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Rent a car without a credit card?
Old 10-19-2008, 12:56 PM   #1
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Rent a car without a credit card?

So, some rat fink got hold of my credit card number and charged $700 at the Walmart in Champaign, IL, of all places. I had to cancel the card. They're sending me another one within 10 working days.

However, in 5 working days I'm taking a plane to London for business, after which I'm going to Dublin to visit my 86-year-old aunt.

I very much want to rent a car and take Auntie out, as she is essentially house-bound these days. I've investigated the following:

1. Get added to my husband's seperate card and use his. No help here--the same 10-day mailing period applies.

2. Use my corporate card to reserve the car, then pay at the end with traveler's checks. A couple of card companies have told me this won't work either since I have to pay up front with the credit card.

3. Use my corporate card and suffer the consequences later. Possible, but uncomfortable.

4. Taxis -- MUCH more expensive, as she lives in the 'burbs and I need to take her into the city for some appointments.

5. Fall back on the bus system -- may work in some cases but not all, depending on how close the bus comes to our destination.

Sigh. Any of you frequent travelers out there have any bright ideas? Any and all would be most appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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Is it possible to use your ATM card (which is almost always also a debit card)? There are normally significant down-sides to this (far less protection from fraud, which is an even bigger factor overseas, and the fact that the bank will put a hold on a big chunk of money in your checking account for about 10 days). But, in yor (bad) situation, it might make sense to go this route, if the rental car company accepts debit cards.

Overseas--buy the rental car insurance. It is a ripoff in the US, and much of the same coverage is provided free by premium CC companies. It's expensive but worth it overseas. Also, give the car a thorough inspection before driving off the rental car lot--they are very picky about damage, and you should have every ding, chip in the glass, scratch, etc annotated on your rental stuff before you leave. I could tell you horror stories about a time in Stuttgart . . .). Don't even consider dropping it off after offcie hours--there's a good chance you'll end up with a big charge for "damages" if you aren't there to fight with them.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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Googled the debit card question and found some interesting answers here. * Can I Use A Debit Card To Rent A Car?*by*No Credit Needed

Looks like at least some of the major will allow it, but you might have to boost the authorization per purchase limit on the card. The site also says that Enterprise, for example, requires a credit card at rental, but allows payment in traveler's checks or debit card when the rental is returned.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
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What about talking to your manager about using your corporate card before using it?
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:56 PM   #5
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You might want to give your manager a check for an estimated amount BEFORE you go - somehow, money in hand makes people all kinds of agreeable.

I hope you find a solution of some kind, if this doesn't work -

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Old 10-19-2008, 10:21 PM   #6
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I bet you get your new card before you leave--the cc companies don't want you without one for very long . But I imagine the rental car companies have dealt with this before and will be able to answer your questions. Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:10 PM   #7
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This really doesn't answer your question I know but it might explain why identity theft is such a problem.

I had always thought if you got caught stealing someones identity you would go to jail period. Considering that you can easily steal more than the worth of an automobile or even robbing a bank.

But to my surprise my neighbor is an identity thief and has been doing this for years and years and has got caught but nothing is done about it.

And it ticks me off to think if I would file a false insurance claim for $1000 I would be in jail but she gets away with stealing who knows how much and nothing is done.

I think and so do my other neighbors that she gets away with it because she is a female.

But I guess what I'm saying is that if they don't even punish people who do this then there is no wonder that it's so widespread.

I'm a pretty forgiving person but if you can get up day after day after day and rip people off like that I think you are a pretty rotten person.

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:17 AM   #8
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I dont think the OP wants to buy a car just rent one.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
So, some rat fink got hold of my credit card number and charged $700 at the Walmart in Champaign, IL, of all places....
Champaign, IL! That sends me down memory lane, crime rate in “Chambana” must be off the charts. j/k A life-time ago a friend was late meeting me at the bus station so I called him from a phone booth outside the station. While on the phone, I saw a cop car circling. They stopped me and told me to get out of the neighborhood asap, and kept me in their sites until my friend arrived.

Too bad, this is my best argument for having at least two credit cards.

Caroline, I found limos to be cheaper than I’d expected. Rented one for a half day, was $140 including tip. Dublin should have lots of options. Look for discounts in the phone book, paying by cash or traveler’s check sounds good; debit card may be the solution. Half way heard Rich Steves saying he no longer uses traveler’s checks, forget why. Bus system may be awkward, I tried that in an unfamiliar city with my elderly mom, not so good as I have no sense of direction. It’s such an exciting trip, I second the idea of asking about using your corporate card in advance.

I’d love to take that trip. Bon voyage.

Edit: Oops, I see this thread was revived by SPAM! Caroline, how did the trip go?
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