Perhaps inspired by the airline industry, which now charges customers an extra fee for everything from snacks to blankets to checked baggage, the rental car industry has created a few new fees of its own in recent years. One of those is frequent flyer surcharge, or something with a similar name, that the rental car companies charge customers who opt to receive airline miles with their rental. In some cases, they are just passing on the expense of those miles, and it other cases they are actually charging more than the actual value of the miles. So it’s a good idea to check what the frequent flyer surcharge is and how many miles you could potentially earn before deciding if you want those extra miles.
The surcharge varies by company, but generally it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 per day. With it being a standard practice to provide 50 miles per rental day, the cost to the renter is about 2 cents per mile. The problem is that most travel experts say that an airline mile is only worth about 1.2 cents. So in that situation, you are probably better off just skipping the miles. But if you can find a special deal with double or triple miles, or some other bonus mileage, then it can be a good idea. So when you pick up your car, make sure you understand how many miles you can earn and compare that with the surcharge to decide if it’s worth the money. For more information, check out this travel article in USA Today.