Hertz has devalued its Gold Plus Rewards program without notice, with a new award chart in effect immediately for US rentals. While we don’t expect firms to maintain the status quo indefinitely, it’s common for loyalty programs to introduce changes with a future date of introduction, allowing existing members to plan trips in the interim. After all, loyalty programs require loyal customers to function, and making massive changes with no notice is a great way to lose that loyalty.
For those looking to redeem points for a summer rental with Hertz, the news ranges from bad to atrocious. While some rentals within the United States now cost around 11% more (like a one-day rental rising from 675 points to 750 points), discounted weekend awards have vanished entirely and select specialty vehicle redemptions now cost over 70% more. The Gate has an exhaustive breakdown of the award chart changes.
Worse still, the changes were made just days before numerous point packages go on sale via Daily Getaways. Now, the deals being offered aren’t even possible to redeem. For example, a bundle of 16,500 points is being offered for $698, with a headline that indicates that haul will be enough to splurge on a one-week rental from Hertz’s Prestige Collection. Unsuspecting buyers will be shocked to find that a one-week Prestige rental now costs 25,000 points, or a 51% increase.
There’s really no silver lining to be found. Awards are up across the board, and with no notice, exiting Hertz loyalists are left with no other option but to burn their stash using the new rates. We at TPG recommend spending your points as soon as you have enough for a specific redemption that you’re eying to hedge against changes like this, and it’s never a bad idea to collect points from Chase, Citi and American Express, which can be transferred to myriad partners.
While the move is far from consumer-friendly, it’s not out of line for Hertz. The car-rental outfit changed the window for points expiration from 24 months to 18 months earlier this year without prior notice.
Featured image courtesy of Hertz.