Credit card rewards points are great to redeem for travel. Whether you have a credit card specifically designed as a travel rewards card, or just a plain old cash-back rewards card, you can usually redeem your points for plane tickets, rental cars, and hotel rooms. This article goes into how to rent a car using your rewards points from several popular popular credit card companies. Links to rewards sites as well as important details about renting a car with rewards points are listed below. Keep reading to find out where to go to rent a car using your rewards program.
With American Express, you can find rental car options in their Membership Rewards section. Visit this page and log into your account, and you can select which rental company you want to use. You can choose from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Avis, and National Car Rental. Car rental rewards start at a $50 certificate for 5,000 points, and you can choose to receive them as either an eCertificate or a paper certificate. The eCertificate will get to you within a matter of hours, while the regular certificate will take a few days. Check the Enterprise, Avis, or National website (whichever you plan to use) for availability and pricing before you order your reward. When making a reservation, make sure do so at least 48 hours before you plan to pick up your car, enter your gift certificate code on the webiste, and bring the certificate with you when you pick up your car.
Discover’s rewards program allows you to use your rewards to rent a car from Alamo, Enterprise, or National. You can order your eCertificate by logging into your online account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll have to create one. One great thing about Discover’s cashback program is that you earn points in dollars and cents instead of points, so you don’t lose any value by redeeming for smaller rewards. In fact, sometimes you can get more than a penny of value for each penny of rewards you’ve earned.
Chase has more great deals with rental car companies. Go to www.public.ultimaterewards.com to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can order a gift card from Budget, Avis, or Hertz by logging into your account and adding your desired gift card to your cart. The rental rewards start at 2,500 points, which will get you a $25 gift card. This rewards program offers a solid penny per point no matter which reward amount you choose. Your reward will arrive in about a week.
If you have a card that’s a part of Citi’s ThankYou rewards program, you have some options, too. Well, one option, in several different denominations. Citi offers Avis rental certificates starting at 3,500 points in denominations of $25, $50, and $100. When you order a $100 certificate, you get a full penny per point spent. Unfortunately, with the smaller certificate amounts, you do not. To redeem a certificate, log into your account, go to the Rewards drop down menu, and select “Travel & Experiences.” Then choose “Redeem Now” under Travel Certificates. You will see the Avis gift certificates.
With all of the above rewards programs, the rewards change from time to time, so depending on when you read this, it may or may not be an accurate listing of the rental rewards available. With any rewards program you have, however, you can usually find car rental redemption options under the “Travel” section of your rewards program’s online site. Before ordering your certificate, you can often check with the rental companies’ websites for availability and pricing, so you can choose the right certificate or gift card amount for your trip. Check with the rules for your specific rewards program and car rental company. In some cases (such as with American Express) you will have to reserve your car a certain amount of time before you pick it up. Good luck finding the rental you’re looking for, and happy travels!
Credit Shout is a community of personal finance experts dedicated to helping you save money and make smart financial decisions. Learn how to master your credit card rewards, improve your credit score and start eliminating your debt.