How to Save When Booking Rental Cars from Budget

Discount codes, shopping portals and credit card points and rental perks are just a few ways to save at Budget.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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Renting a car is a lot like buying an airline ticket. The price can vary wildly based on local demand, dates of travel and whether you’re booking one way or round trip. That’s why learning how to maximize discounts and rewards can be especially helpful when renting a car.

There are several kinds of Budget Rent a Car rental car discounts at your disposal, ranging from an AARP discount to military discounts (depending upon your eligibility). Budget customer discount codes are yet another way to reduce the cost of a Budget car rental.

Other organizations and associations may also have discount codes, and of course, your favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs have them, too. Here’s a rundown on how to save on car rentals from Budget.

7 ways to maximize discounts on Budget car rentals

1. Budget discount codes

Budget discount codes are regularly published on its website and include a wide variety of deals. You can find weekly sales or bundled coupon codes offered in partnership with other businesses, like Amazon. There are individual deals for U.S. or international rentals, too. Long-term rentals of at least 28 days also qualify for a discount depending on the location.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The company also offers Budget Customer Discount Code, otherwise known as BCD codes. Since you enter these codes in different boxes upon check out, you can stack BCD codes with other discount codes.

Start on Budget’s website when looking to save cash on a rental, but be sure to compare the savings with other discount options listed here to use the one that makes the most sense.

Budget rental car rewards are also available via the company’s own Fastbreak program, which can help you skip the lines at the rental car counter as well as take advantage of special discounts.

2. Association and corporate discounts

Many organizations, associations and companies negotiate car rental discounts for their members.

Examples include:

Notably, there isn't a AAA discount code.

Ask your company leaders or any organization you’re a member of — including alumni or professional associations, social groups or even loyalty programs — if they have a BCD code.

Keep in mind that these discount codes are for actual members of that group, and sometimes, the rental company may ask for proof that you are qualified to use it when you pick up the car. Try as many eligible codes as you can find because some offer a higher discount than others, but be sure you are allowed to use them.

3. Use shopping or airline/hotel booking portals

Consider making your car rental reservation via a shopping portal like Rakuten or Citi Bonus Cash Center, which are among the many cash back shopping portals that can return a percentage of what you spend.

You can also use airline and hotel booking portals to make a reservation and earn frequent flyer or hotel loyalty points, rather than cash back.

It pays to look at your preferred airline or hotel’s car rental booking platforms before renting a car. For example, at the time of writing, United Airlines flyers have access to a Budget coupon code for up to 35% off base rates.

AutoSlash is another way to compare prices with rental car companies, including Budget, since the service recommends alternate locations or discount codes you may not have realized you could use. The platform also notifies you if the cost of your rental drops, which means you can rebook it and save the extra cash.

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4. Use miles or credit card points for car rentals

Many airlines and credit cards allow you to redeem miles or points for more than just flights. For example, you can redeem American AAdvantage miles for car rentals or use Delta SkyMiles to pay for Delta Vacations packages, which include a rental car.

Credit cards that earn flexible credit card points and miles, like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards® and Capital One Miles, can be redeemed for car rentals by booking through their travel portals, too.

5. Consider off-airport rentals

The convenience of renting a car immediately when you get off a flight isn't lost on car rental companies. This means that they can sometimes charge higher prices from airport locations than those at in-town rental offices.

If you can take a rideshare, public transit or taxi to an alternate Budget location, you might be able to save on the cost of your car rental.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Look to nearby airport locations, too. Sometimes, there are numerous airports in one metropolitan area, and the cost of a ride between locations may be worth it for the savings.

6. Show your military ID

Military travel discounts span businesses, and rental cars are no exception. By being a member of Veterans Advantage, military veterans, active-duty military, National Guard and Reservists, and their families are eligible to save up to 25% off car rentals.

7. Book with a credit card that has rental car perks

If you have the right credit cards you can take advantage of built-in rental car insurance that can cover rental cars from Budget among other companies. Keep in mind that credit card insurance is typically secondary to your own insurance.

Built-in rental car insurance from your credit card typically covers circumstances like collision damage, as well as towing expenses. Be sure to read the fine print of your card coverage before arriving at the counter, which could help you be able to decline the car rental insurance and save some cash.

That’s how to save on car rentals from Budget

Budget is one of many rental car companies. A little research can yield some nice savings if you learn to use discount codes and maximize perks built into frequent flyer or credit card programs. Plan ahead and compare prices to keep from overspending.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Rental Cars from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-10x

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
4.9
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-10x

Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
See more cards for rental cars
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