Hertz Gold Plus Rewards’ Massive No-Notice Devaluation

Filed Under: Rental Cars

I’ve gotta be honest — while I love airline and hotel loyalty programs, I don’t really get into car rental loyalty programs. I probably should, because there’s value to be had, but I just have a hard time getting excited about them. I also don’t rent cars that often, and when I do, I usually rent from Silvercar, which doesn’t have a loyalty program.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards is one of the most popular car rental loyalty programs, and it looks like they’ve just increased redemption rates for all kinds of rentals with no advance notice.

To me it’s such a slap in the face when a loyalty program makes changes without notice. We often collect points with a specific reward in mind, so to have those goalposts changed without any notice is bad form.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards isn’t even really acknowledging this change, but rather has just updated their award charts. So let’s take a look at some of their before and after pricing.

For example, here’s their former pricing for daily rentals:

Then here’s their new pricing for daily rentals:

The most basic redemption increases in price from 675 points to 750 points, which is an 11% increase. Meanwhile the price for a specialty vehicle rental increases from 1,000 points to 1,500 points, which is a 50% increase — ouch!

Here’s their former pricing for weekly rentals:

Then here’s their new pricing for weekly rentals:

As you can see, the price increases here are significant as well. For the most basic type of car, we’re seeing the price increase from 2,750 points to 3,750 points, which is a ~36% price increase. For specialty vehicles the price increases from 4,400 points to 7,500 points, which is a ~70% price increase — ouch!

Bottom line

While Hertz Gold Plus Rewards isn’t a program I’m active in, I take big issue with a program making award chart changes without notice. This isn’t cool…

Are you impacted by Hertz’s award chart changes?

(Tip of the hat to The Gate)

Comments

  1. that is an oof right there.
    It would be awesome if you guys compiled a list of the worst devaluations ever in the history of this game, as a warning sign for people fooled by those unrealistic bank advertisement thinking it is such a lucrative thing to waste time on. (AS EK F comes to mind)

  2. Yep, impacted. I don’t understand how companies completely dismiss the impact to their customer’s loyalty when they decide to implement these no notice devaluations. But, having said that, Hertz are one of the worst in responding to real customer issues and I only participate in their loyalty program simply as I rent cars and they’re one of a limited number of preferred corporate providers

  3. So upsetting. I had saved just enough points for two weekend one way rentals. Now this cost 400 more each.

    Hertz has been my favorite car rental company and program for a while. This is a tough pill to swallow.

  4. I actually am only a member of the Hertz Gold Plus for the ease of rental pick-ups and upgrades, I am President’s circle and although I have a fair number of points, I have never redeemed them. I’m sure I will at some point, but points and redemption haven’t been my focus of the program.

  5. No problem for me, I earn United award miles instead of hertz points. It’s the best way to earn ua miles.

  6. Does this surprise anyone reading your blog? I am not sure who ( most likely Delta) got away with the first unannounced devaluation then it was off and running for everyone else, It appears there is a concerted effort to keep devaluing FF points/miles across the board. Now I am not purporting a conspiracy but never the less the wonderful world of banking or saving up points is gone.

  7. I always have a hard time redeeming points anyways, especially abroad. Often see a message indicating that rental rewards are not currently accepted at this location. Hard to remember a time when I searched for international points redemption and saw any ability to redeem points at all.

  8. Meh. I am President’s Circle, been that way for 8 straight years, with over 35,000 Hertz points. Yet, every single time I try to redeem, they never have anything available. Ever. I have taken multiple trips on just points, AA and SPG/Marriott, but always have to pay for the rental.

    So, meh. Don’t care since they never have the ability to use points anyway.

  9. @Eric J I agree, my Hertz loyalty comes from the convenience and rental perks, not the points. BUT I’m modest enough to admit I struggle to turn the onther cheek when openly insulted.

    @Ben Here’s another nice datapoint on Hertz: they gave me 250 points a few months ago, I didn’t question why. As I planned for a redemption I could just barely afford, they deducted the 250 points again, with a nonexplanatory label on the line item (“account adjustment” or something). Wrote to them and two weeks later they replied that it was a Birthday gift, which they used to give members, but the policy had changed, so it was given in error. Therefore they took back the 250 points when they discovered their “error”.

