Do you take my card? Policies for deposit and payment

Credit card policies

 
We’re often asked questions regarding methods of payment for car rental in Costa Rica.  The information below is to quickly clarify doubts that arise frequently:
 
Deposit payment
 
Most car rental agencies will only accept the deposit for car rental with a credit card.  Avanti, Budget, Dollar, Fox, Payless, Toyota, and USave will also accept a debit card for the deposit payment.
 
Points to consider if paying the deposit with a debit card:
 
The hold on a debit card can take weeks to be released, whereas a credit card hold is usually released within 2/3 days.
 
There is no CDW coverage through debit card providers, so renters are required to purchase in-house coverage.
 
Renters may be required to pay a higher deposit for using a debit card.
 

Credit cards
 
Nearly half of ACAR members will accept credit cards without raised numbers on the card, but as just over 50% won’t, do check our list to confirm the type of credit card accepted.  Note any restrictions that are involved in using a credit card without raised numbers, for example, Europcar will only accept payment if the renter is at the office.
 
All car rental agencies will accept the big three: American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Some also accept Diners and/or Discover. Do check the specific cards accepted at the Costa Rican office and not on the international website of the car rental agency.

The chart below can help you with quick reference to the car rental agencies and their policies with regards to deposit payment methods and policy for credit cards without raised numbers (information updated in September 2016):

Car Rental Agency Accepts cash deposit and /or travel checks Accepts debit card deposit Credit cards accepted Accepts cards without raised numbers
Adobe No No American Express / MasterCard/ Visa Yes
Alamo No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa / Diners No
Apex No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
Avanti No With full protection purchase American Express /MasterCard /Visa/ Discover/NOVUS With full protection purchase
Avis No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
Budget No With full protection purchase American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
Dollar No With full protection purchase American Express / MasterCard /Visa /Diners/ Discover No
Economy No Yes American Express / MasterCard /Visa Yes
Enterprise No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa/ Diners No
Europcar No No Master Card / Visa/ American Express If vehicle is collected from the station
Fox No With full protection purchase American Express / MasterCard /Visa / Diners  No
Firefly No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
Hertz No No American Express / MasterCard Visa/ Diners No
Mapache No No American Express / MasterCard Visa/Diners Yes
National No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
Payless No With full protection purchase American Express /MasterCard Visa/ Discover/NOVUS Yes
Sixt No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa Discover, Diners Yes
Thrifty No No Electron/ American Express / MasterCard/ Visa / Diners / Discover No
Toyota No With $2,000 deposit American Express / MasterCard /Visa No
USave No With full protection purchase American Express / MasterCard Visa / Discover/NOVUS With full protection purchase
Vamos No No American Express / MasterCard /Visa / Discovery / Diners Yes

Need further clarification or have more questions?  Contact us at info@acar.cr for direct answers to your questions.