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The Ultimate Guide to Alamo Rent a Car [Alamo Insiders Loyalty Program]

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Jarrod West
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Jarrod West

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Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in o...
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Needing to rent a car can leave you with analysis paralysis, especially if you’re unfamiliar with many of the car rental options and have no idea where to begin! We’ve already covered complete guides on Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National, and this time, we’re covering the Alamo rental car program.

Alamo Insiders Program

Alamo does not offer a typical elite program. It does not offer status tiers and you cannot earn points towards future rentals or even receive complimentary car upgrades. What it does offer is a membership program that is as easy to understand as it is to use. When you sign-up for the free Alamo Insiders program, you will receive a 5% discount off all of your Alamo rentals. Furthermore, there is no cap on how much money you can save with your discount. Hot Tip:If you would prefer a program with a more traditional loyalty program, where you can earn points and receive car upgrades for your elite status, then you might want to consider renting with a company that offers a more robust program, like National or Hertz

Double Dip Your Savings 

Even though you cannot earn points with Alamo Insiders, you should extend your savings by earning credit card points for each of your rentals. If you’re not already using a credit card that offers bonus points for car rental purchases, there are many great options. Earn 2x points/miles per $1 for car rentals on these cards:

Earn 3x points per $1 for car rentals on these cards:

Hot Tip: Points aren’t the only important thing — you’ll also want a credit card with rental car insurance to help keep you protected if you have an accident with your rental!

How to Join Alamo Insiders 

To join Alamo Insiders, all you need to do is sign up for an account online. Once you’ve filled out all the necessary details, you will receive your member number.

How to Rent a Car Through Alamo

You’ll find that renting a car with Alamo is quite easy. First, sign in using your username and password, then enter your pick-up location, date, pick-up time, renter age, any corporate or discount codes you have, then click Continue.

Alamo Car Rental Screen
Alamo car rental search screen. Image Credit: Alamo

On the next screen, you’ll notice that the results are given with a Drive Happy Deal first and the rest of the options sorted in order by price from low to high. From the top panel, you can filter your results by vehicle type and price. When you select a Drive Happy Deal, your car type is determined when you arrive to pick up the car. Drive Happy Deals are usually the cheapest option, so if you do not care what car you receive, this could be a great option. On the other hand, if you know you need a specific vehicle type like an SUV, we would not recommend selecting the Drive Happy Deal. When you select which car you’d like, you’ll notice that there are Pay Now and Pay Later options. The Pay Now option gives you a discount for paying the amount owed upfront, but your reservation will be non-refundable. However, the Pay Later option is usually a bit more expensive but allows you to cancel before checking-in if you need to change your plans.

Alamo Car Rental Search Results
Alamo car rental search results. Image Credit: Alamo

After you’ve selected a vehicle type, you’ll then be able to add any extras that you’d like with your rental. These could include insurance and vehicle protections, along with any other equipment additions like SiriusXM, a navigation device, toll waiver, or fuel service option.

Alamo Extras
Select any extras you would like with your rental. Image Credit: Alamo

After you’ve selected any extras that you would like, you’ll be taken to the final screen where you can enter your driver’s license and flight details, both of which are optional but help you save time when you arrive. Finally, add your payment details to finalize the reservation.

Do You Need to Add Extra Insurance?

This is always a tough question for people when renting a car. Do you actually need to purchase the extra insurance or is this just a cash grab? Whether or not you should purchase the extra insurance will depend on whether or not you pay for the reservation with a credit card that offers primary or secondary rental car insurance. What is the difference between primary and secondary insurance? Secondary rental insurance kicks in to help cover costs that your personal auto insurance won’t pick up. But this means if you have an accident in your rental car, you still need to file a claim with your personal insurance provider and pay the deductible before any secondary coverage kicks in — leaving you at risk for increased premiums. Primary rental coverage, on the other hand, kicks in before your personal auto insurance so you do not need to notify your personal auto insurance company if you have an accident — meaning there is no risk to your premiums increasing. Furthermore, primary rental car coverage usually covers much more than secondary insurance and is much more likely to cover the entire cost of your rental car in the unfortunate case of the car begin stolen or total loss to the car from flood or fire. Here are some great card options that offer primary rental car insurance as one of their benefits:

 Alamo Locations

Alamo has over 1,500 locations worldwide across 78 countries. To find a location, click on Locations in the top-right menu. To search for a location, simply enter the city or airport you intend to rent from in the Find a Specific Location search box and hit enter.

