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This article was last updated Dec 14, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
One of the benefits that can come with select credit cards is a free upgrade in the loyalty programs for rental car companies. These programs offer perks such as bypassing check-in counters, choosing your own car and receiving discounts and upgrades.
Rental car company Avis has partnered with select cards to encourage cardmembers to join its free Preferred loyalty programs. Member benefits for Avis Preferred program include:
- Earn 1 Avis Preferred Point for every qualifying dollar spent on car rentals and 2 points for every dollar spent on car accessories like SiriusXM Radio, GPS, child safety seats and roadside assistance.
- Use points for rentals, upgrades and accessories.
- Go straight to your car and drive off at Avis Preferred locations around the world.
- Use the Avis app to choose a car, confirm or cancel it and even extend the rental.
- Keep your rental preferences on file.
- Track your activity and rewards.
Those who belong to airline or hotel loyalty programs who are also Avis Preferred members can earn points or miles on Avis car rentals and receive deals on things such as car upgrades and discounts. But depending on the card, you may be better off earning airline miles or hotel points. Be sure to review your cards terms and conditions for full details. We’ll look at everything Avis is offering and see if having a free Preferred membership is worth it. We’ll also look at the perks being offered by Avis competitors.
Credit cards that come with Avis Preferred
If you have one of these cards in your wallet, you can unlock some good perks when you sign up for your free Avis Preferred membership. Cardmembers can receive a discount of up to 25% when using Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number A756900 and paying for your rental with these cards. Cardholders can also receive a free weekend rental certificate after completing two qualifying rentals. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points*
Complimentary access to over 1000+ airport lounges*
Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more*
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
With The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, if you use coupon UUNA007, you’re also eligible for a one-time, one-car group upgrade on an intermediate through a full-size, four-door car, subject to availability.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you get a free upgrade to a higher vehicle class once you log onto the Platinum Benefits website and download a coupon. And you can get a free weekend rental after you’ve completed two qualifying rentals again by downloading a coupon at the Platinum Benefits website.
Depending on the type or tier of Visa you hold determines your eligibility for free Avis Preferred membership. If your Visa is emblazoned as a Gold, Platinum, Signature, Infinite, Business, Platinum Business, Signature Business or Infinite Business, you are eligible.
For those with a Gold, Platinum, Signature or Infinite Visa, you can get up to 35% off standard Avis rental car rates and up to 30% off international leisure rates. But you’re required to book your car here in order to get this benefit.
Avis works with a stable of top airline and hotel partners that gives Preferred program members the option to earn points and miles that go toward elite status. There’s also the chance to get discounts and upgrades using special codes, all listed below.
Alaska AirlinesMileage Plan members earn 50 miles a day on rentals or 500 miles on rentals of 5 or more days. Get discounts with your Mileage Plan/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K197800.
Avis airline partner deals
|American Airlines||AAdvantage® members earn 500 miles a day for rentals at participating airport rental locations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Get discounts with AAdvantage Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K817100.|
|Frontier Airlines||Earn 50 myFrontier miles a day for rentals or 500 miles on rentals of 5 or more days. Get discounts with myFrontier number/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K850100.|
|Hawaiian Airlines||HawaiianMiles members earn 250 miles, Pualani Gold members earn 500 miles and Pualani Platinum members earn 750 miles per rental.|
|JetBlue||TrueBlue members earn 100 points a day (up to 5 days) on rentals at participating airport rental locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Receive discounts with TrueBlue Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number H798500.|
|Southwest Airlines||Rapid Rewards members earn 600 Rapid Rewards points per car rental. Get discounts when using Rapid Rewards/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K024700.|
|Spirit Airlines||Free Spirit members can earn 50 miles on rentals 4 days or less or 500 Free Spirit miles on rentals more than 5 days at participating Avis locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Save up to 35% off with Free Spirit/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K376500.|
Avis hotel partner deals
|Best Western Rewards||Earn 1,000 points per rental. Receive discounts when using Best Western Rewards/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K850800.|
|Choice Hotels||Earn 1,000 points per rental. Receive discounts with Choice Privileges Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number O418900.|
|Hyatt Hotels & Resorts||Earn 500 World of Hyatt bonus points per rental. Receive discounts with World of Hyatt/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K817700.|
|La Quinta Inns & Suites||Earn 1,000 La Quinta Returns™ points per rental. Get discounts with La Quinta Returns Club/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K376500.|
|Radisson||Earn 750 Radisson Rewards™ points per rental. Receive discounts with Radisson RRewards/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number G639300.|
|Wyndham Hotels and Resorts||Earn 100 Wyndham Rewards® points on all qualifying rentals. Receive discounts with your Wyndham Rewards/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K969100.|
The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or are no longer available.
What the competition offers
Alamo and Enterprise: World and World Elite MasterCard cardholders receive up to a 5% discount on each qualifying rental. They also get a free upgrade when available.
Budget: Your World Elite Mastercard comes with a free membership in the Budget Fastbreak loyalty program. It comes with up to a 25% savings on each rental.
Hertz: The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express cardholders must enroll in the company’s Gold Plus Rewards® loyalty program. The main program benefit is access to designated Gold Plus Rewards parking stalls for quick exits. Cardmembers receive automatic Five Star status, which allows you to add a spouse or partner as a driver for free, skip the counter at more than 50 of the world’s busiest airports and use Hertz Instant Return when dropping off your rental car.
United Airlines: United MileagePlus® Club Card cardholders can enroll for a free Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle membership. MileagePlus members can save on base rates with the discount code CDP 62455.
The information related to the United MileagePlus® Club Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
National Car Rental: The Platinum Card® from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® cardmembers receive a free upgrade to executive status under the Mastercard World Elite banner after enrolling in the Emerald Club loyalty program. It offers the chance to choose any mid-size and above in the Executive Area and only pay the mid-size rate in the U.S. and Canada; a guaranteed free upgrade when you reserve under the mid-size rate; and the opportunity to drop off your car and go, with an emailed receipt.
If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can save up to 25% on rentals and receive $15 off 3-day weekend rentals when booking here and using coupon code ND2454ZDN.
Check out our review of the The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders get upgrades and car rental discounts of up to 25% on luxury and premium rental car rates, plus other promotions when booking rentals directly through National Car Rental and using Visa Infinite code 5030849 in order to get any discounts.
Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® all come with up to a 25% savings on each rental, along with access to Emerald Club and Emerald Aisle for rentals in the U.S. and Canada under the World Elite banner.
Check out our reviews of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
The bottom line
The benefits that come with Avis Preferred are a bit underwhelming when compared with its competitors, and you don’t need to have a specific credit card to be a member. Yes, Preferred allows you to go straight to your rental car and use the Avis app to manage your reservation, which can save time.
But the real perks only kick in after you spend enough to upgrade to Avis Preferred Plus. In order to do that, you’ll need to do 12 rentals or spend $5,000 within a calendar year, since it doesn’t come automatically with any credit cards.
Avis Preferred Plus comes with all the perks of Preferred, but also includes: free upgrades when available; joining Avis Preferred Points, where you can earn between 25% and 50% more points for every qualifying dollar spent; a special Avis Preferred Plus number for reservations and customer service support; and monthly email offers.
Depending on the airline or hotel loyalty program you choose, you may be better off earning those miles or points for your Avis car rentals.
Check out our story on which credit card is best for car rentals.