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I rented a car this past weekend in Albuquerque.
And I’m renting another one this upcoming weekend for a work trip to Austin.
I’ve rented enough cars by this point to rely solely on 2 places to look: the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and Costco Travel. One or the other of them has the best deal almost always.
For good measure, I usually run a search through Kayak, too – just to be sure.
Last week, I booked through Costco. And this week, I booked through Chase. One of them simply always works out for the best.
In This Post
A quick comparison
- Link: Costco Travel
Here are the 3 searches I ran for next week:
In this case, for an intermediate car, Chase has the best price.
Kayak had some good deals, too. You can rent a “wild card” vehicle for ~$177 and they’ll tell you the company after you complete your purchase via Priceline.
Furthermore, you can also see prices for Sixt and Hertz on Kayak – which you’ll notice are both absent from Costco’s matrix of prices.
So the benefit of running a search through Kayak is the additional information and comparison. Even still, I’ve always found the best price through Chase or Costco. In this example, it happens to be Chase. Keep in mind too, this is just one example.
Last week, Costco had the best rates. Look at both and pick the cheapest option for the type of car you want.
All else equal, which is better?
I prefer booking through Chase, actually. Because you prepay for your rental.
So when you arrive to pick up the car, they hand you the keys and you’re off. When you return, they give you a receipt.
But, there’s a huge thing to note about Chase. You can ONLY rent from airports. I have DAL right up the road from me, so it’s only ~5 minutes away. This could definitely affect your decision. But for airport rentals, it’s hard to beat!
With Costco, you pay after the reservation is complete.
So it depends on whether you have a preference for paying upfront or after the fact. I like getting it over with. But if prices are similar, and you have feelings one way or the other, this could be the deciding factor.
Add Autoslash to the mix for price protection
- Link: Autoslash
For added security, I recommend adding your rental information into Autoslash. They’ll track the price of your rental based on your confirmation number, dates, and rental car company. Currently, they cover these companies:
This is just good practice.
Because if you book far in advance, prices are nearly certain to fluctuate. And if you book a few days into the future, like I just did, you’ll know if the price suddenly drops the day before.
Depending on the length of your rental and how much you’ve paid, the savings could add up.
I’ve never had to rebook a rental through Chase or Costco, which I suppose is a testimony to their good prices. But I still add everything to Autoslash on that off-chance. I’d gladly cancel and rebook quickly to save some cash!
If you don’t have a Costco membership or a card with Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can still do well simply searching through Kayak. In my example above, you’d only pay ~$10 more to book on Kayak via Priceline.
This is by far my best tip for getting the best price on car rentals, though I know there are plenty of other tricks. Did you
If you know of a good way to get a deal on a car rental, please let me know about it! I’m genuinely curious, as I tend to rent a car every month or two.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.