The benefits of having elite status in a loyalty program are undeniable. In the case of airline program elite status, you may receive seat upgrades, priority boarding, free checked bags, and even fee waivers. Hotel loyalty programs may offer elite members free upgraded rooms, late checkout, free breakfast, and bonus earnings.
Car rental companies also have loyalty programs that deliver benefits for the best customers. And, while the perks of elite status can be many, it can be difficult to earn status with more than a single brand.
But what if you need, or want, to change brands — do you have to start over to earn elite status? Well, fortunately, just like airline and hotel programs, most major car rental companies will match the existing status you have with a competitor company. This status match allows you to try on the perks of the new company without giving up your current elite status.
If you frequently rent a vehicle or have an extended road trip coming up, we’re sure you’ll find this a fun and informative topic.
So, hang out with us while we talk about car rental program status matches and how to leverage this process to enjoy VIP status on your next car rental.
How Does a Status Match Work?
An airline, hotel, or rental car company may create a status match program to incentivize frequent flyers, hotel loyalists, and the frequent renters of competitors to try out the new company.
The theory is that if you’ve earned elite status with a travel provider, you’ve already proven you can be loyal to a specific brand, and you might do the same with the new company.
By granting you elite status on day 1 based on your corresponding existing status, the hope is that your experience will be grand enough to stay on.
If you are approved for a status match, you will be granted elite status for a specific period of time during which you must complete the specified criteria for extending your status beyond that period.
You do not have to give up or transfer your existing elite status as the new company is simply granting you additional status in its program. Your existing status remains the same.
Let’s now look at some of the car rental companies that offer status matches, how each status match works, and the value of elite status with each of those loyalty programs.
Bottom Line: A status match can leverage your existing loyalty program’s elite status and allow you to try out a new brand while experiencing a similar level of elite status, all without giving up your current status.
Avis has over 5,000 locations in 165 countries. With this dominant footprint, the chances of you finding a convenient Avis location at your destination are high.
And, if you’re going to be renting from Avis, you’ll surely want to join its Avis Preferred loyalty program.
Just being a base Avis Preferred member offers you some rental benefits, but if you have a car rental program elite status elsewhere, you’ll want to pursue a status match for even more benefits.
The Status Match
Avis offers different status match programs depending on your country of residence. There is 1 program for residents of the U.S. and Canada and another status match program for countries outside of these borders.
Avis offers a match of your current car rental program status to its corresponding elite status, up to its top President’s Club level.
Requesting a status match is simple. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, send an email to [email protected] Include proof of your current car rental program status and supporting documentation including your current statement or membership card showing your name, current elite status, and expiration date.
Avis publishes this matrix guideline for its international status match, but it’s also an informative guide for those who live in the U.S. or Canada:
|Avis Match Level||Europcar||Hertz ||Enterprise||SIXT||National|
|President’s Club||Privilege Elite, VIP||President’s Circle||Gold and Platinum||Platinum||Emerald Club Executive Elite|
|Preferred Plus||Privilege Executive||Five Star||Silver||Gold||Emerald Club Executive|
|Avis Preferred||Privilege Club||Gold Plus Rewards||Plus||Express Card||Emerald Club|
Bottom Line: Avis offers 2 status match programs. If you are located in the U.S. or Canada, you can request a status match email at [email protected] If you are located in another country, you can complete your request via this status match form.
The Benefits of Avis Preferred Plus Elite Status
Once approved, your granted elite status is normally good for 12 months. During that time you will need to meet the qualifications to extend your elite status.
The Avis Preferred loyalty program has 1 base membership level, Avis Preferred, and 2 levels of Preferred Plus elite status. As a new Avis Preferred member, you’ll receive expedited service, earn 1 point for every dollar spent on rentals, 2 points per dollar on accessories, and receive special member offers each month.
