Great Simple Strategy to Use Rental Car Miles and Save on Taxes Still Works!

One useful trick with rental cars — if you want to earn miles rather than rental credit, a preferred strategy with Avis — is not to give your frequent flyer account number when you make the reservation and just request the miles after the rental is over.

There’s two reasons that made this exceptionally useful.

  1. Usually you’re talking about a small number of miles. One of the best things about it is being able to credit miles to just about whatever program you wish. This let you keep accounts active, keep miles from expiring. So you pick later where the miles go based on where you need them.

  2. You save on taxes. Rental car companies generally charge a fee to recoup the taxes paid when buying miles from US airline frequent flyer programs. But once the rental is over, you can often get miles credited without paying the fee to receive them.

Unfortunately, according to this Flyertalk thread, Avis will no longer allow you to request miles after the fact. At least that’s what the individual was told when they call.

I’ve always requested the miles on the Avis website. And that appears to still be possible.

Here’s a recent rental:

And it allows you to request points in your preferred program.

For now at least the technique appears to still be available. No guarantees that it will stay that way, so factor that into your decision whether to request miles up front or hold back the option to drop them into an account later.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m having another weird issue in the past few months.
    Crediting 1 day Avis rentals to Virgin and expecting 1000 VS miles BUT getting instead 500 in my account….even 250 miles on occasions!

  2. Not sure if this is still the case, but previously if you chose to credit the miles to a non-US airline program there was no fee unlike with the U.S. based carriers.

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