Travel Tips

Is the Avis Pay Now Option Worth It?

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The Avis Pay Now Option isn’t new, it’s been in the works for awhile and many of the bloggers I read have talked about it.

But other than a “Convenient PAY NOW option now available” box showing up at the end of the reservation process, the option for a discounted pre-paid rate has never shown up in my profile.
It finally did! And I was underwhelmed. For a one day rental, I’d save (after taxes) $3.87.But $4 can add up, with the number of rentals a year I do, that might wind up saving me the equivalent of a one-day rental. So then I looked at the cancellation policy.$25 if you have to cancel more than 6 hours out. Well, all it would take is having to cancel one time to pretty much eat through the savings a year of pre-paying would net me. And a $100 no-show charge? I’m assuming if the price of the rental was under $100 they’d just keep it and not charge you extra, but that’s not really a fight I’d like to have.

Now it does look like you can change the reservation, such as days, car class, etc, so you’re not completely committed to whatever you booked at that moment.

And because I’m a little geeky about these things, I wanted to see how much cost-savings you could net for a longer rental and if the penalties went up. So switching to a 5 day rental, I’d save $25 for pre-paying and the cancellation penalties stayed the same.

So is it worth it?

Not for me. Because travel plans can voluntarily and involuntarily change suddenly, like when my flights to Alaska were cancelled and it took 24 hours longer to get out there, the $4, or even $25 savings isn’t worth the risk that I’d wind up spending far more than that in penalties.

I would be interested to know others’ experiences. Have you saved a lot? Lost a lot?


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.


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