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Old Dec 10, 07, 2:07 am   #1
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The Consolidated Wild Card Thread

Thrifty is offering an interesting new option at most or all of their corporate-owned locations and some franchises. Called the Wild Card promotion, for about the same price as a compact, Thrifty will guarantee you to get at least a compact car...but a specific size, make, or model is not guaranteed, and Thrifty may give you a fullsize car, a luxury car, an SUV, a pickup truck, or even (gasp!) a minivan.

To reserve a Wild Card, attempt a booking at your preferred location and be sure to choose "Show All Types" from the Car Type pop-up menu; if available, it will be listed under the "Specialty" type with a picture of flashing playing cards. (Alternatively, you should be able to select "Specialty" from the Car Type pop-up menu, but this will not always work.) The Wild Card promotion is a useful way to try to get a larger vehicle on the cheap, although you could (of course) end up with a midsize car or a two-door (but five-seat) convertible. I have not heard any experiences of trying to upgrade from a Wild Card reservation (if they put you in something you don't want) to another size (the waters get murky when you're trying to "upgrade" from a normally-$100/day SUV into a normally-$60/day minivan, although it's usually the opposite case).

Reports indicate that the Wild Card is usually simply the vehicle that the location has the most of and/or needs the least, so it tends to be cars like convertibles (especially in the cooler months) and minivans.

I thought it might be useful to start a compendium of vehicles FTers have received under the Wild Card promotion, and so I've started this thread here and will attempt to keep this first post up-to-date as an easy reference. Perhaps we can see some trends after some data have been gathered.

For other promotions and discounts, please see The Consolidated Thrifty Tips and Promotions Thread.

Here is the list. I will keep it updated as people post their experiences.

ABQ
Feb-11--Hyundai Sonata RatherBeOnATrain

ANC
Most of the time midsize, occasionally minivan, sometimes fullsize, never SUVs
Remains available at $199/day when all rental companies city-wide--including Thrifty--are sold out

ATL
March-11--Chevy Impala with 4 miles on it! ww88ww

BDL
Date unknown--Choice of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty or Subaru Forester michelle227

BOS
Jan-08--Dodge Caliber wecsg
Apr-09--Dodge Journey martyYYZ

BWI
Feb-08--Ford Mustang wecsg
Mar-08--Originally minivan, offered Sebring convertible at no extra charge wecsg
Feb-11--Chevy Malibu docr775

CLE
March 2011--Ford Fusion sm0421

CLT
Aug-07--First a minivan, but then she offered me a Ford Mustang convertible at no charge jackal
Dec-07--Jeep Wrangler (only about 3 vans, 3 SUVS, and 5 convertibles on the lot) jackal
Jan-08--Dodge Nitro jackal

DCA
Apr-08--Chrysler Town and Country lawgirl28

DEN
Feb-08--Dodge Durango michelle227
May-08--Dodge Durango Trojans11
Jul-08--Dodge Durango (fully loaded) jans45
Apr 22, 2011--Ford Edge sm0421

DFW
Apr-08--Jeep Liberty LucWise

ELP
May 6, 2011--Lincon Town Car sm0421

HNL
Dec-08--Dodge Charger prspad

HOU
Sep-07--Ford GT vasechka

IAD
Date unknown--Chrysler Sebring gpayer
Nov-08--Kia Sportage ncfinfan
Nov-08--Chrysler 300 ncfinfan
12/19-21, wild card rate of $23.75 a day, choice between 4 Ford Fusion and 4 Hunday Sonata. Picked fully loaded Fusion (no heated seats, no navigation) with 8K miles. docr775
Jan-11--Ford Fusion docr775
Mar-11--Chevy Malibu docr775

IND
Multiple dates--Toyota Camry, Pontiac G6 docr775
1/31/10-2/3/10--Chevy Malibus and Ford SUVs; ended up with fully loaded Ford Expedition docr775
6/6/10-6/9/10--Mercury Grand Marquis or Chevy Traverse docr775
Jul-10--Chevy Equinox docr775
Nov-10--Ford Explorer (fully loaded, brand new) docr775
Jan-11--Ford Fusion docr775
Mar-11--Chevy Malibu docr775
Mar-11--Kia Soul docr775
Mar-11--Kia Sedona docr775
Oct-11--Choice between Grand Marquis, Dodge Nitro or Nissan Altima docr775