Miles, Points, and Partners

Since you are not able to earn points with Alamo for your rentals towards future rentals, Alamo allows you to earn airline miles or hotel points for your rentals with 19 different partners.

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Partner

Miles Earned

Partner

Miles Earned

Partner

Miles Earned

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Earn 50 miles per rental day on every qualifying rental

Copa Airlines ConnectMiles

Earn 50 miles per rental day on every qualifying rental

Lufthansa Miles and More

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

American Airlines AAdvantage

Earn 50 miles per rental day on every qualifying rental

Delta SkyMiles

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

Radisson Rewards Americas

Earn 300 points per qualifying rental

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

Earn 300 miles per qualifying rental

Eva Miles

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Earn 600 points per qualifying rental

Asia Miles

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

Frontier Miles

1 Day — 50 miles 2 Days — 100 miles 3 Days — 150 miles 4 Days — 200 miles 5 Days or Longer — 500  miles

Sun Country Rewards 

Earn 300 points per qualifying rental

Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

Hilton Honors

Earn 3 points for every qualifying $1 spent

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

1000 miles per rental booked through Alamo’s dedicated Virgin Atlantic website

Avianca LifeMiles

Earn 2 miles for every qualifying $1 spent

Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank

Earn 300 miles per qualifying rental

 

 

Best Western Rewards

Earn 3 points for every qualifying $1 spent

Korean Air SKYPASS

Earn 500 miles per qualifying rental

 

 

Frequent Traveler Recovery Fee

Opting to earn airline or hotel points can be a great option for your rentals, but keep in mind that when you choose to earn points from certain hotels or airlines, you will be charged a fee. The fees for each program are as follows:

  • Alaska Airlines: $0.75 per day
  • American Airlines: $0.725 per day
  • All Nippon Airways: No extra charge
  • Asiana Airlines: No extra charge
  • Avianca Airlines: No extra charge
  • Best Western: No extra charge
  • Cathay Pacific: No extra charge
  • Copa Airlines: No extra charge
  • Delta Air Lines: $0.63 per day
  • Eva Airlines: No extra charge
  • Frontier Airlines: $0.75 per day; max of $7.50 per rental
  • Hilton: No extra charge
  • Japan Airlines: No extra charge
  • Korean Airlines: No extra charge
  • Lufthansa Airlines: No extra charge
  • Radisson: $0.75 per day
  • Southwest Airlines: $1.50 per day; max of $7.50 per rental
  • Sun Country Airlines: $0.75 per day; max of $5.25 per rental
  • Virgin Atlantic Airlines: No extra charge

Bottom Line: These fees vary in cost, so be certain to determine how much value you will receive from the points, compared to how much extra you will pay, and then decide if it’s worth it.

Alamo Deals

In addition to your 5% Alamo Insider discount, Alamo also runs rotating featured deals to help save you money on your next rental. You’ll find specials like last-minute deals, one-way specials, free single car upgrades, and even discounts on international rentals.

Business Program

At this time, Alamo does not offer any sort of business rental program. However, those interested in a business rental program can sign-up with one of its partners, Enterprise or National.

Meetings and Conventions Program

Alamo offers special rates for organizations of all sizes that plan meetings, conventions, annual conferences, educational forums, or just about any event that needs 11 or more cars. The benefits of the meetings and conventions program include unlimited mileage, vehicle selection including luxury cars, 24-hour emergency roadside assistance, and frequent traveler rewards with most major airlines.

