Card refused by Car hire company - whilst traveling.

Hi Revolut community,

I’m an avid user of Revolut, however I experienced an issue which I think in part defeats one of Revolut’s main functions as a travel card.

I tried to hire a car on a number of occasions whilst traveling. And each time the vendor refused the card as prepay and advised me to get a credit card from a bank. Something that I have an allergic aversion to, and simply don’t want/need…

As a travel card, does it not benefit Revolut to contact these businesses and arrange for a travel agreement since this is one of Revolut’s main selling point for travellers? being able to use the card abroad?

It was a major bone in my pickle to put it lightly…

This is not Revolut’s fault, but the policy of car hire firms. See

Car hire companies need to be assured they can get their hands on sufficient funds to cover the damage excess in the event of an incident. For prepaid card it is much more difficult to provide this guarantee.

1 Like

This is the opposite : with Prepaid cards you are assured that the money is here and the payment is done ( waiting yo be reverted )

For the rent period yes, not for possible damages or even a stolen vehicle… Rental companies want the credibility check the card company has done and take less risk if they demand a Cc. Its just how things work, we would think the same if we ran a car rental company .

Isn’t that why they have insurances?
Last time I rented, they indeed refused my Revolut card, but accepted my regular debit card from my old bank.

Yup but usually the cost to the company is in the thousands rather than hundreds of dollars. They there for want a CC they can charge for example 1500 dollars to if need be. A debit is all good but the company would have to make a reservation for a sum in that ball park to make sure they won´t get ripped off.

If the rental companies did that instead people would complain about big reservations…

Most car hire companies let you pay with one card and use another card for any guarantees. I often do this. For example, I pay with a card with a decent FX rate (e.g. Revolut) but I give my American Express Platinum card for the guarantee, which gives me free car hire insurance, meaning I can decline all optional insurance. Sometimes they reserve an amount of several thousand pounds on my Amex card, but I don’t care as the card has no credit limit and it’s not my money.


Doesn’t deal to the fundamental issues that a travel card can not be used for its primary function… Travel and overseas expenses.

Further to this… Revolut one of the fastest growing alternatives to the old bank systems and soon to be aega million dollar enterprise is not showing any interest in having a corporate level conversation with service providers in discussing future issues which limit its potential. Not good business. They prefer to sit on their laurels and see other competitors such as Monzo steal their thunder.

I joined this community especially to ask about car hire so find this discussion really interesting.

I am travelling to Australia next year and 3 lots of car hire and it is going to cost a few thousand AUD$ and with the £ being weak and vulnerable at the moment we wanted to ‘pre-load’ a Revolut card with enough AUD$s for the car hire. We have already contacted the car hire company and asked whether they would ‘hold’ any funds and because we are paying the extra to cover all damage they have told me they would not hold any money (no need).

I think I had better get back in touch with them and ask if they will take a pre-loaded card, although I thought as it is a Mastercard or Visacard they would accept it.

This may need a re-think on my part if they won’t take it for car hire,

That‘s really hard to tell if it will work or not; best would be you take a „real“ credit card with you in case they ask for one anyways, but you pay with Revolut.

That usually works for me, but I haven‘t tried that in Australia. It‘s similar with hotel reservations - guarantee the payment with a credit card, but use another like Revolut for the actual payment then.

If someone else actually has experience with that in AU, feel free to correct me in case that won‘t work there :slight_smile:

I’m not sure why people want to use Revolut for hotel and car hire guarantees, given that these guarantees are not an amount that you actually pay, but an amount that is temporarily blocked on the card. Revolut is for amounts that you pay, not for such pending transactions that are not eventually charged.

People want to use Revolut 100% of the time, as their main card, that’s why. The fact that some people pay Premium reinforce this need.
That’s why I would like to do as well, but I’m well aware this is not yet possible so I carry a regular card with me for the cases you mentioned.

1 Like

Any form of debit card, i.e. that takes money from a balance of your own money, is unsuitable for these guarantees. You need a credit card that temporarily blocks someone else’s money instead of unnecessarily depriving you of the use of your own money.


I agree with NFH, it makes no sense to use debit cards or prepaid cards for hotel or car hire holds. That’s what credit cards are for (or charge cards, even better).

I don’t see why one card has to fit all use cases. I travel with Revolut Premium, TransferWise Debit card, a standard bank CC with zero FX, and an Amex card (hotels, car hire, flights). Even if Revolut was perfect for everything it would be foolish to take it as the only card during your travels and rely on it exclusively, hoping that nothing goes wrong.

Curve has the ability. I don’t know how, but I would like to see something similar to revolut.

1 Like

That’s true! I make this fault one time and then after the car rental revert the money was for 10 days as pending transaction. So in that case I didn’t have this money until the revert. So all this days I was with no money and then I had to use my CC. So its better to use CC to car rental and charges to any card you like (debit or revolut). I believe that AMEX Platinum does not charge for foreign transactions fees.
There is one more thing. Revolut @anon33247966 in the future add to recognize car rental or hotel deposits like Curve card for more 150$ I think. So the transactions going through as a deposit.

@dimitrism, Amex Platinum UK charges just under 3%, whereas Amex Platinum US charges 0%. But for an authorisation that never turns into a transaction, foreign transaction fees are irrelevant. I always use my UK Amex Platinum card for hotel and car hire guarantees, and no transaction ever appears on my statement.