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Rental Car Surcharge Using Credit Card with FF Miles

Kauai Kid

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If you use your airline credit card to get frequent flyer miles with Thrifty they will tack on $1.50/day surcharge for using your FF credit card. :eek:

You will find it in the fine print.

Sterling
 

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If you use your airline credit card to get frequent flyer miles with Thrifty they will tack on $1.50/day surcharge for using your FF credit card. :eek:

You will find it in the fine print.

Sterling

It is not unusual to have a fee if you include your FF# in your car rental reservation to earn miles form a participating partner, but this is the first I have heard about a fee based on the kind of credit card you use. I would be interested in seeing the "fine print" if you could copy and paste it. -- Suzanne
 

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This is actually starting to happen more and more.

I had a merchant (smaller business) refurse to take my cash back rewards card (Visa). They had told me that they're charged higher fees from the banks for these cards, so they have stopped taking them.

In talking with some other friends, I've heard at least a half dozen different merchants in my area, ranging from size that are refusing to take cash back/ff cards because of the additional fees they have to pay.

Apparently this is how the card companies pay for the rewards programs, through charging the merchants increased fees. :/
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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If you use your airline credit card to get frequent flyer miles with Thrifty they will tack on $1.50/day surcharge for using your FF credit card. :eek:

You will find it in the fine print.

Sterling

Are you sure it is for using the card? I've seen the $1.50/day surcharge before for claiming FF miles. I've never seen it, though, for using the card.

The last rental I had, one week ago and not from Thrifty, had the surcharge quoted for claiming FF miles.

BTW - though the T&C say they may add a surcharge, I don't recall the last time it was actually added to one of my rentals.
 

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Apparently this is how the card companies pay for the rewards programs, through charging the merchants increased fees. :/

Absolutely. But not all merchants see it the same way. For instance, many banks and merchant providers offer a blended rate which makes it easy to understand for the merchant and easier to sell the service for the bank. Typically, that blended rate is higher than detailed rates. I'm not sure it's still this way (though it probably is) but, for instance, Costco's merchant provider (you'll see their advertisements with full page ads in their monthly publication) shows a low rate when in reality there are many different rates you may pay with their service. When my business used their service I could pay as much as 1.5% spread (or even higher) for the same Visa or MasterCard, and I didn't know what my actual rate was for each card until I received the end of month bill. There is very little transparency in the system, on purpose, and the merchant could easily see a bill for 3% or 3.5% when they thought they were paying 2%, for example.

Needless to say, I've switched my business to a different provider where the lowest rate is higher than Costco but at least I know what my maximum payment is and can budget accordingly. And our highest rate is for "business" credit cards, which include vanity cards that offer points and miles.

Basic rule to keep in mind: banks don't pay for anything that they can pass on to a customer. There is a reason they have the largest lobby and spend the most in DC.
 

hypnotiq

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Yeah, I recently went through the merchant mess when I setup my own company (outside my day to day job) and it was an overly complex web that I swear they created on purpose to extract as much as they possibly can. :doh:

Like you, I went with a service that had a slightly higher rate so that I can budget/forecast appropriately. :)
 

Kauai Kid

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Oh Yee of Little Faith:

From item 10 of the terms and conditions of the Thrifty Contract.

10. "When the renter chooses to receive Frequent Flyer miles, we will collect a Frequent Flyer surcharge, not to exceed 1.50 per day, at the time of the rental to offset a portion of the annual cost of participation in the Frequent Flyer program."

My experience with the AA frequent flyer program has been dismal--I never get to fly with frequent flyer miles.

Sterling
 

PigsDad

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Oh Yee of Little Faith:

From item 10 of the terms and conditions of the Thrifty Contract.

10. "When the renter chooses to receive Frequent Flyer miles, we will collect a Frequent Flyer surcharge, not to exceed 1.50 per day, at the time of the rental to offset a portion of the annual cost of participation in the Frequent Flyer program."
Sorry, I see nothing in that statement that has anything to do with what credit card you use. To me, this is just saying that if you want the frequent flier mile bonus from the rental company, you must pay the $1.50/day. And as others stated, this has been around with some companies for a while now.

Kurt
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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If you use your airline credit card to get frequent flyer miles with Thrifty they will tack on $1.50/day surcharge for using your FF credit card. :eek:

You will find it in the fine print.

Sterling

Oh Yee of Little Faith:

From item 10 of the terms and conditions of the Thrifty Contract.

10. "When the renter chooses to receive Frequent Flyer miles, we will collect a Frequent Flyer surcharge, not to exceed 1.50 per day, at the time of the rental to offset a portion of the annual cost of participation in the Frequent Flyer program."

My experience with the AA frequent flyer program has been dismal--I never get to fly with frequent flyer miles.

Sterling

That's nothing new - it's been there for at least five years, maybe ten.

Also note that, contrary to your original post, that has nothing to do with using your FF credit card. There is no added charge for using your FF credit card. There can be a charge for asking that FF miles be credited to your FF plan for the rental, and that applies regardless of the method of payment. You can pay cash and still get the charge assessed if you ask for FF mileage credit.

