National Car Rental Free Rental Day and Elite Status Match Promotion

Aug 19, 2011

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National Car Rental is running a pretty lucrative promotion: Earn one Free Rental Day with every two rentals of two or more days between August 22, 2011, and January 31, 2012. All in addition to your standard Emerald Club rewards. Registration link. My understanding of the T&C is that there is no limit to the number of free days earned – just that you can only use 3 free days per rental when it comes time to redeem. “No more than three Free Rental Days may be redeemed toward one rental of three or more days.”

One, Two, Free – kind of like Hyatt’s Faster Free Nights promotion

They are also matching Hertz and Avis elite status, so I just applied for a match from my Hertz Gold to National Emerald. To match your status, sign-up here (my referral link).

I like Hertz because every $500 I spend I get a free weekend rental day (which in NYC, can be up to $200 in value), however I find their 5 Star elite program to be pretty worthless. I generally don’t get upgraded unless I pay extra, but that’s always annoying because I have to go back into the station and then haggle over price. Frankly, I’ve gotten tiny Corollas one too many times, which for a 6’7″ man is not an enjoyable driving experience.

I don’t have a National Emerald club account, so I took this as an opportunity to sign-up. National gives the option to earn airline miles or free rental days and I chose the latter. I have plenty of airline miles, so I’d rather get free rental days. Their program is pretty generous (though not as generous as Hertz for my situation)- every 6 rentals you get a free day (it’s one every 7 for non-elite Emerald Club members).

The National Emerald club benefit of picking any car sounds interesting and I’ve been meaning to try it out, so this is the perfect opportunity. Per National:

  • Simply reserve a Midsize car at participating locations in the U.S. or Canada.
  • When you arrive at the location, go directly to the Aisle or Executive areas.
  • Choose any car – any size, color, make or model – and only pay the reserved Midsize rate. The keys are in the cars.

Any National Emerald club (or Emerald Executive) members want to comment on the experience? Are there actually good cars to choose from?

National is also offering a referral bonus for getting coworkers/friends/family to join the program. For each referral who actually rents a car, you get a free rental day (10 free day max). Feel free to use my link for your status match.

The entire process; enrollment, bonus sign-up, and even status match application is electronic and took me about 5 minutes in total.

Overall, this is a pretty compelling deal, especially since rental cars can be so expensive in some cities (ahem, NYC). Stay tuned for my thoughts on National!

Hat tip View From the Wing!

One Free Rental Day will be awarded for every two qualifying rentals made after the date on which the member has registered and which occur between August 22, 2011, and January 31, 2012. Credit will not be given for rentals made prior to a member’s registration date. A qualifying rental is the paid rental, via The Emerald Club®, of a Midsize or larger vehicle at participating National Car Rental locations in the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, for a period of two or more consecutive days during the promotion.

Earned Free Rental Day fulfillment will begin after September 2, 2011, (solely by email to the email address provided at the time of registration) and thereafter will occur within 1–2 weeks after the second qualifying rental. Free Rental Days are non–transferable. To redeem a Free Rental Day, visit to view your free day certificates, click redeem and then rent a Compact through Fullsize car starting after September 2, 2011, and before June 25, 2012. To take advantage of this offer, make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. No more than three Free Rental Days may be redeemed toward one rental of three or more days. Unfortunately, we cannot combine this offer with any other discount and cannot apply the offer to a previous or existing reservation. All standard rental qualifications apply. Be aware that taxes, surcharges, recovery and recoupment fees and other charges may apply, and that optional products and services (such as damage waiver and additional driver fees) are extra charges. Please check your auto insurance policy and/or credit card agreement for rental vehicle coverage. The availability of this offer is limited to participating U.S. locations and is subject to change without notice. Blackout dates may also apply. We cannot accept the coupon if it has been purchased, bartered or sold for cash.

Referrers of friends and colleagues through our email form and social media links will earn a maximum of ten Free Rental Days, regardless of how many friends and colleagues enroll. In order to receive credit, referred friends and colleagues must use the email address provided by the referring party at time of enrollment and conduct a rental by January 31, 2012.

To be eligible for the complimentary credit toward a Free Rental Day, you must electively opt in to receive emails from National. Offer expires January 31, 2012, and is valid for new opt–ins only.

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