Thrifty Blue Chip not a scam but not much use.

 
Old Apr 3, 12, 12:59 pm
  #1  
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Thrifty Blue Chip not a scam but not much use.

I am sure it is in the small print somewhere but it makes the blue chip rewards almost useless for me.
You still pay tax and all fees, which is about same cost as the daily rental fee. ( I assumed this would be the case, although why you would pay tax on something that costs $0.00 relly does not make sense.
The thing that i did not realize is that you have to enter your "free day" as a code, thus not letting you enter any code which you would normally put in. It is tricky by thrifty as you usually get a little bit off for being a Bluechip member, or whatever other code you use For instance the "special deal" which is offered every time. So for my most recent rental, without redeeming any blue chip coupons i am paying $197, Using the Coupon code instead, It is $247 minus whatever they rebate me for using the coupons. ( 2 days looks like it will be 17 +17 = $34 so I will be paying $17 more for the privilege of using 2 coupons)!
I tried booking 2 days seperately but then no 1 week price so higher still.

I was going to change my rewards to airline points but I believe that there is a surcharge to do that also.

The pain in the rear is that many times i have not gone with other's like hertz or enterprise but thinking i was getting something i stuck with Thrifty.

Like I say in header, Thrifty is not a scam but the blue chip is no use for me so what is it?
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Old Apr 3, 12, 2:06 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by pd154 View Post
I am sure it is in the small print somewhere but it makes the blue chip rewards almost useless for me.
You still pay tax and all fees, which is about same cost as the daily rental fee. ( I assumed this would be the case, although why you would pay tax on something that costs $0.00 relly does not make sense.
The thing that i did not realize is that you have to enter your "free day" as a code, thus not letting you enter any code which you would normally put in. It is tricky by thrifty as you usually get a little bit off for being a Bluechip member, or whatever other code you use For instance the "special deal" which is offered every time. So for my most recent rental, without redeeming any blue chip coupons i am paying $197, Using the Coupon code instead, It is $247 minus whatever they rebate me for using the coupons. ( 2 days looks like it will be 17 +17 = $34 so I will be paying $17 more for the privilege of using 2 coupons)!
I tried booking 2 days seperately but then no 1 week price so higher still.

I was going to change my rewards to airline points but I believe that there is a surcharge to do that also.

The pain in the rear is that many times i have not gone with other's like hertz or enterprise but thinking i was getting something i stuck with Thrifty.

Like I say in header, Thrifty is not a scam but the blue chip is no use for me so what is it?
Welcome to FT!

What you've discovered is not unique to Thrifty, it is the SOP for redeeming rental points across all companies. When you return your vehicle and your coupons/points are actually applied, your final total will be less than you were expecting, here's why:

--When you book the car you are quoted the full taxes/fees for the rental as if you are paying for the daily/weekly rate charges

--When you return the car, the daily/weekly rate charges are removed from the contract when the coupons/points are applied and you are left with the remaining charges:
***Any daily/one-time rental fees charged that are not a function of the rate (ie. a Vehicle Licensing Cost Recovery fee)
***The applicable taxes on those fees

You are correct that opting to receive credit instead for a US-based FF program will result in a fee being charged (usually no more than a few bucks per rental).

There are a plethora of threads that discuss both of these topics on each of the rental car forums.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 3:02 pm
  #3  
 
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Earn Miles

I did the Blue Chip rewards for a bit also, but found it to not be worth my while. You're better off earning miles with your rentals.
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Old Jul 12, 12, 10:47 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by pd154 View Post
I am sure it is in the small print somewhere but it makes the blue chip rewards almost useless for me.
You still pay tax and all fees, which is about same cost as the daily rental fee. ( I assumed this would be the case, although why you would pay tax on something that costs $0.00 relly does not make sense.
The thing that i did not realize is that you have to enter your "free day" as a code, thus not letting you enter any code which you would normally put in. It is tricky by thrifty as you usually get a little bit off for being a Bluechip member, or whatever other code you use For instance the "special deal" which is offered every time. So for my most recent rental, without redeeming any blue chip coupons i am paying $197, Using the Coupon code instead, It is $247 minus whatever they rebate me for using the coupons. ( 2 days looks like it will be 17 +17 = $34 so I will be paying $17 more for the privilege of using 2 coupons)!
I tried booking 2 days seperately but then no 1 week price so higher still.

I was going to change my rewards to airline points but I believe that there is a surcharge to do that also.

The pain in the rear is that many times i have not gone with other's like hertz or enterprise but thinking i was getting something i stuck with Thrifty.

Like I say in header, Thrifty is not a scam but the blue chip is no use for me so what is it?
That's not really Thrifty's fault, but yeah, the benefits are not great. You don't get many miles either if you link to a mileage account. I typically get 150 UA miles for a rental. I did the calculation and figured the benefits of the free day and the mileage are worth about the same, but it's easier for me just to consolidate my rewards in one place so I set it to UA miles.

Though changing your rewards to mileage is free. Just log in to your blue chip account and click profile. I've changed back and forth a couple of times with no charge.
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Old Jul 15, 12, 12:43 am
  #5  
 
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The Blue Chip program is far superior to most other travel programs.

It's a free rental for every 16 days.
The free rental day can be worth significantly more than what you paid during those 16 days. It's worked out that way for me.


And why would you expect the taxes to be covered by the rental car company?
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Old Jul 28, 12, 11:14 pm
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I have always just gone with airlines miles. One free rental after paying for 16 didn't seem like a good deal.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 2:17 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Jeeves View Post
I have always just gone with airlines miles. One free rental after paying for 16 didn't seem like a good deal.
Since Thrifty is selling you miles at about the same cost (maybe even slightly more) than you can buy them directly from the airline, that's not a good deal.

