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Nikki Taught You: Rental Car Hacks (Get the lowest price!)

Nikki Taught You: Rental Car Hacks (Get the lowest price!)

Hacking In Progress Biiiihhh!

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Alright, so a few years ago during the height of when gas prices were like $4/Gallon,  I decided to get rid of my truck and take the train everywhere. Fortunately for me I lived on Peachtree St in Atlanta, right across from the midtown train station, so I was able to get around fairly easily during the week. However,  I quickly realized that I needed a car to get out and about on the weekends. So I ended up renting a car 1-2 weekends a month. I literally became the rental car expert. I rented so much I was in the hertz “Platinum Club” lol.

Sooooo since I have crowned myself the rental car expert *wink* here are a few tips I wanna pass along to make sure you save the most money when renting:

Tip #1: Location, Location, LOCATION

This is probably the biggest money saving tip I can give, which is why I put it on the top of this list!
Where you pick up your car will determine how much your rental car will be. If you pick up your car at the airport, your car rental will automatically be about 20-30% higher (due to surcharges) than if you were to pick it up somewhere locally or central to the city. Rental car companies always put the airport either by default or at the top of the list of locations because they know the rates are higher! The second highest are hotels. Hotels charge a surcharge similar to airports automatically. So make sure you use google maps, and compare locations and prices. Always opt for a local “neighborhood” rental car location if possible. And remember, 9 times out of 10 they are willing to come pick you up, so you don’t have to go out of your way to get there.

 

Tip #2: You Do Not Need Insurance On Your Car!

Yes, you read that correctly. Repeat after me: I DO NOT NEED ADDITIONAL INSURANCE ON A RENTAL CAR!
You probably think I am crazy and out of my mind for giving you this tip… but hold on so I can explain. You know when you’re checking in to pick up your rental and you get to the very end of the process and they are like “So do you want to put insurance on the car in case something happens? Otherwise you would be responsible for 100% of the costs should their be damage”. You then get scared and want to avoid judgement so you be like “ummm yeah, that’s probably something I need”. WRONG GIRL! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Rental car companies make a pretty penny off “rental car insurance” AND the associate offering it gets commission if he sells it. Which is why he or she goes soooo hard with making you feel like you NEED to have it. The truth is, 90% of credit card companies have rental car insurance included at no cost to you, as long as you use the card to pay for the rental.

Here is what’s required by most credit card companies in order to activate coverage at NO additional cost to you:

  • Decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW) – in other words SAY NO!
  • Be the primary renter of the car – Common sense lol
  • Pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection – Also common sense

So the next time they try to pressure you into buying their insurance, look them dead in the eye, tilt your head to the side, close your eyes and say slowly “Noooooo Thaaaank Youuuuuu”.

no no thank you

Tip #3: Coupon Codes

YALL. KNOW. EYE. LUV. COUPONS
They are everything!! If you haven’t read my post about coupon codes and how to use them, make sure you swing by there and check out all that useful goodness (You’re Welcome).
There are always a ton of coupon codes for rental cars. I would recommend checking their website, coupon cabin, retailmenot and plenty of others. The key to getting the really good coupon codes is to join the email list! (Who taught you that?). I know from experience that Hertz allows your to stack coupon codes! Also, if you work for a medium to large sized company, 9 times out of 10 they have a corporate discount code that never expires. I am still using mine that gets 20% off from a company I worked for 8yrs ago lol. I would share it, but my hertz profile has it stored and it doesn’t show what it is. It was a one-time thing. Sowwry! But listen, ask around, ask your company’s travel agent, use google….i’m telling you its worth it! You never know when its going to kick in for your benefit!

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Tip #4: Pre-pay for gas

Most of us hardly pay attention to this, but pre-paying for your gas is a quick and easy way to save time when returning the car while getting a pretty nice discount at the same time. Pre-paying for your gas at the counter will save you on average about 5-10 cent per gallon! Now, the only exception to this rule is if you are in an area with unusually low gas prices (southeast). There are plenty of apps to help you find cheap gas, but if you dont want to do all that, just pre-pay. Trust meeeeeeeeeee.

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Tip #5: Download the app!

I keep telling yall the importance of joining the email list. Well downloading the app is JUST as important. These companies know they are competing for your business and want to reward you for your loyalty! They do this by offering discounts, sales, and discount codes on their app only! My friend Ashley told me about how she booked an enterprise rental car online and then downloaded the app to easily keep up with her reservation. She then noticed that the app was running a special for 9.99/DAY if she booked THRU THE APP! That’s like $40 for the entire weekend!!! Yes there are restrictions, but the point is, she saved a crap load of money by just downloading the app. That same rental would’ve ran her about $100 more. You can always delete the app after you use it, so get those discounts while you can!

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Do you have any other rental car hacks? Let me know!!!!

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Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Disclaimer: For some reason this post has some serious spacing issues. I have been trying to resolve them but I think It may be a WordPress glitch. I apologize for the appearance. Please look past it and enjoy the post! Thanks!!

cou·pon
ˈk(y)o͞oˌpän/
nounI

plural noun: coupons

Definition:
1. a voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product.
2. free money bih!

So we alllll know what coupons are right? Discounts, vouchers, tokens, tickets… or as I call them FREE MONEY! Many years ago I was watching Suze Orman ( I love her!) and she was discussing how americans are so silly for not using coupons for often. She specifically referred to coupons as “free money”. Considering that Suze is known for her expert financial advice, we should all take a lesson from her! Ever since that day, I am always on the lookout for how I can use a coupon during checkout.

