Hertz extends elite status, joining Avis, National and Enterprise
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As the world continues to react to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the travel industry has been looking for ways to retain its most loyal customers for when the crisis subsides.
We've already seen the three largest U.S. airlines extend elite status for its members. Hotel chains like Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton also announced elite status extensions. In recent weeks, we've talked about what airlines and hotels are doing during coronavirus, but what about car rental programs?
On April 15, National and Enterprise Rent-a-Car became the first two major rental companies to extend elite status through 2022. Avis announced in late April it will extend elite status through early 2022. Now Hertz has announced elite status extensions.
Here’s what you need to know about current elite status updates for car rental programs. We've also reached out to Sixt and will update this post when we hear back from them.
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Hertz sent an email to elite members announcing that it would extend loyalty status until Jan. 31, 2022. If you had points set to expire between March 13 and June 30, 2020, you can request to extend them through the link received in your email. Your points will be available starting June 1, 2020, and will be valid through Dec. 31, 2020.
The Hertz loyalty program is called Gold Plus Rewards, and there are two tiers of elite status within the program: Five Star and President’s Circle. Hertz also partners United and Delta to offer automatic status to elite travelers and certain credit cardholders. Delta Diamond and Platinum Medallion members enjoy complimentary President’s Circle status, while Gold Medallion members receive complimentary Five Star status.
Related: Your points, miles and loyalty guide to Hertz car rentals
Avis elite status extension
On April 27, Avis sent an email to elite members stating those currently at the Preferred Plus or higher tier would have their status extended through Jan. 15, 2022.
This is in addition to a previous email saying the rental company would extend the expiration of the Avis Reward Days earned from a Free Days promotion from May 24 to Sept. 30, 2020. Avis is also allowing changes to reservations with no change fees.
There are three tiers of elite status in the program: Avis Preferred Plus, Avis President’s Club and Avis Chairman’s Club.
Related: Your points, miles and loyalty guide to Avis
Enterprise and National elite status extension
National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car brands announced it will extend both Emerald Club and Enterprise Plus elite tiers for another year. This means that those tiers expiring on Feb. 28, 2021, will now expire on Feb. 28, 2022.
Enterprise already announced that it would extend Enterprise Plus points expiring in March, April and May. The company also announced that Emerald Club program free days will not expire until Dec. 31. The car company says that if you have points set to expire in this time frame, you’ll see a courtesy point extension in your member profile by April 30, 2020.
Enterprise Holdings, which owns Enterprise and National, told TPG that Emerald Club and Enterprise Plus will roll over any qualifying rentals and rental days above those needed to get the member to the next tier, giving the member a balance into the following year.
Related: Comparing car rental elite status
For instance, if it takes 12 rentals to get to Emerald Club Executive status, and the member ends 2020 with 17 rentals, Enterprise will roll over five rentals to next year.
"While travel has waned, customer loyalty hasn’t," Randal Narike, Enterprise's Executive Vice President of Global Mobility and Customer Experience, said in a statement. "And we want our customers to know we appreciate them and that their benefits will be there for them to enjoy when they are ready and able to travel again."
The Enterprise Plus program has three elite status levels (aside from its base level): Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each elite tier will get you some decent perks like a free car upgrade per year.
National has its own loyalty program: Emerald Club. As with the other programs, the base level is free to join and allows you to skip the counter. It also has two elite tiers, Emerald Club Executive and Emerald Club Executive Elite status.
These are several member-friendly initiatives but there is one downside. Enterprise also told TPG that it would not extend free days earned from the popular One Two Free promotion slated to expire on June 15. The promo gave members an opportunity to score a free day after just two rentals — while still racking up rental credits at the usual rate.
Related: Credit cards that offer elite status for car rentals
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which both give cardholders Emerald Executive status with National as a benefit, you can enjoy even more perks like reserving full-sized cars or better at a mid-size price and no second driver fees.
Unless you're a first responder, or you're headed home to stay put, you're probably not thinking about booking a car rental at this time. But similar to airline or hotel elite status extensions, you can be assured of your status in 2021 and beyond for when it's safe to travel again.
Jasmin Baron contributed to this post.
Featured photo by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images.