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Car Hire Loyalty Plans Offer New Incentives

February 22, 2014 Motoring No Comments Email Email

You may be a member of a frequent flier program, but have you thought about joining a car hire loyalty program? The majority of car hire companies offer rewards to frequent customers, which can be quite useful for business travellers or those who hire a car on a regular basis.

Generally, consumers don’t have the same brand loyalty with car hire companies as they do with airlines, but to combat this factor the big names are offering more perks than ever. It’s worth taking a closer look at these various incentives if you’re a frequent traveller.

Changes to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Program

The first loyalty plan was introduced by National in 1987, although Hertz jumped on board with frequent flier programs back in the early 1980’s. Hertz is now leading the pack when it comes to incentives, having recently announced that they are enhancing their Gold Plus Rewards program. Members now can enjoy faster rentals, nicer cars, and additional rewards. Members can earn points not only through renting the cars, but also from purchasing fuel, insurance, car seats, and other upgrades from Hertz. Another benefit is that you can be upgraded monthly, rather than waiting for a full year for your bonuses to kick in.

Benefits of Loyalty Plans

Perhaps the number one reason to join any of these programs is the fact that you can usually skip the line at the car hire counter. After taking a long flight and waiting for your luggage, the last thing you want to do is queue up yet again. Joining a loyalty plan allows you to get priority service, usually at an automated kiosk that has already saved all of your preferences. If you prefer to drive a Fiat when in Australia for example, that information will be stored in the system and you’ll find a Fiat ready to go. Even companies that don’t offer an automated kiosk will still be able to save your preferences if you’re a loyalty club member, which guarantees a faster transaction.

Saving your preferences has another advantage. Usually when you hire a car, you’ll be asked if you want to upgrade to unlimited mileage, insurance, or other features. As a loyalty club member, your preferences are already stored and you will get the same preferred service each time, without all of the questions. You may also benefit from automatic upgrades, additional mileage, or other bonuses. Steep discounts of up to 20% are typical for program members.

Comparing your Options

To make the most of these rewards, you’ll need to compare your options carefully if you don’t already have a favourite car hire company in mind. Hertz may have just upgraded their rewards, but other companies will not be far behind. One of the first factors to consider is whether you want to join a club with a membership fee. For example, Hertz’s Gold Club carries with it an annual membership fee, while they also have a separate loyalty club without one. Budget also offers a tiered system, but Avis and Enterprise only offer a single rewards club. In addition to fees, think about which company you use most frequently and which is partnered with the airlines of your preference. Many car hire reward programs also give you airline miles as an incentive.

Hertz’s recent press release is just one example of the type of incentives that you may qualify for as a loyalty plan member. It’s best to compare all options to see what bonuses you may be eligible for.

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