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Car Rental Post BK - Avoid Hertz, go Alamo

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  • Car Rental Post BK - Avoid Hertz, go Alamo

    I've seen posts about using debit cards post BK and how they are preferable to getting a new cc, so this is an FYI based on my own personal experience. I just returned from a business trip where I had to rent a car. (The hotel had no issue with a debit card, a pre-paid Wal-Mart card, other than charging the entire stay up front) I had reservations with Hertz for the car. When I tried to check in they said my card had been declined. I knew that couldn't be correct because it had been loaded with many times the charge amount. I called Wal-Mart and they said they had no record of any declined transactions. I pressed the issue with a manager and he finally told me that when a debit card is used they run a credit check, even if there are adequate funds on the card. Go figure. If I had a cc and it had $1 more than the charge, they would approve the rental, even though there was no money they could access if there were additional charges. So I was stuck with no car. I tried Advantage and they also run a credit check so no go there too. Finally I went back to old trusty, Alamo: Debit card no problem if you have return flight information. What a relief!

    So for anyone's future use:
    Alamo = big thumbs up!
    Hertz - avoid like the plague
    1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
    2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
    4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

  • #2
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll be renting cars shortly so it's good to know.

    My debit card functions as a debit card and a credit card. When used in credit mode there is a limit (I can change it with my bank) but it processes just like a CC except the funds are taken out when the actual charge goes in, not when the estimated funds are reserved as in car rentals and hotel bookings. I don't think it builds credit but maybe it will avoid the hassle you ran into.

    You may want to check with your bank and see if this option is available.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by gmk View Post
      Thanks for the heads up. I'll be renting cars shortly so it's good to know.

      My debit card functions as a debit card and a credit card. When used in credit mode there is a limit (I can change it with my bank) but it processes just like a CC except the funds are taken out when the actual charge goes in, not when the estimated funds are reserved as in car rentals and hotel bookings. I don't think it builds credit but maybe it will avoid the hassle you ran into.

      You may want to check with your bank and see if this option is available.
      I think this is what I may have also. I've recently noticed I can use it at a self-serve pump and not have to go inside to pay. It sounds like thats the same thing?
      Tho originally I understood it to be a Debit card.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ryan View Post
        Tho originally I understood it to be a Debit card.
        Me too, until one day I was turned down at a Walmart pharmacy checkout because in debit mode there was also a limit, albeit lower. I called the bank and they said just use it as a credit card. At the card swipe gizmo at Walmart it automatically asks for my PIN but if you press cancel it lets you select debit - credit - etc. I select credit and sign the slip.

        Comment


        • #5
          I actually already knew this. Hertz takes the entire rental charges, including estimated mileage, taxes, fees, excise taxes, special handling fees, state tire fees, you name your fee... and and additional $200 over the amount. This is regardless of whether you're using a credit card, debit card or any other "charge" card.

          If you are $1 short, they do not care. They are not allowed to override the system. You must have this amount.

          I setup a rental car for a friend with Hertz. She had exactly $250 available on her CREDIT CARD. When she got to Hertz... Declined! I'm scrambling because she has me on the phone and is irate. Anyhow I ask the Hertz person EXACTLY how much they are trying to hold? It was $256 and they can't override it. Her credit card company, after calling them, declined to temporarily increase the limit. Please know that this was for a ONE DAY rental, and actually a simple one-way rental dropping it off 18 miles away (that had no drop fee). The total rental charges were only $56 (estimated).

          Then my BRIGHT idea was to rent a smaller car. You see, I reserved a standard sized vehicle. I looked online and saw that the other car was $2/day less. Yes, that made all the difference. The total pre-approval came out to like $248.50!!! Just made it.

          You will find that several other car rental companies do this as well. Hertz is my preferred rental company for many reasons. They rent to me all the time.
          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            i had this same experience with hertz a couple of weeks ago...i used my ss debit card for the rental..which had quite a bit of money on it...to make it worse..we live in a small town..and the guy at hertz didnt run the card right away...he actually let me leave with the car before running my card....when i was about a 1/2 hour away he called and said card rejected...i asked him to re do it as i just got paid with ss funds...he ran it 3 times....rejected....said i had to either bring car back or give another card....i went to bank immediately..wihdrew from same ss card and put money on another debit card in roommates name..called him back and her card went through instantly...i also called commercia bank which handles my ss debit card...they say there is no evidence of him trying to put hold on acct..and they said it should have worked...so it MUST have been hertz ..

