Using a free rental day certificate

 
Old May 9, 08, 10:00 pm
  #1  
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Using a free rental day certificate

It's been awhile since I've redeemed free day certificates... how is the tax handled with those? If I'm using four certificates for a four-day rental, what should I expect to pay out of pocket?
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Old May 10, 08, 6:16 am
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You make a reservation like normal (with the promo code "BCFD," although I don't know that that is absolutely necessary). You pay taxes and fees on whatever daily rate your reservation is at.

For example, if you make a reservation for ANC at $20 per day for four days and had four certificates, the certificates would cover the $80 base rate. You would then pay taxes and fees as follows:

8% city rental tax: $80 x .08 = $6.40
10% state rental tax $80 x .1 = $8.00
11.11% airport concession recovery fee: $80 x .1111 = $8.89
Consolidated Facility Charge: $4.87/day x 4 days = $19.48

Total bill for you: $42.77

If you rent from ANC in the summer and your reservation comes in at $150/day, your tax bill would be $194.14--not cheap, but certainly better than the $794.14 it would otherwise be!
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Old May 10, 08, 7:41 pm
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Thanks that's exactly what I wanted to know. I was thinking of renting a minivan at $100 a day but instead I'll go for the compact at $25 a day to save on the taxes.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 12:14 pm
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confirming tax on BCFD redemptions

Just confirming -- have others had the same experience as Jackal, as to taxes and fees when redeeming BCFD vouchers?

For the rental I'm looking at, four days of taxes and fees come to $90+ -- hardly pocket change, since I could use discount codes to get another car rental company down to about $130 including all taxes and fees as an ordinary paid rental.

Many of these fees are listed in percentage form. Example: "concession recovery fee 11.11%" and "state tax 6.25%". On one view, 11% of $0 is $0, so this fee should be waived. I guess they could assign an arbitrary rate to the rental, then tax that. But is that proper and lawful?

If I use a discount code to reduce the base price of rental, will percentage taxes then be calculated on that lower amount?
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Old Jul 1, 11, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
I guess they could assign an arbitrary rate to the rental, then tax that. But is that proper and lawful?
Well, they don't assign an arbitrary rate; if you book with promo code BCFD as you're supposed to, it actually doesn't change the rate from the regular retail rate.

Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
If I use a discount code to reduce the base price of rental, will percentage taxes then be calculated on that lower amount?
Technically, a reservation that you use free day certificates with should have BCFD in the promo code field, so you're not really supposed to book with another discount code. That's not really enforced, IME, though, so yes, that might help. I rarely see discount codes for more than 5% off at Thrifty, though, so you'll be saving pennies, not dollars.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 5:04 am
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Does anyone know if it is possible to earn frequent flyer points when redeeming an award certificate? (assuming that I don't add any paid rental days)
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Old Oct 12, 11, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by jonnydoe1234 View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible to earn frequent flyer points when redeeming an award certificate? (assuming that I don't add any paid rental days)
I don't believe there's a restriction.

However, if you are redeeming Blue Chip free day certificates, then I'm assuming your profile is set to earn Blue Chip free day credits.

The reservation you make with your profile will be set to earn Blue Chip free day credits, so you'd need to manually ask the rental agent to remove your Blue Chip number from the frequent flyer field and put your mileage program number in.

Doing so should not void the use of your certificates (the two fields are not linked in the computer system), but note that collecting airline miles with rental car agencies is rarely a good deal, since you end up paying almost as much for the miles in the form of frequent flyer surcharges as you would just buying the equivalent number of miles directly from the airline.

I'd just leave your Blue Chip rewards number in the profile on the off-chance that you'll get more credit towards another free rental day. (I'm not 100% sure that you will, but again, the earning field and the redemption field are not linked in the computer, so I would not be surprised at all that the left hand wouldn't know what the right hand is doing and you'd get another credit towards a free day.)
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Old Oct 12, 11, 8:47 am
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Up to what size car can the Thrifty free days be redeemed for?
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Old Oct 12, 11, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Up to what size car can the Thrifty free days be redeemed for?
Normal car classes (economy through fullsize) or minivans. No SUVs or premium/luxury cars.

You must pay all taxes and fees, and unlike some (most?) Hertz and National locations, taxes and fees are (IME) calculated on the pre-discounted rate.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
I don't believe there's a restriction.

