Travel Tip Tuesday! Rental Car Elite Status for Free with Some Credit Cards or via Status Match
Note: Apologies for the delay in posting this Tuesday Tip–I have been having some internet technical issues.
In my opinion, Rental Car Company Elite Status is a bit like the red-headed step child of the points/miles addiction. Most people focus on accumulating airline miles and status, followed closely by hotel points and status. However, rental car company status can offer worthwhile perks, maximize your travel dollars, and sometimes, most importantly, save a significant amount of your time!
Rental Car Elite Status from any World Elite MasterCard
You may already have this benefit and not even know it, since it is one of the lesser known benefits out there. If you have a World Elite MasterCard–and there are several different variations–you are entitled to elite status at Avis, National (includes Enterprise and Alamo), and Sixt. The easiest way to tell if you have a World Elite MasterCard is to look at your card (usually near the hologram logo) and if the words “World Elite” appear anywhere–you have access to this benefit.
Some examples of World Elite cards are:
The Citi Prestige Card
The Citi Thankyou Premier Card
Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard
Citi AAdvantage Executive Card
Barclay Arrival Plus
Hawaiian Airlines Card
What benefits do these programs offer?
Avis Preferred Plus
* Skip the counter and go straight to your car
* Complimentary Upgrades
* Up to 20% off each rental
National Emerald Club Executive
* Executive Area Access: Choose any car (Fullsize and above) in the Executive Area and only pay the midsize rate
* Guaranteed Upgrades
* No Second Driver Fees
* Faster rewards: earn 1 credit for every rental. Free Rental at 6 credits.
Sixt Platinum Status
* Up to 15% discount
* Free Upgrade to next car group or double upgrade in most US locations
* Skip the line and go right to your car
How do I activate this benefit?
To activate the benefit, simply call a World Elite MasterCard travel advisor at 855-802-1387 to upgrade your status and have your Rental Car program membership number available. If you are not yet a member of the program, sign up online first.
Additional value: Status Matching
Another option to obtain status is via a status match. If you already have elite status with a car rental company, or if you maximize your World Elite MasterCard to get a new elite status, be aware that you can often status match to other companies.
Hertz will give you Five Star Status if you have National or Avis Elite Status. Just follow this link for the instructions. As an additional note, for all my military friends: If you are a USAA member you can get free Hertz Gold Plus status.
National will also match your status to their Emerald Club Executive or Executive Elite Programs if you have Hertz Elite Status or Avis Elite Status.
Sixt will give you Platinum Status if you are an elite member of any number of Airline, Hotel, or Rental Car Chains, including Avis, Club Carlson, Delta, National, Marriott Diamond, Hilton Diamond, and many others! Check out the whole list here.
Enterprise will also provide a match to Avis and Hertz elite members, available here.
Bottom line is once you get elite status either by rentals or via your World Elite MasterCard in one or two programs, you can maximize that value and extend your elite status across several more programs for free! Also, keep in mind you can always call up and ask any company for a status match–it never hurts to try!