Members only: Alamo Rent A Car's promotion costs non-members double

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Budget Travel magazine's Brad Tuttle unearthed a pricing snafu that proves, once and for all, that it's worth it to sign up for promotional e-mails from the big travel sellers.

As a member of Alamo Rent A Car's e-mailed "Hot Deals" promotions, he got a notice a while back advertising weekend rentals from $10 a day. He didn't think much about it.

But then, when he opened up a new window to check out Alamo's website without clicking on that promotional e-mail first, he found an ad for a second weekend rental promotion on the site. It looked the same -- same pretty model, same photo, same typography, same dates of validity -- except it was twice as much. If he didn't access the Alamo promotion from from his members-only, e-mailed "Hot Deals," it cost $20 a day. (Click here for the screen shots.)

As Tuttle said, "If you've ever thought that all promotional e-mails do is clog your in-box, here's a case for signing up for them."


Unfortunately for Alamo, a company that recently made our headlines for charging midsize prices for cars called compact by their own manufacturers, it's also a case for not trusting the quotes provided to casual consumers.

For those of us who have that nagging feeling that we could also find a better deal if we just keep looking, here's proof that sometimes, you have to play a lot of ball if you want to finally hit a home run.

Sign up for all the free promotional e-mails you can. It can pay to be a member. And if you don't want your in-box to get jammed, simply create a free e-mail account on Gmail or Yahoo or a similar site to use expressly for all the sales calls and come-ons you'll be signing up for. It's worth it.
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