Cheap Car Rentals: National Car Rental’s “Last Minute Specials”

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National Car Rental has last minute specials on their website.

National Last Minute Specials -3

Last Minute Specials

In my experience, these aren’t usually lower than elsewhere (especially compared to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall or the Capital One travel portal), but it could save money sometimes – especially for weekend rentals (Thursday through Monday).

Cheap Car Rentals Series:

National Car Rental Last Minute Specials

Step 1 – Sign-up for National Emerald Club

I love National’s Emerald Club because you can choose from any car in the Emerald Aisle if you book at least a mid-size car.  Here’s the link to sign-up for free Emerald Club membership.

You also save time at the airport, since you can go straight to the rental cars in the Emerald Aisle at the airport and don’t have to wait in line at the rental counter.

Step 2 – Last Minute Specials

The best deal with National is to search for a rental using their last minute specials which are updated every Tuesday on their website, sometimes up to 2 weeks in advance.

The last minute specials apply to weekend rentals from Thursday to Monday, and in fewer cases for weekly rentals.

You can either find the last minute specials on the National website or use coupon #6600435 when making a reservation.

Click on the tab which says “Specials”

National Last Minute Specials

Click “Specials”

Step 3 – Free Weekend Day or $25 off Weekly Rentals

In addition National Car Rental also offers 1 free weekend day, on a compact through full size, when you rent for 3 weekend days (including Saturday).

National Last Minute Specials -2

Free Weekend Day

You can use the 1 free weekend day code #NFB2698MF-  in combination with the Last Minute Specials above, but you have to manually enter the code to get the free weekend date.

Manually Enter Code

Manually Enter Code

The code expires every few months, but a new one is usually available on the National website.

Note that the terms say “May not be combined with other discounts,” but in my experience it is possible to combine the free weekend day code with the Last Minute Specials.

There is also usually a code for $25 off a weekly rental, which is useful if you find a weekly Last Minute Special.

Bottom Line

It is worth checking out the National Last Minute Specials to see if you can get a lower price on a weekend rental.

However, the Last Minute Specials may not include your destination so it is best to have another reservation from elsewhere (which you can cancel for no cost) and then check National’s Last Minute Specials.

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12 Responses to Cheap Car Rentals: National Car Rental’s “Last Minute Specials”

  1. D,

    Would you consider adding an international car rental to your research? I currently have a week’s rental car rental reservation at Hertz from SJJ airport using http://www.carrentalsavers.com/ for less than $240 that I was trying to beat.

    However, the Chase UR site said limited international inventory is available at this time. The Costco site didn’t bring anything up when I searched SJJ. I have two Capitol One No Hassle Cash back cards, but unlike you, did not have access to the redeem for travel option. I tried autoslash, which has a similar interface to carrentalsavers, but it only offered rental from Sixt at approximately $210 per week. Sixt canceled my reservation at SJJ once with no explanation, so I am going with Hertz. Carrentalsavers is the site that I have had the best luck, and I am curious about your experience with international car rentals.

  2. I checked a few at DFW and they were “SOLD OUT”. The last minute deals don’t look like they are up to date.

  3. After Very Good Points’ terrible experience with National no thanks!!

  4. Just did this, and it worked well. To get an even better deal, make sure you couple this with the Frequent Flyer Bonus coupon. Here’s the details on the Frequent Flyer Bonus, which gave me $15 off:

    “1,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles when you rent any size car for a minimum of three days at any participating National location in the United States. Please request ID Number 5030080 and Coupon ID ND4892JDR.”

    I just scored a 3 day rental for less than $36!

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