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

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If you are a regular or occasional car renter, it is worth being familar with 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 four day rental.

With Hertz, as long as you use the Amex Platinum CDP code of 633306, it prices as a three 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.”

For clarity, you need to make your original booking with the four hour grace period included. You can’t return the car four hours late and claim you shouldn’t be charged.

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 from Heathrow Airport using the Amex Platinum discount code, showing £168.30 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 price difference. It is still £168.30 due to the four hour American Express Platinum grace period.

Compare the same 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 10% (£18) 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. The total discount for using the Amex Platinum discount code on this trip is now a chunky (£244 vs £168) 31%.


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

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Comments (32)

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

  • Erico1875 says:

    Avis/Budget will do a Medium car 4 day hire those dates for £173 if booking via BA exec club.
    No Platinum code reqd.
    Always pays to shop around.
    The Platinum excess policy is handy, although this can be bought really cheap with the likes of Insurance for car hire or Eversure etc

    • JDB says:

      Yes, as always these things need to be treated with care, including that the grace period only works at Hertz corporate locations, not franchisees. In terms of the CDP discount code, that again doesn’t always work to offer any discount or benefit outside corporate locations and the site of the franchisee will offer much cheaper rates adapted to the local market and has its own discount codes. Re the excess policy – it doesn’t appear to cover windscreens/tyres which are usually treated separately from CDW, notably in countries where many roads are unmade including South America and Australia.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Actually, booking via Ryanair brings cost down to 99 Euro.

  • Andrew says:

    Do you actually have to show or use the card, or can you just use the discount code?

    • Rob says:

      Need to show the card, no need to pay with it.

      • Paul says:

        do you really though? I’ve used various ‘exclusive’ CDP codes over the years at various foreign locations and never once been asked

        • Rob says:

          Those are the rules, not saying that they applied. However, your car will have zero insurance (bar the legal minimum in the country you are in) so good luck there if you have an accident ….

      • tony says:

        If I’m not mistaken the AMEX Plat CDP strips out the insurance, so if you don’t pay using the card you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of risk.

        Interesting to see comments about INV, too. I picked up from Hertz there. Pre-paid rental but they gave me a smaller car. When I disputed it they said “tough, you accepted the vehicle.” Ended up with AMEX processing a charge back. Also depot not open at the return time, left in airport car park. No damage shenanigans but they did have the audacity to charge me for parking.

        • e14 says:

          The Amex CDP doesn’t strip out insurance in countries where it is mandatory (like the UK)

        • Dan says:

          “if you don’t pay using the card you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of risk”

          no, there’s no requirement to pay with the card to get the car rental benefits

          • Rob says:

            The only reason to do it is that, if a damage charge is made, Amex can clearly see it in order to refund you more quickly.

  • Paul says:

    Hertz and Amex deal is good if you can get it. I find in North America it works, less so in Europe. Even at corporate locations in U.K. staff haven’t heard of it. Glasgow Airport is case in point but there is a bigger problem there in that they don’t open at weekend or after 5 pm. Hertz service have plummeted post covid while prices have soared.

  • Mark says:

    Had and still having a nightmare with Hertz and Amex over a booking in Inverness earlier this year.

    Picked up car and was told it had slight damage to rear bumper. When doing walk round there was NO damage, it was a light scratch, (pencil mark scam) I pointed this out and the agent was a bit taken back as to what to say. It was obvious that this was an outlet that tried to scam customer.

    Upon return I was instructed to leave the car in the car park at the airport as they’d closed for the day. I took 4K video and photos of every panel in the car. Sure enough when they collected it the next day they said it had 2 lots of light scratches. Again, looked like pencil marks.

    I email them the video and photo evidence of the car being left with no damage, they didn’t even acknowledge that they’d looked at the evidence so I escalated with Amex, who perfomed a chargeback. I questioned the amount for the damage, but Amex took it upon themselves to question the wholeamount. After a month, Amex found in my favour. Probably because hertz never replied to their request.

    Forward to this weekend and Hertz send me an invoice for the full amount again.

    • JDB says:

      It was probably not helpful of Amex to chargeback (or provide you s75) for the full sum and it’s not clear whether they did that intentionally or not. The issue is that while a credit card company card credit can credit your card anccount and deduct the money from the merchant, that does NOT extinguish the contractual obligations between you and Hertz. In practice, companies will usually drop a dispute if Amex decides against them but technically/legally you still owe the money to Hertz which they are entitled to pursue you for.

      • LittleNick says:

        But taking everything at face value here, Mark is in the correct and Hertz are in the wrong and ignoring irrefutable evidence? What would be the best way to go about resolving this headache?

        • JDB says:

          How to resolve this ultimately somewhat depends on how much is being claimed. In the first instance I would write to Hertz Inverness and the billing people if their details are on the invoice, setting out the matter (and amount) in dispute while offering immediately to pay the underlying rental cost as you really don’t want Hertz passing the file to debt collectors. State all the things about the non damage on return and the incident on collection. Give them 14 days to provide you with a credit note (to zero the invoice after you have paid the main sum) to correct their error, failing which you will have escalate to Hertz head office and relevant authorities in respect of the fictitious damage claims which may potentially be part of a ‘system’ to extort money rather genuine.

          • Bagoly says:

            I can see this scam running until a renter does actually make a complaint to the police.
            Unfortunately that involves a lot of sunk time.
            It’s easier to threaten them with an article in the Daily Mail / Guardian.

          • Mark says:

            Already emailed them the proof, got nothing back, amex did the same, no response. You can’t get hold of anyone by phone, email or their web chat.

    • Bagoly says:

      Did you try rubbing off the pencil marks that were there when you collected the car?

      • Mark says:

        They didn’t exist which is why I pointed it out. Put on, take a picture, make a claim to the renter then wash the car.

  • Steve says:

    Can anyone confirm. Do I have to pay for the car hire with my Amex platinum card to get the car hire excess insurance benefit?

  • Big Eck says:

    I’m getting cheaper quotes for a USA rental using Amex Plat code 211762.

    • CamFlyer says:

      My last few Hertz rentals have been less expensive using the IHG code than Amex Plat, though as some have noted that may be a corporate vs franchise difference.

  • PlaneSpeaking says:

    It doesn’t work at LCA or PFO so I guess they’re franchisees in Cyprus.

    • JDB says:

      AutoHellas is the Hertz franchisee in Greece and Cyprus. It’s cheaper booking with them directly.

  • Andy Morgan says:

    Sorry if I’m repeating a question here… but at the counter, I just say no to each and every ‘extra’ insurance/waiver/policy I’m offered? And I’m completely covered by Amex?

    • Rob says:


      However, you can’t remove whatever is the legally required national minimum insurance in your particular country of rental, which will be built into the base price. ie if you book a car for £100 and the breakdown shows £75 rental + £25 insurance, which ‘buys’ you the legal minimum cover, you cannot remove this. However, yes, you can decline anything they try to sell you on top of the agreed base price.

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

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