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On May 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm (pre-sale) or 1:00 pm (regular sale) EST, you can buy Hertz car rental points via the Discover America promotion for about 5.6 cents per point with an extra 10% discount for using an American Express card compared to the regular price of 0.20 cents per point.
And again, Travel by Points has a great spreadsheet summarizing the different point options.
Scott from Hack my Trip also explains how to leverage this deal.
Here’s how you can use these cheap Hertz car rental points:
Note that all calculations are WITHOUT the extra 10% discount for using an American Express card.
1. Cheap One Way Car Rentals. One way care rentals are usually very expensive, but you can get a 1-day 1-way car rental for 1,200 points or $67 (1,200 points X 5.6 cents per point).
Emily recently paid ~$250 for an emergency 1-way car rental for 1 day, so we could have saved some money if we hadn’t used up our Hertz points.
A 1 week 1-way rental costs 5,000 points or $280, which is almost what we paid for a 1 day rental!
2. Cheap Regular Rentals. A free weekend day in the US, is 500 points or $28 (500 points X 5.6 cents per point) and a non-weekend day is 600 points or $37. This could be a good deal depending on where you rent.
I suggest following the Rapid Travel Chai method and do a quick check on Hotwire and on Costco travel to get a quick read on the lowest price of a car rental. Then do the math to see if you’re better off using Hertz points or not.
A weekly rental is 2,500 points or $140 (2,500 points X 5.6 cents per point). It is usually very hard to get a weekly rental for less than $140, so this is a very good deal!
3. Cheap European Rentals. Renting a car in Europe is usually expensive, but you can get a free rental day for 800 points on the weekend or 900 points on a regular day. That’s just $45 for a weekend or $50 for a regular day.
A weekly rental costs 2,800 points or $157 which is a great deal for a weekly rental in Europe!
4. Cheap Luxury Car Rentals. Hertz’s Prestige collection includes Mercedes, Infiniti and Cadillacs. You can get a free weekend for 4,500 points or $252.
Keep in mind
1. Points do not expire if you have Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program activity in the prior 24 months. Booking an award and then cancelling it later when your plans change should generate activity which will extend the validity of your account.
2. There are blackout days when you’ll have to pay more points to get a car rental.
This won’t be easy
I do NOT expect it to be easy to get these points because a lot of folks will be after them!
If you do decide to participate, be sure to be at your computer a few minutes before the offer starts (12 noon EST) and to either click refresh or press “F9″ to refresh the page to see when the offer is available.
And don’t worry if you’re not able to get the points in you cart at first. There are always point packages which get returned since folks don’t buy them. Don’t give up until it says “Sold Out.”
Sign-up for a Hertz account BEFORE you attempt to buy the points packages, because you will be asked for your Hertz account number. For a limited time you can can get Hertz Gold Plus rewards membership for free.
Bottom Line: Buying Hertz points through the daily getaways could help you in having Big Travel with Small Money in many ways. But there are limited packages and lots of folks will be after them. Good Luck!