Be careful when renting with points

Discussion in 'Hertz | #1 Awards/#1 Club' started by CrankyScott, Feb 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. CrankyScott
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    CrankyScott Silver Member

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    A word of warning to anyone who collects car points (on any program) and uses those for a “free” rental. When you get that “free” rental, think about the insurance. Typically your credit card insurance will cover you, but renting on points, you are on your own.

    If your normal automobile insurance does not fully cover a rental, check with your credit card for coverage on the points rental and if you need to, but the offered insurance.
     
  2. chemist562
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    chemist562 In Memorian

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    Good to know! Glad my car insurance covers me in the USA. Never had an accident with a rental car.
     
  3. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Yep. That's one reason I tend to take airline miles or hotel points over free rental car days. [​IMG]
     
  4. chemist562
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    chemist562 In Memorian

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    I like Virgin Atlantic for the following reasons: I get 1000 pts (plus 100 for being 5 Star) per rental, no frequent fee since it is a non USA based airline. Of course, if there is a better promo with someone else, I'll take it.

    Most bonuses require use of a coupon & I usually have a coupon to take cash off the rental. (past ones include $35 off/2-3 days, $10/weekend day off using AAA, latest is free weekend day w/3 day rental.
     
  5. rustyr
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    rustyr Active Member

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    You can get 1000 miles also from Avis for the VS program.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I really miss the days of earning 1000 or 1300 BMI miles per rental :(
     
  7. jackal
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    jackal Gold Member

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    The problem with that is that rental companies are not really "giving" you miles; they're selling them to you for just about the same amount (sometimes more) that you can buy them from your airline at. At ~2 cents per mile, it's really quite a bad deal.

    Other than buying the rental agency's CDW, one way around this is to use an AMEX enrolled in the Premium Car Rental Protection plan. Make sure your rental agency charges at least $0.01 to your card (usually there will be several dollars in taxes, but if not--like the NYC market, where the rental sales tax is $0 if your rental charge comes out to $0--then do something like rent a toll pass for $2.95 per day. As long as Amex sees a charge of even $1 on your card, it will trigger the PCRP premium to be charged and therefore to cover you.
     
    MyMiles&Points and 2soonold like this.
  8. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Thanks for your post. The tip about Amex is very helpful if one is an Amex customer. [​IMG]
    If I buy the miles from an airline, I am not getting the use of an auto.
    Most recently, I needed a rental to attend a Thursday business event. I could get 500 miles for that one day rental; and I could also use my corporation's code. But, I opted to pay an additional $40 dollars to get the rental for a 3 day personal weekend rate; and picked up 3000 miles. Having the rental car on that last day saved me a cab fare which was double my ff fee for the entire rental.
    My personal rentals for any given year can vary from 10 to 36. I find it easier to plan ahead, than to try to rely on a free day, particularly if my rental are going to be on the low end for the year.
     
  9. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    Thanks for the reminder. I have a week long rental on points later this year. i will be sure to consider insurance implications.
     
  10. jackal
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    jackal Gold Member

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    It's not: "For the same price as I can buy the miles from an airline, I also get use of an auto."

    Rather, it's: "Hertz is selling me 50 miles for an additional $0.75 per day."

    You get 0 miles for actually renting the car. If you want those 50 miles, you have to pay an extra 75 cents--in effect, buying the miles for 1.5 cents per mile.

    1.5 cents per mile isn't horrible; it's better than the ~2 cents per mile you can buy the miles directly from the airline for. And if you can work the system and get more than 50 miles out of that 75 cents--with various promos, etc.--then it can definitely be a good deal.

    (And Hertz has a better price than some other agencies, which charge up to $1.95 per rental day, making them cost 3.9 cents per mile. In those cases, it's definitely not worth it, since you can buy the miles directly from the airline for far less.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I often use these small number of miles at low cost to keep some accounts from expiring.
     

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