How to save on luxury car rentals through travel credit cards

How to save on luxury car rentals through travel credit cards

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Your vacation can be upgraded to a fun-filled journey by upgrading your car rental to a luxury car.

Popular rewards credit cards and airline rewards programs may give you options to use points to pay for car rentals for travel. Many car rental companies also offer their car rental rewards programs for consumers.

To get the most out of your travel credit card rewards program, it is important to know which points you may redeem as per your specific situation. It is also important that you consider the cost of insurance coverage.

Redeeming points on a car rental is more difficult than redeeming it at hotel costs or travel expenses. The major reason for this is that most rental car payments occur upon return of the car and are not prepaid. This is the sole reason that American Express does not provide the option to redeem reward points for car rentals.

Now we will discuss different aspects of using travel credit card reward points for car rentals.

Earn miles and points for car rentals

Isn’t it great if you can drive a luxury car, pay the rental through a travel credit card, and earn miles and points? By choosing the right travel credit card, you have the option to grab extra points to boost your affordability for getting a good hotel, airline, or flexible travel loyalty program.

Here are two options available:

  1. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Gives you 7 points per dollar on car rentals booked, on selected car rental companies,
  2. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® – you may earn 2 miles per dollar on all car rental agencies.

You may choose your car rental company from referrals to your preferred airline’s websites, such as Southwest, Delta, and United Airlines.

Save on high-end car rentals

It is quite challenging to save on high-end car rentals than driving an ordinary vehicle. But before doing that, you need to follow a few tips. Let’s get it through a simple example: Suppose you want to rent an Audi Silvercar which offers 20% off on your first rental after using a promo code available on the company’s website.

But, if you use a Visa Infinite card, which is registered with Silvercar by Audi, it can get you up to a 30% discount on car rentals. Additionally, you may use a few travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. These cards may offer you credit to meet travel expenses.

You need to research a bit and then use your travel cards for booking luxury car rentals. This way you can save on luxury car rentals as well as drive your dream car.

Choose the right insurance for car rentals

While you are driving a high-end car, you’ll want to be insured in case of an accident. Many travel credit cards provide secondary car rental insurance. It means if you can’t insure your car, you may opt for car rental insurance and save on luxury car rentals. If anything goes wrong with your rental car, then it must be reported to your car insurance company, which can potentially raise your rates.

For example – Chase Sapphire Reserve is a unique travel card that may offer you primary car rental insurance, which pays your dues without involving your primary personal car insurance company.

Now let’s have a look at the available cards that may give you the best car rental rewards programs and other coverage.

Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred

In Chase Sapphire, Preferred cardholders may earn 1.25 cents per point towards travel rewards. Chase offers competitive rental car rates to its consumers. Additionally, it offers greater rewards for flights or hotels.

Chase Sapphire Reserve provides primary rental insurance. Primary insurance coverage can help you avoid most of the out of pocket cost for car rentals.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

This card will provide you with double miles for every purchase. It offers a rate of 1 cent = 1 mile each. The card also gives you a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Citi Double Cash Card

You’ll get double cash rewards if you earn $25 in rewards without paying an annual fee. You can earn 1% back after making a purchase and again another 1% back after paying off the balance.

Rental Car Loyalty Programs

You may join this rewards program and earn points. You have the option to combine loyalty points with rewards points from another source. This option might be the best choice for cardholders who travel for business including international business travelers.

Hertz Gold Plus

The Hertz Gold Plus program is one of the most popular car rental reward programs available. This program offers 1 point per dollar on rental and service charges, fuel, and other expenses. These rental car programs are beneficial for consumers who are looking for longer rentals. Hertz rental can program can give you the option to redeem points internationally.

Avis Preferred

Avis Preferred rental program offers one point for every $1 on rentals and two points for buying car accessories. Once you, being a member, reach the number of 12 rentals or pay $5,000, you will be upgraded to Plus status and able to get points at higher multipliers.

National Emerald Club

If you want to save on luxury car rentals, the National Emerald Club is another option for you. It provides credit toward free rentals. Emerald Club members can earn one point per rental. A free rental is available to regular members (7 credits), executive members (6 credits), and elite members (5 credits).

