I have never used my Hilton points for anything but now want to use them for a one week National Car Rental award? How do I do this? Do I reserve the car first, then call Hilton? Do they just send me a voucher for one free week or what? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
We used Hilton points for a car rental over the holidays. First I called National got prices and then asked if I could use the Hilton cert for a free week. National gave me the confirmation number and told me to call Hilton for the cert. I called Hilton and ordered the cert. It arrived in the mail within a week. We presented the cert at the rental counter.
Location: MCI. AA Plat, UA PrmEx., Mrrtt Gold, Hz Pres.Circle, HHonors Gold
cmwdjw: Although I don't know your car-size needs, dates, or location, I will leave this recommendation anyway: have you considered bidding for the car on Priceline?
I'm not ordinarily a PCLN fan myself, but the level of service you will get with a free certificate is similar to what you would get with a PCLN rental. (In other words, you may be required to wait in the "main" line, and you will probably NOT receive a courtesy upgrade past the "standard" car.)
My main beef with car rental awards is that "free" doesn't always equate to 100% free, after taxes and surcharges are loaded in. Different awards exempt you from different taxes (I don't know about HHonors/National).
Check out biddingfortravel.com if you are interested. People post their winning bids there, so you'll get a feel for what might fly and what won't. I see people getting standard cars for $80-100/wk quite often.
If you have a near-unlimited pool of HHonors points (and I know a lot of people do), then you might as well take the free car. But if you would prefer to hoard the points for a more valuable use, maybe you can get yourself a cheap Priceline car instead...
(I'd hate to give away nearly half of an ALON for a $100-150 rental car, considering my limited supply of points.)
I have used this award before. One thing to watch, I reserved a full size car, but, could not get unlimited miles. However, I thought it was still a good deal. Did not go over the mileage limit and even with keeping the car ten days the bill was under $100.