Skip to content

Renewed for 2022: Hertz continues to give elite status benefits to all new loyalty members

Jan. 09, 2022
5 min read
Hyundai car with a Hertz sticker
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Last summer Hertz announced that it will give Five Star elite status to all new Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members. This originally applied through the end of 2021, but the company has extended the promotion into the new year.

It's actually quite simple. If you join the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program today, you'll automatically enjoy Five Star perks through June 30, 2022.

This promotion is great for new members, but could have some continued fallout for existing Hertz elites. Let’s take a closer look at the promotion and discuss what it means for current Hertz elite members.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter!

Hertz giving Five Star elite status to all new members

New Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members are eligible for promotional elite status. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

All new Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members are eligible for mid-tier Five Star elite status when signing up for a new account.

This status delivers all the standard Five Star benefits including:

  • 25% bonus points on qualified rentals for 1.25 points per $1 spent
  • Car upgrades when available
  • A wider selection of cars at Ultimate Choice lots

Normally, Five Star status requires 12 rentals in a calendar year. This was reduced to 10 rentals in 2021, though it appears that the standard qualification is back for 2022. Regardless, this promotion gives new members a taste of elite status without having to meet requirements.

New Hertz members can take advantage of this promotion by creating a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account online. Status will be automatically added to their account after it’s created.

Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: Everything you need to know about the Hertz My Car subscription

What does this mean for existing elites?

Existing Hertz elites may find it harder to get an upgrade this year. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

While it’s great to see Hertz announce new promotions to incentivize car rentals, Hertz’s existing elites may continue to get the short end of the stick.

It may be harder for elites to clear a car upgrade with a sudden influx of new elites from last year, and with this promotion being extended, the situation may be exacerbated. This is especially unfortunate given we’re still in the middle of a rental car shortage where getting any car at a reasonable price is difficult.

Five Star members are eligible for space-available upgrades and a better selection of cars at airports and rental locations with an Ultimate Choice lot. Members can pick any car they like at these lots and drive off.

Generally, Ultimate Choice has a general member lot, a Five Star lot and a President’s Circle lot. I worry that a sudden flow of new renters will leave Ultimate Choice lots empty of premium cars, leaving existing members without an upgrade.

I also worry that top-tier President’s Circle elite members will see less car selection due to this promotion because some of these cars could be shifted to the Five Star lot to accommodate an influx of demand.

This is just speculation, but it will be interesting to see if the extended promotion will affect long-term Hertz renters and elites. As a President’s Circle elite myself, I’m concerned given how hard it was to get a decent car upgrade last year.

Related: How to skip the long rental car line — and increase the odds you actually get a vehicle

Getting Hertz elite status in other ways

This promotion isn't the only way to earn automatic elite status in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program. You can also carry the right credit card, as holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card enjoy top-tier President's Circle status. While Hertz discontinued its partnership with United last year, elite travelers with Delta continue to enjoy complimentary status as follows:

  • Diamond and Platinum Medallion: President's Circle
  • Gold Medallion: Five Star

Finally, if you hold car rental elite status with another company, you may be eligible for a status match with Hertz. Check out our complete guide to car rental status matches for additional details.

Bottom line

Hertz is continuing to award new Gold Plus Rewards members with complimentary Five Star elite status, which has now been extended through June 30, 2022. While this promotion seems great on paper, I think it will ultimately be detrimental for existing members. It will likely make upgrades harder to clear and Ultimate Choice lots bare.

Regardless, it may help Hertz drum up demand and generate more revenue as travel recovers. This is extremely important given Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 — though it has since exited.

Featured image by (Photo by antonnot / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees