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The complete guide to Dollar Express Rewards

Jan. 02, 2022
8 min read
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

Most major car rental companies offer a loyalty program of sorts. However, some are more rewarding than others.

Today, we're going to turn our attention to Dollar Rent A Car's program, Dollar Express Rewards. We're going to cover everything you need to know about earning and redeeming points, as well as how you can save on your rentals. Although Dollar is owned by Hertz, the rewards program, unfortunately, doesn't offer any reciprocal benefits with the other brand.

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Program overview

Dollar Rent A Car is a global rental car company targeting value-oriented travelers. It operates more than 600 locations in approximately 65 countries around the world. Dollar and its sister company, Thrifty Car Rental, were acquired by Hertz in 2012, but the three programs still run independently.

The Dollar Express Rewards program allows you to earn points toward free rentals. In addition, you can skip the counter or access priority counter service (at select locations for both perks). Plus, you can add a spouse or domestic partner as an additional driver free of charge. Like other rental car loyalty programs, membership is free.

But unlike most other rental car rewards programs, Dollar Express Rewards does not offer any level of elite status. As a result, there's no way to get free upgrades with the program. The exception is for U.S. military and government employees, who get upgrades when renting for business or leisure.

Related: Rental car loyalty needs a makeover: Here are the changes I'd like to see

(Photo by Matushchak Anton/Shutterstock)

Dollar Express partners

If you don't rent cars from Dollar regularly, you can earn airline or hotel points instead of Dollar Rewards points. Here's a list of Dollar's partner programs:

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  • Alaska Airlines: Earn 50 miles per qualifying rental day.
  • All Nippon Airways: Earn 300 miles per qualifying rental.
  • American Airlines: Earn 50 miles per qualifying rental day.
  • Avianca Airlines: Earn 50 miles per qualifying rental day.
  • Delta Air Lines: Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental.
  • Emirates: Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental of 29 days or less and 1,000 miles per rental over 30 days.
  • Frontier Airlines: Earn 50 miles per day on rentals up to four days in length and 500 miles on rentals of five days or more.
  • IHG Rewards: Earn 125 points per qualifying rental day.
  • Japan Airlines: Earn 300 miles per qualifying rental.
  • Southwest Airlines: Earn 600 miles per qualifying rental.
  • Spirit Airlines: Earn 50 miles per day on rentals up to four days in length and 500 miles on rentals of five days or more.
  • United Airlines: Earn 50 miles per day on rentals up to four days in length and 500 miles on rentals of five days or more.

If you choose to earn frequent flyer miles with a U.S. airline instead of points, you'll need to pay a surcharge of $0.75 to $1.50 per day, depending on the program. You'll still be able to enjoy Dollar Express perks, such as skipping the counter, if you choose to earn airline or hotel points instead of Dollar Rewards points.

You can earn airline miles with your car rental. (Photo by the_burtons/Getty Images)

How to earn rewards with Dollar Express

The earning scheme with Dollar Express is very straightforward. And since there's no elite status, there are no bonuses to keep track of.

You'll earn a flat 1 point per dollar spent on qualifying rentals with Dollar. Dollar's frequently asked questions page notes that a qualifying rental is any "Dollar rental in the U.S. or Canada that is not prepaid." To earn points, you must provide your Dollar Express Rewards member ID when you make your reservation.

Although Dollar, Thrifty and Hertz are technically one company, you can't earn or redeem points with the other brands.

Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car

How to redeem Dollar Express points

You can redeem points for free daily, weekly or weekend rentals on compact, midsize, standard or full-size cars.

Redemptions start at 500 points, but you'll get the most value from your points with weekly rentals. Here are the redemption rates:

RewardPoints required
One free weekend rental day500
Two free weekend rental days1,000
Three free weekend rental days1,500
Four free weekend rental days (maximum)2,000
One free weekday rental day625
Two free weekday rental days1,250
Three free weekday rental days1,875
Four free weekday rental days2,500
One free weekly rental2,550
Two free weekly rentals (14 days max)5,000

However, there are blackout dates and you can only redeem points within the U.S. and Canada.

Points do not expire as long as you have activity in your account (either earning or redeeming points) at least once every 24 months.

Related: 11 common rental car mistakes — and how to avoid them

Which credit card to use on Dollar rentals

To maximize your Dollar rental, use a card that provides primary car rental insurance and earns bonus points on travel spending. Some of the best cards for car rentals include the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Both cards come with primary rental coverage, so you can decline collision insurance and be covered if anything goes wrong. Since car rentals code as travel, you'll also earn bonus points — 3 points per dollar spent with the Chase Sapphire Reserve (a 6% return based on TPG valuations) and 2 points per dollar spent with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (a 4% return).

When filling your tank, use a card that earns extra points on gas spending. Great options include the Citi Premier® Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.

Related: Renting a car? These are the cards you need to get now

The right credit card will protect you when things go wrong. (Photo by Peter Stark/Getty Images)

How to save on Dollar rentals

Here are three ways you can save on Dollar rentals.

Deals and discount codes

Dollar Express publishes various deals and discount codes on its specials page. There's a search bar on the left-hand side so you can find location-specific deals. You'll also find various association discounts, such as for AAA and BJ's Wholesale Club members, at the bottom of the page.

However, Dollar doesn't post every discount code on this page. So you might also want to do a quick search online before booking.

AutoSlash

AutoSlash is an excellent tool for finding the lowest rates for rental cars. It will automatically find the best discount based on your search, as well as track if your quoted price drops. It also has a coupons page with discount codes you could use when booking directly through Dollar.

Dollar 4Business

If you're a small-business owner and rent cars for work, you'll want to join the free Dollar 4Business program. Members enjoy a 7% discount on the base rate of all business car rentals, waived young renter fees, free additional drivers, unlimited mileage and waived change fees. Plus, business customers still get to earn points through the rewards program.

Bottom line

As the name suggests, Dollar Rent A Car targets value-oriented travelers. The Dollar Express Rewards program allows casual travelers to make their rentals more rewarding and unlock some potentially timesaving benefits. However, with no elite status offerings, you'll want to look elsewhere if you're a frequent renter and want your loyalty recognized.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more