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’.
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 scheme. I 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 bet. You 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