I am returning to Las Vegas in the Easter holidays for a week with my friend, but will have a couple of days at the end on my own. Last time I made it to the Hoover Dam, but didn’t get to see the Grand Canyon. As a Geographer, I am really keen to make sure I do this time. I had thought about booking a tour, but they are all pretty long and expensive – most were coming out at over $200 which is more than I wanted to pay.
In the end, I decided to be a bit adventurous. I cancelled the two night I had booked at The Venetian (thanks to the benefits of booking one night on a flexible rate and the other with points!) and booked one night at the Holiday Inn Express in Flagstaff, about an hour’s drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and another at the Hilton DoubleTree at The Tropicana in the south of Las Vegas, close to the airport. The plan was to hire a car and drive to Flagstaff in the afternoon, get up early the next day and explore the canyon by bicycle, then head back to Vegas for an early flight the following day.
Avis is my preferred car hire company as I am a Preferred member, so they have all my details on file and I can use the priority check in lane. It is totally free to join and I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t sign up; it has saved me so much time at Nice Airport! The cheapest car they had was £100 for 2 days, and a convertible Mustang, like the one we had last summer in Yosemite below, was only £40 more – guess what I went for!
A quick check of Topcashback revealed a 9.45% cashback rate which works out at £13.23 and 210 Avios on the purchase. At the conversion rate from TCB I would have gained a total of 1599 Avios from the booking.
Avis and BA have a partnership that I have long been a fan of, so I also looked at the cost of hiring through BA.com. It was also £140 with 2% cashback equivalent to £2.80.
Whilst this is a lot less, I stand to gain 420 Avios from paying with my BAPP, 280 Avios as it is booked through BA holiday, 294 Avios for the TCB transfer and 750 as a bonus for the BA / Avis partnership for a total of 1,745.
I started the process of paying for it, but realised that I was not signed in so it didn’t have any of my details saved and I didn’t want to have to type them in again. I went back to the home page and logged in and brought up the car hire again and saw this:
By logging in to my BA Executive Account, the price had fallen by £21, presumably due to the discount for the BA / Avis partnership. I entered my Avis Preferred number and moments after booking I was able to view the details in the app.
So, next time you are booking a car hire online, it is worth checking to see if you can save yourself a few quid by logging in. I did, and used the saving to pay for my bicycle hire when I get to the Grand Canyon!