Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Redemption Stories: Using Diners Club Club Reward Points for a Hertz Car Rental

For our Maui trip back in February we rented a large SUV to shuttle us around the island. We picked a 7/8 passenger SUV (Ford Explorer or similar) from Hertz as they had some of the best pricing and we could take advantage of an Aeroplan bonus mile offer for Hertz rentals.

Related: Earning Stories: 2,500 Aeroplan Miles on a Hertz SUV rental in Maui

I put the car rental charges on my Diners Club MasterCard for two reasons. It has no cap on rental car value for the CDW just in case we got an upgrade (and we did, read the related story above!) and the possibility of using Club Rewards points for the charge. In the end I did end up using points for the rental:

So as you can see the rental ended up costing us 47 cents as you don't redeem points for portions under $1. I pretty much only use the Diners Club card for the Tailored Travel Credit redemptions to save us money on our vacations (see my other Diners Club redemption stories here). The redemption rate works out to a 1.7% return on my spending, of course there are cards out there that could have got me 2% however I wouldn't have been able to drive around in an upgraded luxury SUV with those cards. This is one card where I am willing to give up the .3% return for the benefits it provides like the great CDW and airport business class lounge access. 

That being said, the Club Rewards Program is changing on April 6th and the tailored travel credit drops to a 1.5% return. So that has got me thinking about my main MasterCard choice. It may be time to move to another card but keep this one for car rentals and the airport lounge access. The good thing is you can also convert Club Rewards points to 19 airline and hotel programs at OK but not great ratios unless they run a promotion. For example I did convert Club Rewards points during their last bonus for British Airways where the redemption rate of 1,250 points gave 1,300 Avios instead of 1,000.

Unfortunately the Diners Club Club Rewards MasterCard is not available for new applications but you could use some of the following cards to do the same type of partial (or full) redemption towards the travel charge:
Ultimately this redemption shows the power in proprietary credit card programs. You don't have to redeem for flights only, you have lots of options. You also earn points on the charge at first not to mention potential frequent flyer miles like we did (2,500 Aeroplan Miles) and technically you don't have to have all the points, you can do a  partial redemption or wait  longer to redeem more points against that charge. This is why we believe proprietary credit card programs are the best option for most Canadians.

Related: Why proprietary credit card reward programs are the best option for most Canadians

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