Europcar is a major player on the car rental scene in Europe (the company is based in France) although it has a lower profile than the two big boys, Hertz and Avis Budget.
It was, historically, useless for earning Avios.
This changed in 2021 when British Airways let you convert Nectar points to Avios. Europcar is Nectar’s exclusive car hire partner.
That said, the Nectar earning rate is just 1 point per £1 in the UK which is hardly exciting. If you transfer the Nectar points to Avios, you are getting 0.625 Avios per £1 spent with Europcar.
Outside the UK you get a flat 200 Nectar points (125 Avios) per rental – except for the USA, Canada, China and Japan, where you get nothing.
In 2022, things got better for Avios collectors
In March 2022, Qatar Privilege Club adopted Avios as its frequent flyer currency, replacing Qmiles.
You are able to link your British Airways Executive Club account to a Qatar Privilege Club account and transfer Avios back and forth between the two. This opened up a number of new Avios earning options which we’ve covered this year:
- these hotel chains let you collect Avios via Qatar Privilege Club even though they are not BA partners
- these car rental groups let you collect Avios via Qatar Privilege Club even though they are not BA partners
As the final article on the list explains, you can earn 500 Avios in Qatar Privilege Club with every Europcar rental.
Which other airlines partner with Europcar?
If you are not interested in (indirectly) earning Avios via Qatar Privilege Club or Nectar, Europcar has some other airline partners:
- Miles & More – earn 500 miles per rental (3 miles per €1 in Germany)
- Emirates Skywards – earn 600 miles per rental
- Delta SkyMiles – earn 60 miles per day
…. plus Air Europa, Finnair Plus, Flying Blue, American Airlines and others. They do make it very difficult to find out details of their partners, with no links from the home page of their website.
Earning hotel points with Europcar
Europcar has partnerships with two major hotel groups which can earn you hotel loyalty points. You could turn these into Avios if you wished.
Earning with Accor Live Limitless
As you can see on the Accor website here, you can not only earn Accor points with Europcar but also redeem your points for vouchers to spend on Europcar bookings. This is not a good idea, however, as you only get half the value compared to redeeming for a hotel room, ie €20 per 2,000 points instead of €40.
The earning rate for Accor is:
- 250 points for 1-4 day rentals
- 500 points for 5-7 day rentals
- 1,000 points for 8-days+ rentals
Canada, China and Japan are excluded. There are additional benefits for Accor Diamond members including a free weekend rental.
As each Accor point is worth 2 Eurocents or one Avios point (if you convert to Iberia Plus), you will receive at least €5 of value per rental.
There is a special Accor / Europcar booking page which you can find here. You will save 10% to 25% depending on your Accor Live Limitless status.
Important: do not convert Accor points into Avios via British Airways Executive Club. For weird historical reasons, the rate into BA is 2:1 whilst the rate into Iberia Plus is 1:1. There is a minimum transfer into Avios of 2,000 Accor points. Move your Accor Live Limitless points into Iberia Plus and then use ‘Combine My Avios’ to get them across to British Airways.
Earning with Radisson Rewards
Radisson Rewards has a relatively new partnership with Europcar.
You will earn 300 Radisson Rewards points per rental day if you credit a Europcar rental, up to a maximum of 1,800 Radisson Rewards points per rental.
We value a Radisson Rewards point at around 0.2p following the recent devaluation, so this is not exactly generous. It is better than nothing (just ….) if you are using Europcar anyway.
Bookings need to be made via this special Europcar site and you cannot credit rentals from the USA, Canada, Japan, China and India.
Note that Europcar does not show as a partner on the Radisson Rewards website. The booking site appears to be active, but I’m not sure what this means about the state of the partnership.
You can also double dip with Europcar’s Privilege programme
Europcar has its own loyalty scheme called Privilege. Full details can be found on the website here.
The perks are modest but, importantly, you can double dip with earning frequent flyer miles or hotel points so there is no reason not to join up.
The key benefits are:
- free weekend rental after three rentals in a calendar year
- £10 discount voucher after your second rental after joining
- express pick-up service
Do 10 rentals over two years and you will be upgraded to Privilege Executive, triggering another free weekend voucher and an upgrade on every rental. 25 rentals over two years takes you to Privilege Elite, getting you a double upgrade.
Europcar is more interesting to British Airways flyers than it was two years ago. This is due to the new-found ability to earn credit in Nectar or Qatar Privilege Club and move the points onwards into British Airways Executive Club.
If the relatively modest number of miles doesn’t excite you, Accor Live Limitless may be a more valuable reward choice for rentals of 5+ days.
How to get FREE car rental status and other benefits via UK credit cards (February 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:
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: