How to earn Avios with Budget car rentals

Following a lot of rationalisation over the last couple of years, Avis emerged as the sole British Airways car hire partner.

The website offers a range of benefits including free additional drivers for BA Executive Club members and bonus Avios if you pay using a British Airways American Express card.  There is even an Avis depot in the Terminal 5 car park.

Avis also owns rental group Budget.  You can also earn Avios points with car rentals from Budget but ONLY if you credit them to an or Iberia Plus account.

Budget car rental Avios points

This is a slightly odd arrangement.

If you look at the Budget UK website there is no mention of Avios at all.  It isn’t even listed under their European partners – although it is listed under North America but with the wrong earnings rate.

Instead, all of the Avios information is on where you are almost guaranteed not to find it!

You earn 100 Avios points per rental day.  This is valid for rentals of up to 30 days so you could do OK if you needed a car for an extended period.  All Budget locations worldwide are included.

Until 31st March this rate is doubled.  You will earn 200 Avios points per day.  This only kicks in if you book a Group C car or larger and rent for at least two days.

Note that:

“Rentals made using Budget contracted (corporate/government) rates/BCDs, chauffeur drive, van rentals, travel industry staff rates, employee programmes, replacement / insurance rates, selected association programmes, net rate programmes and rentals booked with online travel agents, brokers and price comparison sites do not qualify for Avios.”

The Budget relationship is worth knowing about and it is a shame that it isn’t publicised more widely.  You can book on the Budget website here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)


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  1. Monopolies commission says:

    Not bad and makes a change from crediting longer duration hires to Etihad Guest (flat rate) – although they do sometimes have their own double miles promotions:

    Etihad Guest 500 Miles per rental
    Etihad Guest Silver 625 Miles per rental
    Etihad Guest Gold 750 Miles per rental
    Etihad Guest Platinum 800

    Only annoyance I found recently was how much the price can change depending on where you say you’re resident. I had not noticed a recent quote I had assumed I was resident in New Zealand…it increased by 50% when I said I was from the UK!

    • So can one lie and say resident of home country in which hire is scheduled to get lower price?

      Any legal glitches by doing so?

      • Henry Larsen says:

        Lying about residence would surely be caught out when you have to show your driving licence, no?

        • the real harry1 says:

          there’s no immediate requirement to change your UK driving licence when you start being non-UK resident

          – no need at all in EU
          – most other countries give you 6 months

    • I looked into this in some detail on one rental from Avis.
      Having residence (it doesn’t say driving licence) in Australia seemed to be giving significantly cheaper rates.
      What I found was that nearly all the difference in rates was due to different elements of insurance being included.
      Once I added back E.g. Theft Insurance there was little or no difference in the prices.
      Presumably the car companies have programmed that market standard practice about which insurance to include in base quotes is based on Residence (possibly from official guidance/legislation in the residence country).

      The elements of insurance I was looking at were not the rip-off “excess cover” which is more cheaply replaced by a stand-alone policy – they were elements I thought we wanted.
      Other people may have a different risk profile.

  2. Any suggestions for earning avios for (US) rentals longer than 30 days?

  3. Does anyone know how as an existing MBNA card holder, I get a referral bonus by referring friends and family? Is there a specific referral link/webpage similar to Amex?

    • The Virgin card has a referral scheme, but you have to wait for them to email you a link, which they seem to do randomly!

      • Yes, only possibly on Virgin. MBNA doesn’t pay in general – that’s why its cards are mysteriously missing from comparison sites such as Totally Money.

  4. I have a budget rental in the States next week but it was booked through…does the same rule as booking hotels through third parties apply i.e. you only accrue reward points if you book direct? If not can I just give my avios account number at the counter when I pick up the car?

  5. Another OT – Gift Cards

    I have to buy some Amazon & Sainsbury’s gift cards to meet signup bonus target on my Amex SPG card.
    Any ideas on how can I maximise my return on these spends?
    Does Morrisons still offer Bonus points for Amazon GC purchase?

    • Probably the only place where you can buy Sainsbury’s cards is Sainsbury’s unless you have access to a work sponsored scheme but they charge extra for Amex whereas Sainsbury’s do not. Morrison’s for Amazon and many more; you get vouchers worth 2.5% which have to be spent there including more cards.

  6. globetrotter says:

    Can anyone recommend a company for a three-week-long rental in NZ? Got one of the cheap ex-EU QR J trips coming up, and looking to drive from AKL to Queenstown and back… How would I maximise Avios earning here?

    • I have booked with AeroDrive Car rental for my trip in may half term.

      This seems to be new local company. Price was nearly 50% less and also there is another 10% code.

    • Heading north from Queenstown to Auckland you can sometimes get free rentals (in did with budget a while ago) you have to pay for fuel and you’re a little limited with time and distance allowed but can be a cheap way of getting around if you don’t need a car for the whole trip. I got a big Holden Commodore v8 saloon car for one rental which was fun, if a bit expensive to fuel.

      There is a site called imoova which also offers 1 way rentals in Australia and NZ, you tend to get a bit longer with these but there’s not that many available and you’d need them to fit around your schedule but might be worth a look.

