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Costco Travel Car Rental

Costco Travel Car Rental

Costco Travel Car Rental

I compared rental car prices on Costco Travel, Hotwire, and the Chase travel portal.  The results showed Costco travel prices were either the cheapest or very competitive to the other sites.  And Costco Travel reservations are flexible, so you can cancel at anytime without paying a fee.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

We booked through Costco a package trip to Oahu (February 2012) for two people. The package included air fare, hotel and came with some other amenities (e.g., free breakfast, $100 room credit, etc.). The Costco travel reps were very good to deal with, in fact, they searched and came up with a package deal that was less expensive than we could have booked either through the hotel directly or through the Airline. As with their warehouse goods, Costco is a volume seller, which includes travel packages. The only annoyance was that, even though we booked the package 3 months in advance, we could not get assigned seats from Hawaiian Air until 24-hours before departure. The Costco rep indicated that Hawaiian Air still sells (assigned) seats until 24-hours before departure and then they release whatever seats are unsold. Thus, you have to call the airlines 24-hours before departure to try to get assigned seats together. During non-peak travel season this may not be a problem. However, this arrangement creates uncertainty and unneeded stress, and who wants that before going on a holiday.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

The number of online travel agencies — each claiming to offer the very best prices — is almost impossible to count. One of the OTAs we’re most frequently asked about is the big-box store Costco. The chain runs Costco Travel, which offers “everyday member savings on brand-name vacations.” Today, let’s find out exactly how much those savings can amount to and see if booking a car rental, vacation package, hotel or cruise with Costco Travel will actually save you money.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

Costco offers a flat 10% discount on Hyatt daily rates (excluding Park Hyatt properties) and a discount of 10% or more off the flexible rate at Best Westerns in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. To book, you click through the Costco Travel website to either Hyatt or Best Western. The Hyatt site auto-populates with the corporate code for Costco members, while the Best Western site asks for your Costco membership number before letting you start a search.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

We booked through Costco a package trip to Oahu (February 2012) for two people. The package included air fare, hotel and came with some other amenities (e.g., free breakfast, $100 room credit, etc.). The Costco travel reps were very good to deal with, in fact, they searched and came up with a package deal that was less expensive than we could have booked either through the hotel directly or through the Airline. As with their warehouse goods, Costco is a volume seller, which includes travel packages.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

Costco has a reputation for offering some of the cheapest rates for car rentals. US drivers receive one additional driver fee waived for Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise on top of any other savings. Note that Costco prices don’t include any kind of insurance coverage, so make sure you pay for the rental with a card that offers primary rental car coverage — options include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and The Platinum Card from American Express.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

It’s important to note that Costco only searches for Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise rental cars, whereas other search engines include more companies. In the chart below, I compared Costco rental car prices with those from other well-regarded sites. I searched for the lowest prices that included unlimited miles.
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Costco Travel Car Rental

Comparing cruise prices can be tricky if you’re not paying attention to extras like pre-paid gratuities, onboard credit, drink packages and specialty dining. Costco Travel tends to do the following when delivering cruise search results: It shows the total price for two passengers including taxes and fees, and many times Costco includes a Costco Cash Card based on the total cost of your cruise.
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Keep in mind, you must be over the age of 25 to book a rental car through Costco Travel.  For folks under 25, check out my post about how to get the lowest rental car prices.
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In your Montreal example for a full size car, Hotwire is $1 cheaper than Costco, but you show and say that Costco is the cheapest. I usually use Costco, the only downside is that it is only four companies.
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Including the extras, Costco cruises came out on top in three of the four itineraries I searched. Based on these results, I may come to Costco from now on to see how the Costco Cash offered on a cruise compares with the onboard credit offered from other sites. I also recommend heading to CruiseCompete.com when you’re trying to search multiple cruise agency offers on the itinerary of your choice.
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Like with the theme park packages, Costco seems to offer competitive prices for vacation packages, but they’re not always the best deal. I searched for a variety of destinations around the world and Costco sometimes came out ahead of Travelocity and Expedia in addition to the prices found when booking directly. Other times, the prices were significantly higher. Often, Costco adds in things like airport transfers and tour credits while still offering lower prices than the competition.
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When you book through Costco, you can directly link your car rental loyalty number during the booking process if it’s with Avis, Budget, or Enterprise.  And you should be able to add your reservation to your Alamo account after you book.  This means you can earn points and skip to the front of the car rental line!
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Keep in mind, Hotwire does NOT always tell you the name of the car rental agency and the exact car model until you pay for the rental.  But the benefit is they partner with several more rental car companies, including Sixt.
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Out of five searches, Costco only had the cheapest rental car rates once. Regardless of which site you book through, I recommend entering your reservation into Autoslash.com, which will continually look for cheaper rates for your rental and automatically rebook when it finds a lower rate.
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Costco makes booking flight, hotel and Disney and Universal theme park ticket packages rather easy. The packages often include a few extras like breakfast, resort credit and/or shuttle transportation between airports and your hotel. Out of all the Costco Travel services, these packages seem to save you the most money. Here are a few examples:
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Usually, searching for cruises across various sites produces prices in the same ballpark. It’s the extras included that set different travel agencies apart. The following chart shows results of Costco cruise prices and extras compared to some of the most popular online cruise travel agencies. To simplify the comparison, I looked for the cheapest balcony room from each travel agency for a given cruise:
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Costco Travel allows you to book vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, Disney and Universal packages and guided vacations. You cannot use the service to only book flights (rather than a package), though if you just want to book a hotel room, you can do so with either Best Western or Hyatt.
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This is where you’ll probably find the most discounts because Costco Travel will price compare rental cars between Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise right on its site, so you can pick the cheapest option. The site’s “Low Price Finder” says it scans all “applicable coupons, codes and discounts” to find the best price available.
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While the Costco discount for Hyatt won’t always save you money, it’s definitely worth a quick search to investigate. As with Best Western, the AAA rate for Hyatt matches the Costco rate.
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Vacation packages often include airport transportation or a rental car depending on the destination. Airfare can also be added to any package. When booking, members should look for packages with “Included Extras” such as a resort credit, potential room upgrade, breakfast or Costco Cash Card. 
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Plus, when you book through Costco Travel, you can add your reservation information to AutoSlash.  I’ve written how this free service is an amazing way to save money if prices drop.
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The rating is based on information that has been compiled by Costco Travel buyers and might differ from other references.Property offers the ultimate in elegance and sophistication, with highly personalized service and hospitality.Property offers some, but not all, of the features found in the five-compass rating.Property offers upscale design and décor, superior dining venues, manicured grounds, and a high level of service and hospitality.Property offers some, but not all, of the features found in the four-compass rating.Property offers above-average accommodations, service, comfort, facilities and grounds.Property offers some, but not all, of the features found in the three-compass rating.Property offers basic accommodations, décor, facilities and grounds.
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The only annoyance was that, even though we booked the package 3 months in advance, we could not get assigned seats from Hawaiian Air until 24-hours before departure. The Costco rep indicated that Hawaiian Air still sells (assigned) seats until 24-hours before departure and then they release whatever seats are unsold. Thus, you have to call the airlines 24-hours before departure to try to get assigned seats together. During non-peak travel season this may not be a problem. However, this arrangement creates uncertainty and unneeded stress, and who wants that before going on a holiday.

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