Hertz by far has the best rewards program for car rentals. Mostly they are the best program in upgrades for elites and definitely the best program for actually using the points that you earn. This will be a detailed overview on using Hertz points and best uses of Hertz points.
Most of the time I try to do an earning section in my best use posts, but simply put, the best earning opportunities have been with the yearly DailyGetaway sales. In this last one you could buy 13,200 points for $428 dollars. (There were other package options too). Wait until you find out the interesting things you can do with 13,200 points!
Countries you can use Hertz Points for rentals in
While you can earn points all over the world, and while they have properties all over the world, you can only use your points for car rentals in specific countries.
Here are the different counties in which you can redeem points for rentals:
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- US virgin islands
Again, they may have car rental locations in other countries, but these are the only locations you can actually redeem your points in.
What is a little confusing is that of the countries you can redeem points in, each country has different rewards prices. Redeeming your points in the UK will have different prices than redeeming points in the US. In general, awards in Europe are a little more expensive.
But to make it more confusing, not all countries even offer the same redemptions. For example. A weekly rental might be available in most countries but not at all in the Netherlands. Or “one way” rentals aren’t available in most countries but they are in the US.
This post will mostly be about redemptions in the US and Canada (they have the same reward prices), but I will say that weekly redemptions are nearly the same price in Europe. And the exact same concepts apply to redemptions anywhere. Assuming a weekly rental is allowed in a country it will work the same way as the ones I’ll talk about in the US. I just want to pick and compare one country’s prices to be consistent. But most concepts are the same.
How to Price a Hertz Points Car Rental
1) Pick your country
Click here and then click the country dropdown.
2) Select time/type of rental
Week days, weekends, weekly rentals and oneways all have different prices.
3) Pick the class of car you want
You might have to click the type of rental you want on the award chart to see the class in the description. But either in the description or title you will see “Compact”, “Premium”, “Prestige”, “Specialty Vehicle” or something similar. These titles refer to different categories of how nice or expensive a car is.
In order to see what cars are listed in the “Prestige” collection of vehicles, actually go to make a booking.
For example when I click the “Specialty Vehicles” it lists “Luxury”, “MidSize SUV”, “Minivan”, and”Convertible”.
Now if I go to book a car, even if I’m just checking the cash rate, each car will have one of these category names by it. On Hertz.com I did a random search for car rentals for a day in Seattle and saw a number of cars that fit into this category, like the MidSize SUV in the picture below.
4) Standard Rewards vs AnyDay Rewards
The most annoying thing about Hertz is that there are two price columns, “Standard Rewards” and “AnyDay Rewards”, and it’s basically like off-peak and peak-season prices. The annoying part is that chart to figure out what dates are standard or not is super confusing.
Confusing in that it may or may not list your destination by city. Seattle gave me “AnyDay” prices this summer but when I search the list for “Seattle” it didn’t list anything. And “SF” I assume is San Francisco. But who the heck organized this thing?
Avoiding AnyDay Prices
One nice thing about AnyDay Rewards is that you can avoid them by picking up the car right before the prices start then you will get the lower price. With Seattle, AnyDay prices start July 1st. But if you pick up the car on June 30th (the last day of June) you get the much cheaper “Standard” prices for the entire rental.
There will be much more on this in the oneway rental section.
Best Uses of Hertz Points
Weekly rentals could actually save points?
The most obvious fact about the rental prices is that weekly rentals are cheaper per day, than daily rentals. For example a daily rental is 675 points, but a weekly rental is 2,750 points for a week. For a 7 day rental thats about 392 points a day.
Although one thing I want to clarify, that’s true for most car rentals with cash too, is that 5 day car rentals fall into the category of “weekly” prices. In this case you would still actually save points by a 5 day rental being priced as a weekly rental.
In fact, one thing I realized is that in Europe, for example in Germany, a weekly car rental is 2,800 points but 900 points for a day rental. This means that in a 4 day car rental you would actually save points by doing a weekly rental and returning it early.
Think about it. A 4 day car rental would cost you 3,600 points and a weekly rental would only cost 2,800 points. A weekly rental is nearly the same price as a 3 day rental by the day.
