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I really don’t want to jump into the debate concerning whether or not the new law forcing airlines to post the full price is good or not for us as flyers, but it does cover an interesting point that is talked about here in the MSNBC news video:
Recently I had a great rental experience with Enterprise during my last ski trip to Salt Lake talked about in this blog post unlike the horrible one with Budget in RSW. I loved the Dodge car, the price and the service by the staff was exceedingly professional and everyone was nice, well dressed, and had smiles on their faces and thanked me over and over for my business. Seems perfect right?
But there were a few “curve balls” tossed at me that thankfully my quick thinking mind dismissed or were prepared for. What am I talking about amidst this idyllic rental experience and in regard to the MSNBC piece? I had my reservation in hand. I had filled out that I did not want their collision coverage as I have USAA and full coverage on my vehicles and they extend the same benefit to me when I rent. This is where the reps got sneaky on me. They hit me with two good sells that I said no to and I think you should too (keep reading to see why).
# 1 was – what is your deductible, $500, oh, we can sell you a small rider to cover that so you do not have to pay anything out of pocket if something happens!
#2 was - if you pre-pay now, the price per gallon is 20 cents off per gallon over the price in the area.
Now when you quickly hear these two, they sound reasonable. It is brilliant marketing and kudos to the one who came up with this pitch. But both are bunk. Here is why. At the bottom of my “Best Point Cards” link page I have links to Visa, MC and AMEX benefits. Now they DO VARY by card issuer so you must make sure of what your card includes. But, I paid for this rental with my Capital One Visa card. Look at this part you can reference here:
“If you have personal automobile insurance or other insurance covering this theft or damage, the Visa Auto Rental CDW benefit reimburses you for the deductible portion of your personal automobile insurance”
So, I would have been paying twice for the same coverage. Now the gas. 20 Cents off sounds like a really good deal right? If you tell them you will bring it back full and then don’t, they upcharge you a crazy per gallon fee. But think about this. If the tank is say 18 gallons, you are talking about $3.60 savings. Thus, if there was just 1 gallon remaining in the tank I was break even. 2 or 3 gallons and I was loosing money big time.
The trend to upsell is everywhere. Car, hotels you name it. So be ready. Be smart. Know your credit card features IN ADVANCE. A little planning can save you money and that is a good thing. – René