Instant Car Rental Elite Status (2021)
One of the benefits of Mastercard World Elite, Amex Platinum, and Visa Infinite credit cards is elite status with one or more car rental companies. And once you get elite status in one of the major programs, you can often match it to elite status with the others.
Being an elite member of a car rental loyalty program is nice, but not exceedingly valuable. You get a decent chance of a one-class rental car upgrade and a somewhat faster reward earning rate on your rentals. On the other hand, at many US airport locations, high-level elites can choose their car from an aisle that sometimes has particularly nice options.
Because it is easy to get elite car rental status through promotions or status matches, we would never recommend getting a credit card just to get elite rental car status. However, there is a reasonable chance that you already have, or will wind up getting, at least one of the cards that has this benefit. And you might as well take advantage of their elite car rental status benefits. And then match that status, if necessary, with other rental car companies.
What's available from each credit card
Just having the credit card is not enough. You’ll need to go online or call the rental car company to request your elite status.
Start with getting elite car rental status from your credit card.
|Program||Visa Infinite||World Elite Mastercard||Amex Platinum|
|Executive status||Special rates||Executive status|
|Preferred Plus status||Preferred Plus status||Special rates|
|2-hour grace period with CDP 2150933||President's Circle status.||4-hour grace period with CDP 211762|
- The extra 2 or 4 hour grace periods from Hertz can be extremely valuable. Depending on how long you need your rental car, it could save you an entire day's rental. For example, if you pick up your rental at 1pm and need to be back to the airport the next day at 5pm, you only need to pay for one days rental, rather than two. This benefit is only available at locations in the United States.
- Mastercard doesn't have a website that summarizes their status benefits. You'll need to go to different pages to learn about and sign up for each of the programs. Hertz. Avis Avis. Sixt.
- Several of the cards you might be interested in are World Elite Mastercards. So, there is a good chance that you’ll eventually wind up getting at least one of these cards.
- Citi Prestige Card and Citi Premier Card.
- American Airlines Platinum Card, Aviator Red Card, and American Airlines Executive Card.
- Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card.
- Virgin Atlantic Credit Card.
- Air France KLM Credit Card.
- HSBC Premier Elite Card.
- Sak's Fifth Avenue Card
- Capital One Buy Power Card
- Priority Destinations World Elite
- The only Visa Infinite cards are the Sapphire Reserve Card, CNB Crystal Infinite Card, UBS Infinite Card, and the no longer available for new signups Ritz Carlton Credit Card.
In addition, the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t come standard as a World Elite card, but you can call in and convert it to the better World Elite version, for no extra charge.
With the Amex Platinum, you'll earn a free weekend car rental (good for two days), if you complete two qualifying car rentals during the first half or second half of the year. To qualify, your paid rentals need to be at least two days long, booked with AWD A756900, and paid for with your Platinum card. You can earn one certificate every six months.
Other paths to automatic Hertz status
|United Club Credit Card|
|United and Delta elite members|
|Marriott Titanium and Ambassador elites||
Titanium members receive Five Star status, Ambassador members receive President's Circle status, by registering online.
Car rental status matches
Once you get status with one car rental company, you can usually match it with the others.
Will only match up to the Preferred Plus level. They don't have an official webpage, you'll need to contact them manually.
Hertz will usually match Avis, National, and Enterprise elites. Hertz Status Match webpage.
Not only will National match status with other car rental companies, they'll give you status if you have elite status with many different hotel and airline programs (such as Hilton or United). National Status Match webpage.
Enterprise will usually match Avis and Hertz status. Enterprise Status Match webpage.
If you are looking for status from some other rental car company, you should email them. There is a good chance you'll get approved.
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