and especially with a credit card.
While there are many that accept prepaid cards upon return of the vehicle, most require a credit card or at most a debit card for delivery of the car.
Car rental with cash
Renting a car with cash, while not impossible, is much more difficult than a debit or prepaid card, and especially a credit card. Cash payment is generally accepted when returning the vehicle and not at the time of pick-up.
The requirements or documents required for a debit or prepaid card may require other documentation such as an employment contract, a verifiable landline or cell phone bill,... So, much easier documents to present for a US resident than for a resident in Spain.
However, assuming that cash rentals are accepted, for a Spaniard it means carrying a lot of cash on the trip, to pay the rental fee and the deposit. Therefore, even if it is a possible condition, in practice this is not recommended.
It is possible to rent a car with cash at some outlets and specific agencies. For example, Rent-A-Wreck is a company that accepts cash without the need to present a credit or debit card. Rent-A-Wreck cars are on average three to five years old and usually have more than 100,000 km. They accept rental cars for young drivers.
How and where to reserve a car
To book a rental car in USA, we recommend you to use the safe and reliable price comparators, which offer the best rates according to your requests: travel period, rental location and car category.
In addition to offering better rates and offers than the official sites, these search engines also provide information on rental conditions and accepted payment methods.Find the best car rental deals on Skyscanner
It is advisable to choose among the most famous car rental brands in the United States, such as: Alamo, Hertz, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty and National. These companies have fleets with "younger" cars and a better after-sales service.Search among the best car rental deals at Rentalcars.
Useful tips for renting a car without a credit card
Before leaving, if you don't have a credit card, it is advisable to apply for one from your financial institution or bank. The issuance of a credit card can take up to a month. The credit card gives more guarantees for the release of the car.
If you do not have a credit card, but in general, it is always best to bring multiple debit cards, prepaid or reloadable, with sufficient funds to pay the cost of the car rental, any insurance and the deposit.
Some simple cards to receive, which however are not credit cards, but can be useful during a trip to the United States, are: N26, Bombo and revoluc. These cards can be received free of charge, you only need to deposit the necessary funds.
Please note that special conditions may apply when using a debit or prepaid card, so we recommend that you read the rental conditions and accepted payment options before booking a car rental in the United States. You may contact the rental company directly to ask for confirmation on what documentation you need to bring and whether your card is accepted.