If you want to rent a car or have rented in the past, you already know most rental companies require a credit card in the renter’s name at the moment of pick-up. However, not everyone has a credit card in their name. What can you do if that’s your case?

Can You Rent A Car With A Debit Card?

Short answer: yes. While it’s not always as easy as renting a car with a credit card, using a debit card is allowed by most of the major car rental companies.

What Forms Of Payment Are Accepted For Renting A Car?

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit/check Cards
  • Gift Cards
  • Cash
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Do You Need A Credit Card To Rent A Car?

You don’t necessarily need a credit card to rent a car, as many rental agencies now accept debit or check cards with major logos such as VISA, Mastercard®, or Discover. However, specific conditions may apply, and it’s essential to understand the rental company’s policies.

At some airport locations, debit cards are accepted only if accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary. Renters without such itineraries may need to provide a credit card with sufficient available credit and a deposit. Additionally, there are variations in accepted cards at international locations, with certain debit cards being restricted, so it’s advisable to check the policies of the rental agency and the location you plan to rent from.

Why Is Renting A Car With A Credit Card Better?

While renting a car with a debit card is permitted, some conditions may apply. The car rental company may require one or more documents in addition to the usual car rental requirements, , like:

  • Utility bills (like a water or gas bill, one or more)
  • Proof of insurance (as credit cards usually provide their own insurance and debit cards don’t)
  • Personal references (contact information of one or more people to verify your personal information, such as name and address)
  • Return travel ticket from the drop-off location
  • Extra identification in addition to your driver’s license (like a valid US passport)
  • Most recent paycheck stub

Other than that, the rental company may also do a credit check and only accept debit cards from specific credit card networks, like VISA, MasterCard or others.

The list of extra requirements above is quite scary, right? But why are rental companies making it harder to rent with a debit instead of a credit card?

Basically, when rental companies let you rent with a debit card, they’re assuming a greater risk. With the credit card information, the rental supplier can charge for extras like parking tickets, fines and little scratches even when the driver is not present. But that isn’t possible with a debit card, as the PIN number is required to make any charges.

That means that if the rental company receives a parking ticket after you’ve returned the car, for example, it’s much harder to charge that from you as they can’t just use the credit card info.

Better Rental Car Insurance

Many credit cards offer additional benefits, such as collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection, providing a layer of financial security during the rental period. These perks can save you from having to purchase expensive insurance coverage from the rental agency. However, for those without a credit card, it becomes crucial to explore alternative insurance options to ensure adequate coverage and peace of mind while on the road.

Higher Rental Car Rewards Program Status

Credit cards often come with built-in perks that grant users elevated status in these programs, translating to benefits like complimentary upgrades, faster booking processes, and priority service. This elevated status not only enhances the overall rental experience but can also lead to cost savings and added convenience, making a credit card a valuable tool for those looking to maximize their benefits while hitting the road.

More Reward Points Or Miles For Travel Purchases

Some credit cards offer enticing rewards programs, allowing you to earn points or miles with each rental transaction. These rewards can be redeemed for various travel benefits, including discounted or free rental days, upgrades, or even complimentary travel expenses. By using a credit card for your car rental, you not only secure a convenient payment method but also open the door to valuable travel incentives that can enhance your overall experience.

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How To Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?

To secure a rental without a credit card, ensure your debit card is associated with one of the major logos, such as VISA, Mastercard®, or Discover. 

Understanding the rental agency’s specific policies, like additional driver restrictions and charges impacting available funds, will help make the process smoother. Always check and confirm the guidelines of the rental agency you choose to ensure a hassle-free car rental experience without a credit card.

What Car Rental Companies Accept Debit Cards?

When it comes to renting a car without a credit card, knowing which car rental companies accept debit cards is essential. Not all companies offer this option, but several major players in the rental industry understand the importance of accommodating customers who prefer or need to use debit cards for their transactions.

1. Enterprise

Accepted Cards:

  • Debit/check cards with VISA®, Mastercard®, or Discover® logos are accepted. Prepaid or non-credit cards without these logos won’t be valid.

