Cheapest rates, Quicksilver membership bypasses the waiting lines.
May 16, 2007 (Updated Jul 10, 2007)
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Last summer was our first experience renting a car from Alamo, and since then we have done it twice more. We rented a car last Christmas and drove from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction Colorado, and I recently made rental reservations for 5 days in Dallas, and then again in Salt Lake City Utah. We're driving from Salt Lake to Green River Wyoming, then on to Grand Junction Colorado.
I searched out several other online companies such as Dollar, Budget, and Thrifty, but Alamo had the best prices.
Navigating Their Website
If you are already a member of Alamo.com, when you visit their website your name will appear at the top, with a welcome. They will prefill your reservation for you from the profile information you have supplied for prior rentals.
There are several tabs and links on the home page:
* Rates and Reservations
* Hot Deals
* Business travel
* Travel Tools
* Rental Policies
There is also a link in order to be able to read all the information provided in Spanish.
To perform a search, use their drop down menu's and select your country, pick up location, date and time as well as drop off location, date and time.
Optional rate information lets you add your Corporate I.D., Rate/Product Code or Coupon Code. You can also enter your airline information and flight number. Last is the Quicksilver Member I.D. (if you are a member).
What is Quicksilver?
If our experience last summer was any indication, Quicksilver is the best kept secret of the car rental industry! Dollar also has a similar program called Dollar Express, and Budget has their own program called RapidRez.
QuickSilver is a program of Alamo's that you can join for free. It speeds up the process of getting your rental car, and is WELL worth the extra few minutes to join. You will receive a Quicksilver card in the mail with your I.D. number on it. You can join online by filling out the information about collision damage, extended insurance protection, driver's license number, credit card information, etc. This is also where you enter your frequent flier program information. They are partners with 15 different airlines.
The Salt Lake City location didn't have a kiosk, but some Alamo locations do. (The kiosk has a touch screen that lets you bypass the rental lines). Instead, there was a special line for Quicksilver members.
When we arrived at the Salt Lake airport, we were taken by shuttle bus to the Alamo rental terminal, and the bus was FULL of people. Normally we would try to rush out of the bus, and get to the front of the line if possible. We have, in the past, waited in line for TWO hours to get our rental car!! That is not the way we like to start our vacation. Anyway, when we got to the Alamo terminal, we went inside and there was already a LONG line of people waiting to get their cars. There was a section that was roped off with a sign that read "Quicksilver Members", and nobody was standing there!
Well, we were Quicksilver members, so we went to the front and stood by the sign. The next available agent called US to the front! My husband felt a bit sheepish about moving to the front of the line (ahead of people who had been waiting a long time), but hey, we were just taking advantage of our membership.
I bet if we hadn't been Quicksilver members, we would have waited at least an hour to get our rental car!! If the Alamo happens to have a kiosk, you simply swipe your Quicksilver card, choose available options, and print your contract. You can be done in mere minutes. The kiosk (or salesperson) gives you your paperwork, the car keys and the location of your car.
The cars are ready and waiting in the designated Quicksilver parking lot, and you are on your way!!
As I mentioned earlier, Alamo.com beat all their competitors prices, and we also received Delta sky miles for our purchase. I frequently visit MyCoupons.com, an online coupon site that is a wonderful resource for saving money on thousands of online transactions. MyCoupons had several Alamo coupon codes that I entered, and I saved $42 on our two rentals (one in Dallas and one in Salt Lake).
We were able to rent a four door automatic compact, from June 12 - June 22, for a total of $280.00. This includes unlimited miles, concession recoupment fee, tax, and all the other fees that these agencies throw at you.
Our Alamo base rate was $203.28. When we checked Dollar Car Rental with the same exact information, their base rate was $421.29! The base rate for Thrifty was $258.39, and Budget was $215.01.
I truly feel that Alamo.com is a very useful website for booking our car rentals. All the information is easy to find, there are drop down calendars that will help you find the dates you need to enter, and you it will tell you how much more it would cost to upgrade the car you have chosen.
If while navigating the site you have a question that needs to be answered, their toll free number is listed under the Contact Us tab at the top of the home page.
We misplaced our Quicksilver cards from last summer, so when I called the 800 number they very nicely offered to mail two new cards to us. However, if they don't arrive before we leave on June 8, the Quicksilver number is on our printed confirmation, and I was told that was all we would need.
We have used them three times now, and have not had one bad experience. Our confirmation numbers and rental information was emailed to us immediately. I printed it out and can't wait for our next vacation to start! I can't recommend Alamo.com enough.
It seems Alamo has changed some of their QuickSilver rules. They no longer had a separate line for these members, instead the QuickSilver sign was next to an automated computer screen, and you needed to punch in your confirmation code. We never completed the proceedure because the information the screen showed us was not correct. We were charged $80 more than what my print out that I was holding showed. So, we had to wait in line like everyone else to get it straightened out.
The rep was very helpful and got it straightened out for us. But it ended up taking us an extra 20 minutes. It was worth it, however, because I thought to ask him if they had any GPS units available for rent. Luckily, we got the last one! That thing saved us with all the travelling we needed to do in Dallas. So it was a blessing in disguise!
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? Car rental
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