Rental Car Program 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.