My daughter and I took a brief trip recently to San Antonio to visit friends. It was a great surprise trip. It was also my daughter’s first time experiencing first class, which she loved. We had a great weekend and then flew back to Santa Rosa on another one-way ticket, taking advantage of the American Airlines reduced mileage awards (SEE: American’s reduced mileage awards – why you need to be talking about them).
Change of plans, book a car
My wife was originally planning on picking us up at the airport in Santa Rosa on our return. However, she remembered that a friend of hers was coming to town and would only be there for a few days, so she asked me if we might be able to make other arrangements. At first I thought it would be a no-go, since cars are typically $150+ for a one-way rental, and I was trying to keep this trip as cheap as possible.
But then I remembered that I have Hertz points I’ve been hoarding. They’ve been carefully saved for a weekly rental, but it turns out we are not going to end up using them for an upcoming trip. So…I decided this was a perfect time to burn them. Situations like this are what points are meant for, right?
Getting some serious value from Hertz points
When I checked Hertz, cars were running $180 for a one-way rental between Santa Rosa and Eureka. Not fun. The one time I previously considered using points on a one-way rental, it didn’t price at the saver level. But in that case I was looking to book a rental from SFO that was asking $350.
Fortunately, I was in luck this time around. Hertz was pricing out my rental for 1,325 points plus $14. I’ll take it. However, when I actually rented, it was even better than this. My guess is that they slashed the price even more since they had to put me in a car below the class I’d reserved. Not really sure from the contract.
All said and done, I paid $2 for the car. #winning
Doing the math, this was a net value of 13.4 cents per point. Of course, if I take into account the prices of other companies, it isn’t quite as amazing. The cheapest option I found was Enterprise at $140. Since I would have rented from them had I been paying cash, I guess the real redemption rate is 10.4 cents per point. Still great.
Make sure you don’t neglect rental car rewards programs, especially Hertz. I also like using eRewards to earn Hertz points, if you have that option (I believe the available partners changes from person to person). This is how I amassed 1,100 of my points (SEE: The ONLY surveys worth doing for the points).
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did you took any LDW or using credit card protection? the reason for the question is whether credit card protection extend to reward rental.
I don’t believe it does. But we have full personal insurance coverage, and I was driving a road that I am familiar with and was willing to take the risk.
For example, Chase Sapphire (Reserve/Preferred) cards cover this situation. You just need to use the card to complete the transaction. If you’re using Amex you could add Premium Car Rental Insurance. PS this info comes from FlyerTalks forum.