ICT
Date unknown--Dodge [Grand?] Caravan sam-i-am

KOA
12/6/10--Chrysler Town and Country jackal

LAS
Date unknown--Chrysler Pacifica kss5555
Date unknown--Chrysler Town and Country (told to pick from minivan or midsize rows) DWilliamson5002
Date unknown--Ford Fusion (told to pick from convertible or midsize rows) jsammerman
Jul-08--Chrysler Pacifica Trojans11
Date unknown--Mercury Grand Marquis alamedaguy

LAX
Jan-10--Section 3, a mix of Hyundai Sonatas and Chrysler PT Cruisers. Sonata with XM Radio. docr775
Nov-11--Crown Victoria (for one-way rental) matthewsoft

LIH
Dec-10--Minivan or Mercury Grand Marquis dave_SEA

MCI
Nov-08--Chrysler PT Cruiser (offered that or Dodge Grand Caravan) freeloader

MCO
Date unknown--Jeep Liberty kss5555
April-11--Ford Explorer (any choice from Specialty area, which included Jeep Patriot and Mercury Grand Marquis) PIThawk
Feb 10-13/11--Had a choice between Grand Marquis, Hyundai Sonata or Dodge Avenger DaveTO
01/25--Ford Crown Victoria jacklee

OGG
Mar-08--Jeep Liberty (offered midsize, minivan, or SUV) sonoranjerseygirl
Aug-08--Chrysler Sebring convertible jackal
Sept-09--Dodge Magnum jackal

ONT
Multiple dates--Ford Mustang, Chrysler PT Cruiser (often a choice from the lot) docr775
Feb-11--Nissan Cube docr775


PBI
Jul-08--Mercury Grand Marquis JohnWM
Oct-09--Mercury Grand Marquis JohnWM

RNO
Date unknown--Ford Fusion docr775
Oct-09--Ford Mustang V8 (given choice between that or Sebring) docr775
Jan-10--Choice of Chrysler 300 or Chrysler Sebring Convertible docr775

RDU
Oct-07--Chrysler Sebring convertible WIRunner

SAN
Date unknown--Chrysler Sebring kss5555
Date unknown--Hyundai Sonata redreeper

SEA
Nov-07--Chrysler 300 jackal
Date unknown--Dodge Nitro Wings900-Michael
Jan-08--Subaru Outback LessO2
Apr-09--Chrysler Town & Country kchoya

SFO
Date unknown--Town Car, exchanged for Magnum oewdanny

SNA
Dec-07--Convertible pinniped
Dec-08--Chrysler Town and Country majorwibi
Oct-09--Ford Escape or Kia Sedona bmr12

SRQ
Mar-08--Jeep Compass oewdanny

TPA
Feb-08--Chrysler Sebring ConciergeMike
Sep-08--Mercury Grand Marquis WillieBluffU

TYS
Sept-11--Choice between a Grand Marquis white or a Grand Marquis black

XNA
12/23/10 Choice of Corolla, Grand Marquis, or Explorer-Eddie Bauer. Took the Explorer. snwire

Last edited by jackal; Sep 13, 12 at 9:26 am. Reason: Updated
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Old Dec 18, 07, 6:54 pm   #2
 
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I am going to give the wild car a try at Phoenix- have not been able to find a decent rate for a full size car so ..may as well hope for the best . Thanks for the thread as I would not have known! I will follow up when I get back! ( in January)

After going back to the website it seems the wild card is not available there. So I took Dollar up on their lock low and go.

Last edited by babsjvd; Dec 20, 07 at 7:35 pm.
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Old Dec 23, 07, 10:21 am   #3
 
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I saw this thread and had to chime in.

3 experiences with Wild Car so far and a few more to come next month.

LAS (Las Vegas) - Pacifica
MCO (Orlando) - Jeep Liberty
SAN (San Diego) - Seabring

Got really good deals on all. I actually got one coming up in Las Vegas next month for $12.35 a day, cannot beat that.
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Old Dec 24, 07, 6:39 pm   #4
 
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How does Wild Car coordinate with Blue Chip? Do they have a Wild Car aisle? I like the idea of getting more for less and normally I don't care what I drive, but I don't want to stand in line to get a Wild Car.
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Old Dec 24, 07, 8:27 pm   #5
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Very few, if any, Thrifty locations have an aisle where you pick up your car from, so you'll be assigned a car by the rental agent. Therefore, Wild Car and Blue Chip aren't mutually exclusive.

