\"Quantcast\"/
≡ Menu
miles4more logo

If you’ve been around miles and points travel at all, you are probably familiar with Autoslash. It’s an awesome tool for finding the best publicly available car rental rates, and then monitoring rates and sending a notification if a better rate comes available for your rental.

Sometime last year, Autoslash stopped offering to book most rentals, and sends you to Priceline instead, where you can book and then go plug your confirmation number in under the ‘Track a Rental’ tab on Autoslash. It works, but there are at least a couple of problems with this:

  • Car rental companies may prioritize direct bookings if they run out of cars. We had this happen on an Autoslash/Priceline Avis booking in Belize this spring, and we wound up getting walked to a different (local) agency and getting a smaller car for the same price.
  • Unless you do some digging around and figure out how each system works, you may lose the ability to skip the line, get points, etc if you book through a 3rd party such as Priceline.

So, here’s what I have done a couple times since March, in screenshots:

For reference, these are the rates on Priceline and National without going through Autoslash.

 

Autoslash rate is better!

 

 

Clicking through took me to this Priceline page.

 

If you scroll down, click add-ons and then rewards points and discounts, you can see the discount codes.

 

Pasted into National, and…

 

Much better, and I can go ahead and pay $6 to skip the counter and get on the road!

Notice the rate is for ‘National.com last minute specials’, not some corporate code that I’m not technically eligible for. This is the best method I’ve found to get the best possible rate while avoiding the headaches that could come with ‘hacking’ car rentals further. Also, I can still plug my National confirmation in at Autoslash to get updates for lower rates.

But, it turns out this isn’t a great idea for all of us to use. Autoslash can exist because they earn a commission from Priceline on these bookings. Some of the coupon codes are likely public, but others of the coupon and corporate codes may be specific to Autoslash, so using those could amount to stealing.

Also, you can earn points and benefits and skip the line on these postpaid Priceline rentals, and even use the Emerald or Executive Aisle with National. Thanks to Jonathan from Autoslash for commenting with a link to this blog post that covers some of that info. But, a big part of the reason I went digging for a better way was because this info is hidden – I couldn’t find it digging around the autoslash site for a while even when I knew it existed! And, based on info on Flyertalk the National Aisle benefit apparently just works if you use the drivers license in your profile and rent an intermediate car. Autoslash could certainly do a lot better job of letting occasional users know how to use their service while maximizing the renter’s benefits!

It’s been just about forever since I posted, I’m glad to see the blog still works! Maybe I’ll post some more stuff if I feel like doing some trips reports, or stumble on some more overlooked-but-shareable tips.

{ 6 comments }

We decided to come back from Cuba. Actually we never went, but working, traveling and family-ing left little time for blogging, a labor of love that hasn’t seen much labor for over a year. But, I stumbled on something that seemed to deserve a post.

The need for positioning flights is one thing that’s often overlooked or underplayed by travelers who have the luxury of a home airport with vigorous competition and available award seats on foreign carriers. I’ve written more about positioning here. For those of us who have families [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Living squarely in flyover country where we’re an afterthought to legacy carriers (that’s another post), Southwest is our favorite airline for flights to most of the destinations they serve. Unlike legacy carriers who open up placeholder schedules each day that they have no intent to actually keep, [click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

There’s no good way to spin today’s awful news (which I fist saw on One Mile at a Time) about the Alaska Mileage Plan devaluation for travel on Emirates. As my stash of Alaska miles went from four business class tickets to Africa down to two, it just hurts. But I think it also points to a fundamental rule around all loyalty programs that I’ve been writing about and recommending for a long time:

Before you bother to earn a bunch of points in a given program, learn about what it’s going to take to redeem those points, as well as how to use the rules of that program to your advantage. [click to continue…]

{ 9 comments }

Breaking up is tough.

The last few months have seen one blow after another to the miles & points and credit card churning games. From devaluations, to mass shutdowns, to reports of MSers being detained at their favorite store, to disappearing award seat availability, it’s just ugly out there. Easy churning and MS, combined with a plethora of sites getting the word out about our hobby, have brought an unsustainable number of people to it. [click to continue…]

{ 17 comments }

While we’d all like to think we can redeem our miles only for Saver Level seats on the best airlines out there with stopovers galore while getting approximately 29 cents per mile point in value, this thing called ‘real life’ often gets in the way. If you’re like us, you’re working around multiple school and work schedules (hello, holiday travel), flying to places you want to visit (never mind aspirational ‘products’), and flying from a secondary airport in the middle of the country (positioning, anyone?). That’s three strikes. We’re out! [click to continue…]

{ 9 comments }

AA First and Business Class Seats to Chile

If you have lots of AA miles and might want a trip to Chile (or somewhere in South America that you can get to from Santiago) next year, stop [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

For a while now, Citi has been our favorite bank for credit card rewards. What they lack in marquee programs, they have made up for in number of offers, generous signup bonuses, and retention bonuses. And, [click to continue…]

{ 22 comments }

Using AA miles beyond flight awards

We tend to do dumb things in the miles-and-points game or hobby. By we, I mean me. Specifically when it comes t0 booking hotels. I plan trips way in advance but fail to secure hotel bookings until the price skyrockets. Or I book two different hotels’ nonrefundable rooms for the same night. For this post I’m going to look at an award redemption that everyone knows is all wrong, and see if it might make sense after all. [click to continue…]

{ 22 comments }

We see lots of analogies made in this miles-and-points game (or hobby, The Hobby or Obsession as may apply), but I think the one that best fits when it comes to actually enjoying the fruits of our labor is that of a fisherman. Or fisherwoman. [click to continue…]

{ 13 comments }