National Car Rental’s One Two Free Promotion is Back

Car rentals can be a serious pain in the … so getting them for free is, of course, a win. National Car Rental has their semi-annual promotion called “One Two Free,” and it truly doesn’t get a lot simpler than that. Rent Two times, and get a free rental day! Let’s look at some of the specifics around this killer promotion.

Ben’s Choosing the Car

Terms and Condition Do Apply

The promotion is pretty straight forward, but there are a few terms. Luckily, the Frequently Asked section of National’s website is really easy to navigate. Here’s some basics:

  1. Get signed up for the promotion. Head over to the One Two Free promotion website and get signed up. That’s going to be your first step.
  2. Make sure you have a qualifying rental booked through an official channel (National website or app)
  3. Enjoy your free rental coupons!

So, what’s a qualifying rental?

Qualifying Rental is a paid rental, via the Emerald Club®, of a Midsize or larger vehicle at participating National Car Rental® locations in the 50 United States, for a period of two or more consecutive days during the Promotion Period. Members will only be awarded points for one rental out at a time, which identifies the Member as the primary driver.

In previous years, sometimes a one day rental would count, making life super easy to bust out one day rentals one after another. Now, just like the previous 6 months, you’ve got to have a two day rental as a minimum to qualify.

Free really does mean Free

When you go to redeem your coupon, you’ll be able to get a rental, free, and only have to pay the non-negotiable fees such as airport license recovery fees, etc. Since the rate knocks down to zero, any taxes are calculated on that $0 rate, so the taxes are next to nothing.

One of the absolute best ways to use your free coupons is on one-way rentals. Since National Car Rental often pads the price of the one-way into the price of the rental, it becomes a very lucrative way to save hundreds of dollars. Here’s a recent example.

We picked up a car in downtown Seattle and drove up to Vancouver, Canada to snag a flight to New York City on Cathay. Ben wrote about that flight here, and if you haven’t checked out Cathay Pacific’s flight from Vancouver to New York, it’s an awesome way to redeem miles with Alaska.

Since the rate got knocked down to nothing, we only had to pay the 52 cents and the associated taxes with that. Total fee for renting the car? $0.61. Yes, 61 cents for a car rental.

Bonus Opportunities

You’ll earn 300 points for each qualifying rental and after 600 you get a free rental day. There are plenty of chances to earn bonus points as well to help pad your account.

Some of these are really easy to complete (quick survey, complete three rentals, mobile app rental) and some of them require some more legwork (Rent in Europe, World Traveler).

If you are able to pick up a rental car in Europe, that’s 300 points. Top that off with the 300 points from your normal 300 points and you get one day free for a qualifying Europe rental!

Pick one up in Mexico or Latin America and you get another 300 points, in addition to the 300 from your normal rental and again, you’ve got a free day.

The world traveler bonus comes from renting in three different countries. We had considered taking a train in Belgium on a recent trip but now with this free rental option, we just might rent a car to get some bonus points!

Potential for Huge Savings

During the last 6 month promotion we managed to rack up 11 free rental days and have used those to save over $1200 in rental car fees for our vacation. Check your local airport on off days or slow seasons. You might find that National will rent you a car for as little as $9.99 a day. We found that on a recent trip to North Carolina as a matter of fact, and for $20 got a free rental coupon for our troubles.

It should be noted that these savings are in addition to the rental credits you earn via your status in Emerald Club. As an Emerald Club Executive Elite member, we get a free rental for every 5 that we make. Make sure that you have chosen to earn rental credits with National and not airline miles to take maximum advantage of the promotion.

Did you use National’s car promo last time? Are you excited about this offering?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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