Update at 1:22 PM on 3/23/15: I just got three. This deal has not sold out and may not during the entire five weeks. If you think you’ll make a rental soon where Alamo will be the cheapest company, this is a phenomenal deal. Don’t forget all the local taxes that you’ll avoid with these certificates (detailed below.)

Today is the first day of five weeks of discounted travel packages from the US Travel Association called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. Some of the offers will be awesome; some will be duds.

Today you can buy a up to three Alamo $50 gift certificates for $25 each. There are 2,000 available.

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“Within 5 business days of purchase, Alamo will send the purchased certificate(s) to the e-mail address you provide at time of purchase. The e-mail will provide detailed information on how to redeem your certificate either by phone or online.”

The simple math is that this deal could save you $75 on upcoming car rentals, but a nearly identical deal saved me $120 last year.

The Deal

Today’s deal is a $50 certificate toward an Alamo car rental for $25. That’s a sweet 50% discount! You can buy up to three and use them towards the same rental or different rentals for a $75 discount.

How to Turn that $75 in Savings into $108 in Savings

Last year, the same exact deal was offered, except there was a further 10% discount if you bought the $50 Alamo certificates with an American Express. (This year there is no discount for purchasing with American Express.)

I bought three of the discounted Alamo gift certificates and put them toward a weeklong car rental in Los Angeles.

Instead of saving $82.50–$150 in gift certificates bought for $67.50–like I expected, I saved about $120 with the gift certificates because dropping the base fare dropped the taxes a lot.

For my rental period, the cheapest deal was from Alamo at $155 plus taxes and fees for a week.

The taxes and fees were insane, of course, and added up to about 33% of the base price. Here’s the same car at nearly the same base rate to illustrate the taxes and fees.

The taxes and fees worked out to 23.2% of the base fare + a flat $10.

The best part about the gift certificates was that they dropped the base price, which dropped the variable 23.2% in taxes and fees significantly, saving me way more money than I was expecting.

The $150 in gift certificates (3 x $50) knocked the base price down to $5. That made the 23% in taxes and fees about $1. There was no effect on the $10 Facility Charge, but my all in price was $16.

The $150 in gift certificates saved me $187.

  • Without certificates: $203 all in
  • With certificates: $16 all in

Because taxes and fees on rental cars are huge and percentage-based in a lot of places, I am now a rental car gift certificate enthusiast! The $67.50 I paid for my three Alamo gift certificates last year saved me $187, meaning about $120 saved by participating in Daily Getaways.

This year, buying three certificates will be $7.50 more, so maybe I’ll save about $112 with by buying three Alamo certificates.

Purchasing the Packages

This deal will probably not sell out, or at least not instantly like some of the Daily Getaways, but I’ll include the following section in each post.

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. Last year’s sales all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing the deal page for the best chance.

This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

The sale starts at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT / 7 AM HT.

Do you plan to buy Alamo Gift Certificates? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

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Alamo $50 Gift Certificates for $25

 

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