Credit or Debit

August 23, 2018

Kika Welcomes Customers and Reminds Them,  “NO DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED”

Kihei Rent A Car now requires their renters to have a major credit card to rent a car. However, if you want to pay for the rental with a debit card that is still possible. When you pick up the car your rental agent will put an authorization or hold on your major credit card and charge your debit card for the total cost of the rental. The same goes with paying cash for the rental. Whether you are paying with a debit card or cash, you are still required to provide a major credit card with the same name that is on your valid drivers license. Some renters pay with their major credit card and when they return they pay with a debit card or cash. Kihei Rent A Car then credits their credit card. Of course the fastest and easiest way is to just pay for the rental with your major credit card. Kihei Rent A Car always collects the total cost right when you pick up your car.

This is a big shift after accepting cash deposits, then prepaid cards, and then debit cards for many years. So, Kihei Rent A Car wanted to help their loyal customers understand why rental car companies want you to pay with a credit card.

In a nutshell, because it’s less risky for the rental car company.

When you rent a car, you drive away with a valuable asset. The rental car company wants to have recourse if you damage it or fail to return it. Most rental car companies require that you pay for a rental with a credit card because it reassures them that:

  • You’re an actual person with a real identity. You’ve already been vetted by the credit card issuer.
  • You will be able to pay for the rental and for any damages that might happen.
  • You have a good credit score and therefore can be trusted with their valuable asset. Again, having a credit card shows that a financial institution trusted you with unsecured credit.

If you pay for a rental car with a debit card and don’t return the car, the rental car company might have more difficulty recovering funds from you. Rent with a credit card, and it’s more likely that the company can track you down and get its money back.

There is a good reason to use a credit card to pay for a car rental. A credit card usually provides some form of insurance coverage for rental cars. This makes rental car companies happy because it means the renter likely has insurance coverage for any damage that happens to the vehicle. Of course, you should check with your credit card company to see if you are covered, for how much, and other details.

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