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AWD, BCD, CDP - What does this mean?

Monday, October 14, 2013

car rental coupon codes

If you shop online (who doesn't), you're probably familiar with the concept of entering a coupon code to get a discount. Over the past few years, coupon adoption has increased dramatically and it seems most retailers now offer a variety of physical (paper) and online (digital) coupons. Most retail websites accept a single coupon code during the checkout process. On the other hand, rental car companies can accept multiple codes at the same time. Each discount code will work, if and only if it is entered in the correct field on the website, so its important to know what kind of coupon you have, what it means and where it needs to be entered. While multiple discount codes can be confusing, the good news is that they can can often be stacked together for multiple discounts on a single reservation.

Discount Code Types

Contract Code: A unique code that identifies a negotiated rate, typically a percentage off the regular rate (e.g. 10% off standard rate) or a fixed-rate (e.g. a mid-size car for $29.99/day) irrespective of the current market rate. In most cases, contract code discounts are applicable to those with specific affiliations (e.g AAA, AARP, Costco, USAA), although that's not always the case. Avis, Budget and Hertz frequently offer contract codes available to the general public.

Coupon Code: Coupon or promotion codes (as they're sometimes referred to) are generally available to everyone and don't require any specific affiliation. Some car rental companies also allow you to stack coupon codes with contract codes for an even better deal. Coupon codes offer all types of discounts - anything from a dollar value discount (e.g. $10 off), free rental day or perks like a free upgrade, free GPS, etc

Rate Code: Some rental car companies, like Avis and Hertz have a third type of discount code called the Rate Code (RQ), which mostly offers fixed-rate discounts like the Hertz $14.99 weekend deal.

Most rental car companies have their own fancy names for these discount codes.

Avis Discount Codes

Avis AWD codeOn Avis.com, the fields for the various discount codes don't show up by default. In order to see them, you need to click on the I have a Discount Code checkbox. 

Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number is a unique number assigned to an Avis account or program that identifies eligibility for contracted features or rates. It's usually a combination of one letter by six numbers (e.g. A123456).

Avis Rate Code requests one specific or rate promotion instead of checking all available rates. This code must be entered during the reservation process in order to receive the discount on the rental.

Coupon Code (e.q. MUFA045) entitles you to a discount that is applied to your estimated total during your reservation.

Alamo Discount Code

On alamo.com, click on Add Discount Code to reveal the discount code fields. 

Contract ID refers to unique codes that retrieve discounted rates based on contracts between Alamo and partner companies. A number of Contract ID discounts are available to the general public through their members with frequent flyer programs like Alaska Mileage Plan, American Aadvantage, Delta SkyMiles and others.

Coupon Code is mostly a publicly available discount that offers discount like free rental days, $20 off and free upgrades. Alamo allows users to stack a Coupon Code with a Contract ID to double up on the discounts.

Budget Discount Code

On budget.com, click on the use an offer code checkbox to see the fields for BCD and coupon code.
Budget BCD Code

Budget Customer Discount (BCD) is a seven-character code, one letter followed by six numbers (example: L######) associated to a specific discount. The discount can represent a negotiated corporate rate, a membership discount associated with a Budget partner, or it can originate from a specific ad or coupon that can help you qualify for special rental offers.

Coupon Code entitles you to a discount that is applied to your estimated total during your reservation.

Enterprise Discount Codes

On enterprise.com, look for the box titled Optional: Coupon, Customer or Corporate Number

Enterprise doesn't allow you to stack multiple discount codes for the same reservation. Each enterprise coupon has one and only one code, although it may offer multiple perks or discounts. For example, this coupon saves Costco members 10% on their rental and on top of that they enjoy a free upgrade.

UPDATE: Julie Freyberg pointed out (in the comments) an important issue with discount codes on enterprise.com. Apparently, enterprise.com locks you into the coupon you enter the first time you visit the website and then doesn't allow you to change it. It hides the discount field after your first search and there's no option to bring it back. This is very cumbersome when you're trying out different codes to see which one works best. However, we managed to find a couple of quick workarounds:
  • If you have Google Chrome, simply launch a new Window in the Incognito Mode (Ctrl+Shift+N is the shortcut). 
  • Alternatively, delete your browser cookies and the coupon box should show up.

Hertz Discount Codes

Hertz CDP
On hertz.com, click the Enter a Discount or Promo Code checkbox to see the various discount fields.

Hertz Counter Discount Program (CDP) is a contract or program that has been established in cooperation with a company or organization under which individuals with specified characteristics are entitled to rent on rental terms that differ from those generally offered to the public. Examples of CDP’s include corporate rate plans and credit card and travel club discount programs. A CDP Number consists of numerical values and is between 1 and 10 digits long.   This number can also be used in conjunction with a PC (Promotion Code), RQ (Rate Code) or CV (Convention Number).

Hertz Promotion Coupon (PC) is a six-digit number associated with a special offer or promotion.  This number can also be used in conjunction with a CDP (Discount Program) or RQ (Rate Code) if the special offer or promotion requires additional information be included in the reservation.

Hertz Rate Code (RQ) is a four to six digit code that is used to trigger discounts off of standard leisure rates. This number is often displayed in a special offer with the text I was told to ask for. RQ can also be used in conjunction with a CDP (Discount Program) or PC (Promotion Code) if the special offer or promotion requires additional information be included in the reservation.

Dollar & Thrifty Discount Codes

Thrifty Promotion Code
Dollar and Thrifty are part of the same corporate group - Dollar Thrifty Group, which is owned by Hertz. Not only are their websites pretty similar, they generally tend to have the exact same promotions, even share the same codes! 

Corporate# is a unique code that identifies a negotiated rate typically applicable to the government, military or businesses having a corporate relationship with Thrifty.

Promotion# are available to the general public and come in all forms and flavors.


National Discount Codes

On nationalcar.com, click View Additional Fields to reveal additional search options, including the discount fields.

Contract ID refers to unique codes that retrieve discounted rates based on contracts between Alamo and partner companies. A number of Contract ID discounts are available to the general public through their members with frequent flyer programs like JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and others.

Coupon ID is mostly a publicly available discount that offers discount like free weekend rental day, $25 off a weekly rental and free upgrades. National allows users to stack a Coupon ID with a Contract ID to double up on the discounts.

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