Did you know that taking a different flight may save you money on your rental car? It can, because of the way car rental companies figure out your final bill. Unlike other reservations, like hotels, your car rental is calculated using a 24 hour clock. Here’s how that can make a big difference in the price of your rental.
I’m a big fan of National Car Rental’s Emerald Aisle program. I’ve been a member for 20 years now (Ugh, Really? 20 years?) For all that time and for all those rentals, I’ve never earned a single rental credit with National. I’ve earned frequent flyer miles for my rentals instead. For my travels, I just don’t rent cars often enough so it would take me forever to earn a free rental day.
National gives you 1 rental credit for each rental. If you rent a car for more than a week, you can earn extra credits. Here’s a breakdown of the earning for longer rentals since this information isn’t easily found on National’s website. It took some digging and I’m not surprised they want to keep this a secret:
I’ve been renting cars for over 20 years. I’ve seen many of the tricks and know how to avoid many of them. I sign up for the car rental programs so I don’t have to go through the pitch for insurance coverage. I always decline the prepaid fuel purchase because that’s for suckers. However with all my knowledge, I was almost caught in a trap when returning a car to the airport. How’d they get me? Read on…
Joe and I love Silvercar. We’ve rented with them whenever we’re able, not just because they have really cool cars, but because they make renting from them SO darn easy. So when Silvercar announced they were expending into Orlando, we were thrilled, not so much for ourselves (I mean, we live here, y’know?), but for all our friends and family who come to Orlando for vacation or on business, who would soon be able to rent a Silvercar while they were in town. And as of this past Monday, they’re open for business here in Orlando!
I usually don’t worry too much about earning car rental points. I sign up for all the programs but I’m not frequent enough of a renter to make it worthwhile to collect rental points, so I credit my rentals to earn airline miles instead.
However, the current promotion from National is one that can be useful if you’re going to rent a car from them at least twice between August 24, 2017 and February 28, 2018.
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.
In the weeks and months after Labor Day, when the weather starts cooling down in the northeast, vacations to Florida, which stays comparatively warm throughout the winter, start to increase. To keep up with the demand of cars in the Sunshine State, car rental companies have to move a bunch of their autos down to the major cities in Florida, and it’s much more cost effective to have their customers do the transporting that to put them on rail cars and have them shipped down. With that, several companies are offering car rentals from select northeast locations to select Florida locations for just $4.99 per day!