The easiest way to recognise a fully-fledged credit card is by the monthly credit limit and the word "Credit" on the edge of the card.
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
- Typical debit and credit cards
As mentioned in the article "Which credit cards are accepted by the on-site rental companies?" , the vast majority of on-site rental companies only accept a "fully-fledged credit card".
Now the question arises: What is a "fully-fledged credit card" anyway?
A debit card has no monthly credit limit and is directly linked to a personal current account.
In principle, the debit card is like a classic EC card, but the issuing and operating costs are often cheaper than with an EC card.
Rental companies rarely accept debit cards because amounts cannot be blocked, only debited. Each transaction incurs costs for the rental company – to avoid these, the rental company does not accept cards where the transaction is mandatory.
If you don't have a fully-fledged credit card, the following article will tell you how you can still book a cheap rental car: Is renting a car without a credit card possible?
Credit cards are, as the name suggests, a small monthly loan. The issuing bank advances the money and collects it again at the end of the billing period. Different repayment options can be selected here. For example, monthly expenses can be repaid in instalments.
When paying in instalments, a certain amount of interest is charged.
Since amounts can be blocked on the credit card (i.e. deducted from the remaining limit), the credit card option is much more favourable for rental companies. For this reason, credit cards are accepted pretty much exclusively on site.
Typical credit and debit cards
The N26 bank does not issue real credit cards, only debit cards. With an N26 card, you can be sure that it is not a fully-fledged credit card.
More information about the N26 Card: https://n26.com/de-de/mastercard
ING Visa Card (Debit):
The free Visa Card from ING is a debit card. This card is easily confused with a fully-fledged card, as the word "Debit" appears in very small print on the back of the card.
More information on the ING Visa can be found here: https://www.ing.de/girokonto/karten-bargeld/
DKB Cash (Debit):
The free card from DKB is not a fully-fledged credit card, but a debit card. DKB also issues credit cards, so it is important that you look out for the word under the Visa logo.
More information on the DKB Cash Debitcard: https://bank.dkb.de/privatkunden/girokonto
Hanseatic GenialCard (Credit):
The GenialCard from Hanseatic Bank is a classic, fully-fledged credit card. You're always on the safe side with this card. A normal Visa card with a normal credit limit is accepted by every rental company.
More information about the GenialCard: https://www.hanseaticbank.de/kreditkarte/genialcard
American Express (Credit):
American Express cards are always fully-fledged credit cards. There are no debit cards from AMEX.
But be careful: Although AMEX is a fully-fledged credit card, it often doesn't have a proper (monthly) credit limit. For this reason and because of the high transaction fees, rental companies often do not accept American Express.
More information on American Express: https://www.americanexpress.com/de/kreditkarte/alle-kreditkarten/