Renting Cars on the Cheap

You can get free car rentals using miles and points, although this is one of those areas where using miles/points typically doesn’t make a lot of sense due to their low point redemption value.

If you do decide to pay for the rental car, make sure to check the airline reward programs for promotions with their partner car rental companies.  Sometimes there are significant bonuses for booking through them.

Alternatively, Hotwire is a great source for good rates on car rentals.

Hotwire is similar to Priceline in the sense that they don’t let you know what company you get until after you book, and the rentals are non-refundable. But they guarantee it will be one of the large rental car companies.

Example:  I was booking a 3-day car rental at New York’s La Guardia.  The cheapest price I could find elsewhere was $291 for an economy car.  Instead, I was able to reserve a full-size car through Hotwire for $134. Additionally, if you link to Hotwire through TopCashBack, you can get additional cash back for your purchase (currently 6%).

Since the rental is non-refundable, you should never use this option way too far in advance, but it could save you a substantial amount of money if you’re planning a last minute trip.

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One Response to Renting Cars on the Cheap

  1. Doc says:

    Hotwire is great for those last minute car rentals. I also found that costcotravel.com at times has good deals/prices on car rentals. Also, bidding on priceline.com is another option that is good for last minute car rentals. Great post!

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