Devaluation: Hertz Point Redemption Values to Increase
At least one rental car company has decided to join the airlines and lodging companies on the devaluation bandwagon.
If you are a member of the Gold Plus frequent renter loyalty program of Hertz Rent-A-Car, you will most likely be disappointed to learn that effective as of October 1, 2013, point redemption levels for rewards will increase up to 15 percent in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
Some FlyerTalk members learned of the pending devaluation in a letter signed by Elliot Friedman — the division vice president of customer relationship management for The Hertz Corporation — and sent to them via an e-mail message:
“To continue providing exceptional service to our members, we occasionally make changes to the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® points program. We are pleased to announce that based on member feedback, coming soon we will be enhancing reward redemption options with new locations and expanded choices.
“We also constantly strive to maintain industry-leading reward levels and availability. However, in light of rising costs, we find it necessary to implement our first reward redemption point increase since 2008. Beginning October 1, 2013, point redemption levels for Rewards will increase a modest 10–15% in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I. This will allow us to continue providing both the quality and quantity of reward options our members have come to value and appreciate.
“We thank you for your participation in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and look forward to serving you at a Hertz location soon.”
Some FlyerTalk members are disappointed over this devaluation — but it could be worse, as it could have been:
- Implemented with little or no advance warning — such as Club Carlson did only yesterday, for example
- Applied worldwide instead of only in much of North America
- Increased beyond 15 percent — although some FlyerTalk members are skeptical that the point redemption devaluation will not exceed 15 percent
- Effective sooner than October of 2013, as it has been five years since the last reward point redemption increase
It is sad when I am justifying how fortunate members of the Gold Plus frequent renter loyalty program of Hertz Rent-A-Car might feel that the devaluation was not worse than what was announced.
Keep in mind that — similar to the airlines — the rental car industry had already experienced consolidation, with the latest being the completion of the acquisition of Dollar Rental Car and Thrifty Car Rental by The Hertz Corporation in 2012, leaving only three major “legacy” rental car companies in the United States.
As we have witnessed with the frequent travel loyalty programs of airlines and lodging companies earlier this year — along with the consolidation of car rental companies in recent years — I would not be surprised if this announcement from Hertz portends a similar “domino effect” throughout the rest of the rental car industry of the devaluations of points in competing frequent renter loyalty programs.