Since we are in the digital age, its pretty rare that we are still printing out coupons (no shade if your are lol). I mean I just ran out of ink in my printer and the way my bank account is set up, paying $56 for ONE ink cartridge is not a priority. So enter in: coupon codes! Coupon codes are like cold stone ice cream for me (I told you I can easily be bribed with ice cream), they are like new shoes on sale, like a slice of watermelon on a summer day, like your mother’s home cooking, like meeting a cute guy and liking him for longer than a week lol (this is a real problem for me – but that’s another post). Anyhoo, you get the point! Coupon Codes are straight AWESOMERY. So here are some of my coupon code tips for beginners so you can join the cool kids club:

 Tip #1: Always ALWAYS sign up for the email list.

Remember when those Beyonce tickets went on sale?! If you weren’t part of the Bey-hive you were stuck waiting until those general public tickets went on sale and MADT about it lol.

Signing up for the email list is like the e-version of the VIP line. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten coupon codes sent to my inbox with discounts from 10% to 40%! This goes for anything! Concerts, retail, your favorite author, your favorite whatever! Sign up for the email list! I know I know, you are thinking “but I hate spam mail!” Girl! Me too! That’s why I have an email account set up JUST for email lists and loyalty programs. I check it maybe once a day just to see whats in there and if there are any major sales going on. Its a great way to know when there are private sales, pre-sales (beyonce), private screenings and free shipping days. Also, retail sites almost always offer 10-15% off your first purchase! Like.. aaalllllwaaaaayyyyzzz. If you are furniture shopping or shopping in general, this is a great way to guarantee a discount at checkout.

Tip #2: If there is a box that says “enter coupon code” at checkout – THERE IS A COUPON CODE TO BE FOUND!

Listen, I am Special Agent 007  when it comes to finding a coupon code. My friends and family will tell you! I will google and search high and low! Cause again – Free. Money. Just call me Free Money Nikki. LOL. I will say, it is addictive. When you are used to having a discounts of about 20% on average its really hard to just pay full price. Whats the best way to find a coupon code? 1. Google 2. Retailmenot (Coupon holy grail!!), 3. Coupon Cabin. Those are my top 3 go-tos when conducting my search 🕵🏾.

 

 

Tip #3: Join loyalty programs

This slightly piggy backs on tip #1, but takes it a step further. You are a consumer and companies want your loyalty! So do what I do… be loyal to them alllllllll *evil smile*. Giiiiiirl! I will sign up for a loyalty program with a company and ALL their competitors. Why? Because I want to know who offers the best discounts and the best sales. I will also use that “loyalty” to request price matching. Price matching is a whole nother (yes, that is a word) lesson, but its basically saying “ummm, I found this exact same shirt at xx.com and they have it on sale so…… you price matching or nah?”. I’ve done this over the phone AND in person with a 75% success rate 💅🏿 Of course the main reason to join the loyalty programs are to get those private sale offers, discount codes and all the other perks that come with membership.

AAAAAND often times you can stack the discounts they offer.

Example: Target Card offers 5% off all purchases, Target cartwheel app offers DAILY discounts, target MOBILE coupons in the regular target app offer discounts – AND THEY CAN ALL BE USED TOGETHER GIRL!!!!

The thought of that makes me feel like Beyonce on stage dancing to Panda.
dance dancing beyonce bey formation world tour
 Tip #4: Save your larger priced item purchases for holidays
I’m sure you already knew this but I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave it out for those who don’t.
When I say holidays, I mean pretty much all of them: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Easter and of course Christmas! Sidenote: I didn’t mention Thanksgiving because black friday sales aren’t real sales for the most part. I’m sure you can still find good sales around thanksgiving, but the prices are often lowest AFTER christmas.
Anyway – back to discount codes. If you sign up for those email lists like eeeyeee toooold youuuu tooooooo, then during these times they will be FILLED with discounts and/or coupon codes! But the real winners are people shopping for big priced items like furniture, tvs, kitchen sets, etc.  According to Payoff.com, July is the best month to buy furniture . Mainly because summer months are the slowest months in retail, therefore forcing companies to offer larger discounts to drive sales. So those looking to buy furniture, this post is right on time for you. You’re welcome.
Tip #5: Complain 
I know.
I’m a savage.
A low down dirty savage.
Whatever.

Let me clarify what I am suggesting: Lets say you buy a product or service and it wasn’t what you expected. It LEGIT wasn’t what you expected… not, it kinda wasn’t. Not you ordered food, ate 97% of it and now you want to complain so you don’t have to pay the bill 🙄. It really, 100% wasn’t what you paid for….THEN SAY SOMETHING! Giving feedback is almost always appreciated by businesses and in return it costs them little to nothing to offer you a “discount” or coupon in return. Just look at it as doing your consumer duty lol. This also keeps companies conscience of maintaining the integrity of their product or service.  Being a consumer automatically makes you an expert at what people want. Companies usually appreciate the complaint or feedback as long as its done in a respectful manner. Sidenote: I will say there have certainly been times where I have shown allllltheeeewaaaaaayyy out… but those are few and far between. I’ve matured since then 😊.

Alright kids! That concludes Nikki Taught You – Lesson 101 on Coupons. I hope you go out and snatch those free dollars. If you know of any other coupon sites or discount code sites, let a sista know! Spread the wealth!!! I’ll be doing more posts on travel discounts and apps I use in the coming weeks. As always, your thoughts, comments and feedback are much appreciated.

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