Unless you’re a frequent renter with a company, it usually pays to earn airline points instead of car rental credits. Car rental loyalty programs are notoriously stingy and were some of the only companies to let points expire during the COVID pandemic.
Car rental programs also make it difficult to set your preferences to earn airline miles instead of points. I’ve even had Dollar “reset my account preference” to earn points, which ended up expiring.
It’s always helpful to add your loyalty number to your reservation, as you’ll set your preferences and may be able to skip the counter altogether. . However, when Autoslash found a last-minute price drop on a rental from Dollar, Sharon didn’t have time to sign up for an account.
Now that I’m going through the receipts, I wanted to get airline miles for the rental. Dollar doesn’t make it easy to find, but there’s an online form to apply for missing airline miles. Google led me to https://www.dollar.com/Help/FrequentFlyerFeedback.aspx, which allows you to apply for missing miles.
Dollar has several airline partners with different earning potentials:
- Alaska Mileage Plan – 50 miles per qualifying rental day
- ANA Mileage Club – 300 miles per rental
- American AAdvantage – 50 base miles per rental day
- Avianca LifeMiles – 50 miles per rental day
- Delta SkyMiles – 500 miles per qualifying rental
- Emirates Skywards – 500 miles per qualifying rental
- Frontier Miles – 50 miles per day on 1-4 day rentals or 500 miles for rentals of 5 days or more
- JAL Mileage Bank – 300 miles per qualifying rental
- Southwest Rapid Rewards – 600 points per qualifying rental
- Spirit Free Spirit – 50 miles per day on 1-4 day rentals or 500 miles for rentals of 5 days or more
I filled out the form with the information requested and applied to earn Southwest miles for the 2-day rental. Dollar says I should have a response in 5-8 business days but it could take up to 60 business days for the miles to post to Sharon’s account.
You have 6 months from the rental date to request miles. According to the website, you can only apply for retroactive Dollar points if you were a member on the date of your rental. There’s no such language that I could find for applying for airline miles.
Who knows when or if we’ll ever see these miles? I’ll give an update when we get a reply.
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Do auto rental companies still charge a fee if you opt for getting airline miles rather than rental-car points? I believe they did that in the past.
Many companies charge for you to earn airline miles instead of earning rental points. The amounts are clearly stated on their respective websites. However, I’ve never been charged when retroactively crediting rentals for airline miles. That always can change and I’ll let everyone know if that happens in this case.