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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 in the past couple of years as we spent more time holidaying in the UK, 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 totally separate from the Hertz status you receive via Amex Platinum. The benefit 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 hour 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.

It is worth looking at this pricing in awe. Historically I aimed to pay £20 per day for a UK car rental, factoring in all the discounts I can find. During covid the rental companies rushed to sell off their cars and now cannot replace them due to the global shortage of semiconductors. Renting a car is not a good idea at the moment as you will see.

This is a Hertz rental of exactly three days using the Amex Platinum discount code, showing £330.56 as the price.

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

As you can see, there is no difference. It is still £330.56 due to the four hour Platinum grace period.

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 American Express Platinum code has saved us roughly 10% (£36) which is OK but not a fortune.

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

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.

Don’t ask me why the price shoots up so much simply for adding a 4th day, but it does.

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.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review


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Comments (39)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Js says:

    Use flying blue CDP for 15% off, better than amex

  • Fraser says:

    It would be helpful to clarify in order to benefit from the insurance…
    – Do you need to pay with the Amex (and incur foreign transaction costs)?
    – Do you need to use either Amex CPD code? (They recently offered a discount and 2nd driver with a different code)

    Also worth noting with Avis, even though I have Preferred via SAS, the free 2nd driver in Canada is apparently restricted to spouses or co-workers. I am not sure they require a marriage certificate or proof of employment, so how they enforce it, but they did seem insistent that the free 2nd driver benefit did not apply in Canada.

  • A says:

    Sometimes this code can save you a lot. I once rented a Porsche in lax to visit family in salinas. Managed to do the trip there and back (600 miles) within the 28 hours. That’s my bragging done.

  • Alex says:

    Spent the last two weeks trying to sort a car down south for when I’m back from Dubai. Quotes of 300-400 for 4 days.

    Used this on Hertz, picking up at 12 midday Friday and dropping off 16:00 Monday its considered 3 days and come in at 170GBP.

    Cheers.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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