*******

The real target here is people traveling on expense account. Most individuals paying for the rental themselves will choose to not claim miles at that price. But someone traveling on an expense account is far more likely to select the rental agency based on lowest quote or where there is a negotiated contract (to meet the requirements for the corporate travel minions), then simply ask for FF mileage credit.
 

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For us it's $10.50 for 500 FF miles. A one way ticket from Wichita to Denver is around $200 and gets the same 500 FF miles. It's not a bad deal.
 
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For us it's $10.50 for 500 FF miles. A one way ticket from Wichita to Denver is around $200 and gets the same 500 FF miles. It's not a bad deal.

It is, in effect paying a little more than 2 cents a mile for the miles. Since one of the standard valuations of miles is 2 cents per mile, it is a wash. Thrifty is not awarding you miles for the rental, they are giving you the privelege to buy miles probabyly at about what they paid for them. This is a complete sham.
 

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It is, in effect paying a little more than 2 cents a mile for the miles. Since one of the standard valuations of miles is 2 cents per mile, it is a wash. Thrifty is not awarding you miles for the rental, they are giving you the privelege to buy miles probabyly at about what they paid for them. This is a complete sham.


While this may be true, it's cheaper than buying a ticket and earning them though flights only. So I pay the fee and collect the miles sham or not.
 

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It is, in effect paying a little more than 2 cents a mile for the miles. Since one of the standard valuations of miles is 2 cents per mile, it is a wash. Thrifty is not awarding you miles for the rental, they are giving you the privelege to buy miles probabyly at about what they paid for them. This is a complete sham.

I would agree. We regularly book with Alamo and look at the fee and the paltry amount of points one would actually get. In essence you are not getting free miles or a free ticket in the end.
 

dioxide45

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While this may be true, it's cheaper than buying a ticket and earning them though flights only. So I pay the fee and collect the miles sham or not.

Have you added up all the fees you paid for the miles and the number of miles earned? You would be hard pressed to find that you didn't end up overpaying for that award ticket when you cashed in the miles than if had just paid cash for the flight.
 

dougp26364

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Have you added up all the fees you paid for the miles and the number of miles earned? You would be hard pressed to find that you didn't end up overpaying for that award ticket when you cashed in the miles than if had just paid cash for the flight.

$10.50 for 500 FF miles is going to be less expensive than flying for those miles no matter how you cut it. I don't aggresively rent cars to collect miles but, if I'm renting a car, I don't mind paying the $10.50 for the extra miles.

On 6 rentals/year it amounts to $63 for 3,000 miles. If I were to fly those 3,000 miles, the RT airfare would run me at least $250 and more likely closer to $400. If I were trying to pay for a FF ticket just by paying the extra fee's renting a car, then it would take 50 rentals ($525 in fee's) and yes, that would cost more than just paying cash for the same ticket. But, that's not what I'm doing. I'm making use of an inexpensive way to pad the miles I collect through paid flights, credit cards, online shopping et....
 
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Ken555

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The best use of the rental car miles is for an account which may about to expire some miles, as this is considered account activity and renews miles for another xx months, etc.
 

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Have you added up all the fees you paid for the miles and the number of miles earned? You would be hard pressed to find that you didn't end up overpaying for that award ticket when you cashed in the miles than if had just paid cash for the flight.
Remember, booking mileage seats is not always without some 'effort' - in some instances, paying cash vs using FF miles is preferred by some.
 

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Remember, booking mileage seats is not always without some 'effort' - in some instances, paying cash vs using FF miles is preferred by some.

The few hours I spend hunting for and booking $2000-$5000 RT Biz Class tickets to Europe for "free" has always been a good deal for me. OTOH, spending any time (or miles) to book a $300 RT coach for "free" is not worth it in time or miles to me.;)

Cheers
 

Ken555

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The few hours I spend hunting for and booking $2000-$5000 RT Biz Class tickets to Europe for "free" has always been a good deal for me. OTOH, spending any time (or miles) to book a $300 RT coach for "free" is not worth it in time or miles to me.;)

Cheers


+1

Definitely the best value for ffm.
 

dioxide45

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$10.50 for 500 FF miles is going to be less expensive than flying for those miles no matter how you cut it. I don't aggresively rent cars to collect miles but, if I'm renting a car, I don't mind paying the $10.50 for the extra miles.

On 6 rentals/year it amounts to $63 for 3,000 miles. If I were to fly those 3,000 miles, the RT airfare would run me at least $250 and more likely closer to $400. If I were trying to pay for a FF ticket just by paying the extra fee's renting a car, then it would take 50 rentals ($525 in fee's) and yes, that would cost more than just paying cash for the same ticket. But, that's not what I'm doing. I'm making use of an inexpensive way to pad the miles I collect through paid flights, credit cards, online shopping et....

I guess the better question is, how much value can you get out of those 3000 points? Would it be close to the $525 you pay to get them? Does 3000 points really go a long way?
 
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