Here’s a snapshot of the additional benefits afforded to members with elite status and the qualifications for achieving each level.
|Benefit||Preferred Plus Elite with 12 to 24 Rentals or $5,000 Spent in a Calendar Year||Preferred Plus Elite With 25 rentals or $7,000 Spent in a Calendar Year|
|Complimentary Upgrades When Available||Yes||Yes|
|Special Preferred Plus Customer Service Line||Yes||Yes|
|Points Earned per Dollar Spent on Rentals and per Dollar on Accessories||1.25/2.5||1.5/3.0|
While Avis states that it does status match up to its President’s Club level, this status level is normally invitation-only. To review data points of those who have submitted requests, StatusMatcher is the go-to source.
President’s Club elite members receive an automatic 2-car upgrade when renting an intermediate-size vehicle or greater, and a dedicated 24-hr service line.
To learn more about how the Avis Preferred loyalty program works and the benefits of elite status, check out our expanded article on the topic.
Hot Tip: According to StatusMatcher, Avis has been known to match hotel elite status. If you currently have such status, try emailing Avis with supporting documentation at [email protected] versus using the status match request form.
As a member of the Enterprise Plus loyalty program, you can expect to receive special offers, a dedicated phone line, a members-only check-in area, the ability to earn free rentals, and car class upgrades.
You can take those benefits to a higher level, however, by securing elite status via a status match.
The Status Match
Complete the application form to request a status match to Enterprise Plus and include a copy of your current statement from one of the programs listed below or a copy of your membership card that includes your name, membership status, and expiration date.
|If You Have This Status:||Enterprise Will Match You To This Status:|
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
|Enterprise Plus Silver|
|Avis Preferred Plus|
Hertz Gold Five Star
|Enterprise Plus Gold|
|Avis President’s Club|
Avis Chairman’s Club
Avis Preferred Plus (with 25 rentals or 85+ days)
Hertz President’s Circle
|Enterprise Plus Platinum|
The Benefits of Enterprise Plus Elite Status
Members of Enterprise Plus earn points toward elite status with every rental. Elite members receive even greater rewards.
- Enterprise Plus Silver (6 to 11 rentals) — 10% bonus points and 1 free car upgrade each program year
- Enterprise Plus Gold (14 rentals or 40 rental days) — 15% bonus points and 2 free car upgrades each program year
- Enterprise Plus Platinum (24 rentals or 85 rental days) — 20% bonus points and 4 free car upgrades each program year
Points do not expire as long as your account is active, which is defined as at least 1 rental every 3 years.
In addition, all elite members receive the following:
- Choose your own rewards and receive free car rental days, airline miles, or hotel points
- Guaranteed upgrade in U.S. and Canada when renting mid-size or larger
- Upgrades based on availability for European rentals
- Earn points when renting through its partner, National Car Rental
Hot Tip: According to data points on StatusMatcher, Enterprise has been known to match elite status with the Hilton Honors loyalty program. Your experience could vary.
Hertz has always strived to retain its #1 status, so it’s no wonder its rewards program is also known for being one of the best.
In an effort to add to its 11 million members in the Gold Plus Rewards program, the company also strives to attract the elite members of its competitors by offering a status match.
Let’s review how its status match works and the benefits you can expect from elite status.
The Status Match
Hertz will match your existing competitor status to either its Hertz Five Star or Hertz President’s Circle level. Complete the status match request form with your email and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards number.
Upload documentation such as a copy of your current monthly statement, a copy of your membership card, or a screenshot of your member profile that shows your name and current elite status level. If you have Avis Preferred status, the documentation must show the number of rentals.
|If You Have This Status:||Hertz Will Match You to This Status:|
|Avis Preferred Plus with under 25 rentals|
Enterprise Plus Gold
Enterprise Plus Silver
|Hertz Five Star|
|Avis President’s Club|
Enterprise Plus Platinum
National Executive Elite
Avis Preferred Plus over 25 rentals
|Hertz President’s Circle|
The Benefits of Hertz Gold Rewards Elite Status
When you sign up for the Gold Plus Rewards program, you’ll become a Gold member immediately. All members earn points that can be redeemed for free rentals, experiences, and other rewards. You’ll also be able to add your spouse or domestic partner as an additional driver for no extra charge.
