How to get to Hartford right now?
February 10, 2016 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I just got denied my car rental in Hoboken because I don't have a credit card (the things you learn ...). How can I get to Hartford right now in time for the Springsteen show tonight? Complication: I have a bag with me that they won't let me take in the venue.

Public trans works but I have the bag, so I can't get in even if I get up there. Looks like all car rental spots in the tri-state area require a credit card.

Ideas?
posted by wemayfreeze to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
 
Can someone else call the rental place and give their credit card details to secure your rental?
posted by StephenF at 11:35 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately no.

One idea I had is if my bank (Citibank) can issue me a credit card on the spot. Is that something banks can/might do?
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:42 AM on February 10, 2016


If you can't use someone else's credit card, take the path into New York and take the Amtrak to Hartford.

Looks like there's a train at 3:30 from New York Penn Station that will get you there at 6:10. From there you can take a cab to the venue.

Take the path to 33rd street and then walk West a few blocks to the station. If you don't need your bag for the weekend, you could always leave it at Penn Station, but I bet that's not what you're looking for.

Problem is there are no lockers and there is no baggage storage as far as I can tell at the Hartford train station. What is your timeframe here? Are you going up to Hartford and staying there for a while? Are you staying with friends up there, someone who's driving to the venue?
posted by degoao at 11:43 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's probable though that you don't have enough time now to make this train.
posted by degoao at 11:44 AM on February 10, 2016


I haven't used them, but this is a luggage storage place right near Penn Station in NYC: http://schwartztravel.com/
posted by mercredi at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's also a good chance that you can tip the bell staff/front desk at a hartford hotel to store your bag even if you're not staying there. Try $20.
posted by mercredi at 11:48 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


One idea I had is if my bank (Citibank) can issue me a credit card on the spot. Is that something banks can/might do?

That's what I was about to suggest. Some banks can. Whether Citi will or not is a different question. I've had mixed luck getting car rental places to accept a debit card instead of a credit card, which is certainly something your bank could do instantly for you, but it a) might not work with the rental place and even if it did, b) it would place a hold on a large chunk of money in your checking account. That may or may not be a dealbreaker for you.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:54 AM on February 10, 2016


As long as you're OK with a car rental company putting a hold on a big chunk of money in your checking account, I'd call up the local offices of a few different rental car companies and see if they'll rent to you. If you call the big national number, they'll likely feed you the official company line ("no rentals without a credit card"), but the local offices might make an exception if you ask nicely.

Failing that, maybe Zipcar?
posted by Betelgeuse at 12:00 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Take public transportation and Fedex your bag to yourself. Bring it to a fedex place or UPS and ship it to yourself for tomorrow.
posted by AugustWest at 12:02 PM on February 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh! Thrifty and Budget claim that they rent to people with debit cards.
posted by Betelgeuse at 12:04 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


As long as you return the car to the same location, several companies will rent to you with a debit card. I've done it before through Enterprise and Budget.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2016


Thank you everybody! I ended up getting that Amtrak from Penn station and am going to get a hotel for the night in Hartford. Justifying the expense by working on the train ;)

Many many other great suggestions here. Y'all rock.

For the record:

Citibank couldn't issue a temp card on the spot, and Dollar and Thrifty (not sure about Budget) can accept debit cards in some places, but not in the tri-state area. So no dice there.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


For future reference, Budget does definitely accept debit cards in the tri-state area (or at least they did back in July). Of course, you have to have the money in the account to cover it at the time you pick up the rental.
posted by holborne at 2:04 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's also a good chance that you can tip the bell staff/front desk at a hartford hotel to store your bag even if you're not staying there. Try $20.

If you look respectable, this is almost always a solution. I leave bags at hotels all the time and while I have been a guest, they've never asked me for any evidence thereof and the bell hops aren't usually near enough the reception desk for them note whether I've just checked out or not.
posted by kitten magic at 3:04 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


For future reference, http://www.aamcar.com/ in Manhattan does rentals with debit card only.
posted by boots at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


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