      • Wayne Phillips says:

        All the majors (Avis/Budget/Thrifty) offer one way relocation deals direct, as do the minors. The minors are usually off airport, a short shuttle ride away
        This is a good site that aggregates them

        As Lumma said, you only get 2/3 days for intraisland rentals, and 4/5 for interisland so might not be great for exploring.

        Generally driving south to north is cheaper, as most visitors tend to do the opposite and the cars are needed back in Auckland.

        Book internal NZ flights via the version of AirNZ’s site, you’ll save a fortune

    • We hired with Apex when we were last there a couple of years ago. Their base is on the outskirts of AKL airport, just a few minutes in one of their shuttles. We got a late model Subaru Legacy AWD which costed a lot less than what Hertz/Avis were offering – the difference in price more than made up for loss of Avios. I’ve also done a one way hire from Dunedin to Queenstown with Thrifty which was OK too. Make sure you give yourself enough time and keep an eye on the speed (they’re hot on speed checks… I used to live there). Enjoy!

      • Esp hot on Bank Holidays! – I got a NZ$20 fine for going 2kph over the limit (hadn’t even noticed it on the speedo!) – they posted it to me at home and I paid by credit card (didn’t want to not be let back in the country!) so not sure they made a vast sum out of it…

        • the real harry1 says:

          I was there for a year & used to speed a lot on the 100 kmh stretches – never got caught 🙂

          I went down in history as the guy who got the fastest NZ driving licence – ever! With a UK licence you don’t/ didn’t need to do the on-road test, so it was all theory. I realised it was just a small number of questions – about 30 – from a base of about 100. I memorised all the possibilities, went in to do my test & rattled through the 30 in about 4 minutes lol

          I guess when I finished, the invigilator thought I was asking for a pencil sharpener or something 🙂

          100% correct – too easy

          nice look on her face

        • Haha – hopefully BA will have a similar look on their face when the SCC awards you compo 😛

  7. Avis prices are unreal. They quoted me £1100 for 17 days’ hire this summer, the same car booked locally is $800. Even with the poor exchange rate I can’t get my head round this!

    • Lady London says:

      I’ve always used my Hertz points there.

      They do take a rather large deposit off your credit card, and return it if the car comes back undamaged and refuelled, but they now take less than they used to so your card won’t be blocked for so much until you get it back.

      I think a lot of companies now expect you to leave your car before the ferry going between the North and the South Island, and then pick up a substitute car on the other side btw.

      You could try googling one way rentals there, there are a few sites that specialise in them and you can find them at the times of year the rental companies want cars moved. Then the actual car rental can be pretty cheap. Even though deposit and insurance will remain high.

      • Yep, had excellent value from Hertz points on a couple of NZ rentals. I think it’s universal re needing to leave car on North or South Island with all the rental companies, no?

    • Best to check that Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is included in the rental if you’re seeing vastly different prices. I’ve fallen foul of this when booking car hire through Europcar and had to fork out an extra £20/day extra to cover it. If you have Amex Platinum cover or similar, you can get away with not having it but bog standard excess insurance isn’t sufficient.

  8. Slightly OT but connected via Avis

    Good afternoon everyone

    Last December Avis Spain ran a great promotion award, for anyone hiring a class C car for 3 days during certain dates. This turned out to be linked to a Spanish Bank holiday promotion ,which many HfP’s readers took advantage of.

    Whilst not as mad as the Scandinavian chap who took out 20/30 cars during an Avis promotion in the Azores or was that in the Canary Islands………I decided to rent out 5 cars.

    I initially recieved only 1 x 18,700 of my hire car avios points from Avis Spain

    I was under the impression that there was no limit to how many cars, one could have hired for this promotion

    However apparantly hidden in the deepest darkest section of Avis own conditions,there was such a condition.

    Where by Avis would not award any promotional points, for multiple reservations made by an individual, on a single day.

    Anyway, that certainly did not stop me. I successfully argued with Avis customer services, via there contact centre in Hungry that a) the local Service manager had already waved these conditions by accepting my multiple hire car reservations,(quick phone call in advance) and b) I also quoted them the Scandinavian chap’s previous success.
    Last Friday, I finally was awarded my missing Avios

    Bagging a total of 93,500 (5 x 18,700) at a rate of £0.002 avios per £.

    Each car had a total cost including a slight petrol top up of £44.50. I was upgraded on all of the reservations by 2 groups(Avis President’s Club member). I even actually put the car’s to good use, trying them out whilst making notes, for my next car purchase.

    This haul is going to contribute considerably to a CX F flight from JFK-HKG (average of £3,600 ow)

    16 hours of Krug and Caviar heaven

    Thank you Rob for highlighting the promotion and to everyone else who contributed with advice.


  9. £0.002 per avios.

    • Lady London says:


      • My avg was 0.27p / Avios for my single Avis rental.

        I’ve recently referred a few friends for Amex Gold, throwing in a sweetener of me supplying them with £20 of Vino/Beers once successful.

        Similar earning ratio, £20 outlay for 9000 MR = Avios pts , did this 3 times.

        LL – can I get a double Grrrr, or as you can use the last idea maybe a Grrr then a Prrr? 😉

    • Could we please stop mentioning the Avis Weekend (two mentions/comments today) – this winds up “the real harry1” and “Genghis”.

      I value their contributions to this site and would’t want them to walk” away!

      🙂 🙂 .

  10. Lady London says:

    (that was not an accidental duplicate posting)

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