10 Rentals or $2,000 in Revenue
15 Rentals or $3,000 in Revenue
|Earn Points To Redeem for Free Rentals, Experiences, or Rewards||X||X|
|Free Additional Driver (Spouse or Domestic Partner)||X||X|
|1 Class Car Upgrade When Available||X||X|
|25% Bonus Gold Rewards Points||X||X|
|Choose Any Car From Five Star Section||X||X|
|50% Bonus Gold Rewards Points||X|
|Dedicated Customer Service Line||X|
|Choose Any Card From President’s Club Section||X|
To learn more about Hertz and its Gold Plus Rewards program, you’ll want to review this comprehensive article with everything you need to know to maximize the program.
Hot Tip: According to data points on StatusMatcher, Hertz does not match SIXT car rental elite status. If you have elite status with SIXT, you may be able to match with Avis, Enterprise, or National first, then request a Hertz status match and have potential success.
National Car Rental
National’s Emerald Club was created to make the car rental process easier. Frequent renters also receive perks and privileges when qualifying for elite-level status.
Fortunately, National offers a simple path to status with its offer to match not just other car rental elite statuses, but airline and hotel elite status! If you have elite status with a loyalty program, chances are you qualify for a status match with National.
The Status Match
Complete the required information via the status match request form and attach proof of your current elite status, including the expiration date of that status.
Once your request is granted, you will have elite status through February 28 of the second year following your approval.
National does not indicate which outside elite statuses are matched to its corresponding elite status. However, after researching data points via StatusMatcher, every status match that was approved in the past year was for Executive Elite level status, including those submitted with airline and hotel elite statuses.
Once a status is granted, you can extend it beyond the expiration date by meeting the following criteria in the full calendar year following your approval:
- Executive status — 12 to 24 rentals or 40 to 84 rental days
- Executive Elite status — 25 or more rentals or 85 or more rental days
The Benefits of National Emerald Club Elite Status
All members of National’s Emerald Club receive priority service, expedited checkout, upgrade availability, and pickup without visiting the service counter.
Here’s an abbreviated summary of the key benefits you can expect from elevated National Emerald Club’s elite status:
|Benefit||Emerald Club Status ||Emerald Club Executive Status||Emerald Club Executive Elite Status|
|Earn Credits for Free Car Rentals||Earn 1 rental credit for each rental, redeem 7 credits for 1 free rental day||Earn 1 rental credit for each rental, redeem 6 credits for 1 free rental day||Earn 1 rental credit for each rental, redeem 5 credits for 1 free rental day|
|No Second Driver Fees||X||X||X|
|Drop and Go Privileges||X||X||X|
|Enterprise Rentals Count Toward Status and Earning Free Rental Days||X||X||X|
|1 Car Class Upgrade in U.K., Ireland, France, Spain, Germany||X||X||X|
|Pay for Mid-Size or Larger and Receive 1 Car Class Upgrade, U.S./Canada||X||X|
|Guaranteed Availability When Renting Mid-Size or Larger||X|
|Car Delivery to Select Private Airports||X|
Learn more about National Car Rental, its Emerald Club, and the associated benefits, in our article that reviews the entire loyalty program.
Bottom Line: National Car Rental will match competitor’s elite status but also matches hotel and airline loyalty program status. History shows, according to StatusMatcher, that requests result in receiving a status match to Emerald Club Executive Elite status.
Established more than 100 years ago in Munich, Germany, SIXT has the largest fleet of rental cars in the world. Whether you’re traveling domestically or to an international destination, when you need a rental car, chances are there’s a SIXT location.
Fortunately, SIXT offers a status match to its loyalty program and makes it easy to secure.