Most Thrifty locations have (and are required to have) a separate Blue Chip line that should theoretically have no line (or at least a shorter and faster one). But because unlike National and maybe Hertz (no experience with them), you don't sign a master rental agreement when signing up for the program, for legal reasons, you still have to sign a rental contract when renting under the Blue Chip program, and so therefore you must visit the rental counter before picking up a car.

I've never found it a hassle and it can be a quick process when it's done right.
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Old Dec 25, 07, 8:49 am   #6
 
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I usually only rent from Thrifty in Las Vegas. There you used to go directly to the parking lot and if memory serves you chose from a row of cars in the class you reserved. I haven't rented from Thrifty since the new parking facility was built so I was curious how that may work now that they've moved and if Wild Car changes anything.
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Old Dec 25, 07, 3:37 pm   #7
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Hmm, I don't know, then. Anyone else have experience with Vegas?

Maybe Vegas doesn't offer the Wild Car option...did you check that?
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Old Dec 25, 07, 8:38 pm   #8
 
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I'm going to roll the dice on this one and I'll report back on how combining Wild Car with Blue Chip works in Vegas. I'm picking up the car tomorrow.
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Old Jan 4, 08, 4:53 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsammerman View Post
I usually only rent from Thrifty in Las Vegas. There you used to go directly to the parking lot and if memory serves you chose from a row of cars in the class you reserved. I haven't rented from Thrifty since the new parking facility was built so I was curious how that may work now that they've moved and if Wild Car changes anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Hmm, I don't know, then. Anyone else have experience with Vegas?

Maybe Vegas doesn't offer the Wild Car option...did you check that?
Blue Chip and Wild Car in Vegas work. All you do when you go to the lot is get a contract and the person will tell you what class (row) you can pick from.

When I was out there got pointed to the minivan row or midsize row. Went up and looked at the row of Kia's and went over and took a loaded Town and Country.
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Old Jan 5, 08, 6:53 pm   #10
 
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Just got back from Las Vegas. Blue Chip and Wild Car do work fine. You go directly to the parking garage. The contract is ready to go, all you need to do is sign. I was offered a Convertible but since I had a bunch of luggage and it was cold with a forecast for rain, I asked if I could have something else. Agent told me to pick one from the midsized row. I ended up with a Ford Fusion, although I could have had my choice of many other vehicles. I still recommend Thrifty in Las Vegas. Can't speak for other locations.
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Old Jan 21, 08, 2:34 pm   #11
 
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I've been Blue Chip forever yet I got the dirty Sonata And there were Mustangs all over the place! I even tried to dicker, but was told in no uncertain terms that today my wild car would be the Hyundai Sonata.

Can't say I wouldn't try it again. I would have spent the same money on...lets say a Hyundai Sonata... so no loss.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 2:13 pm   #12
 
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when I flew into Denver a few weeks back, I got a Durango as the WildCar vehicle.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 10:19 pm   #13
 
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Wild Car BOS, Jan.: Dodge Caliber
Wild Car BWI Feb.: Mustang
Wild Car BWI Mar.: minivan (nice lady let me take a Sebring conv. instead)

It is indeed the vehicle type with highest volume sitting on the lot, according to the nice lady at BWI: manager's call.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 10:27 pm   #14
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Thanks, folks, for sharing! I've added your updates to the first post in this thread. I'm definitely noticing a pattern...

Except I'm curious about wecsg's experience in BOS in January. A Wild Car is guaranteed to be a midsize or larger. The Caliber is classified as a compact. It's not a huge deal, as the Caliber is large for a compact (compared to some other companies, which rent things like Cobalts for compacts), but still...the first time I've heard about that happening!
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Old Mar 7, 08, 6:54 pm   #15
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I did Wild Car in TPA for President's Week and got a Sebring. First time with Thrifyt, great car. Will probably be Wilding in MCO later this year.
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