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On last week’s Top 10 Tips for Saving on Car Rentals, one of the commenters suggested checking out a site called Zalyn that aggregates discount coupons for all the major (and some minor) car rental agencies sort of like Autoslash does, though Zalyn supports some agencies Autoslash does not, such as Hertz.
The site actually does a few things including collecting car rental coupons, running a coupon analyzer, and comparing the best ones for individual customers based on where and when they are renting cards, as well as whatever other possible discounts they might be eligible for based on memberships in clubs like AAA and Costco.
I decided to put the site to the test for an upcoming rental in Colorado. I needed to pick up a car at Denver International Airport next weekend for Friday-Monday, so I ran my dates and times through Zalyn and found coupons (some of them stackable) at the various car rental agencies. Zalyn pulled up coupons at Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, National, Thrifty and more.
For my particular dates and location, the site told me it had found 218 coupons, 113 membership-specific coupons, 20 that weren’t applicable at my pickup location and 37 the should work for my specific dates.
To take a closer look, I focused on Hertz and Avis since I know I can earn airline miles with rentals through those two programs and I have Hertz Gold status from my Amex Platinum card.
Zalyn actually pulled up two stackable coupons for Hertz. When I clicked on “Use This Coupon,” I was automatically redirected to Hertz.com with both the Promotional Coupon (PC) and Discount/CDP/Club Code discounts already slotted into the appropriate boxes and my same dates and times automatically registered. All I had to do was hit the search button.
That pulled up the applicable options for Economy, Intermediate and Full-Size cars at daily rates of $23, $25.04 and $26.06 respectively per day.
I chose the full-size option for a total of $110.49 including (pretty hefty) fees and taxes.
To compare I went back to Hertz.com and tried booking the same dates and location. The exact same cars came out to $59.49, $65.49 and $69.49 per day respectively.
If I had just booked a full-size car normally, I would have been paying $274.41. That’s a difference of over $164!
I decided to look at Avis as well since there were a few different coupons Zalyn pulled up.
First, though, I went directly to Avis’s site to see what a rental would cost me and found that I could get a Compact for $50.39 a day and a total of $205.41 for all three days including taxes and fees.
Using Zalyn, I found the same car for a base rate of $59.97 for all three days, plus taxes for a total of $90.63 for the entire rental period for a savings of $114.78.
I ended up booking the Avis car just to save the extra $20, and since I still got the same 50 bonus frequent flyer miles per day of the rental I would have gotten through Hertz instead.
Much more valuable, however, was finding a centralized clearinghouse for car rental coupon and discount codes. I definitely plan on using Zalyn for future rentals. Has anyone else used the site? What was your experience? Any other tips out there for reducing car rental costs?
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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