How Hotel Status Can Get You Car Rental Discounts

by joeheg

I’m pretty good at finding a good rate on a rental car. I have a system I’ve developed over the years that helps me find a good price without having to search for the absolute lowest rate. While I thought I knew most of the discounts, I didn’t find out about one particular discount until today.

Wyndham Rewards

Until a few years ago, we never stayed at a Wyndham branded hotel. It wasn’t until the company took over La Quinta and the loyalty programs merged that I started to pay attention to Wyndham Rewards. Since then, I’ve found that getting a good value for Wyndham points is possible when staying at hotels during peak season. I even transferred Citi ThankYou points to book a La Quinta room and got a 1.45 CPP value.

Over a year ago, we signed up for the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business card. Besides having a good sign-up bonus, the card earns tons of Wyndham Rewards points when you pay for gas and utilities. In addition, it provides automatic Wyndham Rewards Diamond status, which normally takes 40 nights.

Wyndham Diamond

Wyndham Rewards Diamond status comes with some nice perks, like suite upgrades and welcome amenities. But for people into points and miles who like Las Vegas, the biggest perk is that you can match the status to Caesars Rewards Diamond status. There are websites devoted to why this is a big deal, so I’m not going to get into that right now.

However, I was unaware of an additional perk of Wyndham Diamond – Car Rental Discounts.

Budget and Avis Discounts for Wyndham Platinum and Diamond Members

Hidden at the bottom of an email from Wyndham reminding me of the benefits of my credit card was this snippet.

Even better, as a DIAMOND Wyndham Rewards member, you’ll get free rental car upgrades at participating Budget locations in the U.S. and Canada (excludes Quebec).

Hmmm. I didn’t remember seeing that. I went to the Wyndham Rewards page, and right under the Caesars match is the part about rental car discounts.

a white rectangular object with a black border

I logged into Wyndham Rewards and found a link to the discount page.

a white text on a white background

Since I recently searched for a rental car, I decided to see how good the rates are. When you click the link, you’re taken to a page to search for a car. The discount codes are already there, but you can also input your AVIS Wizard or Budget Fastbreak number.

Avis discounts are up to 35%, and Budget offers up to 30% off. In addition, you’ll get a one-class upgrade.

I looked for the same dates as the rental I currently have reserved, where I’m paying around $130 for an SUV. I don’t need an SUV, but it was the cheapest-priced vehicle available.

I can pay for a Standard and receive a Full-Size car for $137. However, when I click through to book, the price jumps to $200+ when you add all the taxes.

a screenshot of a car

What initially seemed like a good deal turned out not to be a good deal at all.

I’ll add this to my list of discounts to check if I don’t find anything good with Kayak or AutoSlash. The Wyndham Rewards discount on rental cars with Budget and Avis isn’t as good a deal as it initially appears.

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