Signing Up For Car Rental Programs, and What Each Program Will Give You

I’ve written in the past about how to sign up for frequent flyer programs and hotel programs. With each of those, you earn loyalty points or miles you can redeem in the future for flights or hotel nights. While some car rental companies also run loyalty programs that can earn you free rental days, the reason you should sign up for these programs is because of how much easier they make renting a car.

The thing I hate most about renting a car is the experience at the rental counter. It’s when, after usually waiting in a line, you get to talk to the car rental agent……. and then the sales pitches for an upgraded car, extra features (navigation, satellite radio), pre-paid gas and coverages begin. After denying (or accepting, I’m not one to judge) each one of these, I feel as if I had to make a deal just to rent the car I reserved for the price I agreed to pay. This is where registering for the loyalty program really pays off. You answer all of these questions in advance and certify these choices will apply to all your rentals unless you specify otherwise. Now when you walk to the counter, you simply hand over your drivers license and credit card and sign for the keys, or so they say. It’s easier to rent from some rental companies than others but enrolling in the rental company’s program will always make the process go along with less hiccups.

Here are the sign up links for the major car rental loyalty programs including any perks that are included and if they award loyalty points.

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For Newbies: Going Through X-Ray or TSA Pre✓® As Easily As Possible

We all know the process of getting through X-ray has become something of a time consuming organized chaos in the past several years. In fact, I’d put it up towards the top X-rayof the more stressful parts of air travel, up there with delays and the actual flight. Getting approved for TSA Pre® (which is currently available in more than 180 airports, with 37 participating airlines nationwide) or Global Entry does help tremendously, but even then, there are people who are not super familiar with the modern-day process of going through X-ray, with or without TSA Pre✓®, simply because they don’t fly very often, and sometimes that unfamiliarity can cause the line to snag even more. Here’s a list that might help:

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What Medications Should You Bring With You When Flying?

Preparing for a airplane trip can be stressful. There are so many rules to follow when packing and now you’ve waited until the last minute and are scrambling around gathering clothes, electronic gadgets, tickets and whatever else you want to bring with you. To help keep me organized, I have a Microsoft Word document called “Packing List” that I print before my trips longer than a weekend (Sharon still laughs at me for doing this). (Note from Sharon – Well, yeah! I can’t believe that for as often as we travel, you still need a list?!?!?!) The first page is mostly clothes and things I’ll tend to forget like an umbrella and backpack. The second page is toiletries and medications. The last page is my final checklist for things I absolutely can’t forget. The final three items are:

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Chip & PIN cards and why you should have one

By now, I’m sure you have a credit card with a chip, or EMV chip to be specific, in your possession. It’s that thing on your card that makes the person at the checkout tell you, “You need to use your chip in the bottom thingie,” or makes them say when you try to insert your chip card, “We don’t use that chip thing yet, so you need to swipe your card.”

amex-everyday-preferred
That thing on the left side of the card is the “chip”

In the U.S.A., we like the think we lead the world in just about everything, but when it comes to credit card security we are decades behind the curve. EMV ( Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip technology was introduced back in the 1990s and rolled out throughout Europe in the 2000s. The chip in the card is used to confirm the information instead of reading the information off the magnetic strip on the back. This technology is harder to counterfeit and, supposedly, cuts down on fraud. The banks in Europe rolled out this technology first because credit card fraud was, at the time, much more common there. When the chip cards were introduced and helped prevent fraud, the criminals went to the least protected market, the USA, so they could continue with the scamming. Lucky us.

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How To Not Fry Your Electronics When You Travel Out Of The Country

You’re finally going to do it! You’ve saved enough money, vacation time, frequent flyer miles and/or hotel points to take that once-on-a-lifetime trip to London, Tokyo Disneyland, South Africa, Niagara Falls, Paris or some other place you’ve always dreamed about. Your stuff is all packed and your itinerary is all ready. But here’s a question – are you prepared to charge your electronics there? Your phone, tablet, laptop, curling iron, electric toothbrush? Because not all electrical plugs around the world are the same.

Believe it or not, there are currently FIFTEEN different types of electrical outlets in use around the world and which one is used in the place(s) you’re visiting will vary from
country to country – there’s a list of them all, with photos, if you go to the website on

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Free Disney Cruises! Free Airline Flights! (And Other Travel Hoaxes)

Hoaxes and scams. If you’re on Facebook, you know you’ve seen then. You can win two free tickets on Southwest Airlines! Or on Delta Airlines! Or on JetBlue! Or you can get a free Disney Cruise! Or a free Celebrity Cruise! Or a free Princess Cruise! Or you can win an all-expenses-paid vacation! Or an RV! All you have to do is like this page! Or share this page! Or send it to 13 of your closest friends! Or reply to this message with any number between 1 and 100!

Hoaxes have been around for about as long as people have been buying and selling things. Whether it was a traveling salesman hawking a mysterious liquid guaranteed to stop everything that ailed you to a Nigerian woman who said she lost her husband,
needed a small loan, and would pay you tenfold after her inheritance comes in, scams have been preying on the hopeful, the kind-hearted and the naive for centuries. Nowadays the hoaxes have become more high-tech, received via email, robocalls and Continue reading “Free Disney Cruises! Free Airline Flights! (And Other Travel Hoaxes)”