Welcome to the next article in our pre-holiday series. We are looking at the very best ways to get maximum value from all of your holiday habits and activities ahead of what is traditionally a busy travel period for many people.
Last week, I looked at the best card to use abroad this summer. Today, I am going to take a look at car rentals. To be clear, although I will devote a section later on to using discounts and getting the best deal, my focus in this article will be the different ways to earn miles and points from your rentals.
Avis is the official car hire partner of British Airways. This means that the only way to earn Avios via the British Airways Executive Club (and avios.com) is when you rent through Avis.
You can find more details on this dedicated website.
A while back it used to be possible to earn Avios indirectly with a number of rental companies including Hertz and Europcar via Iberia Plus. Now, the only alternative to Avis in terms of earning Avios from car rentals is Budget. If you choose to credit your Budget rental to Iberia Plus you will earn 100 Avios per day. Ignoring pricing for a moment, that is a substantially worse deal than the Avis/BA version below.
When renting with Avis, British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) members can earn/enjoy the following:
- 3 Avios per £1 spent
- Minimum of 500 Avios for 1/2 day rentals
- Minimum of 700 Avios for rentals of 3 days or more
- 250 bonus Avios if you pay with a BA American Express Card
- 750 bonus Avios awarded upon completing 4 rentals in a calendar year.
- Free additional driver on all worldwide bookings
Remember that Xexec clients can enjoy 7 days for the price of 5 when renting with Avis at numerous UK and European locations.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles
Unlike BA, Virgin partners with a range of car rental companies such as Hertz, Alamo, National and Sixt. You can view the full list on the Virgin website here.
Earnings rates vary from company to company, but the strongest offers currently seem to be 1,000 miles per rental from both Hertz and Alamo. This is especially attractive on shorter, inexpensive rentals.
Best of the rest
One of the best perks of earning rewards when you rent a car is the ability reset the expiry date on some of your more obscure points balances.
For example, I have a medium sized World of Hyatt balance. I rarely stay at their hotels but over time accumulate enough points to enjoy a free night at one their high-end properties. Seeing as they have a pretty tiny UK footprint, I have to be alert to ensure I don’t fall foul of their two-year points expiry rules.
As such, I will likely credit a forthcoming Avis rental to Hyatt instead of BA as normal. This will earn me 500 World of Hyatt points and is an easy way to restart the clock for a further two years.
While it would be ridiculous to list every frequent flyer airline program, here are some of the various hotel loyalty programs and their car hire partners:
- Club Carlson – Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National and Sixt
- Hilton Honors – Alamo, Enterprise and National.
Note: Hilton is ending its partnerships with Avis, Budget, Europcar and Sixt at the end of July hence their exclusion from the list.
- IHG Rewards Club – Avis, Budget and Hertz
- Le Club AccorHotels – Europcar, Hertz
- Marriott Rewards – Hertz, Sixt
- Starwood Preferred Guest – Avis, Budget and Sixt (500 Starpoints per booking!)
- World of Hyatt – Avis
Xexec client discounts
For those of you who haven’t stumbled across these before, Xexec offers various discounts across a variety of car rental companies. For ease of access, I have listed some of the more relevant ones below, with direct links to the offer pages.
7 days for the price of 5
Visit this page for more info
Get 10% off + a free upgrade
Visit the Xexec Hertz page here, or phone 0870 844 4844 and quote code 541670
10% of Car & Van hire
10% off all UK Exotic car hire
Details of the Enterprise Exotics Car Collection can be found here.
To redeem this offer, call 0845 266 9265 and quote ECCE014
Up to 20% off premium car rentals
Visit the official Xexec/Sixt page here. The discount is applied automatically.
Up to 15% off van hire
Up to 20% off car hire
The official Xexec/Holiday Autos homepage is located here. Discount is automatically applied.
Car hire excess insurance
Speaking of client discounts, in case you missed our piece on insurance4carhire.com and car hire excess insurance the other week, have a quick read here.
As the article explained, you will almost always come out ahead. If you are renting a car this summer, even for just a couple of days, this is something you should definitely be considering.
Xexec clients are eligible for a 15% discount at insurance4carhire.com by using this link. The discount has been applied automatically.
Just because you may be heading off on holiday, that doesn’t mean the miles and points collecting stops! As I have explained today, there are a multitude of collecting options available no matter which company you are renting from this summer.
Ensure first and foremost that you are getting the very best price for your dates. The amount of miles and points available should not usually dictate which company you choose, unless of course prices compare favorably.
Being aware of these collecting opportunities means there is another opportunity to pick up some free miles and points while on holiday this summer.