Airport Rentals:

  • Debit cards are accepted at airport locations when accompanied by a ticketed return travel itinerary.
  • Addresses on the renter’s driver’s license must match their current home address, with exemptions for active-duty military personnel.
  • Only the renter’s spouse or domestic partner is allowed as an additional driver.

Debit Card Usage:

  • When using a debit card, the funds in the associated account will be reduced by the owed amounts.
  • The renter is responsible for any incurred overdraft fees.

2. Dollar

Accepted Cards:

  • Dollar accepts American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Visa, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, China Union Pay, and certain debit cards.

Authorized Hold:

  • An authorized hold may be placed on your credit/debit card, covering estimated rental charges plus up to USD $200.00 for Credit and $500 for Debit, for potential additional charges.

Driver’s License and Credit Card:

  • A valid driver’s license and credit card must be presented. Debit cards under VISA, MasterCard, and Discover logos can be used for payment at the end of the rental.

Debit Card Requirements:

  • Debit cards can qualify for rental at the outset if certain conditions are met, including the vehicle class being Compact through Fullsize.

Airport Locations:

  • At Dollar Airport locations, renters need to provide proof of a return travel ticket, along with two valid forms of identification.

Forms of Identification:

  • Valid identification includes a driver’s license and one of the following: a credit or debit card with the same name, a passport, military identification card, non-government ID, or a utility statement matching the renter’s driver’s license.

Policy Exceptions:

  • Debit cards can be used if already in your Express profile, with some exceptions for Premium vehicles and PayNow rentals.

Authorization Amount:

  • An authorization amount, including estimated rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 for credit and (effective April 1st) $500 for Debit, is assessed for non-Express members and first-time Express members.

Credit Check for Debit Cards:

  • A credit check may be performed for debit card customers to determine creditworthiness at the time of rental.

Express Members:

  • Debit cards are accepted for Dollar Express members when already in the member’s profile or for Replacement rentals.

Reservation Terms:

  • By completing a reservation, you agree to the terms, conditions, and disclosures, including the use of electronic records and your electronic signature.

3. Alamo

Accepted Cards:

  • Debit/Check cards with VISA, Mastercard®, or Discover logos are accepted.
  • Prepaid cards or those without these logos are not valid.

Airport Guidelines:

  • Debit card deposits allowed at airports with a ticketed return travel itinerary.
  • Renter’s driver’s license address must match the current home address.
  • Active-duty military personnel exempt from address requirements.
  • No additional drivers allowed, except for the renter’s spouse or domestic partner.

Payment Process:

  • Charges applied to the debit card at rental time.
  • Renter responsible for any resulting overdraft fees.

Disembarking Passengers:

  • Credit or debit card with sufficient funds required to cover rental cost.

Renters without Return Travel Itinerary:

  • Need a credit card with enough available credit.
  • Deposit required ($300-$400) depending on location and vehicle class.

Canadian Locations:

  • US and International Debit Cards accepted with a return travel itinerary.
  • Canadian Debit Cards not accepted at airports.

4. Avis

Debit Cards as Credit Identification:

  • Most U.S. Avis locations accept debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo for credit identification, if you are at least 25 (18 in New York).
  • A hold is placed on account funds for the estimated rental cost, but certain vehicle types may require a credit card.

Accepted Charge Cards:

  • Avis honors various charge cards, including Avis Charge Card, American Express, AT&T Capital, China Union Pay, Diner’s Club International, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa.

Credit Identification at Car Pickup:

  • U.S. locations generally accept debit cards for creditworthiness at the time of rental, subject to Avis’s criteria.
  • Canada locations do not accept debit cards for credit identification.

Holds on Account Funds:

  • Debit card users may face an authorization hold for estimated charges, which will not be available for use.
  • Avis may request extra value based on certain factors.
  • Held funds are released after the rental, but banks may take time to post them back.


  • Certain premium vehicles and Avis Select Series cars require a credit card at the time of rental.
  • Some Avis locations do not accept debit cards at the time of rental.

