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UUUH ooh...Help!

Riverside...
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UUUH ooh...Help!

We have never rented a car before... Never needed to. My husband, and I, try not to keep credit cards. We believe in living within our means... Our vacation was paid for by my father (I know some of you might have already read this, but it was for a college graduation/honeymoon we never had gift). But after reading a post I went and looked up our vouchers, is it true that we will be making a deposit up to over a thousand dollars? What should we do? Apply for a credit card? What if we don't have one, will they not let us take the rental??

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

Having a credit card does not imply that you are forced not living within your means. Use it as it would be cash in your pocket. In the beginning, write the amount of money you have on your bank account on a piece of paper. Then substract each c/c transaction. When you reach 0, stop using the card. It is easy, believe me. Never been using c/c limits, when the bill came to be paid, money is ready. Saying all this, not having a c/c is a PITA when renting a car. The c/c has to be from whoever will rent (and drive) the car. So, apply for one, and have a scissors ready in case you will think it is too much of a temptation! Also, it is very handy to withdraw daily allowances of foreign currency from ATM wherever you will travel, thus eliminating the need to carry larger amounts of cash with you.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 08:13
Bermuda
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for Bermuda
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2. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

if you do end up deciding to get a cc, consider capital one, they don't charge any foreign currency exchange taxes or anything like that. be sure to let the cc company know that you will be traveling to cr so the anti-fraud protection doesn't shut your card down. i believe it is still possible to rent a car without a cc, but they will demand an enormous cash deposit be left with them that will be refunded once the car is returned in the condition it left in. in my opinion having a cc for exactly this reason is worth it. the rental company will only take an imprint of the card as a deposit, they won't actually charge anything to the card unless there is damage, so if they require a $500 deposit, get a cc with a $500 limit, or $1k limit for a $1k deposit etc and as xelas says, close out the card account when you get home.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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3. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

If having a credit card does make you uncomfortable, then take the bus - cheap and pretty reliable. You'll both get to enjoy the view and without the stress.

San Jose
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4. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

Having a credit card for renting a car is to me, a must. If you put down a debit card for deposits, the amount might be "freezes" in your account for up to or more than a month. It is not recommended to rent a car with a debit card. Some rental cars will might accept cash for your deposit, but it is not common, and you will have to leave there $1000 USD that I am sure you will need while touring around CR. My recommendation get a credit card. All hotels will also ask for a credit card to open a bill for you when you check in.

Note that it doesnt mean you will need the credit card to pay, in the end you can pay by cash if you want to, but you will need the cc for the deposits.

Another great idea is to put part of your cash into the cc before you travel as it is safer to have the money on a cc rather than in your pocket. Use the credit card just for the trip, with the money you put into it before traveling, balance the account when you return and if you feel you dont need it anymore, close the account.

Bx
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5. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

"What should we do?"

I would recommend you do not rent a car. Arrange private transportation or use public transportation. Your costs per day of renting a car in Costa Rica are more than the advertised costs. Even if you see the car advertised as $300 a week, that does not include insurance and without a credit card that covers collision, this daily costs will double. Now you are at $600. Then comes the issues of the cost of gasoline, trying to get the deposit back when you return the car, etc. Yes they will freeze more than $1000 on your cc.

Also what I find most people do not realize is that even though you rent the car in $, what the rental agency does is to convert those $ into colones at a poor rate, then your cc will often revert the price into dollars at another poor rate costing you 7-10% more than what you think is the final price. Whenever I rent a car in Costa Rica, I use the credit card to rent, then pay in US$ cash when I return the car and have them rip up the cc receipts. It eliminates these transaction costs.

Renting a car is also more time consing than you would think. Instead of the 15 minutes in The US, it will take and hour to pick up the car and an hour to return the car.

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Costa Rica
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Canada
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6. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

I would get a credit card with some sort of reward points. Pay it off every month and you are living within your means. Not only will the car rental be easier but also hotel reservations, online purchases and much more. I have a travel rewards card and use to purchase just about everything I buy; even groceries. As a result, I have earned enough points to travel to Costa Rica for free.

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Costa Rica
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San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

I will rent a car..get a cc and hit the road...deal with a reputable company ...try to avoid small car companies with high mileage vehicles most of them own and run by expats not even legal to work in Costa Rica and with offices at different bars arkund town...

Roadadvisor

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Winnipeg Canada
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for Winnipeg
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8. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

Make sure you read the smal print on rental agreement. ie return the car with a full tank of gas.

9. Re: UUUH ooh...Help!

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