I was flying to LA yesterday for work and realized that is was the last day to get fitted for some clothing for a wedding I am attending in two weeks. The nearest Jos. A. Banks is a little out of the way from the airport and the hotel and the show did not provide we with a rental car. It would cost a lot out of pocket to catch a ride down there and back so I decided to investigate a rental car, especially because the Amex Platinum card has some rental car benefits.
To get the cheapest car from hertz with no memberships/rewards etc would have been $110.29
Day Rental $47.17
Airport fee $8.46
Facility Charge $10
Loss damage waiver $9
Young Driver Charge $20
CA Tourism Assessment $1.23
Satellite Radio $6.99
I ended up getting the car for $24.16, less than a quarter of what they originally wanted for the car.
I thought the Amex Platinum would be the key player here but it was the underdog, my USAA checking account. Turns out there are several perks that USAA doesn't advertise that much. You can get discounts on rental cars, shipping, flowers to name a few. They will also wave the young driver fee (which can end up being half of the rental). I also signed up for Hertz Gold with my Amex Platinum.
I ended up paying:
Day Rental $11.24 (USAA rate and Hertz Gold discount)
Facility Charge $10 (A required fee by the airport to build new rental car facilities, a bit weird.)
Ca Tourism Assessment $.29
Already saving a ton of money, then there was the experience. Normal customers take the shuttle in and stand in a super long line to get the car. When I got there, my name was up on the gold board with a parking spot number. I walked over and there was my car with the keys in it. Huge time saver, plus the car was a Buick Verano, a part of their leather class of cars, definitely an upgrade, I'm not sure how many steps but I paid for the second tier of cars (which at my rate was +.80). The car had free satellite radio, back up camera, bluetooth for your phone and more.
A sweet ride, at a shockingly low cost, with a wonderful speedy customer experience. Pleasantly surprised by USAA and I'm off to a great inaugural run of my Amex Platinum.