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Dave Ramsey says: Don’t fall for the rental car runaround, use debit card

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Dear Dave,

My husband and I had to rent a car on a recent trip to Florida. When we tried to pay with our debit card, the attendant told us he would have to pull our credit report if we used debit instead of credit.

He said all rental car companies operate that way because there was concern about people stealing the cars and closing their checking accounts. Is this true?

We’re trying to take control of our money using your plan, and we don’t want to get a credit card if we don’t have to.

— Michelle

Dear Michelle,

No, it’s not true that all rental car companies operate that way. I have a debit card I use to rent cars everywhere I go, and I’ve never experienced anything like that.

There still may be a few of the smaller rental car companies that don’t take debit cards, but him telling you credit cards are the only way anyone rents a car without a big credit check hassle is a bunch of crap.

When you’re setting up your reservation in the future, verify in advance that you’re dealing with a company that accepts debit cards and that there are no ridiculous strings attached. Then, if you don’t like the terms and conditions, go to another rental company.

But don’t take a chance on wrecking your total money makeover by running out to get a credit card for something silly. It’s just not worth the risk!

— Dave

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