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Old Mar 1, 13, 4:40 am   #1
 
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Frequent Flyer Mileage Tax?

Got my bill from Avis - again not good:

1. Forced DCC again, despite I tried to change the billing currency at Preferred desk at LAX, writing email back and for the to Avis Sweden.

2. I didn't realise that Avis charged me $0.91 per day for having UA miles I have NEVER heard of this before

I wrote to Avis to tell them that I want to return the miles and get my $ back since the miles are so expensive to get. They refused (as expected).

Googled a bit to find about about this 'tax' and I found an old FT thread about it about 3 years ago. AFAIK it's only for US FFP, am I right?
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Old Mar 1, 13, 5:05 am   #2
 
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Am surprised you haven't noticed the 'surcharge/tax' whatever you want to call for taking FFP miles. It's been around - as you note - for several years.
Hertz does the same thing. I know on the Hertz booking page there's a note that highlights the charge for taking airline/hotel points.
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Old Mar 1, 13, 8:45 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
Am surprised you haven't noticed the 'surcharge/tax' whatever you want to call for taking FFP miles. It's been around - as you note - for several years.
Hertz does the same thing. I know on the Hertz booking page there's a note that highlights the charge for taking airline/hotel points.
Of course not - I don't live in the US (I think it's American culture to charge you whatever they can charge you on top of what they have already charged you, such as resort fee, fees, tax etc.)

It was never quoted in my reservation and in the paper it said FTP Sur $ - come on what does it stand for?

Also it's supposed to be 0.75 per day but somehow they added more fee on top to make it 0.91 per day?

Avis ought to highlight it like Hertz does - at least it gives people a chance to decide if they really want to pay for the points - again it's supposed to be that you 'earn' miles and not 'buy' miles.

I also get robbed 3% from Avis because they forced me to use DCC
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Old Mar 1, 13, 12:43 pm   #4
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FTP is the frequent traveler program surcharge. It's crappy and could be disclosed better by Avis instead of just at http://www.avis.com/car-rental/conte...r-US_en-010813

They hit you for 0.75/day for US airlines except Southwest and USAir, which are 1.00/day. Hotel programs (except Choice Hotels) and foreign airlines don't have the fee.
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Old Mar 1, 13, 1:30 pm   #5
 
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Thanks! I have definitely learned the lesson in an expensive way - seriously I don't need the miles but I saw that UA generates more miles than other airlines and I wasn't aware of the fee.

Long time ago I rented a car in Avis MCO back in 2004, and they charged me $1 to credit miles to my SAS Eurobonus. I was annoyed about it but ok $1 is not that bad.

0.91 per day is a lot more - good that I only needed the car for 10 days, what if I did a 2 months rental?
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Old Mar 1, 13, 3:48 pm   #6
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The fee is actually a way for the car-rental companies to offset the Federal excise tax that the U.S. government charges the companies when miles are credited to domestic (U.S.) airlines.

I've never been charged a fee by Hertz or Avis for crediting miles to Virgin Atlantic's program (usually 1,000 miles for even a one-day rental).
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Old Mar 1, 13, 7:39 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
0.91 per day is a lot more - good that I only needed the car for 10 days, what if I did a 2 months rental?
Looking at the Avis page again, it says they charge the "equivalent" of 75 cents/day. I guess they can claim 91 cents is equivalent to 75 in other geographies...
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Old Mar 1, 13, 9:55 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
Thanks! I have definitely learned the lesson in an expensive way
Seriously? 91 cents is the expensive way? Expensive? 91 cents?
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Old Mar 2, 13, 10:49 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
Seriously? 91 cents is the expensive way? Expensive? 91 cents?
Well it's not 91 cents - it's $9.1 (good that I'm not renting for 2 months or more). I don't need the miles anyway - especially when I have to pay to get them.

Also why should Avis only charge for some airlines? And why do they have some that are 75 cents but some are $1? Somehow I don't know why my charge ended up being 9.1 instead of 7.5 - even if you put 11% tax on.

I did ask Avis about this but I haven't got a reply yet.

I think they are just using these small charges + forced DCC to increase their revenue without putting their prices up.
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Old Mar 2, 13, 4:57 pm   #10
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"Also why should Avis only charge for some airlines?"

Because the U.S. government taxes Avis on miles credited to domestic airline programs.

As to why Avis charges more for some domestic programs than others, that I do not know.
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Old Mar 2, 13, 7:39 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
Also why should Avis only charge for some airlines?
Quote:
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Because the U.S. government taxes Avis on miles credited to domestic airline programs.
However, Avis (per the above link) only charges for some airlines. They don't charge for AA or DL (and possibly others)... I'm not sure why they don't hit for all US based airlines.
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Old Mar 3, 13, 12:40 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
However, Avis (per the above link) only charges for some airlines. They don't charge for AA or DL (and possibly others)... I'm not sure why they don't hit for all US based airlines.
Look again at the last paragraph - Avis does charge for AA and DL, but in a different manner (just the excise tax, not the cost of the miles or the program). Interestingly, you can use the $.06 approximate daily cost to calculate an estimate of what they're supposedly paying for miles - $.06/7.5%/50 miles per day = ~1.6 cpm. Must have gotten kind of expensive for them when they ran the 3K/5K AA miles promo last summer. And they did charge the 7.5% excise tax on the promo miles in most states.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:56 pm   #13
 
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I can avoid the FF tax by hitting the add mileage/points button post-rental, right?

I assume that the completed reservation must have used the corresponding FF coupon number in order for me to retroactively add mileage?
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Old Apr 5, 13, 9:08 pm   #14
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What gets me is that I'm charged this FF fee, but Avis has failed to correctly credit my FFP for several years now.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 6:27 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
What gets me is that I'm charged this FF fee, but Avis has failed to correctly credit my FFP for several years now.

You've been paying a fee for years without getting credit? That sounds like a complete waste of money.
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