It seems like a silly thing to get excited about, but renting a car with a debit card has long been a restrictive feat no matter where it has been.
Typically, most car rental agencies won't rent to debit card renters unless it is at an airport location and with proof of return. However, starting this past Tuesday and effective immediately, Dollar is matching credit card requirements for debit card renters across all of its locations, as long as it is booked 24 hours or more in advance.
It will also eliminate all credit checks and reduce the incidental hold for debit card renters.
It seems like the move was prompted by Dollar's executive leadership, perhaps motivated to become the first choice for renters that have had traditionally a hard time getting a car rental.
(The line of thought goes that if a customer can't qualify for a credit card, that customer may be less trustworthy which is silly since there are debit cards that offer rental car insurance. Did you know it is nearly impossible to rent a car with cash?)
The press release highlights this fact:
Nearly half (approximately 44 percent) of Americans prefer debit cards according the Federal Reserve and nearly a third (29 percent) of Americans do not own a credit card. Dollar knew it could help minimize stress when traveling, especially for customers who don’t have—or don’t want to use—a credit card.
There are a couple of other interesting customer-friendly initiatives as well. Interestingly enough, Dollar is also lowering the age restriction for 25 to 20.
Dollar is also easing up on other debit card restrictions, as outlined:
- No more credit checks.
- Rentals booked more than 24 hours in advance require a debit card and driver’s license
- Rentals booked less than 24 hours in advance require two forms of identification and proof of return travel
- Renter age restriction lowered to 20 from 25
- Incidental hold amount lowered to $200 from $350 to match credit card rentals.
Dollar should become the go-to choice for those that wish to rent with their debit card.