Higher car prices and lower availability – welcome to the post-COVID era of car rentals. If you’re in need of a rental car and can’t find a good deal through Credello’s preferred car rental apps, consider renting a vehicle with points and miles.
When to Rent a Car With Rewards
When is renting a car with credit card rewards worth it and when is it a waste of your points and miles? Renting a car with credit card rewards is beneficial when the rewards program offers substantial discounts or cashback on car rentals. If the redemption rate for car rentals is competitive and saves you money compared to paying out-of-pocket, it’s a wise choice.
Additionally, if your rewards program provides extra perks like insurance coverage or upgrades for rental cars, it adds further value. On the other hand, using points for something else may be a better option if the redemption value for car rentals is poor, or if there are more valuable redemption opportunities, such as travel, flights, or merchandise, where the points offer higher value and greater rewards.
Renting a Car With Points and Miles
You’ve determined that using your credit card perks to rent a car is probably your best bet. To maximize the value of your credit card points and miles when renting a car, embrace the tips below.
Research Redemption Options
Before booking, explore the rewards program’s travel partners and transfer options. Some credit card programs have partnerships with car rental companies, allowing you to use points directly for car rentals, which can provide better value than cashing out points for a statement credit.
Compare Redemption Rates
Evaluate the points-to-dollar conversion rate for car rentals versus other redemption options. If car rentals offer a higher value per point, it might be a better use of your rewards.
Look for Bonuses and Discounts
Some credit card programs offer special bonuses or discounts when redeeming points for car rentals. Check for any ongoing promotions that can increase the value of your rewards.
Utilize Co-Branded Credit Cards
Some car rental companies have co-branded credit cards that offer exclusive benefits, such as free upgrades, discounts, or waived fees. Consider obtaining these cards if you frequently rent from a specific company.
Book Early and Flexibly
Reserve your rental car well in advance to secure better deals and availability. Flexibility with pick-up and drop-off locations can also open up more options and better prices.
Understand Rental Insurance Coverage
Check if your credit card provides rental car insurance coverage, which can save you money by avoiding additional insurance charges at the rental counter.
Combine Points with Other Discounts
Some rental companies allow you to combine rewards with other discounts or promo codes, leading to even greater savings.
By understanding your rewards program, comparing redemption options, and being strategic with your bookings, you can make the most of your credit card points and miles when renting a car.