The pandemic has affected almost every facet of our life. Renting a car yourself is difficult because the supply is limited. And that means that rental fees are increasing. Ascent.
When people were banned in March 2020, travel for fun and business fell off the cliff. Car rental companies have shrunk their fleets by nearly two-thirds and sold hundreds of thousands of cars. Exactly the cars that you rented to get from the airport to your vacation destination or the big conference.
Fast forward to March 2021 when COVID vaccinations were rolled out nationwide. People started traveling (or at least training logistics) and needed rental cars.
But it will take time for the car rental company to get their wheels going again. The best advice now is to book as far in advance as possible.
What hasn’t changed, however, are the pros and cons of using your credit card to reserve a car. For example, depositing $ 350 (more or less) is likely to be under your control for the duration of your trip. Depending on your credit limit, this can change your spending while you are away.
It’s frustrating when the down payment is high compared to the rental cost. And reserving a car with a debit card is not always allowed.
Save my guide to get around the debit and credit card authorization issue when there are more rental cars or use it now if you run into gold when booking.
How to rent a car without a credit card
Instead of handing over my bank debit card to cover the rental car deposit, I use my PayPal debit card.
With this trick, the deposit never leaves my account.
First, you need a PayPal Business MasterCard debit card. If you don’t already have one, do the following:
1. Create a PayPal account
If you don’t have an account, go to PayPal.com register for free.
2. Upgrade to a Premier or Business account
Set this up when you open your account or upgrade your existing account to Premier or Business.
Be sure to read the Differences between these accounts knowing which one is best for you. Upgrading to either is free, and both have features that are not available for a personal account.
If you use PayPal for online business or freelance work, always upgrade to a business account. For personal use with the added features, Premier should have you covered.
3. Apply for a PayPal Business MasterCard debit card
Make sure you plan ahead of time to see if you want to use your debit card for a specific trip! If you’re new to PayPal, you’ll want to Apply for the Business MasterCard at least three months in advance.
Even if you have had a PayPal account for a long time, give yourself at least a month.
Note: This is NOT the same as a PayPal prepaid MasterCardThis is also a physical card that you can get from PayPal. The prepaid card is loaded like a gift card, while the business debit card works like your bank or ATM card.
Even outside of this hack, I love having a PayPal debit card because:
- I can withdraw cash from my PayPal account at an ATM or use it like any other debit card. That is, I can go shopping in practice with money I make online.
- I get instant access to my PayPal balance. The transfer to my bank account used to take three to four days.
- I receive 1% cashback for every direct purchase that does not require a PIN.
3. Set up a backup funding source
Choose a backup funding source for your business debit card. This is a different process than choosing a source of backup funding for your PayPal account. So make sure you attach these specifically to the card.
Your source of backup funding is either your checking account or another debit card (or both).
When you pay for something with your PayPal debit card, the funds in your PayPal account are used first. The backup covers the purchase if the amount exceeds your PayPal balance.
Warning: Your backup will cover a purchase that exceeds your PayPal balance, regardless of whether you have the balance on the backup account or not. Monitor the balance on both accounts to avoid an overdraft fee.
Rent a car with a debit card
When you travel, use your PayPal debit card to cover your rental car deposit.
1. Deposit $ 1 into your PayPal account
Pay a small amount into your PayPal account a few days before you travel. I always stick to just $ 1.
Depending on your bank, it may take a few days for a deposit to be made into your PayPal account. Mine usually lasts two or three days.
If you need it faster, you can coordinate with a friend or family member to transfer money directly from another PayPal account, which happens almost instantly.
Make sure you keep your balance low. If you already have a higher balance in your PayPal account, transfer most of it to your bank account.
All available amounts on your PayPal account will be saved for deposit. The less available if the card is stolen, the better.
2. Find a hold on the available balance
When the rental company collects your card, the US $ 1 security deposit will be provided.
The authorization is valid because the fee sees your backup funding and sees it as sufficient funds for the fee, regardless of the balance of your checking account.
However, your checking account will not be charged as the transaction will not be completed.
You can also receive payments later or otherwise add and access funds to your PayPal account. That is not tied in the hold.
3. Return the car and remove the cargo space
When you return the rental car, you pay the rental fee. You can debit the PayPal card on file (and then your backup funding source) or, if allowed, pay with another card or cash.
When you return the car the hold will be removed from your card and you will never receive the money from the deposit.
Note that if you charge fees in addition to the car rental fee, such as car rental fees, your PayPal card and / or backup funding source will be charged. B. for smoking in the car or damaging it.
Do not add a deposit to your PayPal that is greater than the credit in your checking account. You risk an overdraft if the deposit fee is incurred for any reason.
Where to rent a car without a credit card
Renting a car is a difficult process for the credit challenged.
Some companies just don’t allow you to rent without a credit card on your behalf. Virtually no one will rent to you for cash or checks anymore.
However, many companies let you rent a car with a debit card – with a few restrictions.
Most rental car companies do a credit check, and many require additional ID to rent with a debit card (versus a credit card). Check with your rental company beforehand to make sure you have all the information you need.
You must always show a valid driver’s license and loyalty card to rent a car.
Additional I.D. The following may be required for car rental with a debit card:
- A round-trip ticket or itinerary
- U.S. passport or Military I.D.
- Current vehicle insurance card
- A copy of your phone or electricity bill or bank statement within 60 days
At this point in time, you can rent a car with a debit card from these companies. To make sure your trip goes smoothly, you can call ahead to make sure PayPal cards are accepted:
Most companies require you to be at least 25 years old to rent a car with a debit card. But dollar Drivers under the age of 25 can rent with a debit card.
Rent a car without a credit card
That was a lot of information, so here’s a simple checklist:
Create or upgrade your PayPal account to Premier or Business.
Apply for the PayPal Business MasterCard debit card.
Link a backup funding source to your Business MasterCard.
Maintain a low balance (around $ 1) in your PayPal account when you travel.
Read the car rental company payment policies and choose one that allows you to rent without a credit card.
Wipe the rental car deposit with your PayPal Business MasterCard.
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is an employee of The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com