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Car Rental Membership - Is it worth it?
Old 03-26-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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Car Rental Membership - Is it worth it?

Now that I am retired and have more time to travel, I was wondering if there is any real benefit for being a member of say Hertz?

Being a member of AAA, it's preferred car rental company is Hertz, there is a Gold member program for AAA member but it asks for all kind of info including Driver License number and CC number?

mP
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:06 PM   #2
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We use Hertz/AAA for our high mileage road trips of at least a week and a couple thousand miles. I research car rental prices before every trip, and, so far, Hertz/AAA has had the best prices. We earn points with the Hertz gold card and get a free week's rental once in a while. We pay for AAA membership, but we've never been charged for the Hertz gold card.

The car's clean when we pick it up and we return it dirty. We don't worry about servicing the car. If the car breaks down, call Hertz. (this is theoretical. We've never had a Hertz break down)

In addition, we have three personal cars. We drive our personal cars a combined 30,000 miles per year.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #3
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I wouldn't pay for a membership.

We use hotwire.com for rental cars and the rental companies are rarely (if ever) able to beat those deals. We've got cars from Avis, Hertz & Budget so far.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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The program has benefits, you can earn free rental days and you tend to get free car class upgrades. You also get better cars, meaning they are the newest stock, not one with 25K plus miles on it. You save waiting in lines, as the programs enable you to go right to your car and some let you choose what you want for vehicle type. You deal with the kiosk that is set up for better service than waiting in the longer lines.

Since I am still working, I use my co's contract which has pre-negotiated prices. I can't say if the prices for membership would be better or worse, but you have to look at the total picture with the qualitative benefits, not just the quantitative benefits.

For work I use National which tends to be one of the higher cost ones if you do the hotwire or similar, but since mine is on the negotiated contract I do not generally have an option.

If you can get membership for free as part of another program, I say go for it, nothing to lose.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:07 AM   #5
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I've been a Gold member for 25 years. The main benefit is skipping the counter and just going straight to the car. Membership never cost me anything. Are they charging for it now?

I'm also an Avis Wizard member, same deal.

I was a road warrior back in the day. I flew over 2MM miles on American Airlines, which got me platinum status for life. It's nice being able to use the first class lines, even as a retired guy flying coach only 3-4 times a year or so.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:46 AM   #6
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Membership costs nothing and you often get a deal. I just rented an Altima in LA for $15 a day with unlimited mileage. Is that a deal?
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:54 AM   #7
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Giving them your driver's license and credit card speeds up the process of reserving the car and allows you to bypass the counter to go straight to the car. The way I figure, they're going to get that information ether way. I suppose there's a risk of identity theft as there is with everything else these days, so I just watch my credit closely.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #8
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Definitely worth the convenience, even if you are not a frequent renter.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:28 PM   #9
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USAA gives me a free Hertz #1 Club Gold membership. My university's alumni association has a similar deal. I'd guess AARP does if you belong to that. I'm sure there is an association of some variety that you belong to that offers a similar deal.

Anything divided by zero is infinity, so yes - I would join if I could find a freebie!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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I have a Hertz #1 Gold membership. It was handy when I was traveling for w*rk and was pressed for time. Generally, Hertz is more expensive, but occasionally I'll use them now when I can combine discount codes. I also think that I got a free second driver (spouse) via the #1 Club membership on a recent rental.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:52 PM   #11
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We have found that time after time our Costco membership gets the absolute cheapest rates on car rental. I don't know how they do it but that has been our experience. I know not everyone has the opportunity to shop there based on location, but we have compared against all others.....
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldon cornped View Post
We have found that time after time our Costco membership gets the absolute cheapest rates on car rental.............
My experience, too, except when I can combine Hertz discount codes (there are several discount code boxes and you are allowed to enter as many as apply). I also rent off airport when I can, some will even pay your taxi fee.
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