This week I noticed that I had a terrible mishap when I checked my Hertz Rewards account and saw that all my Hertz Rewards points had expired due to inactivity on the account.
Hertz previously extended members’ points balance due to the pandemic, but apparently, that moratorium ended (at least for elite members) on Dec. 31, 2021 after which accounts without activity were reset to zero balance.
Admittedly I haven’t paid much attention to Hertz since 2019 and whenever I visited the U.S. I started to rent from Sixt instead as I got sick and tired of Hertz lackluster vehicle selection.
I was an avid Hertz rented since the mid-2000s when I lived in the U.S. and had a Hertz local edition nearby where I rented on average twice per week. After that, I mostly rented at LAX Airport, where I always received pretty decent cars, first as Platinum and later as Presidents Circle.
Then Hertz took a turn for the worse. First, they changed from pre-assigned cars to the Presidents Circle/Gold Choice aisle, which meant that you had to wait around quite a while until a decent vehicle showed up. Then the cars got much worse in selection, quality, and mileage plus the eventual decay of Hertz, culminating in the bankruptcy of the company.
During the pandemic, Hertz extended the points of their members as they announced:
While the status was extended, points were not. At least not for common members though Elite members had their balance frozen until December 31, 2021.
John covered the tier extension policy of Hertz last year:
Well, as I mentioned I haven’t used Hertz for quite some time and the last time I tried (2019) to use my points, a redemption option wasn’t available.
Points will not expire as long as you have a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards rental activity in the prior 18 months. Activity means a Gold Plus Rewards Point was either earned or redeemed on a rental.
In January of 2021, Hertz announced that they waive Gold Rewards points expiration for all elite members through December 31, 2021. This extension applied only to Platinum, President’s Circle and Five Star members.
How did I learn about this just now?
As I plan to pick up a car in Los Angeles near the San Pedro world cruise center in a few weeks I had to make a reservation with Hertz again and noticed when I logged in that while I’m still Presidents Circle for whatever reason, my points are now gone:
I believe my latest balance was something around 1600 points so enough for two free rental days under normal circumstances.
It’s a bit sad that I wasn’t able to use the points. I could have either preserved or used them when I was in California in May of last year, however, I got a very decent rate at Sixt where I always receive at least a BMW3 or higher. So why bother with Hertz just for the points and end up driving some dinged-up Toyota Camry with 40,000 miles for a whole weekend? Nah.
Nevertheless, this was an oversight I normally don’t like to expose myself to. You never know where this points would have come in handy but that’s spilled milk under the bridge.
I made a blunder not monitoring the expiration of my Hertz Rewards points, and roughly 1,600 of them expired sometime in the last 15 months (based on what Hertz published, likely on DEC 31, 2021).
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get these points back. For my next rental that I plan to pick up at a HLE location, I’ll just collect Virgin Atlantic miles again as I’ve done so many times in the past. Only expensive rentals that earned several hundred Hertz points were credited to my rewards balance.
Availability for redemptions has also gone down, and they have gotten expensive. The good old days are definitely over including for the company itself which is still reeling from the bankruptcy process.