Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Thrifty has been around since 1958. Today, it operates over 1,000 locations throughout the world in over 70 countries and territories.
We’ll go over how to rent a car with Thrifty and we’ll explore the Blue Chip Rewards loyalty program. Plus, we’ll do some price comparisons to see if you can save money renting with Thrifty.
Renting a car through Thrifty only requires a few simple steps.
Whether or not you need to add insurance offered by a car rental company largely depends on what credit cards you have in your wallet.
Many credit cards these days come with CDWs, or Collision Damage Waivers. And some coverage, like the kind that comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, is primary rental insurance which means you don’t have to make a claim with your other insurance first.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
For more options, check out the best credit cards for car rental insurance.
When you’re looking at your search results, you’ll notice that each car has 2 prices — a Pay Now price and a Pay Later price.
The Pay Now price will always be cheaper. However, it comes with a stricter cancellation policy. If you need to cancel a Pay Now rental, you’ll most likely have to pay a fee.
|Time of Cancellation||Cancellation Fee|
|Same calendar day as booking||$0|
|More than 24 hours before the scheduled pickup||$50|
|Less than 24 hours before the scheduled pickup||$100|
When you’re searching for a rental through Thrifty and are looking for the cheapest option available, look for Wild Card rates.
These types of rates are opaque bookings that means that you won’t know the specific type of car until after your booking is complete. So while you won’t be able to select the exact car type you want, these types of bookings can often save money.
Thrifty Wild Card rates equal the rate you’d pay for a compact car. You’ll either receive a compact car or a free upgrade, but you won’t know until you pick up your car at the lot.
Blue Chip Rewards is Thrifty’s loyalty program. This program is free and as a member, you’ll enjoy benefits and perks when renting from Thrifty.
The Blue Chip Rewards program is a little different than other car rental loyalty programs because there aren’t any elite tiers of membership.
Each member earns 10% off the base rate on all rentals, regardless of the rental price.
Thrifty has select airline, hotel, and specialty partners. Most of these offer a specific number of bonus points for a car rental, plus you’ll sometimes find bonus deals to earn even more.
Bonus miles are awarded on qualifying rentals at participating locations.
When you choose to earn miles with select airlines, you’ll be charged a daily fee by Thrifty.
Thrifty has 1 hotel partner — IHG. You’ll earn 125 IGH Rewards Club Points for each qualifying rental day.
Thrifty is a partner with AAA. As an AAA member, you’re eligible for discounts and perks when you use your AAA Club Discount Code in the CDP# field when scheduling your rental.
You’ll also need to show your AAA membership card at the rental counter.
Thrifty Benefits for AAA Members:
Thrifty has some other partners, but the benefits are not specified.
Thrifty Connect+ is a mobile device that you can rent along with your car at select U.S. locations. This device is available in 11 languages and comes with travel benefits including:
For this comparison, we priced out a few different types of cars at popular car rental agencies. Here’s what we found.
|Type of Car||Alamo||Budget||Enterprise||National||Sixt||Thrifty|
Prices are for a full week rental and include all taxes and fees.
There are many car rental companies out there and it can be hard to know which one to choose. While Thrifty may not always have the lowest prices, it’s a widely recognized brand with over 1,000 locations throughout the world.
Plus, with the Blue Chip Rewards program, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for free rental days.
Before you rent a car, it’s always a good idea to check prices on a few different websites to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Yes, both Thrifty and Dollar are subsidiaries of the Hertz Corporation.
Yes, AAA members are eligible for discounts and perks with Thrifty. As a member, you’ll receive an 8% discount of your car rental base rate, a free additional driver (who is also an AAA member), free use of a child safety seat, and a 10% discount on a GPS rental.
Thrifty has over 1,000 locations throughout the world including over 300 locations in the U.S.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.