Payment after Car Return:

  • Debit or check cards are accepted for rental charge payment in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Prepaid debit/gift cards are also accepted at the time of car return.

5. Budget

Age Requirement:

  • Debit card usage is restricted to those at least 25 years old.

Location Specifics:

  • Check the rules of your chosen location, as some may not accept debit cards at car pickup.

Payment Process:

  • When picking up your car, present a debit or credit card. Budget will place a hold on your account, typically equal to the estimated rental cost, but it can vary. For instance, the minimum debit hold is $100, often applicable to insurance replacement or prepaid rentals.

Hold Impact:

  • Be aware that a debit card hold limits available funds in the connected account.

Airport Pickups:

  • For airport locations, you might need to show a ticket or boarding pass along with proof of a return flight.

Online Prepayment:

  • Renters can choose to prepay online using a debit card. Some locations may still require a credit card at pickup, but the rental itself can be paid for with a debit card.

6. Sixt

General Requirements:

  • Your debit card must be valid and in the name of the main driver.
  • Present up to two forms of government-issued identification.
  • Have sufficient funds available.

Non-Local Renters:

  • Debit cards can be used but not for premium, luxury, or specialty vehicles (except vans and pickup trucks).
  • Present the return airline ticket or roundtrip flight itinerary upon pick-up.

Local Renters:

  • Present an original and current utility bill matching the driver’s license information (no photocopies or digital images).
  • Bills must be within 30 days and not past due.
  • Only specific categories can be rented; debit cards are not accepted at airport branches.

Car Selection:

  • In-state renters are limited to certain categories.
  • Out-of-state renters can choose from a broader range of categories.
  • International renters can reserve all categories except specialty cars.

Airport Rentals:

  • In-state customers cannot use a debit card at airports.
  • Out-of-state customers can use a debit card but with limitations on vehicle types.
  • International customers can rent any category except for specialty cars.

Downtown Rentals:

  • Local customers can rent using a debit card, presenting a current utility bill.
  • Non-local customers must present a return airline ticket.

7. National

Accepted Cards:

  • Only non-credit cards with VISA, Mastercard®, or Discover logos are accepted.

Airport Deposits:

  • Debit card deposits are allowed at airports with a ticketed return travel itinerary.

Address Match Requirement:

  • Renter’s driver’s license address must match their current home address, excluding active-duty military personnel.

Additional Drivers and Charges:

  • Only the renter’s spouse or domestic partner is allowed as an additional driver.
  • Charges at the rental time impact available funds; renter is responsible for overdraft fees.

Disembarking Passengers:

  • Disembarking passengers need a credit or debit card with funds for the rental cost.

No Return Travel Itinerary:

  • Renters without a return travel itinerary need a credit card with sufficient available credit and a deposit ($300-$400).

Canadian Locations:

  • Only US and International Debit Cards are accepted in Canada with a return travel itinerary; Canadian Debit Cards are not accepted at airport locations.
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Remember To Check The Payment And Security Deposit Info In Advance!

As an extra tip, remember that not all rental locations may accept payment with debit cards or follow the same rules. The best option is to check directly with the car rental locations to check if they have any special conditions in addition to the ones we’ve discussed above.

Attention! All efforts were made to validade the information published in this blog at the moment they were written, however, Rentcars.com does not take responsibility for inaccuracies or future adjustments that can happen as a result of different offers and conditions. The posts here published, as well as the eventual comments from its readers, are merely informative and it is the client's duty to confirm with Rentcars.com and/or suppliers any content that may affect their vacation plans.


  1. I been the last 2 weeks trying to booking
    A rent car ,all this comp completely lying.
    I called every single one,is completely different
    Deposits over 500$ plus theje full amount is around 800$…then finally take money for deposit,so
    We have to wait more than 7 days to get my deposit back…nahhhh I hope other comp got better ways
    To rent service..

    • Hey Maribel! We have tried to find a reservation under the email you used to comment, but didn’t find any. Is there any other email you could have used? Thank you!

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