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Enterprise Launches Points Program

by on February 21, 2012 · 24 comments

in Car Rental Bonuses, Enterprise

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Big news in the car rental business this week. Enterprise is launching a points system to go along with its Enterprise Plus loyalty program on March 1, 2012. The program used to be geared just toward business travelers hoping to expedite rentals and drop-offs, but now Enterprise has incorporated a whole points component. Though it doesn’t launch until next week, you can check out some of the features and rules here and should be able to join before the launch so you can earn points starting the first day.

Enterprise announces the new points component of Enterprise Plus on its web site. Log-in using your Enterprise account info to create a points account.

JOIN
If you’re not a member of Enterprise.com, you’ve got to join the general program first, create a profile, and accept the terms of use. Then you can “activate” your rewards by registering with Enterprise Plus. The registration page seems to be experiencing a malfunction at the moment when you go to register your Enterprise account, but hopefully they’ll get that working prior to the launch date next Friday!

Just FYI, per Enterprise’s web site: Members may not maintain more than one Enterprise Plus account. Only one individual may be enrolled per Enterprise Plus account. In the event more than one account number is assigned to the same individual, the duplicate account may be terminated, and Enterprise Plus Points, Qualifying Rentals and Qualifying Rental Days (see definitions below), may be transferred to the remaining account (excluding any enrollment or other bonuses that can only be earned a single time per member as specified in promotion terms and conditions).

EARNING
Members will earn one point per qualifying dollar spent on Enterprise rentals. According to Enterprise, here are the categories for qualifying rentals, and rentals that do NOT qualify.

“Qualifying Rentals” must meet the following:

  1. “Paid Rentals”: An Enterprise brand rental during which the Member has paid time and mileage (base) charges for one or more rental day. A rental with one or more free rental days will count as a Qualified Rental as long as there is a minimum of one paid rental day.
  2. A rental that was picked up from and returned to the same Enterprise Rent-A-Car location in the fifty (50) U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico
  3. A rental that has a valid Member Number applied to it at time of reservation, regardless of booking channel. The full name on the member profile must match the full name on the primary driver’s license on the rental agreement. For Qualifying Rentals that are not associated with a Member Number, Members may request retroactive credit for up to six (6) months from rental return date.

“Qualifying Rental Days” are paid rental days associated with a Qualifying Rental. When points are redeemed for a free rental day, it does not count as a Qualifying Rental Day. For example, a four-day rental consisting of two paid rental days and two free rental days will count as one Qualifying Rental and two Qualifying Rental Days.

Qualifying Rentals and Qualifying Rental Days do not include the following types of rentals:

  1. Insurance replacement rentals; dealer replacement, body shop or fleet replacement rentals.
  2. Rentals that were included as part of a Tour or Travel package
  3. Pre-paid rentals that were booked through a third party, including (but not limited to) third-party online OTAs
  4. Rentals using government rate codes or a government contract ID
  5. Discounted rentals by employees of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. and any of its parent company, subsidiaries, and affiliates and their family members who are eligible to receive an employee discount

As an added bonus, rentals from January 1 through the member’s enrollment date will count towards the new member’s qualifying rentals and rental days for the calendar year in which a new member enrolls, even though a member number was not included in the reservation. After enrollment, only rentals with a member number attached to them will qualify, though, so be sure to put it on all your reservations.

REDEMPTIONS
Free rental redemptions start at 400 points. Enterprise hasn’t yet posted the various redemption levels and point values yet, so stay tuned for further analysis once those are up.

However, you cannot redeem points for the following rentals:

  1. One-way rentals where the pick-up and return location are not the same
  2. Vehicle replacement rentals (rentals as the result of an accident, mechanical repair or theft)
  3. Tour or Travel packages
  4. Prepaid rentals booked through internet sites other than enterprise.com (.ca, .co.uk, .de, .ie)
  5. Rentals using government rate codes or a government contract ID
  6. Discounted rentals by employees of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. and any of its parent company, subsidiaries or affiliates, and their family members who are eligible to receive an employee discount

In addition, Members may not redeem any free rental days on rentals booked with corporate rates, but may redeem free rental days at the regular retail rates.

So there’s a fair amount of restrictions, but if you’re looking to use your points on a simple free rental, you should be okay.

BENEFITS
-Points don’t expire as long as you remain an active member with at least one qualifying rental every two-year period.
-Points are redeemable for free rental days for any available car on any day with no blackout dates (subject to availability), with rates starting as low as 400 points.
-New recognition levels based on rental activity (i.e. elite status)
-Members-only check-in at participating locations
-A dedicated phone number for expedited service

Enterprise Plus’ new elite tiers.

ELITE STATUS
There are going to be four levels of membership.

1. Enterprise Plus: This is the basic level. Membership is free, and once rewards are activated, points are earned with any qualifying rental.
2. Silver: Qualify after six rentals,. You get a 10% bonus on Enterprise Plus points earned on qualifying dollars spent. And you get one free car class upgrade certificate per program year.
3. Gold: Qualify after 12 rentals or 40 days of rentals. 15% bonus points on qualifying dollars spent.  Two car-class upgrade certificates per program year.
4. Platinum: Qualify after 24 rentals or 85 rental days. 20% bonus on points earned per dollar spent. Four free car-class upgrade certificates per program year.

INITIAL THOUGHTS
Hertz has always been my preferred program for earning free rental days, however it looks like it may be easier to rack up free days with Enterprise. Hertz requires 500 points for a free weekend rental day vs. only 400 with Enterprise. You earn 1 point per dollar spent in both programs. The Enterprise site is not completely up, so I couldn’t pull up all of the redemption options, so I’ll save final judgement until I have access to that information.

