Many of you may be wondering why we’re flying out of Boston instead of Ottawa….
It’s certainly a fair question. And I’m happy to share. So sorry…
The biggest reason is simply because I found five business class seats on Japan Airlines in their Sky Suites. I booked those seats using award miles from Alaska MIles. I have never flown on Alaska Air but I can still earn (and convert to) their mileage program quite easily. Certainly enough for all five of us to fly in business class half way around the world. And with a free stopover to boot!
But it still leaves the question, why are we driving to Boston instead of flying?
Car Rental Credits are Meant for Car Rental Rewards – Not for Airline Mileage or Hotel Points
I’m all about best value. And getting the biggest bang for my buck… or my point or mile or whatever tender I have available. Why wouldn’t I try to maximize anything I’ve got to trade for it’s best value?
So overall, we’re driving from Ottawa to Boston because I’m doing a little more travel hacking of course. And it’s a super easy and natural kind of travel hacking that will work for anyone who travels a bit for work or leisure.
When you rent a car for work or leisure, consider attributing that rental to a car rental rewards program.
How to Earn Free One-Way Car Rentals with National Emerald Club
There are two car rental company loyalty programs that stand out amongst them all in terms of perks … National Emerald Club and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. They are both excellent rewards programs but for this post I’m going to focus on the loyalty program for National Car Rental which is National Emerald Club.
When you rent vehicles from National Car Rental (or it’s subsidiary, Enterprise Car) you earn one rental credit for each qualifying rental. Under the base (and slowest earning) loyalty status as a member of Emerald Club, for every seven qualifying rentals you make, you earn a free one day rental.
National Emerald Club Sweet Spot! – Free One Way Car Rentals
The big travel hack part of the National Emerald Club free one day rental is that it can be used for one way car rentals! That’s huge! Huge, I say !
A one way rental drop off generally costs hundreds of dollars. Hundreds.
But when you use a free one day rental it literally just costs a few bucks. Plus the cost of fuel of course. Our one way drop off was a whopping $1.19!
No really, see….
Ottawa to Boston. Toronto to Philadelphia. Montreal to Atlanta. Orlando to Ottawa in 21 hours. The list goes on. And on… and on.
Anywhere you can travel within a twenty-four hour period is easily accessible to you when you’ve earned a one day free rental credit. Imagine what you can do with two!?!
Seven rentals! That’s a lot, you say. It’s just over one rental twice a month. And Emerald Club allows a secondary driver on their reservations. So a couple can combine their rental credits. There is a negative here, as both of you need to show up on the pick up day. But, think of the possibilities for a bit of inconvenience. And then there are weekend ‘neighbourhood rentals’ where you can rent an Enterprise car for just $12 per day with limited but reasonable mileage allowance.
There are way more perks to National’s Emerald Club, but this one day free rental is a pretty cool one that can give you almost free travel to destinations super far away. And the more people you’re travelling with… well, the merrier (and more lucrative) it will be!
If you’ve got the time to drive, long distance road travel just got more accessible! And certainly more affordable!
Oh, and each year, National launches it’s Rent Rent Rewards promotion that allows you to earn a free rental credit after every two qualifying rentals. This last year in Canada it ran from September to February and then was extended a bit further.
I have way more tips and tricks. This is a boring one. Follow along!