Rent at the right times and a 16 rental days will cost you no more than $200. That credit can then be redeemed for a peak-season rental worth $100. Getting in effect 50% cash back on you rental cars seems like a pretty good deal to me.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Since Thrifty is selling you miles at about the same cost (maybe even slightly more) than you can buy them directly from the airline, that's not a good deal.

Rent at the right times and a 16 rental days will cost you no more than $200. That credit can then be redeemed for a peak-season rental worth $100. Getting in effect 50% cash back on you rental cars seems like a pretty good deal to me.
Most of my rentals are one-day, midweek in California. I typically pay $30-40 as the base rate, throw in taxes and $10 airport fees and I'm up to $45-55 per rental.

Thrifty is consistently cheaper than the competition but it's nothing like a weekend rental of $17+.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 11:33 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jeeves View Post
Most of my rentals are one-day, midweek in California. I typically pay $30-40 as the base rate, throw in taxes and $10 airport fees and I'm up to $45-55 per rental.

Thrifty is consistently cheaper than the competition but it's nothing like a weekend rental of $17+.
Even in a worst-case scenario for you, though, you're still getting in effect 4.5% cash back ($880 to earn 16 credits worth $40).

Contrast that with earning airline miles on your rentals. Thrifty will "sell" you 50 AS miles for 95 cents. That's 1.9 cents per mile. (Note that AS will also sell you those same miles for 1.9 cents per mile.) Let's say you value your miles at 1.5 cents per mile (i.e. a normal 25,000-mile award will buy you a ticket worth $375, the current cost of a SEA-PHL transcon on dates there is saver space available). By buying your miles at 1.9 cents per mile and redeeming them at 1.5 cents per mile, you're actually seeing a negative return of -21%! It would actually end up cheaper for you to tell Thrifty you don't want any miles at all and just pay cash for your $375 ticket to PHL.

So, it would be a far better return on your money to collect Blue Chip credits, "earn" $40 on your $880 spend, and then take that $40 and put it towards the $375 ticket to PHL. Your $40 will actually earn you 1,025 RDMs (as an MVPG with 100% bonus on that SEA-PHL flight at 3.9 cents per RDM) plus 512 EQMs versus only 800 RDMs for buying the miles from Thrifty.

Or take your $40, put it towards a well-constructed mileage run on which you earn RDMs at 1.5 cents per mile, and earn 2,666 RDMs instead of 800.

And that's assuming you'd use it to redeem on one of your mid-week California rentals. It's even better if you save that free day to use for a minivan for your family in ANC in peak season ($200 per day). Then your "cash back" jumps up to 22%, even if you're not earning the credits on $17 weekend rates.

Last edited by jackal; Jul 29, 12 at 11:43 am
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Old Jul 29, 12, 3:17 pm
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jackal,

I see your point and you make good arguments for Blue Chip earnings vs. crediting for airline miles. I guess I have always viewed points or miles earned from car rentals as being small potatoes.

I probably do about 16 rentals in a year and then would end up with one free day in Blue Chip credits. I agree that would be more valuable than 800 air miles (16 x 50). I need to rent cars and getting some kind of additional benefit out of it is good. I just have a hard time getting too excited about it.

I have generally credited my rentals to some of my fringe airline programs as a way of keeping them active. Kind of like throwing your change into a jar. I do see how it can add up over time.

I might as well start crediting to Blue Chip and get a bit more return.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 4:22 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Jeeves View Post
I have generally credited my rentals to some of my fringe airline programs as a way of keeping them active. Kind of like throwing your change into a jar. I do see how it can add up over time.

I might as well start crediting to Blue Chip and get a bit more return.
Up to you. I just wanted to make sure that the potential value proposition of all of the options was fully explored here. But if you rent rarely enough to rarely see a free day and if you value keeping your fringe programs active, then there is certainly something to be said for continuing with the status quo.

Another option is to credit to hotels or foreign airlines. Thrifty does not charge any recovery fees for points credited to those, only to the U.S. domestic carriers.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Another option is to credit to hotels or foreign airlines. Thrifty does not charge any recovery fees for points credited to those, only to the U.S. domestic carriers.
That's good to know. More ways to play the game.
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Old Aug 15, 12, 10:43 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jerry305 View Post
The Blue Chip program is far superior to most other travel programs.

It's a free rental for every 16 days.
The free rental day can be worth significantly more than what you paid during those 16 days. It's worked out that way for me.


And why would you expect the taxes to be covered by the rental car company?
There is nothing free about it. As I explained above, it costs me more to use the "free days" than not. If that is far superior, I would hate to try with these other travel programs. The main issue i see is that you cannot enter another code if you are using these "free"days.
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Old Aug 15, 12, 10:45 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Since Thrifty is selling you miles at about the same cost (maybe even slightly more) than you can buy them directly from the airline, that's not a good deal.

Rent at the right times and a 16 rental days will cost you no more than $200. That credit can then be redeemed for a peak-season rental worth $100. Getting in effect 50% cash back on you rental cars seems like a pretty good deal to me.
Ever actually tried do it?
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Old Aug 15, 12, 2:20 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by pd154 View Post
Ever actually tried do it?
Yes.

You don't actually need to put BCFD in the Promo field to use the cert. Go ahead and click the Hot Deals link when you reserve and just bring your paper certificate when you rent the car. They won't even notice that BCFD isn't in the Promo field.
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