Dollar/Thrifty Go Revenue-Based and You Can’t Combine Them

Dollar/Thrift operate mirror rewards programs that are independent of each other. On February 4, both converted their rental credits program to revenue-based 1 point per dollar spend on US and Canada rentals. Other countries are excluded.

Dollar Express

The key terms for Dollar and for Thrifty are identical.

The big omission that would make the program more attractive is point combinability. I see no provision for that.

Unlike other programs, it appears points are earned on every dollar of spend, “Participants will earn one point for every qualified U.S. dollar spent on each qualifying rental. Qualifying rentals include all paid, car rentals at participating Dollar locations in the United States and Canada.” ‘Qualified’ dollar is night defined so they might weasel out.

Contrast this to programs such as Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, “Points will not be awarded on taxes, tax reimbursement, governmental surcharges or vehicle license fees, airport related fees, tolls.”

You can’t double-dip with mileage-earning. Since sweet mileage promos are few with Dollar/Thrifty, the points might be the way to go.

Awards in the US and Canada start at 500 for a weekend day, 625 for a weekday, see the full chart.

I generally avoid Dollar/Thrifty, especially in states with toll roads, because they charge a per day unlimited toll use based on point of pickup, charged every day of rental, regardless of usage as long as one toll is tripped during the rental. As an example, Newark is $18.49/day. Ouch!

They also last year copied others by adding a 75-mile express fuel fee.

I do have an expensive Orlando rental coming up and Dollar is the only low price by a long shot, so I will boot up my Florida SunPass and take my chances.

 

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  • Karen

    Regarding the SunPass, it doesn’t matter if you have a SunPass or not. We were charged for tolls even while we thought we were using our pass. There is something already on the vehicle that overrides a personal SunPass. To avoid the car rental toll charge, make sure you stop and pay the toll and get a receipt. Also avoid the toll booths that are a combo of SunPass/Cash ones as you will end up paying cash and being charged by the rental company at the same time, as it is picking up the one on the car. And avoid the tolls with no booths as there is not an option to pay with cash and you will be charged by the rental car. We have rented from Dollar many times.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Karen – that’s not good, have you tried registering the rental car to your SunPass profile? I wonder if that can make a difference. The other idea I know works in the Northeast for EZ-Pass is to log in and pay off the tolls immediately since there is a lag in reporting to the rental agencies.

  • Karen

    I just looked it up on the SunPass website. I don’t think it matters if you add the rental car to the SunPass because Dollar and a lot of other rental car companies use PlatePass and the tolls are charged, in Florida or any other state, regardless of SunPass or any other personal toll pass. The only way to avoid being charged is to avoid toll roads altogether, or stop and pay the tolls in the dual lanes not marked SunPass/Cash.