How to get free Sirius XM Radio with National

You’ve had a long day at the airport. You just got on a rental car shuttle and finally waited through the long line to get a rental car. You want to rock out to some of your favorite tunes… but there’s NEVER a list of the stations in a new city. You’ve got no idea what to listen to.

You could have asked for Sirius XM radio at the check in counter, but decided it wasn’t worth the extra $6-10 a day for the service.

There’s got to be a way to get this for free, right?

Hertz and National Loyalty Programs

You’ve got frequent flier accounts, and hotel loyalty accounts, but you haven’t signed up for the rental car loyalty programs yet? What are you waiting for! My favorite is National Car Rental. Apart from the fact that there’s a super sneaky way to get free XM radio, what I really love about National in particular is the “grab and go” concept of their vehicles.

Pick a car and go

While Enterprise probably has the most famous tagline of all “we’ll pick you up” what I really love is National’s “Grab any car in the aisle and go!” This simple benefit will allow you to be strategic and get your free XM radio.

Avoid the lines when you check in and when you get off the bus just walk up to a car you like, get in, and drive away! It’s that easy. You just show your ID to the person when you leave and you’re on your way.

But… not so fast. The type of car you grab matters! As you’re walking down the aisle of cars, feel free to hop in the car and push the start button (most cars have a start button now anyway). This will at least turn on the battery and give you an odometer reading. You’re looking for the lowest number possible.

Courtesy of National Car Rental

New Cars only Please…

Why the new cars? Because in the vast majority of the cases, the new cars come with a 3, 6, 9, or 12 month free Sirius subscription automatically. When I see a car with sub-1000 miles I get excited. Sure enough, 9 times out of 10 when I turn on the radio and look at the XM it fires up with no problem at all. Boom. Free Sirius XM.

In my last pickup in Chicago I got a gorgeous new Nissan SUV that only had 240 miles on it. XM free, no problem at all!

When I headed to Detroit to get a new car I asked the attendant if she would help me find the newest car on the lot because it was my hope that it would have the free Siriux XM trial. “Smart!” she said, and helped me pick up the new Ford Edge with under 800 miles. XM fired up no problem at all!

Ben’s Choosing the Car

Now, it’s not a tried and true method as some cars may not hasve the system activated or they may have passed their trial period, but if you bounce around for 5 minutes or so when you land, you’ll find that you’ll have a pretty good success rate.

Does anyone else have another secret way they use to get free XM?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. This is a pretty slick trick to get free Sirius XM Radio when renting a car. You don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops, sign up for crazy promotions, or register your credit card. Simply know where to look while you’re on the rental car lot.

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  2. I rent a ton of National rental cars and most are fairly new. It’s rare in my experience to find one that has the sat radio turned on. I’m sure if you check enough you’ll find one in any given lot but I prefer to check out with the app and fly through the process. Now Silvercar they have XM on every car I’ve ever had with them. Usually they have it tuned to Chill in Denver which is a nice way to relax after stressful travel 🙂

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    • Just wish they were in more places… and still a bit pricey for my taste

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