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Costco Travel hack (Car rental)


Since I got so much help from Jeremy wanted to share this little hack for the community. It's not really points based but I have saved hundreds of dollars a year on car rentals.

1.) Have to have Costco membership. If you rent a car for a vacation at least once a year for even a few days you can pay for this membership

2.) Book a car rental through costco travel portal 1-2 months ahead of time if possible

3.) Check every week, mid-week for lower rates

4.) Costco allows you to cancel at any point, so you just cancel the other and rebook

I know this doesn't sound that fancy but it's been incredible to me the savings I reaped. When you book with costco they never hold you r card. In fact I have literally not cancelled and the reservation just goes into the either cuz I didn't pick it up.

Just an example...I have an upcoming rental for 2 weeks. I booked a week ago and was able to get prices for $380 for two weeks. I checked back in a couple days and it had already dropped...just 10 bucks so I booked it again, cancelled the old one. Now I look at the rates and they are still far out, but are at $800.

5.) When you get closer to the actual day of the trip, check again. A lot of times the rentals won't sell so the rates just keep dropping.  Again I did this on a trip to hawaii...started out with a rental cost of around $800, got it down to 500, then later 300-400.

Nice! I have not used Costco car rental before, I'll have to check it out next time we visit the US.

One thing I will do for car rental "discounts" is rent from non-airport locations. Airport sites have the highest taxes and fees.

For example, last year we rented a car for 3 weeks in Minnesota. Getting a car straight out of MSP was going to be about $1200 for 3 weeks or something crazy like that. Instead my bro picked us up from the airport, and then Hertz sent a Lyft to his place to pick me up and I got the same class car for <$900. In the past, I've also just taken an Uber from the airport to the Hertz less than 5 minutes from MSP.

For the return, we drove the rental car to MSP and returned it there (I think.) As far as I recall, the extra fees/taxes only applied when the rental originated at the airport.

Interesting. I am from MN so will pay attention to the MSP deal you mentioned. Is it state specific in terms of taxes?

Your find is worth looking into ...but must say I have never found a better deal than the airport. Not sure why. There is so much more going on at MSP though....who knows. Could be a lot of different market fluctuations. Last time I flew into Buffalo we didn't find any better deals outside the airport--and I did look.

I've seen this often.

For awhile I was living in California and going to Seattle for meetings at least once a month. The savings from picking up a rental car at an off-airport location and returning to the airport paid for the Uber to the rental facility and then some.


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