Enterprise Plus

The Enterprise Plus program creates the option for members to earn one point for each $1 spent. Members can get free rentals as soon as they reach 450 points or more. The best thing about this luxury car rental program is there are no blackout dates. The program has three status levels for members: Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Each category has its benefits and amazing reward options.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest airlines don’t have the option to redeem points to get a cheap luxury car rental. But they provide vouchers to get a decent rate at prime car rental companies such as National, Alamo, Budget, Hertz, and Avis – for just 1 cent per point…

Store cards make you feel unsafe and vulnerable - Here’s how

Store cards make you feel unsafe and vulnerable – Here’s how

Posted by: consolidatecreditcard_admin on

Owing to lucrative rewards and benefits, store cards have gained popularity in the last few years. Store cards like Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Target REDcard™ Credit Card give a flat 5% discount on eligible purchases at Amazon and Target. Plus, they offer free shipping and a long return window. Needless to say, people are happy to use these cards.

However, there is one point that people are forgetting. Store credit cards have loads of drawbacks. They leave you unprotected and vulnerable to unauthorized charges. They offer minimum protections when it comes to disputing charges. Other credit cards running on a network like Mastercard or Visa give you more protection than store cards.

How store cards leave you unprotected

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) receives hundreds of complaints from consumers regarding unauthorized charges. Most of them have been charged for purchases that they didn’t make or aren’t satisfied with.

A New York-based teacher recently complained to the CFPB that he has been charged $7300 for a prepaid cruise, which he is completely unaware of. Again, a Florida based chef paid $2600 for installing a front door in his home. But he was not satisfied with the product. So, he wanted to get back a portion of his money. He complained that store cards didn’t provide him comprehensive coverage and faced a lot of issues in reversing a portion of the transaction.

These are only a few instances. If you explore popular credit card forums, you’ll hear more stories from consumers. As of now, let’s find out how store cards leave your money protected.

1. Store cards offer minimum protections for billing errors

As per the 1974 Fair Card Billing Act, store card issuers have to follow proper dispute procedures when consumers aren’t happy with a product or service. They are also required to look into billing errors. But the requirements are not stringent and comprehensive.

Normal Visa and Mastercards give additional protections to consumers, which makes it easier to dispute charges. They provide extensive coverage to consumers to contest fraudulent charges.

2. Store cards have geographical limitations

Most store cards, like the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and My Best Buy Credit Card, come with geographical limitations. For instance, the terms and conditions of a closed-loop card issued by Comenity Bank clearly state that consumers can get back their money under the following circumstances:

  1. Consumers aren’t happy with the quality of goods or services
  2. Consumers have already complained about the product to the retailer
  3. Consumers have purchased the product in their home state or within 100 miles of their current mailing address

This has become a major problem for the consumers especially after the emergence of e-commerce websites where they can buy products 3000 miles away from their home.

Normal credit cards like American Express, Visa card, and Mastercard allow consumers to contest charges irrespective of the geographical location of the place from where a product was purchased.

3. Store cards have high APRs

Most store cards charge higher-than-average APRs, which implies that consumers have to pay more when they carry a balance. They have to pay more in interest. Some store cards even have a deferred interest feature where interest accrues in the background. If consumers can’t pay off the entire balance before the deferred interest offer ends, they will be charged interest on the purchase price, retroactive to the date they bought it.

How credit cards give you more protection than store cards

Store cards Credit cards
You have fewer options to get your money back. You have various options to reverse a transaction.
There are geographical limitations in the case of store cards. There are no geographical locations in the case of credit cards.
Closed-loop store cards offer minimum protections for disputing charges. Mastercard and Visa cards offer additional protections and coverage for contesting charges.
Store cards offer a deferred interest feature where interest accrues in the background. They give a 0% introductory APR offer where consumers can save money on interest for 12-18 months.

4 Steps to safeguard yourself when you’re using store cards

There is no doubt that store cards offer big discounts on purchases. But they have a few drawbacks also. If you still want to use a store card, then here are a few steps you can take to safeguard yourself.

  1. Read the terms and conditions of a store card before accepting it. Find out how to dispute unauthorized charges and when rewards will expire.
  2. Contact the retailer directly when a product is not delivered or you’re not happy with the item. Ask him to solve the problem first and then contact the store card issuer.
  3. Review your monthly bills and statements every month to find out if there is an unauthorized charge. This can help you to dispute charges within the specified time limit of the store cards.
  4. Save all the receipts. You’ll need them at the time of disputing the charges.

Final notes

File a complaint with the CFPB if you’re not satisfied with how a store card issuer has addressed your problem. You can also report the matter to your State’s Attorney General.