We previously wrote about an Amazing promotion (maybe): 5k SAS miles per cheap Hertz rental. The gist of the promotion is that SAS was partnering with Hertz to offer 5,000 miles per rental for reservations made between now and the end of June for pick ups by September 30th. The offer seemed to good to be true — in many cities, a car could be rented for $20-$30 for a day. By making single day rentals, you could effectively buy miles for a half a penny or so a piece (and have a car for a day). I also wrote an update after picking up my first rental, noting that the agent at the counter proactively mentioned that he could see I was slated to earn 5,000 miles for the rental. This promotion seemed too good to be true.
Hertz makes unannounced change to terms
As several people pointed out, the terms indicated that Hertz reserved the right to change the promotion at any time. While we often see such a clause in promotions, the generosity of this one seemed to make that line stand out a bit more than usual. And sure enough, One Mile at a Time has reported that Hertz has changed the terms of the promotion. They have added the following clause, which was not there when this promotion launched:
- For Domestic US & Canada rentals there is a minimum rental requirement of 3 days.
There had previously been no such clause with a minimum rental period. The promotion had generated enthusiasm precisely because of the lack of a minimum rental term.
What does this mean for completed rentals?
That’s a great question — and unfortunately, we don’t know. I don’t believe that this change was communicated in any way beyond a quiet update to the terms. That certainly doesn’t scream transparency or an intent to honor the promotion as written. At this point, the change does not seem to affect rentals outside of the US and Canada — but Hertz could clearly change that without notice as well. Compounding the uncertainty is that miles from this promotion are not slated to post until after October 5th. If Hertz has changed the terms just 13 days into the promotion, it is very hard to know what will happen six months from now.
What should you do if you’ve already rented?
Keep your screen shots and be ready for an uphill battle come October. I’ve only made two rentals so far through this promotion. I’ll probably make one more reservation (of at least 3 days this time) so that I can theoretically end up with enough miles for a one-way domestic economy ticket and orphan fewer miles. But I certainly won’t proceed with what I intended to be quite a few more rentals. I will probably wait it out until October and then email/tweet/call inquiring about my miles if and when they don’t post. I assume they probably won’t post without some effort on my part. This is unfortunate, but it seemed like a bit of a gamble from the beginning. Hopefully they honor those rentals that are already completed. If there are any further updates, we will be sure to communicate them.