Originally Posted by FrequentFlyKid
I did some reading about Dollar's "Dollar Express" program and it left me with more questions than answers. What are the real, tangible benefits? It requires me to put in a valid credit card. How and when would it authorize/charge my card for a rental? What if I don't show, etc.?
Anybody have any insight?
By providing your personal information ahead of time, indicating your rental preferences (coverage, gas, etc.), and providing your credit card number, Dollar is able to pre-print your rental agreement before you arrive. At most locations, Dollar Express is more or less equivalent to Hertz Gold Counter service--a separate (usually significantly shorter) line, a quick glance at your license to verify your identity, and then the agent hands your keys and contract over to you. And at some locations, the pick-up process is virtually identical to Hertz Gold Canopy service--there's a board with your name and parking stall on it and your contract and keys are waiting for you in the car.
You can optionally choose to earn Dollar Express Renter Rewards credits. Each rental day earns you one credit. After 16 credits, you receive a certificate valid for a free rental day. In some (albeit rare) cases, you can actually redeem the free day for more than you spent to earn the 16 credits, but even if not, it's possible to get a pretty high rate of return on this rewards program. You can also choose to earn frequent flyer miles or other awards points with other partners, but the fees charged by Dollar on some of those programs makes them not worth collecting.
The rental policies themselves are no different for Express members. Dollar doesn't charge for no-shows and won't charge you for a no-show even when they have your credit card from your Dollar Express profile. Your card will be authorized for the estimated amount of the rental plus a security deposit (varies by location and is described in the reservation terms and conditions) a few hours before you are scheduled to arrive.