However, if you are redeeming Blue Chip free day certificates, then I'm assuming your profile is set to earn Blue Chip free day credits.

The reservation you make with your profile will be set to earn Blue Chip free day credits, so you'd need to manually ask the rental agent to remove your Blue Chip number from the frequent flyer field and put your mileage program number in.

Doing so should not void the use of your certificates (the two fields are not linked in the computer system), but note that collecting airline miles with rental car agencies is rarely a good deal, since you end up paying almost as much for the miles in the form of frequent flyer surcharges as you would just buying the equivalent number of miles directly from the airline.

I'd just leave your Blue Chip rewards number in the profile on the off-chance that you'll get more credit towards another free rental day. (I'm not 100% sure that you will, but again, the earning field and the redemption field are not linked in the computer, so I would not be surprised at all that the left hand wouldn't know what the right hand is doing and you'd get another credit towards a free day.)
Thanks a ton, jackal -- this is very helpful. I probably should have specified that my goal is to get a "hit" for the USAirways grand slam promo. I have a free rental certificate that expires on 11/1 (and that I have no use for) so I figured that the US Airways promo would be a good use for it. I know I'll have to pay to get FF miles, but in this case, I'm OK with that.
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Old Oct 12, 11, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by jonnydoe1234 View Post
Thanks a ton, jackal -- this is very helpful. I probably should have specified that my goal is to get a "hit" for the USAirways grand slam promo. I have a free rental certificate that expires on 11/1 (and that I have no use for) so I figured that the US Airways promo would be a good use for it. I know I'll have to pay to get FF miles, but in this case, I'm OK with that.
Makes sense. Hope it works out for you.
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Old Oct 13, 11, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
You must pay all taxes and fees, and unlike some (most?) Hertz and National locations, taxes and fees are (IME) calculated on the pre-discounted rate.
Are you sure that is correct for non-airport locations? My recollection is that I was not charged taxes nor fees when using BCFD certificates at non-airport locations.

I would rather not specify the particular off-airport location where I have not been charged fees when using BCFD certificates... but I will say that I used the certificate to rent a minivan for 24 hours, instead of renting one of Home Depot's rental-trucks-by-the-hour....
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Old Oct 13, 11, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
Are you sure that is correct for non-airport locations? My recollection is that I was not charged taxes nor fees when using BCFD certificates at non-airport locations.

I would rather not specify the particular off-airport location where I have not been charged fees when using BCFD certificates... but I will say that I used the certificate to rent a minivan for 24 hours, instead of renting one of Home Depot's rental-trucks-by-the-hour....
It may vary by the laws in place in the given jurisdiction or by the local office's management's interpretation of tax code. The one location I'm familiar with when it comes to BCFD redemptions does charge full taxes, but upon further reflection, that doesn't mean that's the standard across the country. (And that location passes the taxes through to the applicable government agencies, so it's not like they're doing it for their own profit.)
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Old Aug 24, 13, 9:24 am
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The thing is taxes and fees are so small at most non airport locations that it doesn't matter much.

I am curious why they apply taxes on the non discounted rate. It's not like the company gets to collect profit on that as it has to be paid to the authorities. If Hertz doesn't collect as someone here says they don't, why would the rule be different for a different rental agency like Thrifty.

I will say one annoying thing. If I book via my bluechip id which is tied into a corporate rate, the promo code does not carry over. I have to get the rental counter to apply it after the fact. I tried even choosing standard rates and removed my corporate Id from the box while reserving with no luck online. THe only way I can get the promo to be carried over properly online is if I dont use my blue chip Id and then it gets carried over via standard rates.

Anyway, a good strategy is to use a non airport counter as airport taxes and fees are super expensive in some cities.
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Old Aug 24, 13, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by saneman View Post
I am curious why they apply taxes on the non discounted rate. It's not like the company gets to collect profit on that as it has to be paid to the authorities. If Hertz doesn't collect as someone here says they don't, why would the rule be different for a different rental agency like Thrifty.
I think it's because Thrifty considers the BCFD certificate to be a form of payment--i.e., if your base rate is $60, then the BCFD certificate acts as a $60 gift certificate. Hertz, OTOH, counts the award as a discount--that is, if your base rate is $80, then you get an $80 discount off of your rate, which makes your rate in effect $0, and the 30% tax on $0 is $0.

I expect some things to harmonize over time as Hertz and DTAG integrate more and more of their systems.
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