13 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2013 11:54 PM by iahflyr RSS

Best auto rental loyalty program?

patrickbyrne Gold
Currently Being Moderated

looking for recommendations on car rental agencies. Do any of the loyalty offer a points type program that one can use for free rentals? I tend to use Budget & Enterprise based mostly on cost, but neither offer much in the way of a member rewards program. Any thoughts?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I prefer National Car Rental, but they are no longer the cheapest of the bunch.  

     

     

    • They have a free Emerald Club membership that allows you rent a mid-size then pick any car on their Emerald Aisle, many of which are larger cars, even an SUV or two, for the same price as the mid size.

     

     

     

    • You bypass the counter and go right to the aisle.
     
    • As you accumulate rentals you are moved up two more levels. With each you get more points and then  free days for any size car they have.   The first step up is Executive and the highest is Executive Elite.  There is a separate aisle for these categories, with nicer cars, again for the price of a mid-size.  
    • As I mentioned in an earlier post if you reach the EE level you can be picked up at private fized base operator airports (many are called Million Air not surprisingly) by them if within a 50 mile radius of their nearest office.  This is a free service for the top tier.

     

     

    On average I get 15 free days a year from them, just for renting with them.  Price is a tad higher, but then the benfits are also nice. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    dwaneclif Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I was a loyal AvisFirst Customer renting every other week until they started abusing me with dirty high mileage and fender falling off cars. They ignored my concerns, so as of January 1st, I joined Hertz (now a 5 Star Premium member) and have never looked back.

    I joined to "bypass" the counter which I could NEVER do with AVIS and have not had one problem with Hertz. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    kahunapremier Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have signed up with TWO rental car programs: Hertz and National.

     

    Hertz: Have been a member for a very long time and currently at President's Circle. The only level higher is Platinum and that is sent to you by Hertz, similar to what Marriott does for Plat P members.

     

    National: Read SS post, as it is spot on. BTW, I haven't asked National to "match" my status like Hertz, but I will do that shortly.

    Having rented both, I prefer Hertz as they NEVER have left me hanging, have always rented me two class upgrades for no additional price. Now that I have my own GPS (work actually), I no longer get the GPS offer. I also benefit from multiple CDP programs, so prices are discounted quite nicely.

     

    Recently coming back from trip to the west coast and the two rentals I had were awesome, both up to date (2009) and one rental was at the Prestige level rental. It was a great trip!

     

    Scale of 1-10, Hertz imo gets a 9, National gets a 7.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Kahuna:

     

    Two new developments on the National Front:  They have raised their prices significantly and are now more than Hertz!  And, they have begun a new tier renewal program, meaning in my case, I need to have 25 discrete rentals per year to make Executive Elite once more.  Ironically I rent by the month, so each month only counts as one rental!  And, after being a loyal EE member for ten years, it now seems they will be throwing me under the (rental) bus!  Hertz is now my Number One!!! 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    kristyw Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    If you are Marriott Rewards Member and it looks like Hertz is one of the best for as noted above - you can benefit the most from this partnership with your Marriott Rewards and the occasional Marriott offer for rental cars.   Many of my friends/coworkers maximize their Marriott Rewards by frequenting the Promotion Central on your profile and selecting to sign up for promotions and also the bonus promotions for rental cars and having a Marriott Rewards VISA card is a great avenue as well.   My suggestion is go to Marriott site first when setting up all travel for the endless possibilities to earn the most rewards during your travel.    Try it.

    kw

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    iestrikesback Platinum 44 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hertz for me.  One perk of being a MR elite member is the "Complimentary Hertz #1 Club Gold" membership per this link:  https://www.marriott.com/rewards/mesOffer.mi?marrOfferId=298330&displayLink=true  

     

    It's only supposed to be for one year, but I've retained mine for several.  Going straight to your car and not having to go the rental counter is such a great perk.  I also just used my Hertz points for a free weekend day. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Used to be loyal to Budget, but they did away with there program, as I did them.

     

    Enterprise has no program, but they pick me up/drop me off, and their service is second to none.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
      mattj Member 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I have only used Sixt before they offer great rates people that continually usa Sixt. To sign up for a the Sixt Cards check out their website. I am now a platnium member and i get 30% my car rental everytime I use them if you rent a lot I think that they have the best deals!

       

      Hope this helps

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am an AvisFirst person.  I've enjoyed that level for a few years and always have found the cars to be clean, reliable and decent rates, but then I always re-check the rates about a week out and most of the time they've come down some.  I do tend to tinker with the rate codes as well from UA, GHIN golf handicap system and a few others.  The vehicle upgrades I get often at places I frequent such as PHL, SEA, SFO, RSW and PDX, yet at other locations they don't seem to happen as often.

     

    Like dwaneclif I had a few times where I couldn't avoid the rental counter while being both an Avis Preferred and AvisFirst customer.  What I found out was that Avis only would allow for one credit card to be attached to your online account so when I booked a business trip and attempted to use my business credit card for the rental I'd have to visit the dreaded counter.  Once I told the boss that all my car rentals would be on my personal credit card and didn't try to change it for specific reservations, poof like magic haven't seen a rental counter again other than in Europe and Grand Cayman where they don't have offer Preferred Service.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I haven't used Hertz in a long time.  In terms of the complimentary Hertz Gold membership that Marriott extends for Gold and Platinum members, I never signed up for it.  I received the Hertz Gold membership offer through many outlets so it did not seem that special.  I think Hertz Gold is now offered for free to everyone.

     

    I use National because of a good corporate discount I get and automatic executive status, which allows you (as mentioned above) to pay for a midsize and then just grab any car you want in the executive aisle.

     

    The Good: Picking up a car is very quick and it is nice picking any car you want; for people looking to rent big SUVs and minivans, I have seen many still sitting in the aisle because I think the nicer and more fuel efficient sedans go first.

     

    The Bad:  Vehicle selection really varies by airport.  I think a midsize for National is like a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Focus.  Cars in the Executive Aisle tend to be just one notch above (Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata...the Toyota Prius was nice for a lot of driving on a personal trip I did recently).

     

    The other bad is that it takes a lot of paid rentals to earn a free rental.  And if you want to earn frequent flyer miles with your paid rentals, they charge you an additional fee.

     

    The National website is also bad and is in desperate need of an update.  They also seem to have separate websites for some of their special promotions and rental reservations, which makes it difficult keeping all benefits and free rentals organized.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hertz has a nice rewards program called Gold Plus and their points don't expire.  However I have found that Hertz is typically much more expensive than the other companies even using the Marriott or AAA discount codes. 

     

    The next best rewards program in my opinion is Thrifty Blue Chip.  You get similar benefits like being able to bypass the rental counter and going directly to your car.  The points earned however do expire after one year but the Thrifty rates are usually much less than Hertz.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
    lone6star Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I used to use AVIS, but now use Hertz Gold, and have never had a problem yet.  Like the fact that after the first rental, I can bypass the rental counter and go directly to my car.  I have yet to convert points into miles or rental discounts.  Last week I had a brand new car--couldn't get enough of that new car smell!!  I also like that after I return the car, within 30 minutes I get an electronic receipt which makes my expense report processing go faster!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Best auto rental loyalty program?
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Avis has the same thing, many new cars, upgrades and the electronic receipt almost before you get to the terminal building.  I've looked at both Hertz and National with perks from UA and Marriott....just don't see much difference.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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