Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Iberia drops Avios from Hertz and Europcar – where do you credit now?

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I published a long article in August about earning Avios from car rentals.  Whilst British Airways works exclusively with Avis, Iberia Plus has deals with pretty much everyone.  You simply had to credit your rentals to Iberia and then move your Avios across to BA via ‘Combine My Avios’.

No longer.

Iberia Plus has announced that Hertz and Europcar will cease to be partners on November 1st.

With Hertz, the announcement says that you will continue earning for rentals booked by October 31st but taken up to the end of the year.

With Europcar, it seems harsher.  The website says that you cannot earn Avios points after November 1st, full stop.  This implies that if you have already booked for a later date, you won’t be receiving anything.

(The Iberia website is, yet again, faulty at the time of writing and it will not let me link to the Hertz and Europcar pages.  Hence no direct links!  I assume it will fix itself again soon ….)

There is now no way of earning Avios points from Hertz or Europcar.  Iberia Plus DOES continue to be a Sixt and Euromaster partner.

Where should you credit Hertz rentals now?

One option is to focus on the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards schemeI outlined how it works in this article.  It is worth a look if you are likely to redeem for free rentals but the conversion rate into airline miles or hotel schemes is poor.

Virgin Atlantic is probably your best betYou will earn 1,100 Virgin miles per rental from Hertz.  There are many other airline options as well.

Don’t forget that you can also credit Hertz rentals to two hotel schemes.  The earning rates are not great but if you don’t have any airline accounts apart from Avios then it is better than nothing.

Your hotel partner options are Marriott Rewards and IHG Rewards Club.

Hilton HHonors, Club Carlson and Starwood also have tie-ups with car rental groups, but not Hertz.

Europcar is a partner with Hilton HHonors if you are looking for a home for future rentals with them.

It is a shame to see another of the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus arbitrage opportunities taken away.  You still earn more Avios from Hilton HHonors and Le Club Accorhotels if you credit to Iberia, and you can still get Avios from Sixt and Euromaster via Iberia Plus.

How to get FREE car rental status and other benefits via UK credit cards (March 2023)

If you hire a car in the UK, you can get special benefits (discounts, upgrades, free additional drivers etc) if you have elite status with a car rental programme. You can get elite status for free via certain American Express cards.

The Platinum Card and American Express Business Platinum

The Platinum Card from American Express and American Express Business Platinum come with two free car hire status cards. Your supplementary Platinum cardholder can also receive status in their own right.

From Avis, you receive President’s Club status in Avis Preferred. This gets you up to 25% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a guaranteed one class upgrade. For weekend rentals you will receive a two class upgrade, subject to availability.

From Hertz, you receive ‘Five Star’ status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. This gets you up to 15% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a one class upgrade, subject to availability.

Hertz also offers Platinum cardholders a 4 hour grace period on rentals. Your final day is treated as 28 hours, so a 1pm pick up with a 5pm return the following day is only charged as one day, not two days. We wrote about the Hertz / Platinum 4 hour grace period here.

The Platinum Card also comes with full car hire insurance with no obligation to pay for the rental via American Express. You can refuse any attempts to sell you additional insurance at pick up. This benefit has substantial value if you rent on a regular basis.

You can find more details on the two Platinum cards, and apply, in our full reviews:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is an excellent card in its own right. You receive 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up (convert to 20,000 Avios amongst other things), four airport lounge passes and £120 of Deliveroo credit. Even better, your first year is free.

There are two car rental benefits:

  • you receive Preferred Plus status in Avis Preferred
  • you receive a special package with Hertz – 10% off best available rates at participating locations, a one class upgrade for rentals of 5 days or more, subject to availability, and no additional driver fees

Find out more about the benefits of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, and apply, in our review:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

Comments (11)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Richie says:

    I use the hearts own scheme. I got to gold level, after 7 then president level after 20 rentals. I got a huge amount of points as last year my company hired me a 4×4 estate for 12 weeks.
    Have never made a redemption booking yet, but I can say when you get to gold and president they do look after you with nice cars etc.

    • Alan says:

      I use Hertz’s scheme too and find it pretty good. The occasional one week rental during a bonus points promo and the odd number of points received through compensation has given me a reasonable balance for redemption. Weekend rentals in the US and Australasia are pretty good value and on my last one the combo of a redemption and the 4h grace period caused such IT issues they didn’t charge me the taxes at all initially, then a month later charged too much, then just refunded the whole lot!

  • Roger Wilco says:

    I credit Hertz rentals to VS. 1100 miles convert to 1650 Hilton – a good deal.

    @richie – you can get Hertz status even if you credit elsewhere. No rental points, obviously.

  • Ed says:

    Aww, this is irritating, I specifically booked with Hertz (at an acceptable value premium) to credit a large rental to Iberia next year. I can credit to Virgin instead – and I do need to up that balance – but the amount of miles, and hence the value, is down by about three quarters.

    I suppose they have no way of tracking it but it would have been nice to see them credit existing bookings.

  • Metatone says:

    I suspect we’re in for a wave of equalisation between Iberia and BA Avios opportunities.
    Feels like IAG are tightening up.
    On the plus side, I’ve heard rumours that the shareholder discount is back on the agenda for IAG holders.

    Overall though, when you look at the Avios offers in the USA, we get very meagre fare here.

    • Rob says:

      It is 3 years since Avios was launched, I am surprised the Hilton and Accor conversion variances have survived. There were a lot more in the early days of Avios. There are still differences in, for example, the hotel chains which gives Avios in IB and BAEC as well as differences in which airlines you can redeem with. BA has Aer Lingus and Alaska exclusively, Iberia has Royal Air Maroc and a few more.

  • SJC says:

    I found that Iberia points seldom ever posted anyway. It never seeed to matter if a CPD was used or not, it was a one way rental or return to origin. Retrospective claims were always required and 9 out of 10 times the automated email response would be it was an ineligible rental.

    • JQ says:

      Well I’ve only done 2 Hertz and I got Avios for 1, the other gave me Hertz points even though I said I wanted Avios and then gave up chasing

  • Peter says:

    Just finished a 5 day rental with Hertz via Iberia. (Well I say “via” but the link was not there so went direct and used codes on Iberia website).
    Even though I have no status with them they gave me an upgrade to diesel and were so easy to deal with. Got 10% off courtesy of Iberia as well and they should hopefully give me 4500 avios but from the above I will not be holding my breath just yet while waiting for it…

  • Peter says:

    A bit off topic. Just had my 8000 Avios post to Iberia from taking out the Economist last month. No hassle or chasing required.

  • Globetrotter7 says:

    Has anyone rented a car recently during the triple Avios offer and received the correct number of Avios? For my 3 day rental at the end of Sept, I relieved (quite promptly) 900 Avios instead of 2700. I’ve sent Iberia 2 emails already but have had no reply… Arrghh!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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