The USAA rental car promotion is a bit of a bust, after testing the pricing for an upcoming trip.
About a week ago, I received a flyer from USAA with a list of the USAA rental car promotion, which is in effect until 12/31/2014 (Enterprise does not have an expiration date, and I believe you can always book Enterprise through them). However, after doing some playing around with the promotion, the savings are not really that great.
I have an upcoming trip to Seattle in November, so I used that trip to compare the regular prices with the promotional prices. Here’s the breakdown on how the promotions work and whether they really offer any savings:
Avis: There is actually a minimum number of days required under this promotion in order to get the discount from them. Their requirement is five days, which may work for some people, but I rarely need a car for that length of time. Therefore, I was not able to get a promotional value for my weekend trip to Seattle.
Budget: No deal here, the price was exactly the same with the promotion than it was when I didn’t enter the promotion code. The promotion was a bust for me to try and use it for the Seattle trip through Budget.
Enterprise: The weekend I was looking at did not have any difference when I tried to book it through the USAA website and the regular website. The price was exactly the same.
Hertz: This is the only company that legitimately offered a “discount.” There was about a $6 savings if I booked through them using this promotion, which isn’t a huge savings, and it was still more expensive than Avis and Budget, even with the discount.
Overall, I’d say the overall discount factor for this promotion is a bit of a bust. However, there are other benefits that some people might find beneficial:
- Free enrollment in priority programs so you can skip the lines
- Unlimited mileage on most vehicles
- No additional driver fees for spouses or USAA family members
- Young driver fees waved for USAA members ages 18-24 (Hertz) or ages 21-24 (Avis, Budget, and Enterprise)
- Primary liability coverage included
Some of those benefits are pretty good, but I think if you are looking to really save money, this promotion doesn’t really get you much in that respect.