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.

  • 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
  • For clarification, you are talking about car rental, not taxis/limos/uber/etc. right? – JohnFx May 21 '15 at 17:49

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.

  • 1
    "2nd card" -> "2nd transaction" – ChrisInEdmonton Jan 7 '13 at 14:35
  • 2
    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.

  • $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

My experience with different brands in the US this year is $250 and $400. If this is the differential in you choosing a brand for a rental, best to call the reservation number for each contender and ask what their hold will be.

I am not sure what a "definitive" answer would be. There is a tension between "risk mitigation" and "poisoning your brand reputation" that each company will answer differently, and answer differently over time. Even an actuarial answer has to be transformed into company policy through competing soft factors.


They hold most of time rental value for example if you rent car for 5 days and decline insurance offered at counter - they will ideally hold

5days x rental value per day + insurance x 5 days

most of them round of this figure. if the card is issued from overseas like asia they hold extra $ 500 for collection issues.

hope this helps you to plan - this is general thumb rule.

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