|by Brad Tuttle||Loyalty Programs, Rental Cars||18|
Normally, you can become a member of Hertz's loyalty club only by paying an annual fee of $60.
Now through April 30, though, a special promotion from Hertz is granting free one-year membership in the Hertz Club Gold. After the first year, members pay $60 annually.
What benefits, exactly, does Club Gold membership provide travelers? The perks include the ability to skip lines (via specially designated counters or lots where you can head straight to the car), fast dropoff (park the car, leave the keys behind, and go), and, of course, the possibility of free rental days (each rental generates points, which can be traded in for free rentals later). If these benefits sound a lot like those included in other car rental reward programs, it's because they're pretty much are.
In Hertz' breakdown of various elite levels of membership, Club Gold sits at the very bottom. There are no special bonus rewards on rentals, and no guaranteed upgrades for mere Club Gold members.
Why, then, does Hertz Club Gold cost $60 annually in the first place? That's a good question. Loyalty programs from Alamo, Thrifty, Enterprise, and other car rental agencies are free to join, as are loyalty clubs for nearly every hotel and airline.
Apparently, Hertz feels its services, and its loyalty club, are simply worth paying more for. The company does tend to rank highly in many customer service satisfaction surveys, but then again it doesn't necessarily always receive top honors.
In any event, if you've always wanted to become a part of Hertz's loyalty club but didn't want to have to pay the annual fee, here's your chance.
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