swiss credit cards save on car rentals

How to Use Swiss Credit Cards to Save on Car Rentals

Many Swiss pay for car rentals using credit cards, either online or when collecting their car. But a large number of travelers are not aware of the money-saving benefits they could be getting.

Credit cards have become a popular way to pay for car rentals. This is partly due to the fact that many rentals are now booked in advance online, and partly because many of the big-name rental agencies request credit card information as collateral in place of a deposit.

But consumers that charge car rentals to their credit cards often pay more than necessary because they aren’t aware of the discounts and benefits which they are entitled to. In Switzerland, a number of credit cards from major issuers provide solid discounts at rental car companies. Additionally, some cards provide complimentary rental car insurance when you use them to pay for a rental.

Knowing the discounts provided by your card issuer and taking them into account when choosing a rental car can help you save a lot of money. Take a look at these car rental discounts offered by card issuers.

1. Avis

If you have a PostFinance credit card, you can get a discount when you use your card to pay for Avis car rentals. A discount code is displayed on the back of your card, and you can use this to claim your discount when making a booking.

Using the SWISS Miles & More American Express Golf card to pay for rentals from Avis entitles you to a 10% discount. As an American Express Platinum Card user you get Avis discounts when you book rentals through the American Express Platinum travel service.

Visa Bonus Card users can get up to 25% off on car rentals from Avis in Switzerland. The same holds true for Visa Liberty Card users (regular and prepaid). Gold Bonus Card, Exclusive Bonus Card and Libertycard Plus users have the added benefit of a complimentary collision damage waiver on car rentals.

2. Europcar

UBS credit card users benefit from discounts at Europcar, paying up to 15% less when using a Basic UBS credit card, up to 20% less with a classic UBS credit card, up to 25% less with a gold UBS card and up to 30% less by using a platinum UBS credit card to pay. In addition to Europcar discounts in Switzerland, paying for Europcar car rentals abroad with a basic, classic and gold UBS credit card lets you score discounts of up to 10%. The platinum card entitles you to discounts of up to 15% abroad.

Additionally, by using a gold or platinum credit card from UBS to pay for car rentals (at any rental car agency), you are automatically covered by a collision damage waiver (up to 10,000 Swiss francs per claim). Unless you need more coverage than that, you can turn down the collision damage waiver offered by the rental car company and save the money.

Cards issued by Topcard also give you discounts at Europcar (up to 20% with standard cards, 25% with gold cards, or as much as 30% with platinum cards).

The Migrolcard from Migros gas stations may be a petrol card rather than an all-round credit card, but presenting this card entitles you to discounts of up to 30% on standard car rentals at Europcar. You also get discounts of up to 15% on standard car rentals around the world. Discounts of up to 15% apply to long-term rentals and the rental of high-end cars in Switzerland.

3. Hertz

If you use a Viseca credit card like those provided by Raiffeisen banks and many Swiss cantonal and regional banks, you can get as much as 20% off standard rates when they use your card to pay for car rentals at Hertz. A Hertz discount code is printed on the back of your credit card. Entering this code when making your Hertz bookings lets you access discounts.

Viseca gold credit card holders benefit from a collision damage waiver when they use their card to pay for a car rental in full. Viseca platinum card holders benefit from both a collision damage waiver and a loss damage waiver when they use their card to pay for car rentals.

Cornèrcard offers Hertz discounts to holders of many of its credit cards, including the Cornèrcard Classic and Cornèrcard Gold. Using an eligible Cornèrcard credit card to pay lets you score discounts of up to 20% at Hertz in Switzerland and up to 25% abroad.

American Express Gold cardholders get up to 10% off standard rates for Hertz car rentals and Platinum Amex cardholders automatically receive Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status at Hertz and also benefit from fully comprehensive rental car insurance (loss damage waiver and collision damage waiver) when they use their card to pay.

As a Baloise Bank credit card user you benefit from Herz discounts of up to 20% in Switzerland and up to 25% abroad.

As a Diners Club International credit card holder you benefit from 20% off Hertz car rentals when you use your card to pay. You also get discounts of up to 25% for Hertz rentals outside of Switzerland and you benefit from Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership. You benefit from a complimentary collision damage waiver when you use a Diners Club card to pay for car rentals. These benefits apply to Diners Club cards issued in Switzerland by Cornèrcard.

4. Sixt

American Express Platinum cardholders get Sixt Platinum status without having to fulfill the usual requirements. Sixt Platinum members benefit from discounts of up to 15% off Sixt car rentals.

Conclusion

While sticking to a single rental car company just because your credit card gives you a discount at that company is not always the best-value option, in many cases doing so can help you save on rentals. Make sure to compare the discounted rate with other rental car offers in case a better deal is available elsewhere.

It is also important to note that the discounts advertised by rental car companies and credit card issuers normally apply to the regular price you pay at the counter, and they may not apply to prepaid offers, online bookings and special deals.

If you rent cars fairly often and always use the same big-name car rental company when you rent vehicles, it could make financial sense to get a credit card that entitles you to discounts at that rental car company. Many of the rental car benefits provided by credit cards are shown on the “info” pages of each product in the moneyland.ch credit card comparison.

More on this topic:
Credit card comparison
Swiss credit card concierge services
Airport lounge access with credit cards
Bank packages comparison

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