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Best car rental rewards programs

All around the world, car rentals are big business. You might need one for a short business trip or maybe you plan on road tripping across a country or countries, but how loyal should you be to a single brand? We looked at the best car rental rewards programs and found out which brands you should be loyal to.

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  • National Emerald Club
  • Hertz Gold Plus
  • Alamo Insiders
  • Avis Preferred
  • Budget Business Program
  • Dollar Express Renter Rewards
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Thrifty Blue Chip Rewards

National Emerald Club – Instead of earning points, Emerald Club members earn points which can then be used to claim free rentals. One credit is earned per qualifying rental or for every four consecutive rental days. It takes just 7 credits for regular members, 6 credits for executive members, and 5 credits for executive elite members to get a one free rental day. Additional benefits include the ability to bypass the counter and choose your own car. Book your National rental before you fly with Skyscanner and you can earn points for the National Emerald Club program.

Hertz Gold Plus – The Hertz Gold Plus program can be highly rewarding since you earn 1 points for every U.S. dollar spent on rental & optional service charges: fuel, Hertz NeverLost & more. This means that longer, more expensive rentals earn you more points. Redemptions start at just 550 points, but will cost you more if you want a luxury car. The other major advantage of Hertz points is that they can be redeemed internationally. It’s simple to book your Hertz rental before you travel.

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What is the Best Car Rental Company?

Alamo Insiders – It’s not technically a loyalty program, but if you sign up to Alamo Insiders you’ll get 5% off retail rates, and special promotions sent to your inbox. Alamo offers a range of options for car rental, including collecting your car hire at the airport.

Avis Preferred – All Avis Preferred members can skip the lines and access to Avis Preferred Select & Go but to earn free rentals, you need to opt into the Avis Preferred Points program. At the preferred level, you earn one point for every $1 spent on rentals and two points for accessories. Once you have reached 12 rentals or spent $5,000 you earn Plus status which gives you higher multipliers. When it comes to redeeming free rentals, pricing is dynamic so this rewards program can be a bit tricky.

Budget Business Program – Although the Budget Business Program is aimed at businesses, there’s nothing stopping individuals from signing up. You earn $3 for every qualifying rental day. Reward certificates are mailed out quarterly in $15 denominations. You can use up to 7 certificates ($105) when redeeming for a rental.

Dollar Express Renter Rewards – For every 16 paid days, you get 1 free rental day with Dollar Express Renter Rewards. You’ll also get access to a dedicated line which will speed up your checkout process.

Enterprise Plus – With the Enterprise Plus program, you earn one point for every dollar spent. Free rentals start at 450 points and there are no blackout dates.

Enterprise Plus recently expanded it’s program to include eight Latin American and Caribbean countries. As Enterprise Plus members rent more frequently, they can rise through Silver, Gold or Platinum status to gain access to more reward options. Each status level has its own set of benefits, such as bonus points and vehicle upgrades.

Thrifty Blue Chip Rewards – Another program where you earn one point for every dollar spent. It takes 500 Thrifty Blue Chip Rewards to claim a free weekend rental day but it can only be redeemed at locations in the U.S. or Canada.

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