Hertz is offering several packages on Friday of Week 4 in the Daily Getaways promotion, which I discussed on Wednesday. Although they’re advertised under somewhat misleading names like “1-Week Hertz standard vehicle” the fact is you’re actually getting a pot of Hertz #1 Gold points, just as many of the chain hotel offers also advertise so many nights but really provide a batch of hotel points. The offers are:
- 5,000 Hertz points for $280 ($252 with Amex; 5.04 cents per point)
- 9,000 points for $430 ($387 with Amex; 4.3 cents per point)
- 15,000 points for $720 ($648 with Amex; 4.32 cents per point)
There are between 35 and 50 of each offer available, 10 each through a presale opportunity to American Express cardholders. You’ll notice the sweet spot is actually in the middle, at 4.3 cents per point when you purchase 9,000, but 4.32 cents each for 15,000 points isn’t very different.
Just what is a Hertz point worth?
When Hertz advertises a one-week rental, they’re giving you the price of a one-week AnyDay Reward with no blackout dates, but it actually doesn’t take that many points for most rentals. It’s all very confusing with the different prices with and without blackout dates or with and without multi-day discounts, so just ignore what Hertz says they’re giving you (“a one-week rental”) and focus on the points, which you can break up and use however you please. A standard award subject to blackout dates costs only 500 points for a weekend day, my usual business with them, so that’s only $25.20 per day! Normally I pay something like $30-40 a day, and there have been times when certain airport locations post rates close to $80-100 a day.
It took me a really long time to find and confirm the cost of all the other rewards on Hertz’s website, but only 0.41 seconds to find the list through Google. But since when have car rental companies been known for provide clear and transparent terms and fees? 😛 Visit this link to see all the different combinations of free nights, upgrades, and more along with their associated costs in points. You’ll need to click on the tab that says, “See what else you can get.”
Hertz blackout dates require you to redeem many more points, but these are relatively few and far between and specific to regional events, not holidays. For example, blackout dates exist for CES and NASCAR at Las Vegas, but not for Christmas, New Year’s, or any other holidays when I’m more likely to visit. Most of the time you can book a Standard Reward. During blackouts, you’ll need an AnyDay Reward.
You will need to join the Hertz #1 Club to hold and redeem those points, but through June 30th you can also join Hertz’s lowest elite tier for free! Hertz #1 Club Gold status normally costs $60 (waived if you have elite status with many other programs, such as United’s MileagePlus). The only real benefit over general membership is that you get access to a special Gold desk, but hey, that’s something. Last time I rented from Hertz it was at DFW and there were five people being helped by one agent. Fortunately I noticed a hidden sign pointing to a Gold desk out by the lot and had no wait.
Putting Hertz #1 Club points into action
Recently, I booked a trip for Megan and I to Branson, MO. We’ll need a car to drive from Springfield (SGF) to Branson, and many of the offers I saw were for nearly $100 per day. This is after spending $500 each to fly there. Fortunately I got a deal on Kayak for about $20 a day from Alamo, but it means I won’t be able to take advantage of my Hertz #1 Gold status or National Emerald Club Executive status for an upgrade. I already have 1,000 Hertz points, but that wasn’t enough to cover the entire trip.
I am feeling strongly motivated to purchase the cheaper 5,000 point offer just to have more Hertz points available in case I run into a similar problem in the future. Most of my travel is on weekends anyway, so I’ll be able to stretch them out on cheaper redemptions.
I don’t really care that I’m getting the worst deal on points by purchasing the cheapest package. I care that I’ll be able to use points rather than pay $100 a day for a compact. Buying the “better” deal of 9,000 points would be far more than I need. Again, I may not necessarily get the best price, but it is nice to have miles and points available for the truly expensive trips when there are no cheaper alternatives.