The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Car Rental Promo Codes

In the old days, they were getting a drink at a speakeasy, which required knowing the secret code. Similarly, car rental companies often list inflated prices—but there are ways to get the real deal.

Leverage employee discounts, membership perks, and price drop alerts. This article also covers general tricks like avoiding one-way rentals and picking up your vehicle outside peak times.

Look for a Corporate Code

A code is a unique ID that can be entered during a reservation to access special discounted rates and perks. A common way to get these codes is to check with your company or university, as they may have deals with certain rental car companies that save employees, alums, and students money.

Another way to find these codes is to search on websites, a popular frequent flyer forum. However, be aware that using a corporate or university code when you are not eligible could void your insurance coverage or get you in trouble with the rental car company if they discover you were trying to take advantage of an unfair rate advantage.

Another option is to use a service that tracks and compares rates to help you find the best deal. But remember that you must enlist to use this service, which is only accessible to American Express Platinum Card Members. Otherwise, you must find the rate on a car rental company’s site or use your coupon or membership-related discount code (or both). If you do this, prepay for the rental to avoid potential problems when you arrive at the counter. Remember to use the Budget Car Rental promo code for additional savings.

Look for a Frequent Renter Code

Some car rental companies offer special discounts to their loyalty programs. These can include benefits like free rentals, discounted rates, and vehicle upgrades. Depending on the program, these benefits can make a big difference in your bottom line.

For example, Club members get several benefits, including free rental days and waived second driver fees. Additionally, Rewards membership offers discounts and upgrades on top of already low rates.

To get the most out of your rental car, consider joining a frequent renter program or using a service to locate the best prices on your next rental. These services ask about your credit cards and other factors to determine the most effective rates.

Look for a Discount Code

Car rental companies are notorious for milking their listed rates – an industry secret you can use. Like other organizations or wholesale clubs, many credit cards offer their official codes. Some companies also have loyalty programs, which often feature special member discounts. For example, the Platinum Card from American Express has a suite of benefits (enrollment required) that can save you money, including free upgrades, vehicle category upgrades, and damage waivers.

You can also find a discount code when you book directly with a rental agency’s website. These are typically only available to those who prepay for their reservation, which helps them reduce costs by securing the car before it’s needed.

You can also try booking your car through a third-party site, which offers a range of promo codes and can help you score a lower price. Some of these services have partnerships with major rental agencies, which can significantly affect your final rate.

Look for a Coupon Code

When booking a car rental, checking multiple sources for coupon codes is always a good idea. Discounts are available from various sources, including credit card companies, travel websites, and membership clubs. It’s also good to check directly with the car rental company to see what special discounts are available for repeat customers.

For example, the Platinum Card from American Express offers a suite of benefits (enrollment required), including a damage waiver to help limit your out-of-pocket expense in case you incur any damages during your rental. You can also sign up for a loyalty program with a particular rental car brand to take advantage of discounted rates, free upgrades, and other rewards.

Many rental car agencies offer special discounts and coupons to their loyal customers and those who book with their specific website or mobile app. For example, Budget renters can save upwards of 35% by prepaying their vehicle rentals online with the Pay Now option. Enter a promo code into the box at checkout to redeem your savings.

Look for a Cash Back Code

In addition to promo codes, many rental car companies have loyalty programs to help you save. These include free rentals, discounted rates and upgrades, and exclusive member offers.

A simple way to find these deals is by signing up for their email newsletters. Usually, these include the latest discounts and promotions and can be found on their website. Also, many companies have a forum where they share exclusive discount codes. This is one of the best ways to discover these deals before they go live.

Another way to score a discount is by using a booking site that compares prices from several rental car sites. For example, a site considers membership-only discount codes and fares available to frequent travelers when displaying the lowest possible price for your itinerary. It even notifies you if the price for your reservation drops, making it easier to rebook and save.