We recently wrote about Fox Rent A Car and their abusive geographic restrictions, especially among renters in Florida who can never leave the State of Florida. We thought that wasn't too cool. Then we decided to add our review of Fox's reward program, called "Fox Rewards Program". As a discount rental car provider, it's clear that marketing budgets are limited! The pitch meeting was apparently very short.
- Marketer 1: "What should we call Fox's Rewards Program?"
- Marketer 2: "How about Fox Rewards Program?"
A Rewards Programs with Global Limits
Common to other discounters, the Fox Rewards program is limited to corporate locations only. And that's a problem for a global traveler. You can check our math but as of the day this article was printed, Fox had 116 total locations but only 20 corporate locations (all in the United States). So none of the 90 international locations are eligible to accrue or redeem Fox Rewards and six of the 26 U.S. locations are similarly ineligible. The Fox Rewards program is valid at 17% of all locations. Trust us, you never really want to trust the loyalty program of a deep discount rental car company! Our reviews of other discounters (like ACE Rental Genius) show us that's a masochistic behavior.
Yet it takes a while for the average user to find out about restrictions in the Fox Rewards program. The enrollment form inexplicably requires checking a tick box accepting the Terms and Conditions without actually providing access to these Terms and Conditions!
So instead, we have to rely upon the FAQs, which start off by telling us the Fox Rewards program "is the most rewarding program in the rental car industry".
As the younger generation might say, "chillax". Even though you're right.
So when a renter can earn and redeem Fox Rewards points (at 1/6ths of all locations), the program is clearly not the most rewarding program in rental cars. Enterprise's program is 5% cash back on base rate, without most locations being exempt, and then tacks on the Plus Your Points promotion. National's program can result in a free rental day after four paid days (and one redeemed day), and the free rental day can be one-way. Then National adds the annual One-Two-Free promotion, so the program can be super-lucrative. Avis is trying to be more like National; not quite there yet, but you get the idea. National's program -- in some cases -- could be stated as two orders of magnitude better than Fox's (accepting that 5/6ths of locations of Fox are non-rewarding). So Fox's statement is sheer puffery; no reasonable person would (or should) believe the claims made.
And the program goes downhill from there. At four points per dollar at the limited locations, one can earn $20 in FoxBucks (with the same location restrictions) after $400 in base rental rates. Curiously, the company has taken tactics from other discounters -- one could redeem for FoxBucks or one can redeem for a SuperCertificate at GiftCerticates.com. While the SuperCertificates require more points ($625 in base rate worth), we take solace in the fact that one can redeem a Fox Rent A Car award at CVS (to buy pain aids) or at Avis (to rent from a company with a real loyalty program).
Along with the various restrictions on the Fox Rewards program, the FoxBucks redeemed cannot be used with any other coupon, discount code, or promotional offer. And while any renter has the ability to rent directly through Fox to earn $20 FoxBucks after $400 in base rate (before taxes and fees) at the 20 eligible locations, we believe a renter would save far more than $20 pre-tax on those $400+ in rentals by ignoring the Fox Rewards program completely!