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How to get a free 4-hour grace period on your next Hertz car rental

April 11, 2022
4 min read
family road trip
How to get a free 4-hour grace period on your next Hertz car rental
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.

You probably already know The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a long list of travel-related perks included with its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

There are Platinum cardholder perks ranging from a monthly Uber credit to airport lounge access, an annual airline fee credit of up to $200, hotel and rental car elite status and a monthly digital entertainment credit, among others (enrollment is required for select benefits). While these flashy perks make the card so valuable, it’s easy to forget about some of the lesser-known, but equally valuable, perks.

One of my favorite Platinum Card perks doesn’t make headlines, but it’s still saved me hundreds of dollars over the past few years: the four-hour grace period for Amex Platinum cardholders who rent from Hertz.

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With most car rentals, if you need a booking from, say, 12 p.m. on Saturday until 4 p.m. on Monday, you’d probably have to pay for three full rental days — one for each of the first 24-hour periods, plus a whole other full day’s rate for the final four hours, since you’re returning it at 4 p.m. instead of noon.

If you have an Amex Platinum Card, however, and book your Hertz rental using the counter discount program code 211762, you will get four extra hours for free within the U.S. In the example above, you’ll get that same 52-hour rental and pay for only two rental days.

(Screenshot from Hertz)

In one instance, I was booking a weeklong Hertz rental in Florida, but since I needed to return the car a few hours later in the day than when I picked it up due to our flight times, I would have normally been on the hook for an extra $45 or more if I hadn’t used that Amex Platinum CDP code at booking.

A simple code entry saved me very real cash — and kept me from rushing back to the airport.

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Related: How to save money on your next car rental

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

But that isn’t the only perk that may be relevant to travelers right now. With the Platinum Card, you can also get a free additional driver, score a potential car upgrade, earn 10% more Hertz points and skip the counter at many airport pick up locations if you’re a member of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program.

Right now, being a Hertz Gold member won’t only save you time, but perhaps even more importantly, it can keep you out of the potentially long pickup line. You can sometimes wait in these lines for an hour or more.

Related: Credit cards that offer elite status for car rentals

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Of course, you don’t need the Amex Platinum to become a member of the free Hertz program (and, as a result, go straight to pick up your car and skip the line).

In fact, if you join the program today, you'll enjoy automatic Five Star status in the program through June 30.

Bottom line

Access to fancy airport lounges and elite-like perks at properties booked through the Fine Hotel + Resorts program are great, but this card's hefty annual fee comes with less flashy yet still useful benefits.

Don’t forget about the Platinum Card’s ability to give you more flexibility with your Hertz car rental (and save you money). It’s an easy perk to forget, but a valuable one when you need it.

Additional reporting by Senitra Horbrook.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
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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