Recently, I was stuck at an airport for a few hours between returning a Jucy camper van and a flight to Portland, Oregon. I had originally thought about redeeming some points for a free award day and exploring the area. The result? A quote of about $20 for a full-size car on an ostensibly "free" day. I headed to the airline lounge instead and had a quiet lunch and changed to an earlier flight instead.
The potential financial cost of redeeming the "free" rental day to drive around Oakland for a few hours had changed my behavior. The rental cost also put a question into my mind -- how bad are the fees on a free rental day at major airport locations?