Compact or Premium
One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at the standard lowest prices is that it says “Compact to Premium”. This means that cars that say “Premium” next to them are the same price as the compact cars. Typically this means getting a Chevy Impala instead of the Ford Focus. But in Europe the cars can be much more compact, and it probably means not being in a super basic Fiat Panda.
Big and fancy cars
While this isn’t my mode of operating, if you are into renting sports cars or a Mercedes, Hertz actually lets you use your points for a weekly “Prestige” or “Adrenaline” car, starting at 8,250 points for a week. It’s a great deal in terms of points relative to the cash rate.
Maximizing One Way Car Rentals with Hertz Points
The deal of deals for using Hertz points is the oneway rentals. Oneway car rentals are often $150 a day and loads more than the roundtrip price, but in this case the points price is not even double the regular price for a weekly rental. Perhaps not all of you are interested in oneway rentals but I’m constantly thinking of ideal ways to do a oneway and never find good cash prices. We have done two over the last 4 years and both cost an arm and a leg. $125 to $160 or so for 24 hours or less.
Plain and simple, if you’d like to do a road trip with a oneway rental, this is a great deal. Given that the points could have been bought for 0.032424242 per point, that would make a 5,500 point rental cost about $25.50 a day (instead of $150 a day).
If you have the luxury of choosing which direction you’re going, then you could potentially have some more savings.
- Avoid AnyDay prices
- Avoid tax
- Pick better cars
Avoiding AnyDay Completely
One way rentals are great because if either combo of the time and location, for the pick up or drop off, fall into the “Standard Reward” category then it chooses the lower “Standard” price for the whole rental.
Let me give an example.
Let’s say I want to do Denver to Seattle with a oneway car rental. Well, their summer AnyDay dates are a little different. Denver’s higher AnyDay Rewards goes until Aug 23, but Seattle’s goes until Aug 10. Let’s say we want to rent from August 6 to 13.
We could return the car to Seattle on the 13th of August, and it would qualify for Seattle’s Standard Reward pricing and the entire rental would price out at 5,500 points.
But if you choose to do the same rental dates (Aug 6 to 13) but started in Seattle and ended in Denver, it would price out at the AnyDay rate of 11,000 points. This is because the start of August 6 would fall into Seattle’s higher priced AnyDay Reward time, and the return of August 13th would fall into Denver’s AnyDay Reward time.
All you have to do is pick the start or end location based on one thing not fitting into the AnyDay Reward times.
Again, here are the Standard vs AnyDay times.
Avoid big taxes
Also using the Denver to Seattle example demonstrates trying to avoid airport taxes. Let’s say we’re going in June and aren’t worried about Standard Reward prices and going from airport to airport.
Pricing out Denver to Seattle came up with $330 in fees on top of the 5,500 points. But Seattle to Denver came up with $187 in fees on top of the 5,500 points. With a oneway you can price out each direction and see which combo is cheaper.
Avoid airports to avoid taxes
But if you didn’t have a choice in which direction or if it meant saving 5,500 points, one tip for avoiding rental fees is to avoid airports. Just by picking up at an in town location instead of the airport you can save $100+. I just picked a random hotel to test out the Denver to Seattle route and instead of adding $330 in fees, it added $198. Not as cheap as even Seattle’s airport, but still cheaper than the other option.
Another reason you might pick going one direction over another is simply because some airports and locations have nicer cars than others. I imagine the Los Angeles airport has nicer cars than the Phoenix one. That’s just a guess but you can easily check.
There are probably a ton of other details I could go over but this is long enough. One important note I do want to fit in is that it’s good there is some sort of tax to put on the credit card, this way if you have a credit card that has primary car insurance as a benefit, this will have a charge to be responsible for.
Another detail is that booking can be done online just by logging in and then checking the box that says “Use my Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points” before hitting the search/submit button. It will price out as cash at first but then it will give you the option to cover the rental with points at the end.
Anywho, I know not everyone has Hertz points out there, but next time you have the opportunity to buy them super cheap, it might be worth considering. And for those who are loyal Hertz customers, hopefully this post provides some new insights.