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