    250 isn’t many points to me. It’s nothing to them. In what universe is this a sound business decision?

    Still, I stick with them for the same reason I don’t fly LCCs: IRROPS. I rented in Toronto and broke down in Western New York (foreign country!). Tow truck arrived within 30 minutes, drove me and the dead car 40 minutes to a Corporate Hertz location at an airport, I got a replacement similar car, no pushback.

    And coming up, I’ve a 4-day “fullsize standard” booking, in which I was offered Range Rover, Cadillac SUV, or Jaguar HF for $5 more, just because. (Amex Platinum helps, cuz you get 4 hours grace at the end.)

    So yeah, the points aren’t the good part. And the deval makes it worse.

  10. I’ve never understood why people are surprised or hurt by redemption increases, even if unannounced. Do rental car companies and airlines have to notify you every time they increase a cash fare? Do grocery stores need to notify you when the price of bananas increases? Do gas stations need to notify you that prices are increasing next week? I earn fuel rewards at Kroger and gas just increased by $0.10/gal now I can’t get as good of a redemption, how dare them!

  11. For a long time I collected Hertz points. every time I attempted to redeem them (typically on just a roundtrip weekly award), the taxes and fees were so high that it was always cheaper to use costco travel car rentals. Last month all my hertz points expired (the expiration policy is rough in the first place).

    I’m not happy about the devaluation, but honestly, they made it hard to get value from the points in the first place.

  12. To all of the Hertz renters… Have you tried National? Emerald club, IMO, is just as convenient. Emerald Executive gives you reliably better cars. Executive elite guarantees you a premium or better car.

    And better yet, no points to worry about – rent 5 times (exec elite) and you get a free day – weekend, weekday, one-way – no restrictions, no additional point spend… Its just a free day for you to use when/where/how you want. So easy!

    Since moving to National, I haven’t looked back. Maybe this change by Hertz will help renters reevaluate their loyalty and try something new.

  13. @Spruce Goods Interesting point! I honestly can’t decide if I agree or disagree. Perhaps both.

    These are supposed to be “loyalty” programs, so I guess it seems insulting to “the most loyal” customers to do sneaky no-notice devals. Also, redemptions are aspirational, so people are trying to plan for them. On the other hand, as you say, people plan to buy cash rentals/travel and if the price goes up before they commit, they’re out of luck. In those cases, we don’t tend to blame the providers.

    I’d say that of course the companies are “entitled” to do these devals, but like Lucky, I’m not sure it’s in their interest, if they’re going for loyalty, to be quite so curt about it.

  14. I rent from Hertz because of their rates on one-way rentals (the bulk of my car rentals are one-way). It sucks that they have devalued their program with no notice, but until they decide to start throwing on one-way drop fees like everyone else seems to, I guess I get to deal with it.

  15. Meh. I’m President’s Circle but wouldn’t consider myself loyal. I always opt for United miles instead of points. They have a nice agreement through which 1Ks can get 2750 miles per 2 day rental, which is worth far more than any points Hertz has ever offered me.

    The car rental industry in general is ripe for renovation. I wish Silvercar was more widely available.

  16. Trying to redeem points is a nightmare, especially since they have all sorts of blackout dates for Standard rewards. This devaluation makes their loyalty program go from bad to abysmal. I rent with National whenever I can – way better on many fronts.

  17. Seems like the only thing that doesn’t increase at a rate of 36 to 50% every few years is my salary. LOL

  18. Notice, they increased the points you get for the packages on the Daily Getaways offer for Hertz. Makes it a great deal again! Kudos to Daily Getaways for sticking to their advertising.

  19. The points always kinda sucked anyway given all the limitations. I have also noticed a steep decline in the standard of vehicles Hertz offers customers with Presidents Circle status. Time and time again I have been told that the ‘guaranteed upgrade’ is only based on availability – so it’s not guaranteed then? If that happens you’re entitled to a refund or compensation but good luck with that. I think the time has come to re-evaluate my loyalty as I am fed up of being given the keys to ancient Camry’s with upwards of 40,000 miles on them. As a frequent renter, it just isn’t acceptable.

