Rental car companies are looking for new ways to earn your loyalty, and frequent flyer miles are only a part of the picture.
Alamo, for example, is allowing customers to check in online and pick up cars without stopping at the rental counter, a perk normally reserved for loyalty club members. Budget is offering a $2 refund for each rental day to companies that rent five or more times each year. Hertz is giving large-car renters a free tank of gas and double miles through the end of the year.
Gary Stoller of USA Today says that the increased efforts to lure loyal customers are signs that the industry is improving after some lean years. He points out that these new incentives also come on the heels of cost increases.
Sherb Brown, who publishes trade publication Auto Rental News, told Stoller that rental car companies are getting away from traditional marketing moves such as extra frequent flyer miles and are looking to “alternative strategies.”