I’ve rented a fair amount of cars in my life, this is from a decent amount of work travel primarily. I have expiring/now expired 16,837 points in my account. However, points are only actually valuable if you get any usage out of them. I’ll essentially expire worthless, have determined Hertz/this program sucks, and would advise you to essentially use any competitor. The reasons why are as follows.
The Hertz Website Sucks
The current 2021 website is full of all sorts of broken links, links that don’t take you to the page they say; same links that take you to different pages, and so on. You have to log in multiple times to site parts (like a main Hertz area and a points area – despite being the same domain) – another silly thing is you currently can’t hit enter on the main user/login page; you have to click the Login button. You can hit enter, the page just acts like you put in the wrong password. The whole thing is pretty janky and frustrating.
The Hertz Points Program Sucks
Car programs are not overly generous with their points; and to give you an understanding of the amount I’ve accrued, a rental car standard award (blackout dates apply) is 750 points, or 1,500 for an any day/no blackout date award. 3,000 for 4 days as a standard award. A week is 3,750. Two is 7,500. A week of a prestige car (Audi A4, Cadillac Escalade, various Mercedes) is 12,500 points; a week of an adrenaline collection car (currently various Camaro SS, some convertibles) is 11,000 points. I have a lot of points.
However I’ve not been able to use these points. Often a location simply does not have cars available for points inventory. I would also like to try a cool car, and have specifically looked at prestige/adrenaline cars – which are certainly not available at every location. They are in places like the Miami airport; so that is one of the places I tried to rent one. However none of them were actually made available via points for rental. So on paper I have a ton of points, from a ton of rentals – but in reality they have not been all that useful.
Hertz Support and Points Expiration Policy Sucks
I’ve spoken to 4 Hertz representatives over the last week, and all conversations have been painful. This has included 2 prior to my rental in which case I made it known that 1. I’m in Mexico City, Mexico and 2. My entire purpose of making a rental was to generate points activity in my account. This is a pretty simple thing to understand, but 3 of the 4 people I spoke to seemed to struggle with it. Zero of the people, including the pre-reservation I did make, informed me that my rental in Mexico City would not count towards points activity or keeping my account alive. This is because you do not need rental activity in your account, you need rental activity from some corporate location in your account. There are zero of these in Mexico, and the place I did go to appears to be some kind of licensed franchisee or whatever. I would not be surprised if the only corporate locations are those actually in the US.
They also can do nothing for your billing there. My reservation was $79, I went to my Hertz location, told them I don’t even need the car, it was just to generate points (which they also did not inform me I would not receive) – and they even added on all the extra stuff I denied (insurance this and that) to give me a cost of $175 – after telling them I would not even pick up the car, they could just write down that I did it. After 2 visits and 5 rounds of pricing, in the end I was charged $90. Hertz corporate pushes all billing related anything to the franchisee, so I have zero real way of getting this $10 overcharge back. Which in the end was not even $90 of keeping my large points cache alive, but $90 to do nothing but absolutely be screwed as all my points expire anyway. I also cannot rent a car (with money or points) for another person in the US for a day and have this count towards rental activity; I need to be present to make the rental. So my only options at this point are to let my points expire, or fly to the US, rent a car for 10 minutes, then fly back to Mexico; which Hertz corporate didn’t really seem to understand was not a great solution.
Hertz Loyalty to Customers Sucks
Obviously I’ve rented a few cars to acquire this many points; and Hertz could not really give a crap about me losing them or losing me as a customer.
Hertz Pricing Sucks
Rarely (never?) does Hertz actually come up as price competitive in a regular search. If you are using a regular car rental agency, there is little value in choosing them. If you’re not actually driving, you are likely better off getting an Uber on a trip. If you are driving, other car companies will typically be more price competitive. You can drive a lot more interesting cars and still have price competitiveness using Turo. The only real reason to even consider Hertz at all is if you are not price sensitive, typically for expensed corporate travel. Even then, it has enjoyed more of a history of ubiquitousness, but that is not even really the case at present; by market share the largest major rental company is Enterprise, who also owns National and Alamo. Avis is also quite large.
There’s simply no reason to seek loyalty or spend your money at Hertz. The reality of car rental for trips should be:
- Simply avoid having to deal with one if you are going to a city, mostly walking, and can simply use Uber or Lyft or taxis, etc. instead.
- For personal travel, the likelihood of capturing and actually using value from a rental car points policy is fairly low; low enough I would disavow company loyalty and simply go with whatever is cheapest and/or most fun/cool/interesting (eg. Turo).
- For corporate work travel and rentals, you’re almost assuredly better off at Enterprise or Avis over Hertz.