Last Updated on December 31, 2018 by Greg
There are many blog posts and articles on the Internet about how to fly for free. But none that explore ways to park for free at the airport when you’re flying. Why not?
Good question. We know it’s a very expensive bill when you return from a 10 day cruise or 2 weeks in Paris. So anyway to save our readers money, even if it’s $50 bucks, we’re going to try to find it and we think the list we’ve put together is a great guide to free airport parking.
In general, parking for free is our goal in life. We know you’ve been here too….driving around and round waiting for a street parking spot to open so you don’t have to pay $10 bucks at a garage, right?
Yeah parking is a pain and costly, so we’ve compiled 8 ways to get parking at the airport for free or at a very reduced rate.
1. Sign-up for Chase Sapphire or Citi Premier Credit Card
Chase offers 2 Travel rewards credit cards that allows you to earn 3x points on the Reserve Card or 2x points on the Preferred Card.
Chase categorizes parking lots and garages as “Travel”. What’s more, the Sapphire Reserve card and their $300 annual travel credit can be used toward airport parking.
Remarkably this would probably allow you to park at the airport for free on 2-3 trips.
Also to note, if you commute a lot and pay for tolls, these cards count your toll fees as part of “travel” as well.
2. Sign-up for a non-travel Rewards Card
Here’s a sure fire way of not having to pay for parking. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Credit card will give you $200 cash after you spend $1000 in the first 3 months. So before you book your trip, apply for the card, receive it in the mail and book your flights hotels activities new clothes or whatever else you were going to spend before your trip and use that $250 toward your airport parking.
3. Volunteer to write a review on a parking lot
parkingaccess.com just launched a new program in hopes to get real reviews from real travelers and by doing so, opened up an opportunity for those who act fast to get their parking paid in full.
As of right now, this is only being offered at Atlanta Hartsfield airport, but should be rolling out to all major US Airports in Q1 of 2019.
Here’s a step by step instructions on how to do this
- First, visit their application up form
- Second, if you qualify, they’ll send you a voucher code you’ll use when booking your spot
- Third, book the parking space on their website
- Fourth, park your car at the lot and follow the instructions they provided, such as take pictures, take notes on specific details, etc.
- Fifth, go enjoy your vacation or business trip
- Sixth, when you return, you’ll catch the shuttle back to the parking lot and continue to follow the instructions provided to you, such as how long you had to wait, driver attitude, how busy it was and vehicle condition
- Seventh, redeem your voucher – you’ll receive a credit on your account once you submit the final Ratings and Review documentation for the parking lot you left your car at.
4. Maybe you can’t park for free, but you can get a free car wash or detail
If you’re a frequent parker at a specific lot, you may not have know this, but if you just ask you can get a comped car wash or even a detail. The parking lots know how many times you’ve parked and ordered an oil change and will be more than happy, if you ask, to comp you a free car wash.
We’re in the middle of compiling all the free car washes offered by parking lots across the country, and we started with JFK – let us know what you think
5. Ask to speak with a manager if you experienced poor service or had any damage to you vehicle
If you recently have come back from a trip to find your vehicle in worse shape than when you left it, then be sure to let Management know.
A very wise thing to do is to take pictures of your car before you leave it at the parking lot. Then you can show the manager on duty what you’re referring to.
This by far, will result in an immediate free parking stay and most likely vouchers for future stays. This is assuming the damage is not major. If it is, then the insurance companies will have to get involved. But if it’s something minor that you know you can fix, 2 or 3 weeks of free parking is well worth it.
6. Do Your Booking Through Parking Lot Websites Directly
These 7 parkings lots have websites that allow you to earn points toward free parking. They often have deals that will earn you a lot of parking points on every dollar you spend with them. And if you’re looking for amazing airport parking coupons or just to join their Frequent Park Program, this list will point in you in the right direction.
- 7 Parking Operators
- ParkRideFly USA – ParkRideFly Locations
- The Parking Spot – The Parking Club
- Fast Park & Relax – Coupons and Discounts
- Park ‘N Fly – Elite Gold and Platinum Membership
- WallyPark – 15-25% off promotion
- Thrifty Airport Parking – Rewards Program
- PreFlight – Frequent Parker Program
7. Park at Lots that Offer Special Military Discounts
This is restricted to service members, retirees, and their families. If you have someone in your family who is or once was in the military you can park for free. One of our places we recommended above has a great military discount program for airport parking.
You can also learn more about the The Parking Spot and their military discount. This is a great way for those who have served our country, or those family members, to get deeply discount airport parking.
8. Work for a Parking Lot or Make a Friend Who Does
If you really want to park for free, either of these options will do the trick. These are the perks of working at an off-airport parking lot or knowing someone close that does.
Simply working for most parking lots will earn you free parking wherever you need to leave your car on a trip since they have employee parking, it would be like you’re simply working 24/7 for a week
You will also be able to let your immediate family park in your spot for free as well.
Parking for free or at a discount allows you allocate funds on other travel expenses such as your hotel or even longer stays. We will admit, so some of these strategies are much harder than others and numbers a few options would only work if you’re in the Military or work at a parking lots.
We do understand that. But our goal is to offer up as many ways as possible earn free parking. Join frequent parker programs when available, apply for travel credit cards like Chase and Citi and do not shy away to complain about your vehicle or poor service.
Let us know what you think of our list. If you find it helpful please share it with your friends and co-workers.
Be sure to look into our ratings and reviews free parking opportunity, if you’re flying out of an airport on our list and staying at one of the parking lots or even the hotels at the airport, you can earn yourself a free parking or night stay.