  20. Hertz loyalist here, pissed off by the changes, quite a lot. Airfares and gas rates aren’t promoted as though they are fixed for long periods of time. That is one major difference. I have about 18K points. I was debating using some for an upcoming trip and now wish I had. I am still debating using them, but that would be to switch loyalty after many years to probably Enterprise since they are in my neighborhood. As for earning, I mostly earn Virgin Atlantic miles now since there are no fees for foreign airline crediting and my rentals are typically very short, and I have no airline status as a multiplier anyway. Virgin is flexible at many points levels given Delta, ANA, South African, and Virgin itself, also easy to top off if desired. Been questioning my decision to stop earning Hertz points a year ago, but now it feels prescient. Wow.

  21. This sucks. We have been loyal to Hertz. Even though their cars were becoming subpar we stuck with them. We saved our points as gold members for 2 years. We finally got enough for a full week rental using points alone. We were leaving as soon as school was out. This has !destroyed our trip . Welll goodbye Hertz after we use the points we’re going to another rental company. There’s one right down the street

  22. Very disappointed by the change, the sharpness of the increase, and the lack of notice. The only plus is that this will make it easy to take my business elsewhere.

  23. As a Hertz President’s Circle member, I’ve never really had good ways to redeem Hertz points. Whatever Hertz points I had, I transferred to Southwest RapidRewards, and I designated to receive Delta miles for my upcoming trip. As many before me have mentioned, Hertz points are almost impossible to use.

  24. WOW this is a big blow, I am thinking back to National. Will discuss with company travel planner. Might lose us all over this.

  25. I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve successfully booked 3 different one-week free rentals which were each available on my choice of dates. You have to be careful about how steep the particular airport’s fees/taxes are, as they must still be paid by the customer. But I suppose those days are over. They’ve increased a weekly rental by 1,000 points. There is no way that that is good value. I’ve had a great relationship with Hertz and may stick with them. I just won’t be crediting my rentals to Hertz anymore. It sounds like United Airlines is probably the way to go based on previous comments.

  26. I’m Hertz Presidents Circle as well and I could not care less about their points scheme. There is low value to the program except for being able to choose your own car, the double upgrade and often great AAA rates.

  27. As with all the other replys, almost impossible to redeem points anyway. Big farce loyalty program.

  28. Do you think they will roll back the changes, at least temporarily give all the negative feedback?

  29. The couple of times that I tried to redeem, just like other responses, no availability. Many thousands of points accumulated over many years = worthless. I voted with my wallet and stopped renting with Hertz. My last rental – last week – was through TURO. Great car, great experience. Bye Hertz.

  30. I am sending an email right now to presidentscirclecustomerserviceAThertz.com
    I suggest everyone do the same. I am prepared to switch my business to Avis and National in a heartbeat. Vote with your wallet and let them know about it.

  31. I was able to use points exactly once. Now I’m all National unless rates say Hertz. E.g. next month Hertz was 1/3 the price of National for me. Good ping to switch my earning – aside from UA status members any other airline bonuses to be aware of?

  32. I’m Presidents Circle and just lost 5,000 points due to the new change and now this. Time to switch? Maybe. Or, at least change the earning to airmiles. The benefits are good and the rates that I find are good too.

  33. Been a long time Presidents Circle member with 22000 points.
    Totally screwed by the devaluation.
    I did notice the system was having issues redeeming online last week and had to call in to actually redeem points. Guess they were prepping the system for it.
    Kicking myself for not reserving next year’s reservations in advance.

  34. I may be missing something here – but doesn’t this mean that the upcoming Daily Getaways promo gets you 10 car rental days @28 $ per day, i.e. better than the sold out promo?

  35. I’m Hertz President’s Circle…I have very specific goals in mind when I reserve a rental. I observed the devaluation when I made a reservation on last week. I was totally thrown. Give me a heads up, at least. Just a smidgen of professional courtesy would go such a long way.

  36. I made PC with Hertz a few years ago and it was nothing special.

    And especially at PC heavy LAX, not that they weren’t nice, but when there with 200 other President Circle members expecting complementary Mercedes upgrades and only 2 are in the lot. Upgrades tended to be more a slightly better Kia.

    Didn’t bother to qualify again and moved over to Silvercar.

    Glad I cashed out the points and moved on.

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