Over the last couple of years, Avis and Hertz have opened up their loyalty schemes, removing joining fees and eliminating tiers. This means that the main benefits offered by premium credit cards – free entry into a programme that would charge a fee, or putting you in at a higher tier – have been wiped away.
Hertz has now responded by improving the offering for Amex Platinum cardholders. Instead of membership into Gold Plus Rewards (which is now free to all), you will receive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status.
Five Star status usually requires 10 rentals over the previous 12 months.
Free additional driver (this could be valuable, and matches the perk that Avis offers to British Airways Executive Club members via avisba.com)
10% bonus Gold Plus Rewards points
You also get the following benefits as an Amex Platinum member, assuming you use the Hertz Amex Plat CDP discount code (although this is not always the cheapest deal):
15% off standard rates
Four-hour grace period when returning the car
One-class upgrade subject to availability
The four-hour grace period is, for me, one of the best benefits of renting from Hertz. You can get the cost of a 2-day rental down to the cost of a 1-day rental if your rental times are, for eg, 12pm Saturday to 4pm Sunday.
You can find full details of this offer here. It appears that Amex Plat members can join from scratch via the link on that page. What is not clear is how you get your existing Gold Plus Rewards membership upgraded – I imagine you would need to call Amex or Hertz. The literature I saw said:
“If you are already enrolled in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, you have automatically been upgraded to Five Star status”
but when I log in, I do not see that. (That said, I have a MasterCard in my profile so that is not necessarily surprising!). I will chase this up before my next rental.