U.S. Government and Military Program

Federal government employees and military personnel receive special car rental rates and benefits for official business travel as well as off-duty leisure travel. Those on official government travel receive the following benefits:

  • No additional driver fees for government and military personnel
  • No underage driver fees (the minimum age for on-duty military rental is 18 years old)
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) included
  • Frequent traveler benefits with Alamo’s major travel partners
  • Over 550 participating locations worldwide to accommodate active-duty travel needs
Those on leisure travel receive the following benefits:
  • Discounted rates for federal government employees and military personnel, including discounts for veterans
  • Frequent traveler benefits with Alamo’s major travel partners
  • Government and military family members with dependent identification are also eligible for discounted car rental rates on leisure rates

Buy a Car From Alamo

Alamo partners with the Enterprise Car purchase program to offer used cars to those looking for a new ride. Most of the cars sold come from either the Enterprise or Alamo fleet, and you can choose from more than 7,000 low-mileage vehicles of over 250 makes and models of cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. 75% of these vehicles are available for below the Kelley Blue Book typical listing price. All vehicles pass an inspection performed by an ASE-certified technician and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and 7-day buyback.

Alamo Customer Support

If you need assistance with anything related to Alamo’s services, you can find customer service information under the Customer Support tab in the bottom right menu. From there you can view FAQs for a plethora of different topics you may need assistance with, access the lost and found, or send in an email to the support team. Want to speak with someone directly? Here are some helpful phone numbers depending on your needs:

  • Reservations: 844-354-6962
  • Customer Service: 844-357-5138
  • Alamo Insiders: 855-533-1197
  • Customers with Disabilities: 800-651-1223

Competitor Price Comparisons

Curious how Alamo stacks up against its competitors?  To find out, we’ve pitted them against Avis, Hertz, National, and Enterprise for a random weekend rental in Chicago. Here were the nightly quotes from each company – excluding any membership discounts:

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Rental Car

Alamo

National

Avis

Hertz

Enterprise

Compact

$176

$213

$86

$92

$177

Mid-Sized

$179

$218

$91

$100

$182

SUV

$138

$235

$138

$109

$157

In this search, Avis happened to offer the best prices at the Compact and Mid-Sized cars, and Hertz offered the lowest SUV price. Alamo faired decently well at each level, beating out its partners National and Enterprise at the first 2 car sizes, and tying for second for an SUV. Again, keep in mind that these prices do not include any membership, credit card, or corporate discounts, so be certain to account for those when doing your own price comparisons. Hot Tip: For more, check out these tips to help you save money on car rentals.

Final Thoughts

There is no shortage of rental car options on the market, and Alamo can be a compelling option for those looking for a company with competitive prices and a straightforward membership program that offers a discount on each rental. Before deciding who to rent with, always do your own research and make sure to compare prices of competing programs to be certain that you’re not overpaying!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I rent a car with Alamo?

  1. First, sign in using your Alamo Insiders number. Then enter your pick up location, date, pick up time, renter age, and any corporate account number or promotion code you have.
  2.  Next, select a vehicle that best fits your needs.
  3.  Then you can add any extras you need for your rental, like a GPS or SiriusXM radio.
  4. Complete payment details and you’re all set!

Is Alamo a good car rental company?

Alamo can be a great choice for your car rental if the price is right! Many rental car programs are similar in the cars they offer and fees that they charge. So generally speaking, it’s always a good bet to go with the company that offers you the best deal.

Is the Alamo Insiders program free to join?

Yes, the Alamo Insiders program is free to join.

Are Enterprise and Alamo the same company?

Enterprise and Alamo are separate rental car companies, but both are owned by the same parent company — Enterprise Holdings. Enterprise Holdings also owns National.

How do I sign up for the Alamo Insiders program?

Signing up for the Alamo Insiders program is easy, just head to this link.

What discounts does Alamo offer?

Alamo offers a 5% discount on every rental to anyone who signs up for its free Alamo Insiders program

Alamo also publishes a Deals page on its website where it regularly runs promotions like last-minute deals, one-way specials, free single car upgrades, and even discounts on international rentals.

Jarrod West's image

About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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