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Couldn't find any definitive info. For different categories of vehicles and in various parts of the world?

Edit: I'm looking for the answer in exact US dollars. Or euros. Or pounds. Or whatever currencies.

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I've never had them lock more than the anticipated charge when using a CREDIT card. I have seen a coworker run into a problem when they tried to lock extra on a DEBIT card. Admittedly I have few rentals and always in the US. –  Loren Pechtel Jan 8 '13 at 2:55
Just a quick note: you can also make the deposit locked from your CREDIT card but pay the balance from the DEBIT card. It that's helpful for someone. I edited the original post. –  investor Jan 8 '13 at 3:07

2 Answers 2

It will depend on credit they are offering you during the period being covered. A gas station locks up what they expect is the maximum transaction for most people. When the prices of gas spikes some people have the pump turn off before the tank is filled, therefore they need to use a 2nd card to complete the purchase.

Before you arrive at a hotel they lockup the cost of one night in the hotel, that way they still sell the room for one night if you never show. While you are there they lockup the cost of what you could owe them. This would include the cost of the room, and average room service or bar service.

For a car rental, it would be based on the risk they perceive. They don't want to try and collect against a card you gave them when you reserved the car, or when you picked up the car, only to find that you have gone over the limit.

Some online systems will let you see what is pending against your card. Others could provide that information to you over the phone.

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"2nd card" -> "2nd transaction" –  ChrisInEdmonton Jan 7 '13 at 14:35
Sometimes you can't use the same card that quickly at the same site. The company will reject the hold request because they assume it is a accidental re-swipe or an attempt at fraud. –  mhoran_psprep Jan 7 '13 at 14:49
Fair enough. That'd be incredibly annoying. –  ChrisInEdmonton Jan 7 '13 at 18:08

The amount can vary by car rental company and geographic location.

I did a Google search using the search term: "enterprise credit card hold"

The range went from $100 to $500. There is also mention of Jamaica for $1500.

The benefit of a credit card in this instance is that the hold is on a virtual balance versus a debit card that will actually hold the money that is in your checking account.

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$100 to $1500... Interesting! Why so big differences? I can't justify $1500 for a low-income country like Jamaica. Even in high income countries might people refrain to lower credit limits for various reasons. –  investor Jan 12 '13 at 8:46

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