The confirmed upgrade certificates are an interesting perk, though if it’s only a one-level upgrade, that’s not much to get excited about. Overall, I think it’s a step in the right direction, though I’m a little miffed that my Enterprise rental in Hawaii will just miss the March 1, 2012 start date for earning points!

Hat tip: TPG reader Lauren.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • nsk

    General question for readers: Is this program going to increase your interest in renting from Enterprise?

  • Hesslers

    NO, Enterprise is the last company I will ever rent from again. In fact, I will use public transportation first.

  • jason

    You hate the company but you decided to read a blog post specifically about them and leave a troll comment. Interesting how some people spend their time.

  • Mrp Alert

    I’m not sure that redeeming points for a weekend rental that would otherwise cost 999 per day is such a great deal.

  • Anonymous

    Agree, but not every car rental is $9 a day so there could be opportunity to get good value out of the program, like I have with hertz free rental days

  • Anonymous

    Yes- some points are better than no points!

  • Jay

    Even more interesting is how a certain “jason” spends his time! Some people may have had a very bad experience with Enterprise and so when they see a post about Enterprise, they react. Perfectly normal. After my experience with Enterprise, and my father’s friend’s experience, I will never rent from them again.

  • Andre LaPlume

    Ladies! Let’s remain civil, please!

  • Dereck James

    This is interesting, it really brings Enterprise into the fold as a potential competitor to the big guys and it certainly makes them a more intriguing option. But the real question here is how will these new developments affect your 6’7″ frame? Hopefully they’ve taken this into account when developing this new program.

  • Anonymous

    LOL hopefully they have a special program for me where compact cars are not even a redemption option!

  • Anne

    Hey, Andre, that was sexist! ;-)

  • Johnson332

    What about a special program for someone who recently left their ‘lucrative wall street job’?

  • Anonymous

    Great idea, but that wouldn’t be for me- I was a lowly minion on wall street!

  • Anonymous

    There’s nothing wrong with reading about a plan you likely won’t use, then saying why. And there are degrees of certainty about future plans. I’m not a great fan of Enterprise (I have to rent from them now and then for work purposes), but if their new program was really good, I could take it into consideration in my future planning. After reading about it, I doubt that this program is valuable enough for me to change my rental habits.

  • FrugalRon

    Trolling….

    I LOVE that Enterprise now offers points…but will I be using them???

    I don’t work for any car rental companies but after reading USA Today’s article and the petition against Enterprise I’m concerned. My concern is just not with Enterprise, which is VERY local to me and I use, but with ALL rental companies when it comes to MY safety! Gad! Now I feel like I need to check every auto recall list and ask the rental company if the car is up to all safety per the manufacturer, do I have them sign a space on the contract?!?!

    Be safe fellow travelers!

    USA Today: http://travel.usatoday.com/news/story/2012-02-20/Safety-advocates-Rental-car-recalls-should-be-regulated/53180374/1?fb_ref=.T0Ur5CSHBEc.like&fb_source=home_multiline

    Enterprise Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/enterprise-rent-a-car-stop-opposing-a-law-prohibiting-companies-from-renting-out-recalled-cars

  • Pingback: Updates From the World of Miles and Points – 2/26 | Indulge the Wanderlust()

  • http://www.facebook.com/Oldsmoboi Drew Dowdell

    No need to sign up for this if you’re already with National or Alamo. When booking on Enterprise.com you can use your National Emerald club number and get credit/points there. I use National almost exclusively because their fleet tends to be better kept and their website is easier to use… however when a National isn’t available, I do switch over to Enterprise. Using one number with all three (Enterprise, Alamo, National) allows you to be monogamous to one program and get to elite status faster. Emerald Club has a different reward structure that you might find beneficial or not depending on your rental pattern.

  • Sherayw

    I am a value customer I want to see my point

  • Jpgrad

    Enterprise are only pretending to have a loyalty program. They screw you. Registering is not enough to get point credit for your rentals. Hidden in the T&C’s that nobody reads, there is a requirement to do an activation. Why would anybody hide that stupid extra step in T&C’s except to cheat you out of the points that you wanted to accrue from first rental after registration? Like duh… why would you be registering supplying that number the next day for a rental? You do not learn about the sneaky extra step until your package arrives 6 weeks later not even in the immediate confirmation email you received after online registration. We were deprived of $1,200 spending points that fell between registration and activation date. Sure makes you wonder what other risks you are taking when renting from somebody who adds sneaky steps in the T&C’s and punishes you for not being paranoid about their view of rewarding loyalty.

  • Mendel Novack

    i have about 7000 points with enterprise. and for me to redeem them at JFK would cost me 900 a day, not 400 but 900. more than double. but there is no way to redeem them in person to get the respect from employees (to get a nice car) you have to do it online. you cant even do it by phone!

    im disappointed that they don’t have a flat rate like hertz and that you cant reserve it without a computer.

  • etal

    In Oceanside CA, I’ve had major issues with Hertz. So bad that AAA (who had made a reservation for me) took a stand when they too were treated rudely by Hertz. Because of multiple problems with Hertz (over charges, screwed up reservations, reneging on points credits and promos, stranded after returning a rental when they refused to give me a ride home, etc.) I will no longer use them. I had enough when the problems were a constant.and being treated with autocratic and cavalier demeanor.

  • etal

    Enterprise office on Jones Rd in Oceanside CA have always be AWESOME!!! Any problems or issues they have always been able to address with quick dispatch. They really know how to make a customer feel valued.

  • etal

    I believe the 400 points per day would apply toward the weekend promo Enterprise puts out every year on their $9.99 per day. Not really worth spending points on that promo.

  • Will Fuller

    If I am a member of both Enterprise Plus & National’s Emerald Club (currently, I am only a member of the latter), can I rent from National with my EC account and then put my Enterprise code on the reservation and earn dual credits?

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