Many consumers use a credit card when they rent a vehicle and don’t think twice about the effect that rental has on the card's available credit. In actuality, most rental car companies put a hold on funds at least equal to the cost of the car rental. And some, including Budget car rental, hold even more; Budget holds the total estimated charges plus an additional 25 percent, or $200, whichever is greater. These funds are not available for use until released by the car rental company.

Time On Hold

Typically, the quickest and easiest way to get the hold released is to close the transaction with the same credit card used at time of rental. In most instances, the actual transaction replaces the hold. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission, if you close the transaction with a different credit card, the original card company doesn't know the bill has been paid and the hold may not be released for up to 15 days.