Picking Up My First Rental Car for 9,999 Delta Miles

Some followup on the Delta 9,999 bonus miles for a single day car rental offer.

First, some have been interpreting that the offer is good three times with Avis and three times with Budget. My read was three times total between Avis and Budget. I could be proven wrong, but I’m not making a 4th rental to try it out.

Second, print everything and I mean everything. I printed the offer itself.  I printed the page where I enter all the information about the rental (including my Skymiles number, etc).  I printed the confirmation page.  I’m saving all of those, and will save my rental receipt as well.

There are tons of things that could go wrong here and mess with the bonus posting. Somehow rentals are flagged as being booked through iSeatz, which provides Delta’s car rental bookings, iSeats presumably gets info back on which rentals booked through the site are consummated. And that’s how the bonus is triggered. But if the Avis location messes with the reservation the chain could easily be broken.

I picked up a car today at National airport. The agent there recognized me and, to be helpful, offered to plug in my wizard number. No thanks! That might count as another discount, promotion, or offer which would void my 10,000 bonus miles!

I handed over my credit card. Whoops — it’s the same card (Diners Club, for the primary rental insurance) I have linked to my Wizard nuimber. The Avis system automatically grabbed my Wizard number and added it to the reservation. And that triggered my corporate discount code to enter the reservation and drop the price. Uh oh! They had to work to get that puppy out of there, as it would have invalidated my 10,000 Delta miles (over a $10 savings). They got it out but I’m willing to bet the miles don’t post automatically now.   So I’ll have to wait six weeks and follow up.

For my next rental I’ll be careful not to let them add my Wizard number and not to hand them my Diners Club card, either. But I’ll still flash my super-ultra-premium elite card, and just ask them for a better car without touching the reservation . . . (I love my miles, but I love my upgrades too).

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. […] There are things that some people only think are crazy — like buying coins from the US mint with a credit card, depositing those coins in the bank and paying off the credit card; like opening online checking accounts and funding them with a credit card (with banks coding the transactions as purchases) and using the new checks to pay off the credit card; like taking endless surveys or renting and returning cars that you do not need and don’t actually drive. […]


  1. An advantage to having your cc swiped that’s linked to your Wizard number is when you make Priceline/Hotwire bookings and get Avis. Each time, I’ve received both my miles and upgrade, thanks to my President’s Club perk!

  2. Gary,
    I have my three rentals booked starting next weekend. I too want to use my DC for the insurance protection. Would you suggest that I take my DC number out of my Avis profile prior to picking up the car? I can always switch it back after this promo. What do you think?

  3. If you literally remove the Diners Club card from your profile that should work.

    But bear in mind that adding your Wizard # may not ACTUALLY be a problem. It’s just that if it triggers anything that could be consider another promotion, discount, or offer that something could wind up amiss and I don’t want to lose out on points here on a technicality…

  4. i’m pretty conservative about these things and i don’t value delta miles all that highly relative to other currencies… i’d certainly spend $50 for 10k miles, probably $65 tops though.

  5. so, for delta miles, basically a penny each. there is also the risk involved that the miles never post or the aggravation to get them to post.

  6. Hi Gary,

    Have these bonus miles posted to your account yet? Just curious as I am still waiting for them.

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