Something not commonly known is that you can earn hotel points through car rentals as well as frequent flyer miles.
Earning Hotel Points Through Car Rentals
A lot of us will be collecting frequent flyer miles by giving over our frequent flyer cards to the car rental companies, but it’s probably more unusual to collect hotel points. When researching this I was actually surprised how many options there are for this, and I’m sure the list that I’ve generated isn’t complete – there are probably programs missing. I’ve split the analysis into two sections, firstly the car rental programs and their earning partners then the other way around.
Here is a rundown of you earning options by Car Rental Company:
Ace Drive – Hilton HHonors
Alamo – Club Carlson,Hilton HHonors, Wyndham Rewards
Avis – Club Carlson, Hyatt Gold Passport,Hilton HHonors, Starwood, IHG Rewards Club, Wyndham Rewards
Budget – Club Carlson,Hilton HHonors,IHG Rewards Club, Wyndham Rewards
Enterprise – Club Carlson
Europcar –Hilton HHonors, Accor
Hertz –Marriott Rewards ,IHG Rewards Club,
National – Club Carlson,Hilton HHonors, Wyndham Rewards
Sixt – Club Carlson,Hilton HHonors, Starwood
Thrifty – Hilton HHonors
Alternatively these are the partners listed by hotel chain
Accor – Europcar
Club Carlson – Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, National, Sixt
Hilton HHonors – Ace Drive, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, National, Sixt, Thrifty (US only)
Hyatt Gold Passport – Avis
IHG Rewards Club, – Avis, budget, Hertz
Marriott Rewards – Hertz
Starwood Preferred Guest – Avis, Sixt
Wyndham Rewards – Alamo, Avis, Budget, National
The earning rates for hotel points are generally worse than those you would get for your airline points. For example Avis with Hilton HHonors earns 1000 Hilton HHonors points per rental (2 days+), and with KrisFlyer you’ll earn 500. I tend to value a Hilton HHonors point at $0.5 cents (USD) per point and a KrisFlyer Mile at $1.6 cents per point (USD), so the 1,000 would be worth $5 and the 500 $8 (of course these numbers depend on what you use your miles for!).
Why Bother Collecting Through Hotel Chains?
I can see that there are a couple of situations where you might want to collect through a hotel scheme. Firstly, when the car rental company is not currently a partner of the frequent flyer scheme that you collect with. For example Enterprise is not a partner with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Malaysia Airlines Enrich. Secondly, there maybe instances where the earning rates are slightly higher for the hotel chains than through the airline partners, although I think these are rare – but I haven’t done a detailed check. Finally the last reason would be when you are just looking to top-up for that hotel redemption and need just a couple of extra points.
Don’t forget that you can always transfer the points back out of the hotel program to your preferred airline frequent flyer program.
Have you collected with a hotel partner before?