Alright, full disclosure upfront. We have not tried this ourselves but while updating Garuda Indonesia bonuses for our GarudaMiles page we posted their new offer for Rentalcars.com car rentals and it seems like it is one of those promos that can really be taken advantage of to earn a lot of miles on the cheap.
The bonus pays 5,000 bonus Garuda Miles when you complete a rental.
5,000 Bonus GarudaMiles when you rent a car via Rentalcars.com. Full details. Until Mar 31, 16
And the terms of rentals:
Terms and condition:
- Book and confirm a car rental at http://www.rentalcars.com/?affiliateCode=garudamiles and complete your booking process
- Earn 3 GarudaMiles for every 1 USD of spending on a car price, only through the designated site above
- You must be an existing GarudaMiles member to earn mileages.
- To be eligible to earn mileage, your GarudaMiles membership number
must be inserted in the Driver Details page when making a booking on
this designated website.
- GarudaMiles are only earned when you have paid for, picked up and completed the car rental.
- Please allow approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the drop-off date of
your car rental for GarudaMiles to be credited into your GarudaMiles
- GarudaMiles will not be earned on the other items purchasable online such as Full Protection.
- GarudaMiles will also not be earned on any items that you purchase
offline when you are picking up the car from the local car rental
company such as baby seat, GPS, travel insurance and one way fees.
- GarudaMiles terms and conditions apply.
- GarudaMiles will not be earned on rentals being paid directly to local supplier on arrival.
5,000 bonus miles on a rental that doesn’t appear to have a minimum length or certain car category requirements? Nor no terms about only being a one time bonus? That peaked our interest. So a quick look at Garuda’s award charts shows that for 15,000 miles you can redeem for an award ticket on their SkyTeam partners that is less than 1,000 miles in length:
This potentially means that three rentals made via RentalCars.com would get you enough miles for this short haul SkyTeam redemption. We did a quick search for rentals via Garuda’s link for RentalCars.com (you have to ensure you use that link!) in our home city of YYC (which isn’t known as a cheap city for rentals):
The total price is CDN$35 for a 2 hour rental (looks like you can have it for a day), so three rentals would be CDN$105 or about US$73 to earn the 15,000 miles (+ loose change in miles as you earn 3 miles for every USD spent before taxes/fees). Not a bad deal for a flight that could cost significantly more than that!
THERE IS A CATCH HOWEVER! To redeem miles for a SkyTeam ticket via GarudaMiles you have to go to a Garuda Indonesia sales office in person. There are four offices in the U.S., They have one in Encino, Chicago, New York and Houston. There is also one in Toronto. Worldwide they have several offices in Australia, throughout Europe and Asia as well. You can find all the offices here.
So if you can make it to one of there offices are you up for the challenge? My bet is that you can find even cheaper rentals than I found above to achieve those miles at an even lower cost. Heck maybe you want to do more than three rentals to get up to higher award levels or business class flights. If you plan on doing this please let us know and keep us up to date on how it goes. First, make sure you join GarudaMiles if you haven’t yet (you’ll get 1,000 miles for doing so) and take screen shots of the bonus offer and terms just in case you need to fight for the miles.