Hertz misleads customers (again), dealing with gift card fraud and when the Chase 24-month clock resets (Saturday Selection)


Hertz in hot water for lying to their customers, one man’s story of dealing with gift card fraud and how to figure out when the Chase 24-month clock for welcome offers resets. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

Hertz lies to customers again for the very first time

How Hertz Sent Innocent Customers to Prison - YouTube
Hertz trying out a new marketing slogan

Like John Mellencamp famously sang, “sometimes renting cars don’t feel like it should” and, unfortunately, Hertz hasn’t given us a lot of reason to say it, “Hertz so good.” Over the last couple of years, Hertz has challenged the axiom that there’s no such thing as negative publicity, primarily due to its penchant for randomly incarcerating customers that did nothing except for renting a car and returning it intact as agreed to. Given the dumpster fire of their PR response, I’m assuming that the public relations team is now on witness protection in the Upper Midwest somewhere. After an odd period of relative calm, Hertz is back at it, this time changing the expiration date on customers’ reward points overnight without telling them. The company said that it sent e-mails out, but nobody has received them. Hertz, thus far, is refusing to backtrack on the sudden expiration of millions if its customers’ points. Loyalty Lobby has the all the sordid details.

The gift card fraud experience that never ends 

a cartoon of a man holding a credit card

Folks involved in the world of points and miles sometimes buy a, um, higher volume of Visa and Mastercard gift cards, primarily as a vehicle for manufactured spending. For some people, that means going around to grocery and retail stores in order to by several thousand dollars of gift cards in an hour or two. This can lead to some handling scares, such as when our own Nick Reyes accidentally left $3K in gift cards in his hotel room. It also leaves manufactured spenders more vulnerable to encountering gift card fraud, simply because of the higher frequency of purchases. Usually, the fraud is caught fairly quickly by the issuing company and it’s a fairly simple process to be made whole. Except when it isn’t. Benjy over at Miles to Memories fell victim to a common scam where several of the gift cards he bought were replaced with a printed paper with a barcode taped over a card which didn’t match the card shown on the exterior packaging. That was back in May. He didn’t receive full compensation for the fraudulent cards until just this month…almost half a year later. His cautionary tale is linked above.

Why are some hotel breakfasts so bad?

Lobster at Hyatt Macao breakfast
Greg didn’t complain about the crab and lobster breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Macao

There’s three kinds of people in this world, when it comes to hotel breakfast. There are those for whom hotel breakfast is a coveted amenity, folks who can’t understand why people traveling wouldn’t sample breakfast from local restaurants and then the people who say “who the heck gets up for breakfast? Give me a cocktail the night before!” I’m firmly on team breakfast, primarily because I travel quite a bit and it’s so much more convenient to walk downstairs and eat before going about my day, especially when trying to get in a workout as well. However, I unfortunately live in one of the worst countries in the world for hotel breakfast: the good, ol’ US of A. There’s a pretty consistent litany of European and Asian members of hotel elite programs (and even regular travelers) coming to the US and experiencing horror at the parade of reconstituted eggs, plastic silverware and microwaved meats. Conversely, Americans traveling in Europe and Asia are often amazed at the spreads laid out for the day’s most important meal (like we encountered last year on our Party of 5 Challenge). Matt over at Your Mileage May Vary recently experienced an array of different morning fare at various properties in the Northeast US, leading him to ponder the age-old question, “why do so many hotel breakfasts suck?”

When does the Chase 24-month bonus clock start?

a person holding a credit card
The new Freedom Unlimited cashback bonus is great…but it extends the 24-month rule for another year.

Is there anything better than a credit card card welcome offer? You get approved, a shiny, new card arrives in the mail and then, after a meagre amount of minimum spend, an untold points fortune is yours. Why wouldn’t we want to do it again? And again. And again. Well, banks know how fun all of this is as well, which is why they often put “speed limits” on their cards. These rules, sometimes unwritten, govern how fast we’re able to get new cards, how many we can have and when we can get another welcome offer on a card we’ve had before. One of our favorite issuers, Chase, has several interwoven rules, like the (in)famous 5/24 rule, which specifies that you can only get approved for a new Chase card if you’ve been approved for less than 5 new cards (across all issuers) within the last 24 months. But, there’s another 24-month rule. This one states that you’re not eligible for a welcome offer on a new card if you’ve received a welcome offer on the same card within the last 24 months (some cards within Chase’ portfolio have a similar 48-month rule). Confusingly, this clock doesn’t start when you’re approved for that card, but rather when you received the points from the welcome bonus. Recently, the Chase Freedom Unlimited came out with an unusual, and kinda sexy, welcome offer that doubles all the cashback/bonus points for the entire first year. However, those bonus points are awarded at the end of the year, so that 24-month clock won’t start until a full year after you’ve been approved for card. Doctor of Credit gives us a helpful reminder of that quirk, and that it applies to most welcome offers that have increased bonus categories as part of the incentive.

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Thought you needed to be 4 or under for chase 5/24 rule to be approved?


Chase can be confusing! 4/24 rule might be better. At least we know there’s a rule!


Different fraud but similar: few days ago, I found out my $500 Vanilla Visa was spent before I got to use it. I was also instructed to send some documents to incomm. I wonder if I can dispute the charge with the credit card company if incomm/Vanilla Visa doesn’t correct the situation in 30 days.

Then, a Google Play gift card’s code wasn’t redeemable because the black strip you’re supposed to remove also removed parts of the redemption code, making the gift card unusable. Google said they won’t reimburse.

Currently pissed off. (⩺_⩹)


I had the same problem with a Play gift card a year or so ago. Google customer service ultimately fixed it, but it was enough of a pain that I no longer buy them.


I am assuming most of those cheated by having their rewards points canceled have to use Hertz because of an employer contract? I can’t see why anyone else would use them. I canceled my account completely. If the only car available is with Hertz, there are no cars available.

HopingFor Better Days

They are ridiculous

Last edited 6 months ago by HopingFor Better Days

Nice article Tim. Crediting helpful articles on other blogs is a very community-spirited thing to do.