Rental cars: Hertz changes its loyalty program

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— Courtesy kabell4/myBudgetTravel
Driving in Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hertz, America's largest car rental company, has switched from its #1 Awards loyalty program to a new rewards system called Gold Plus rewards. Unlike with Avis's program, points can be redeemed for free car rentals without blackout dates. Unlike with Avis's and National's programs, points don't expire as long as you rent a car or cash in points every two-year period.

It's free to sign up, and Hertz is offering a 500-point sign-up bonus, redeemable for one free weekend day rental.

Even more intriguing, I think, is that Hertz is waiving its usual annual fee for its #1 Club Gold service, which offers expedited service to members. The #1 Club Gold service lets you skip the rental car counters at 40 major airport locations and have expedited service at more than a thousand other locations. It's free, instead of having to pay the first year of the $60 membership fee, for new members joining through September 30, 2011. Check out the Hertz loyalty program website for details.

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