Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Amex Platinum Just Saved Me $600!

Oct 13, 2011

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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 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.

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 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?

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