            Comment


            • #7
              But it DID work. That's just the lie they tell you. Maybe it's so they dont have to say "We ran a credit check and you came up with bad credit", I don't know. That's not too much different than telling everyone in line that your card was rejected. They had over a month to figure that out before I got to th counter in my case. Just do the work upfront, email me that my reservation is cancelled due to bad credit, and I'll go somewhere else. Just dont wait until Im 3,000 miles fro home to say "we just now figured it out".
              1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
              2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
              4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

              Comment


              • #8
                It would be a waste of effort for them to "pre-approve" all renters. They have no clue who made the reservation. In some places, more than 35% of reservations are no-shows. This would drain them running "credit" checks on every reservation.

                By the way, they do not run credit checks on "every" reservation. It's only the people who infrequently rent. Suggest that you get a Hertz #1 Club Gold or Enterprise Emerald Club or similar card. They can be obtained for free through many organizations. I don't know of ANYONE who has ever had their credit run or denied and many of these people has super poor credit.
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by justbroke View Post
                  By the way, they do not run credit checks on "every" reservation. It's only the people who infrequently rent. Suggest that you get a Hertz #1 Club Gold or Enterprise Emerald Club or similar card. They can be obtained for free through many organizations. I don't know of ANYONE who has ever had their credit run or denied and many of these people has super poor credit.
                  I dont think I said they did for everyone, just debit cards. At least that was what the manager told me. He said "If its a debit card we are requried to run a ccredit check. It's company policy". I know it wasnt a balance issue because the card had $1500 on it. I asked the amount of the charge and he told me $146 (or so). I'm just basing my recommendation on recent personal experience: Hertz rejected, based on credit check, Alamo had no issues taking debit card. I've rented at Alamo with a different debit card for 10+ years and never had an issue.

                  That someone else had the same experience within a few weeks also helps add some credability to the idea that Hertz may have a different policy regarding debit cards than Alamo.
                  1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
                  2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
                  4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hertz is definitely tougher when it comes to rentals, I can agree with that. I'm not sure the "debit card" == "credit check" is the real (total) policy since my last 10 Hertz rentals over the last 2 years have been with a debit card.

                    Maybe they just like me, but that big fat Chapter 13 bankruptcy on my credit report, sure hurts when I go to get real credit.

                    You want to know what really hurts? There are some companies where you can't even make a reservation unless you have a REAL credit card! They check before you can even make the reservation. I think that may have been Enterprise. So annoying!
                    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I bet you're right regarding the credit scores. We are only 1 month post discharge and still pretty much in the dirt:

                      Transunion
                      Score:656Grade
                      Created on: 06/08/2010

                      Experian
                      Score:671Grade
                      Created on: 06/08/2010

                      Equifax
                      Score:716Grade:C
                      1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
                      2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
                      4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wish mine were that nice.
                        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ha! I didn't look after I pasted. Apparently the "Grade: D " if spaced too closely is equivalent to a happy face... The scores are actually higher than they were 2 years ago before we stopped paying all cc debt for 12 months, which really surprises me. But you did a 13 and converted to a 7, right? Did the conversion lower your scores over just the 13?
                          Last edited by pcn; 06-11-2010, 06:04 PM. Reason: the darn :D monster
                          1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
                          2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
                          4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pcn View Post
                            But you did a 13 and converted to a 7, right? Did the conversion lower your scores over just the 13?
                            No, my not paying the mortgage did. LOL I'm glad that it's over though. It's nice to start out new.
                            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pcn View Post
                              I bet you're right regarding the credit scores. We are only 1 month post discharge and still pretty much in the dirt:
                              Transunion
                              Score:656Grade
                              Created on: 06/08/2010
                              Experian
                              Score:671Grade
                              Created on: 06/08/2010
                              Equifax
                              Score:716Grade:C
                              Those are not particularly bad scores at all. ....and besides I made it thru high school with all "D"'s :-)

                              Comment

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