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How does the Hertz and Amex Platinum ‘4 hour grace period’ work?

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Having rented a few cars this Summer, I thought it was worth running through one of the lesser known benefits of The Platinum Card from American Express.

Most people know that Amex Platinum comes with comprehensive car hire insurance. You don’t need to agree to anything that the rental company tries to sell you. I have claimed on this a few times over the years and never had a problem. The car hire company charges you and you reclaim the bill from American Express.

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

Platinum also comes with elite status at Hertz and Avis, although I don’t value this much. It is worth having if you regularly rent from busy depots as it usually allows you to ignore the queue and pick up your keys from a separate desk.

The Hertz ‘4 hour’ deal is something separate. It allows you to make your final rental day a 28 hour one.

Let’s imagine that you pick up a car at 10am on Friday to return at 2pm on Monday.

Car rental companies treat this as a 4 day rental.

With Hertz, as long as you use the Amex Platinum CDP code of 633306, it prices as a 3 day rental. This is because you get a four grace period on your final day.

Where is the four hour grace period available?

According to Hertz:

“A 4-hour no charge grace period before an extra day charge is applied when returning the vehicle in Hertz Corporate Europe locations, the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Middle East (with exception of UAE and Bahrain who offer 2 hours grace period) and selected European Franchise countries (see participating countries). Asia, with the exception of China, offers a 2-hour no charge grace period, except on optional extras like portable phones.”

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

Here is an example.

Compare two bookings using the Amex Platinum code:

All of these quotes are taken from the UK Hertz website which is here.

This is a Hertz rental of exactly three days using the Amex Platinum discount code, showing £72.35 as the price.

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

This is a Hertz rental of three days and four hours, using the Amex Platinum discount code:

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

As you can see, there is no difference. It is still £72.35.

Compare two bookings WITHOUT the Amex Platinum code:

To prove that the Amex code is making a difference, here is the same Hertz rental of exactly three days WITHOUT using the Amex Platinum discount code. You will see that the Platinum code has saved us £11.93 which is OK but not a fortune.

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

This is a Hertz rental of three days and four hours WITHOUT using the Amex Platinum discount code:

American Express Platinum '4 hour Hertz grace period'

You will see that the price has shot up because you are now paying for a fourth day, even though you are returning the car just four hours into the fourth day.

For this rental, the Amex Platinum code saves us (£129.22 – £72.35) £56.87, or 44%.

Conclusion

The American Express Platinum / Hertz ‘four hour waiver’ seems like a very niche benefit, and one that you can easily overlook.

If it fits around your schedule, however, it can lead to substantial savings.

PS. You can often make additional savings by using another Amex Platinum discount code – 211762. I’m not sure where this is from, but it comes up as ‘Platinum Card from Amex’ whereas the code used above comes up as ‘Amex Platinum EMEA’.

In our example above, using code 211762 drops the price from £72.35 to £64.38.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in five major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £575

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £575.

See if you qualify for the 30,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £4,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.  Holding a British Airways American Express card does not disqualify from the Platinum bonus.

If you cancel The Platinum Card at any point, you will receive a pro-rata refund of your membership fee.  You will not lose your sign-up bonus.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in five major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold Elite), Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£10 per month of Addison Lee taxi credit

Comments (43)

  • Fraser says:

    I’ve used it in the US (SFO, LAX) without having to add the time to the booking up front, just return late up to 4 hours as quoted by Amex.

    • e14 says:

      Don’t try that in other countries including the UK, it must be shown in the contract (you must book 28 hours)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    As this is about car hire

    Any tips for car hire in Scotland looking to pick up in central Edinburgh on. Sunday ideally due to parking and drop off at Glasgow Airport a couple days later. Anyone got any tips?

    • Susan says:

      Get the tram out to the airport – navigating central Edinburgh by car if you don’t know it is a nightmare.

    • Sina says:

      I got a Jaguar F-Pace from enterprise for £200 for a week, picked up in EDI. This was 3 weeks ago, got around scotland!

  • IslandDweller says:

    Don’t pick up in the centre of Edinburgh. Far more choice, much better opening hours, and far less hassle to collect at the airport. Usually better rates too.. Edinburgh city centre depots are small and can struggle to manage inventory – they sometimes run out of cars.

  • JP-MCO says:

    I had the Platinum card up until a couple of years ago and had the Platinum CDP stored in my account. I never thought to remove it and have been using it ever since – case in point – they never check. It probably helps that I’m Hertz President’s Circle though.

    • Charlieface says:

      Only once I had a check in all the times I used it. The Plat CDP in your profile makes you Presi.

  • Aerotec says:

    Not working for my BNA (Nashville) to ORD (O’Hare) booking. 1430 pick up then 1830 drop off adds another day.

    Also be careful, 211762 does drop my price by $100 but removes the free additional driver which I think is more valuable as it will be a 17 day rental.

    • Charlieface says:

      Amex Plat code entitles you to free additional driver, as does Five Star and Presi status, which you get free with the Plat

  • Alex says:

    Side note – Just checked my Platinum Card benefits, one of the items added that I never saw before is the “International Airlines Program”, correct me if I’m wrong, it was only available to US card only and now this is available to UK cardholders.

    Airlines included – AA, Air Europa, BA, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Qatar and Singapore Airlines.

    As a Platinum Cardmember, you can take advantage of the International Airline Program which offers you up to 20% off airfares on some of the world’s finest airlines to many destinations around the world.

    For solo travel or up to 8 tickets, enjoy more choice with exclusive savings in a variety of premium cabins which you book through your Platinum Travel service or
    American Express Online Travel.

    This benefit is available to Primary and Supplementary Cardmembers.