This is a continuation from my last post How To: Travel on Business Part 1. To read about business airfare and lodging, please visit that post. This is about the other 2 pillars of business travel – car rental and dining.
First and foremost, sign up for the loyalty program for any car rental agency you use. Then, figure out if you rent enough to earn points/credits in that program or if you’d be better off just earning miles via car rentals. For the most part, I stick to earning miles because I rent a car once a year, if that.
Always keep things simple with rental cars. Go to rental agency’s site, enter your dates, and select the full size car. Buy the full insurance. Remember, you’re not paying for this out of your pocket essentially so you need not search for the best deal around. Normally, I’d suggest Priceline or Autoslash to snag the best rates. I hate to be a stickler about it but, again, pay with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You will get a double points bonus on ‘travel’, which car rentals included.
And always check back here or follow me on Twitter for the latest promos. e.g. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards free 500 points and National’s free rental day after 2 rentals. What sucks is we’ll be using National to rent our cars in Hawaii for the wedding and honeymoon (over 15 days), but the promo ends a month before that!
It may be a no-brainer but it’s always worth mentioning.
Your primary option should be to eat at the in-hotel restaurant and charge it to the room. That way you can definitely get points bonus on “Travel” spend if you have a card like the Sapphire Preferred.
Your secondary option should be dining at a restaurant that participates in Rewards Network (RN). If you don’t already know, RN is a site that partners with airline programs and local restaurants. By signing up and registering your card (just the number, not exp. date or CCV), you can earn 3 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants. These points are deposited monthly to whichever RN program you choose to be a part of. There are also sign-up bonuses that you should take advantage of if you are not currently part of a program.
If you still haven’t found a place to eat after those two avenues, just hit up Yelp and pick the establishment that suits your tastes. Hopefully you have a credit card that gives you bonus points for Dining (*cough Sapphire Preferred).
Don’t forget to always keep your receipts!