When renting from Hertz you can choose to earn frequent flyer miles or Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points can be used to book free rentals (but you still have to pay taxes and fees) starting at 550 per day for weekend rentals.
Unfortunately for those of us who are infrequent Hertz renters, Hertz points expire after 18 months of inactivity (previously 24 months). And, unlike many other programs, the only account activity that counts to reset the clock is rental activity. That is, you must either earn points from a rental or spend points for a rental in order to extend your points’ expiry date. Points earned through partners or through miscellaneous Hertz bonuses do not extend your points’ expiry date.
How to find your Hertz point expiration date
Hertz does not make it easy to figure out when your points expire. The only way I know of to figure it out on your own is to log into your account and look at “Rewards Account Activity” under “My Account”. There, you can look back in time to find the most recent points transaction that was due to a rental. Then count forward 18 months to determine your point expiration date. When activity involves using points to book a rental, I believe that the rental date is the important date, not the booking date.
A better solution is to ask Hertz. Hertz contact information, including an email option, can be found here.
Keep Hertz points alive, solution 1: Book Placeholder Future Points Rental
According to posts in this Flyertalk thread, booking a cancel-able award rental far into the future keeps your points alive until you can earn or spend points for a real rental.
Since awards start at 550 points, you need to have at least that many in your account to do this.
Keep Hertz points alive, solution 2: Convert Points to Airline Miles
Hertz lets you exchange points for airline miles (usually 600 points for 500 miles). This is not generally a good value since Hertz points are worth more on a 1 to 1 basis than airline miles, but it’s better than letting your points expire.
Since transfers start at 600 points, you need to have at least that many in your account to do this.
Keep Hertz points alive, solution 3: Transfer Points to Spouse / Domestic Partner with more recent activity
If your spouse has more recently earned or redeemed points for rental activity, you can call Hertz to transfer your points to their account. This transfer won’t reset the clock entirely. Instead, the points will adopt your spouse’s expiry date.
The nice thing about this option is that there is no minimum required. I transferred 350 points from my account to my wife’s account since I had too few points to redeem for a future rental.
Keep Hertz points alive, solution 4: Transfer to Spouse, then Book Future Points Rental
This solution combines options 1 and 3 above. If you don’t have enough points in one account to book a future rental, you may have enough once you combine accounts. So, move points into one account then book a future cancel-able rental award.
Keep Hertz points alive, non-solution: Book award and cancel
In some programs you can reset expiry by booking an award with points and then immediately cancel. With Hertz, a cancelled award will supposedly cause Hertz to calculate the expiration date as if the award never happened.
But Hertz “Points Won’t Expire” (yes they will)
Note that Hertz’s website is inconsistent with regards to point expiry. On the Hertz “My Profile” page, click “Edit” in the Membership Details section. There you’ll learn that points won’t expire (I wish that were true!):
However, if you click to view the Terms and Conditions… Earning Restrictions, you’ll find that a program rental is required every 24 months:
Points do not expire as long as the member has a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program rental in the prior 24 months. Activity means a Gold Plus Rewards Point was either earned or redeemed.
Unfortunately, this document is out of date (Hat Tip: AlexK). The up-to-date 18 month terms can be found here (scroll down to “Expiring Points”).