United and Avis ink new partnership with free status matches, mileage redemptions

Nov 1, 2021

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Just last week, United confirmed that it was ending its longstanding relationship with Hertz.

At the time, the Chicago-based carrier told TPG that it would have a new partnership to announce soon — and it didn’t waste any time.

Beginning Nov. 1, United is partnering with the Avis Budget Group to offer new benefits for travelers, according to a carrier spokesperson.

To start, the partnership includes accelerated mileage earning rates for those who complete rentals with Avis and Budget.

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Both United MileagePlus elite members and Chase cobranded credit cardholders will receive bonus miles if they credit their Avis and Budget rentals to the United loyalty program. This bonus ranges from 500 miles per rental for regular members up to 1,250 miles — valued at $16 according to the latest TPG valuations — for those with United Premier Platinum status or higher.

You’ll find the full breakdown below:

  • 500 miles per completed vehicle rental for MileagePlus general members.
  • 750 miles per completed vehicle rental for United Chase Cardmembers.
  • 1,000 miles per completed vehicle rental for MileagePlus Premier Silver and Premier Gold members.
  • 1,250 miles per completed vehicle rental for MileagePlus Premier Platinum, 1K and Global Services members.

The tie-up also includes a new online portal, cars.united.com/avisbudget, that offers discounted rates of up to 35% off, according to United.

In the coming months, the partnership will expand with two new (and potentially exciting) benefits for travelers.

The first is the ability to redeem United miles for rentals with Avis. United didn’t have any details to share around the redemption rate or how the award booking flow would work, but this will be a unique offering for a U.S. airline.

Two of United’s three biggest competitors, Delta and Southwest, don’t offer the ability to redeem miles toward car rentals. (American Airlines does offer the ability to redeem miles for car rentals through a specialized portal.) Ultimately, the devil will lie in the details of the redemption rate, so we’ll be sure to follow up when we learn more.

Additionally, MileagePlus Premier members and select United Chase cardmembers will soon be eligible to register for a complimentary status match with Avis. Again, the details aren’t yet available as to how the program will work, and which status tiers will be eligible for a match.

What we do know is that Avis has three elite tiers, one of which, Preferred Plus, is published on its website.

The other two levels, President’s Club and Chairman’s Club, have historically been available by invitation only, so it’ll be interesting to see how United’s status tiers map to Avis’s program.

With Hertz, United’s Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members enjoyed a complimentary status match to top-tier President’s Circle, while Premier Silvers and Premier Golds received mid-tier Five Star status.

If you still hold status from the United/Hertz tie-up, it’ll be valid through Jan. 31, 2023, and miles earned from Hertz rentals booked through Oct. 31, 2021, will post to within eight weeks after the rental ends.

For everyone else, well, United’s MileagePlus program now has a new set of wheels.

This story was updated to reflect that American Airlines offers the ability to redeem miles for car rentals. Featured photo by man Tiraspolsky / Getty Images.

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