Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
On my last mileage run in September (more about that later on) I had an issue and ran into the mess with the Chicago ATC fire and the result was my flight from Detroit (DTW) to Kalamazoo (AZO) was canceled. The next day there were only two flights and they were all 100% full. Not good.
What I did manage to score was a morning flight to Grand Rapids (GRR) only about 1 hour drive away from AZO. But that would mean renting a car one-way and that can be costly to say the very least. Even as a Diamond I did not even TRY to get Delta to comp me for a rental as they would have said just standby for AZO and maybe you can get on. Maybe. No thanks I will pay for rental. I decided to just call to check prices (was this wrong? – you tell me)!
First I called my “preferred” car company Hertz. They quoted me $110+ for this one way rental. Not good. How about National? They wanted $230+! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! We are we are talking less than 75 miles for this trip (and I am never, ever renting from Budget again). So lastly I called AVIS $35 all in – sold – and I even got SPG points for the rental! As a non-frequent renter I am shocked by the insanity of both the price range and the high end numbers!
When I have more time to compare and I am not mid-trip I do tend to check all the “big boys” and normally start at EVRewards.com to check and then go DIRECT to sites like TopCashBack and then search there to get the best cash back.
I personally tend to avoid smaller rental firms but that could be a mistake on my part. I do always, in the USA, reserve the car with a VISA card of my choosing. The Chase Sapphire Preferred now offers Primary rental coverage but other ones work fine for most folks as well like my Chase INK+ card.
Now it is your turn. I freely admit I am no pro when it comes to cars as I just don’t rent more than a few times a year. What are your rookie tips for renting cars and getting the lowest price possible for both one-way and “round trip” rentals? – René
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