If I am being honest, rental car points have never been very high on my priority list.  I’ve gotten a free rental here and there over the years, but never anything to jump up and down over.  That changed dramatically today!  I signed my husband and myself up for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards a few months ago when they started giving away 500 points (enough for a free weekend rental day) just for signing up.  This deal is still going on now, so go get your free rental if you haven’t already.  This was one of those “too good to be true” situations that really was true!

I started looking into rental cars for our trip to take Little C to see snow a few weeks ago.  The Man insists on a four-wheel drive SUV when we go to snowy locations, so that ruled out the regular standard or full-size rentals we normally score for super cheap.  SUV rentals for the weekend we were looking at ranged from $300 – $600.  Holy Moly!  Our airline tickets were cheaper than that!  Today I decided to see how many Hertz Gold Plus points we had, and since my husband has rented cars a few times for work since we signed up, he had accumulated just over 1,600 points.  It just so happened that 1,500 points is the number required to rent a “specialty vehicle” (the category that SUVs fall into) for two weekend days.  If you want more info about how to redeem your Hertz points, click here

I was still skeptical that there would actually be SUVs available that weekend for only 1500 points, but I was thrilled when there were plenty of different SUV classes to choose from.  A rental that was pricing out at over $400.00, now was showing as just over $11.00 due to using the Gold Plus points!

Another problem I had when looking for rentals was that due to our flight times, we really needed a rental for two days + an additional two hours.  Those additional two hours were adding an entire extra day at $100 – $200 to the price of the rental.  I have gotten lucky before and had agents be lenient about that, but there is by no means a guarantee that will happen, so even with the two free days I was looking at an expensive rental.  Then I remembered reading a post from The Points Guy several months ago that mentioned the four hour grace period with Hertz rentals when you are using the American Express Platinum CDP code #211762.  Presumably you should also then be paying the bill with your American Express Platinum card, though that doesn’t seem to be largely enforced.  Our account is set to automatically apply that CDP which is why even though we will keep the rental for two days + two hours, it was only charging us for two days (or two days worth of points in this case).

As an experiment, I removed the CDP code and the rate indeed shot up by adding a third rental day for those additional two hours.


I promptly added the code back in and completed our reservation.  In the end, thanks to the American Express Platinum code and our Hertz Gold Plus reward points, we saved over $600 on our SUV rental for that weekend.  That is simply amazing to me.  Points really do equal dollars in this case.  Here is a copy of the final total for our rental that would have been well over $600 had we not used points or the Amex Platinum code.

I am still amazed at the things points can do for our family.  What has your experience been with rental car points?

 

Posted by Mommy Points | 15 Comments

15 Responses to “Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Amex Platinum Just Saved Me $600!”

  1. Sandeep says:

    Hertz is fine if you have points, but your AMEX Plat card comes with National Executive status. Which means you reserve a mid size and then pick any car you want out of the lot. Example…last weekend in Chicago it cost me $115 all in (taxes/insurance etc) for a 4 day rental of a 8 seater Yukon. Couple that with the current national promo of rent twice get one free day and it pays off pretty quick.

  2. YK says:

    Mommypoints – great job! You are so creative in researching and combining multiple promos to get the desired outcome. My notion with car rental points, especially Hertz, has been similar to that of yours – there weren’t worth the effort. Every time we tried to use points for a straight forward, smallest car for one weekend day rental (how simpler can this be?), it wasn’t available. We even called Hertz customer service a couple of times to make sure that we weren’t doing something wrong. The main reason is a lot of locations are franchised and they don’t seem to honor point redemption. Plus digging up T&C on point use redemption is NOT the easiest thing on Hertz (i.e. blackout dates, location participation, etc.) Maybe I’ll give Hertz another try after your inspiring post.

  3. JA says:

    Can you get these points if you are trying to get hits for the US Grand Slam or do you have to choose between points and miles?

  4. Darren says:

    Congrats to Featured Blogger status on BoardingArea. You sooooo deserve it!

  5. Stan says:

    Great story! Can I sign myself and my girlfriend up and combine the 1000 points with Hertz?

  6. NYCWahoo says:

    A great job! Ever since I sat next to you on the chartered flights I actually can see you explaining this deal in person. :)

  7. alohastephen says:

    You’ve convinced me to sign me too. Thank you!

  8. Quickroute says:

    Thanks for this – I had no idea about the Amex plat 4 hour grace period

  9. Great post. I had been wondering how to use my 2000 points and it seems like specialty vehicles are the best value. Don’t forget you can double-dip with the US Airways Grand Slam promotion.

    For each $15 Hertz 1-hour rental in Manhattan I got 50 US Air miles, 1 hit in the GS, 100 Hertz points and (most importantly) a ride to my office.

  10. mommypoints says:

    @Sandeep, I have heard about the National Executive benefit, but haven’t actually used it yet. I will look into that as well. Thanks!

    @YK, certainly worth a shot. They now have “anytime awards” as well, that would hopefully simplify things some if you use that award.

    @JA, the Hertz Terms and Conditions say you have to choose between frequent flyer miles and Gold Rewards points, so you can’t double-dip. That has been my experience. However, on a comment below, Billy was able to double-dip, so maybe you can get lucky. l. Gold Plus Rewards Points are used in place of any other frequency program number for a particular rental.

    @Darren, thank you for the very nice comment. I’m excited and honored to be in the Featured Club. :)

    @Stan, sadly the Terms and Conditions say no, but you can each use your points for separate rentals in the future. Each individual must participate separately and may have only one account within the Program. Neither participation in the Program, nor Gold Plus Rewards Points are transferable. Participants may not combine, barter or otherwise transfer Points with or to other persons.

    @NYCWahoo, you have no idea how much I love that comment. What I try to do is write like I talk and have the blog be more of a conversation than anything (albeit kind of a one-way conversation until you get to the comments section), so I’m jazzed that it came across that way for you! Hope to see you on the next DO. :)

    @alohastephen, great! Glad to hear that.

    @Quickroute, this will be my first time to use the grace period. It can be so helpful when flight times to line up at exactly 24 hour intervals!

    @Billy, wow! How did you score the double-dip? Lucky you! I agree that specialty vehicles may be the best value in terms of a cents per point value.

  11. Just set your earning preference with Hertz to US Airways miles and confirm when you make the reservation. I was expecting 50 miles (and 1 GS hit) but no Hertz points. However each rental generated 50 miles AND 100 Hertz points. The first 2 rentals I did actually generated 200 Hertz points each for some reason.

  12. Lettie Carter says:

    Excellent tip. Many thanks

  13. chemist661 says:

    Some, if not all your taxes/fees may zero out when you get the final receipt. It may vary depending on the station. We used 2000 points for a 4 day rental in Buffalo (BUF) and our final total was $0.00. The regular price was over $300. Since they didn’t have a full size car, we only had a choice of a small SUV or Corolla. We didn’t want the SUV (only my wife & I plus it was early August–no snow) and we got a $30 service credit if we took the Corolla.

    • mommypoints says:

      @chemist661, that is what I heard, but last time I rented with a free day (on my account – just a standard free weekend day) I ended up being charged exactly what was shown when I made the reservation. I’d be more than happy to have some of the taxes/fees zeroed out this time though! Sounds like you saved some real money with Hertz points as well!

  14. […] rate for a SUV in Colorado during ski season was hundreds of dollars per day.  We were able to secure a two weekends days specialty rental for 1,500 points as opposed to several hundred dollars.  Let’s say that you purchase the smallest Daily Getaways package with an Amex card for the […]

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