The Status Match
While SIXT matches the most popular rental car company elite statuses, it also states that it will match the status of your “credit card, airline, hotel” elite status. If we look at the history of executed requests for status matches, StatusMatcher tells us that SIXT has matched all of these types of elite status to either SIXT Gold or Platinum level elite status based on corresponding existing status.
SIXT posts a definitive matrix for matching current car rental program elite status as follows:
|If You Have This Status:||SIXT Will Match to This Status:|
Europcar Privilege Club
|SIXT Gold Card|
|Hertz Five Star|
Hertz President’s Club
Europcar Privilege Executive
Europcar Privilege Elite
Europcar Privilege Elite VIP
Avis President’s Club
|SIXT Platinum Card|
To request a status match with SIXT, complete the request form and attach the supporting documentation validating your current elite status.
The Benefits of SIXT Elite Status
When you join SIXT’s loyalty program, you’ll receive an Express card membership. Express members receive discounted rates and earn airline miles, hotel points, and other partner bonus points.
Elevate your benefits by achieving Gold, Platinum, or the exclusive invitation-only Diamond status. All elite levels receive special offers and a birthday surprise each year. Additionally, elite members are not charged for 1 additional driver on U.S. rentals.
Here is a summary of the benefits you can expect to receive with SIXT’s elite status and the qualification for each level.
- Gold Card (3 rentals in a calendar year) — 10% discount
- Platinum Card (10 rentals) — Exclusive counter and parking, upgrades when available, and a 15% discount
- Diamond (by invitation only) — Diamond lounge and VIP service, exclusive counter and parking, guaranteed upgrades, and a 20% discount
Bottom Line: Car rental powerhouse SIXT offers rentals in over 100 countries. The company matches current elite status from hotel, airline, credit card, and competitor car rental loyalty programs.
Best Credit Cards for Complimentary Car Rental Elite Status
If you currently have elite status and can easily status match to your preferred rental car company, it makes sense to go this route. However, if you want car rental program elite status without a status match, you may find that your credit card offers complimentary status.
Here is a sampling of popular credit cards that come with car rental program elite status that may, in turn, be status matched by a competitor.
Additionally, select World Elite Mastercards come with complimentary Avis Preferred Plus elite status, National Emerald Club Executive status, and SIXT Advantage Circle Platinum status. To find out if your World Elite Mastercard comes with these elite statuses, register your card here and you’ll find Avis Preferred Plus as one of the benefits offered.
Visa Infinite cardholders can also access complimentary Avis Preferred Plus elite status and National Emerald Club Executive status.
Hot Tip: Most car rental loyalty programs will status match the car rental program elite status you have acquired complimentary via your credit card.
Everything Else You Need To Know
Prior to submitting a request for a car rental program status match, you’ll need to be a member of the program for which you’re requesting a match. You’ll want to include this membership number in your request.
Membership in car rental loyalty programs is free. You can sign up for base membership in the car rental loyalty programs we’ve mentioned in this article here:
Be sure to check for membership requirements prior to joining. Some car rental loyalty programs have age and residency restrictions.
Although some car rental programs do not state how long your granted status will last, the terms and conditions will be spelled out in the confirmation email you receive once your status match is approved.
Car rental program status matches are generally not as strict as airline status matches/challenges or hotel program status matches/challenges that tend to limit matches to once in a lifetime.
In addition to matching elite status with other car rental companies, some car rental loyalty programs will match your airline and hotel program status. You could even be approved for a status match with the complimentary elite status you received with your credit card.
If you’ll be renting a vehicle often with 1 car rental company or if you have a lengthy car rental period in your future, it makes sense to request a status match and reap the associated benefits.
Finally, even if a rental car company doesn’t formally offer a status match program, it doesn’t hurt to request one anyway if you have a rental coming up with that company. You could get denied, but you could also receive a “yes!”
The information regarding the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.