I need an full size sedan or an intermediate SUV for two weeks. I have found a great rate with Enterprise at $437 total after fees.
How can I use my cards to benefit me the most here?
Ideally I would like a discount rate and the ability to use points/rewards. The discount rate is my main goal though.
Chase Sapphire Preferred with about 38500 points
Amex Gold with a few MR points
Amex BCP with $278 rewards
PenFed with $280 rewards points
NFCU with no points
This is actually looking good right now, AMEX offer...
5% off with enterprise and $20 rewards per $200 spent. I would get back $40 on rental.
On the discount side I found that the best discounts come from using my companies corporate ID when making the reservation and in some cases my membership to a private organization. (They have always made me choose one to put on the reservation so I usually check both.)
I'd check the discounts on everything you have access too, sometimes it makes no sense how they decide their rates and for certain periods in time they can change almost daily.
I believe NFCU has some level of discount plan with a couple car rental places, not sure if you have to use your NFCU card to get it.. you might just need to reserve via their portal and pay on rental with any card...
(Some specials and such don't work with corporate plans, etc No combined offers situations.)
Also in choosing a card to put this on be sure you check your current card member agreements and make sure you understand how the rental car insurance works, that you qualify, how much they cover, is that before or after your regular insurance, etc etc. So while putting it on the card that will generate the most rewards is attractive the card with the best insurance might not be the same card and you might want to find a middle ground for good piece of mind.
Just my $0.02.
NFCU, Penfed, and AMEX all lower it to the same price so far. The AMEX program I linked to above has a rebate that should give me a $40 statement credit. I looked into insurance and it seems that some cover SUVs and some don't. There is a 15 day rental limit that I need to remain under also. Thanks for mentioning that. I want to see how Ultimate Rewards works, i.e. will it do the 20% points thing for Sapphire on rental cars too? I am afraid to keep hitting submit on those screens in case it charges me. lol.
Try hotwire and see what the best rate you can get for the rental airport/city. Then go to priceline and choose name your price and offer a lower rate by 5-10 per day. Only downside is, if your trip is cancelled your money is lost. You cannot cancel the booking and get a refund.
I recently did this and got a minivan for 11 days for 371 out the door, hotwire was at 425.
Before this I was trying company discount codes and tried costco travel discount codes also and ultimate rewards etc. Best rate I got for minivan for the same 11 days was 720 inclusive of tax and other charges.
Btw I used my Chase saphire to pay for the rental as they confirmed purchasing through a third party is OK for collision damage waiver to kick in. Must be less than 15 days consecutive and if you take the car outside of US it becomes primary also (I will be in Canada for a few days of the trip)