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Best Use of Hertz Points

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:

  • US
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brail
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • US virgin islands
  • UK

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.43.27 PM

 

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.48.30 PM

 

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.

Here’s the list.

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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25 Comments

  1. man, are you on a roll or what. Amazing guides on everything. I have compiled them on my pocket reader to peruse while waiting in lines :)

    Reply
    • :-) Awesome. Thanks! Hope they make good line reading. :-p

      Reply
  2. great post, thank you. YMMV, from experience if you call to redeem, agents have booked rewards for me at standard day rates even though website said it was not available.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

    Reply
    • Cool, good to know. Guess it’s like hotels that don’t show availability. You may or may not get a booking by calling.

      Reply
  3. Be careful on renting for a week and returning early to get the cheaper price. I tried this in New Zealand with Hertz but they wanted to charge me the higher daily rate if I returned one day early. I ended up having to keep the car an extra day and pay hotel parking fees and make an extra trip to Hertz the next day to return the car.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the warning. Hopefully I’ll just use a full 7 days, but it’s probably better to tell people that actually having the car for 5 days is cheaper than 4…

      Reply
  4. Hertz has the worst program regarding upgrading to premium cars I am an president circle elite and I can count how many times I got a real upgrade especially in nyc and regarding one way rental national is probably the best cause it’s the same price as a round trip and regarding earnings points from paid rental it’s really depends hertz will be the best for short term / expensive rentals and national will be best for long term cheap rentals

    Reply
    • If you ever get a chance to hear Tahsir speak on car rentals, it’s pretty cool, but he’s got some tricks with Hertz you might enjoy.

      Reply
  5. Thanks so much! again, very useful, hopefully you could start a series on how to use flight mileage in Asia Pacific region!

    Reply
    • I actually started such a post, so hopefully I’ll circle back around to it. Although, I have to admit that I usually use Air Asia in SE Asia.

      Reply
    • As a local based in China, I do appreciate your blog on how to use Miles travel around Asia, the pacific hopper, Indonesia hopper, etc .very interesting, hope you could come to Asia more, that our readers could get more creative use of AC, UA,AA,NH,SQ miles… Keep it up!!

      Reply
  6. I have found Hertz rewards to be REALLY hard to redeem as almost every time I try to use them I get the “this location does not participate” message. Is there some work-around I’m missing?

    Reply
    • Are you looking at countries not on the list? That’s the only time I’ve gotten that message.

      Reply
    • Yes, but also many USA airports: JFK, every FL one I have tried, Vegas, even neighborhood VA locations. Only successful one was DCA.

      Reply
    • I had this problem too, and it’s very frustrating, but I think I figured out what the problem is – we are only allowed to use rewards points on certain classes of cars (I’m trying to book Frankfurt, Germany right now) and they are not the ones we want, so it shows us as not available or whatever that error message is. In Frankfurt, for example, if I try to choose the class that is assigned to cars with an automatic transmission, it won’t allow it, it will only allow me to reserve from class C or E, both manual transmissions. Neither of us have driven one for over 20 years, so this is a problem for me. Also, it will only debit my rewards account for one week, the second of two weeks it prices out as cash, leaving the remainder of my points untouched. I’m so frustrated.

      Reply
  7. Been using Avis for all my business travel for the past year…. might be time to switch to Hertz??

    Reply
  8. Its a good start with Hertz. There is so much more :)

    Reply
  9. I can never seem to use points in Denver.

    Reply
  10. But so many off-airport locations do not accept points! Trying to do a one-day weekend rental in Los Angeles is impossible without going out to the airport – which costs more than paying for the rental!

    Reply
  11. I just did a two day rental they give me 80 points is that normal? I feel like I had gotten way more in the past?

    Reply
  12. Nice description. I also need your advice as i have 5800 hertz points and want to redeem from Newark for 9 days. What i can do… 2 free weeks rental or can i combine 1 free week rental + 2 free days?
    Lastly, can i got midsize SUV in these points? Thanks in advance

    Reply
  13. Many thanks for an excellent and informative post. I live in Liverpool in England and found the post very helpful. I always use Hertz for business and holidays in Spain but last time used wanted to hire a vehicle for two weeks and use points for one, I had to make two separate bookings (to ensure discount offer) for paid for one week (actually 8 days) and one using my points for 7 days. When I arrived at the desk at Malaga Airport, although they let me keep the same car for the whole period of rental, I had to drive back to the airport after my 8 say paid hire, to sign new paperwork for the 7 day points hire (keeping the same vehicle which is what I wanted). I could of course exchanged the vehicle for a ‘new’ one on at the time but I wanted to keep the vehicle I had been allocated. Inconvenient yes, but that was the only way I could keep the allocated vehicle

    Reply
  14. What about collision/damage insurance – usually its covered by credit card when paying for the rental, but if you’re paying with points you’re only using the credit card for the tax portion. Will the cc still cover collision/damage?

    Reply
  15. Can I use my Hertz gold points to book hotels at a reduction?

    Reply
  16. For redeeming points outside USA Hertz is the worst company. Even in countries where they say you can use points you get a message you do not have enough points or the location is not accepting points.
    For upgrades I got some and do not have to complaim, but forget about redeeming points outside the USA.

    Reply

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We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting $25,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
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