Many small retailers in the United States do not take American Express, giving rise to a general perception that Amex cards have low acceptability. This perception often leaves consumers wondering whether their Amex cards will be accepted even at bigger businesses like U-Haul.
U-Haul does take American Express as well as Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. It also accepts payment via cash, checks, and debit cards bearing a Visa or Mastercard logo. However, you need a credit or debit card to reserve a U-Haul truck, trailer, or self-storage equipment online or over the phone.
In the rest of this article, I’ll examine payment options at U-Haul, including the benefits of using American Express and other major credit cards and whether they provide insurance cover. I’ll also touch on the advantages of renting U-Haul equipment.
Benefits of Paying With American Express at U-Haul
According to the Nilson Report, an authoritative resource on the global card payment industry, 99% of card-accepting merchants in the U.S. welcome American Express. This means that Amex works just as well as any other major credit card at most business establishments in the U.S., and U-Haul is no exception.
Using an Amex, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover credit card makes the U-Haul rental process a breeze. The benefits include:
- Convenient reservation and payment process: With the card, you can reserve the U-Haul equipment online or over the phone and easily make payment at the end of the rental period. (You can also do this with a debit card that sports a Visa or Mastercard logo, but U-Haul will charge the rental not as a debit but as credit.)
- Payment flexibility: You’re not required to pay with the card; if you wish to, you can switch to cash or check payment when you return the rented vehicle.
- Deposit waiver: To book the U-Haul equipment, you don’t need to put up a deposit, which is required for all non-card reservations.
U-Haul will “hold” the estimated rental against your card until the equipment is returned and the actual amount charged. The “hold” on the card allows U-Haul to secure the payment if, for whatever reason, the customer avoids paying the rental.
Earn American Express Loyalty Points at UHaul
American Express is popular among customers for its loyalty program that features attractive rewards such as travel benefits and lifestyle privileges. Amex’s popularity is borne out in various reviews and surveys that consistently rank its cards among the best for rewards.
Some of the perks of the Amex loyalty program are:
- Free flights
- Hotel stays
- Trip delay and cancellation insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Car rental damage insurance
- Concierge service
- Extended warranty (for products purchased with the card)
- Cell phone insurance coverage (for phones bought with the card)
Using your Amex card at U-Haul (and other establishments) will earn you loyalty points that you can use to redeem these rewards faster. However, different cards from the same network may have varying benefits and redemption terms, so do check the benefits applicable to your specific Amex card.
Cons of Paying With Cash or Check at U-Haul
If you don’t have a card or don’t want to use your card, the process becomes more than a little inconvenient. You’ll have to go to a U-Haul center to:
- Reserve your equipment.
- Place a deposit of up to $100 (depending on what you’re renting).
- Pay the rental fees upfront with cash or check. (Some U-Haul locations may not accept checks, so if that’s your preferred payment method, it’s advisable to call ahead.)
However, to rent a cargo van or pickup truck, you still need to present a credit card at the U-Haul location when you pick up the vehicle.
Does American Express Cover Insurance for U-Haul Equipment?
American Express does not cover insurance for U-Haul equipment. Credit cards, as well as auto insurance policies, typically exclude rental trucks and trailers from coverage. Without insurance, the renter could potentially be exposed to heavy financial liability in the event of an accident.
In fact, you’ll be held liable for all damage to the U-Haul equipment during the rental period, whether caused by accident or otherwise. You’ll also be held responsible if the vehicle is stolen, vandalized, or damaged in roadside incidents like rocks hitting the windshield, which incidentally is one of the most commonly reported accidents in the rental truck industry. See also How Long Does U-Haul Roadside Assistance Take?
Since accidents and other damage-causing incidents are not uncommon on U.S. roads and freeways, I recommend adding an optional insurance cover to your rental. As the saying goes, better be safe than sorry!
U-Haul offers several insurance products that will cover vehicle and cargo damage as well as medical and life plans for you and other passengers traveling in the truck cabin. You can select a suitable insurance plan when you reserve the equipment, all in a single transaction with your credit card.
Rent U-Haul Anywhere With American Express
With a network of 23,000 locations in all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces, U-Haul has a rental fleet of 186,000 trucks, 128,000 trailers, and 46,000 towing devices. It also offers 876,000 rentable storage units and millions of square feet of self-storage space.
Whether you’re moving within your town, across state lines, or even into Canada, chances are you’ll find the right equipment at a U-Haul center near you. The trucks and trailers come in all sizes, and you can rent them for both round and one-way trips.
Many centers also sell boxes, packaging material, trailer hitches, and other moving supplies, making U-Haul a one-stop shop for do-it-yourself moves. You can order everything online and have them delivered to your home.
With such ease and convenience, it’s no wonder that 75% of all movers in the U.S. are do-it-yourselfers. And the best thing about a D-I-Y move? On average, it costs just half as much as a van-line move, going by statistics published on the U-Haul website.
U-Haul offers several payment methods but using a credit card is arguably the most convenient option.
If you have an American Express card in your wallet, why not use it at U-Haul? Hopefully, it will earn you enough loyalty points to help you redeem a well-deserved treat after the hustle and bustle of your move.