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Get a SIXT car rental status match from your Marriott Bonvoy or Virgin Atlantic status

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German car rental group SIXT is currently promoting a status match opportunity for elite members of Marriott Bonvoy.

It’s worth a look, and I also want to remind you of a similar status match opportunity if you have Virgin Atlantic status.

I took advantage of a SIXT status match in 2021 via my Virgin Atlantic Gold status. It did genuinely provide the best price I could find for what I needed.

I am normally more of a Hertz guy, mainly due to the American Express Platinum 4-hour grace period, but on this particular occasion SIXT had the best deal.

What is SIXT offering to Marriott Bonvoy elite members?

Take a look at this page of the SIXT website.

Marriott Bonvoy Silver and Gold Elite = Gold SIXT Card:

  • Up to 10% discount on SIXT rent a car or SIXT rent a truck and up to 5% discount on SIXT limousine service
  • Preferred Mobility: Forgot to book your rental car? No problem. SIXT prioritizes your reservation when calling up to 48 hours prior to your rental start.

The official list of Gold benefits is here.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and Titanium = Platinum SIXT Card:

  • Up to 15% discount on SIXT rent a car or SIXT rent a truck and up to 10% discount on SIXT limousine service
  • Free upgrade to the next car group
  • Preferred Mobility: Forgot to book your rental car? No problem. SIXT prioritizes your reservation when calling up to 24 hours prior to your rental start.

The official list of Platinum benefits is here.

How many Marriott Bonvoy points do you earn with a rental?

Not many, to be honest.

You earn a flat 750 Marriott Bonvoy points (which we’d value at £3.75) with every rental. It’s not a great return.

Even worse …. you do not earn points or miles on prepaid rentals. This rule is tucked away in the small print and easy to miss, as I found on my 2021 rental.

Got Virgin Atlantic elite status?

SIXT runs a similar deal for Virgin Atlantic elite cardholders.

Details are on this page of the Virgin Atlantic site.

You will see a link to this page which talks about non-existent ‘Flying Club Royal Blue Members’! However (on desktop) swipe left or right on that paragraph and it brings up the match for Silver and Gold members.

Virgin Flying Club Silver members receive Gold SIXT status, whilst Flying Club Gold members receive Platinum SIXT status.

You will receive 500 Virgin Points for every SIXT rental but, again, you don’t earn anything on prepaid rates.


You won’t be planning to get elite status from SIXT because you are getting a huge range of elite benefits or because you are being swamped with airline or hotel loyalty points, because you’re not.

You get it because the 10% (for Gold) or 15% (for Platinum) saving for elite members is a genuine discount and can be valuable in my experience.

The Marriott Bonvoy match is outlined here and the Virgin Flying Club match is outlined here.

How to get FREE car rental status and other benefits via UK credit cards (September 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:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (26)

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

  • Kwab says:

    Yes. The links above seem to take you via the formal route. This link though seems to match you instantly and I presume SIXT just trust that what you have told them and uploaded is all true!

    • Eli gold says:

      I find their website so confusing. It seems that just using the correct link gave me gold without proving anything about my Marriott account

  • Travel Strong says:

    IIRC the easiest match used to be Best Western diamond, as BW also matched you to diamond from a wide wide variety of other schemes…

    • davefl says:

      PMSL… thanks for this. I just registered with my BW Diamond and got the instant status match. Tried the dates for my next rental and it’s coming out £27 MORE expensive as Diamond than going direct without logging in.

      Gotta love the car hire sharks.

  • Will says:

    You always used to just ask Sixt and they gave you platinum. Was via Flyertalk sixtcustomerservices a lovely guy called Gary Caudwell.

    I am still platinum and have made only 3 rentals in 20 years, none in last 7.

  • Pep says:

    Does anyone know hot to apply? I could not find any apply link on the page mentioned in the article. The link Kwan provided in the comments is only for matching other car rental status, not Marriott. Thanks!

  • yorkieflyer says:

    I’ve always found car hire significantly cheaper via a broker then direct with any of the majors

    • Gordon says:

      There was talk amongst frequent car hirers on previous comments that you do not receive the same service as if you had booked direct. IE given a lower grade or higher mileage vehicle in that class of booking!

      • Ken says:

        People deluding themselves if they think getting a lower mileage car when renting has any value at all. Can’t ever remember getting a hire car with more than 20k kilometres on it.

        For what it’s worth I rented a sixt vehicle last weekend. Price was 20% cheaper through a broker than the standard Sixt rate.
        Waited about 10 minutes to get served.
        Got a minor upgrade.
        I’d prefer to book direct but 9 times out of 10 it’s more expensive IMO.

        • Gordon says:

          I very rarely hire a vehicle, but I personally have taken the option to book through a broker! I have booked a two week hire car from Discount Florida car hire for November, they are based in the uk.

          Their price for a large SUV was £200 cheaper than the same company that I am picking it up from on a direct booking, “Alamo” Also if the price decreases before the hire date so does your hire cost.

          The booking is also fully inclusive so none of the usual guff at the counter. “Hopefully”….

        • babyg_wc says:

          booked via and got an old clunker with 80k on the clock from TLS with AVIS… it was a piece of junk (booked direct, have the amex plat Avis status)… then the following week booked a the cheapest car again at GOT with Sixt (via skyscanner) and got upgraded to a Ford MachE with 5k on the clock… and 500ks electric range so cost nothing to run…. sometimes status booking direct helps, sometimes is doesnt it seems

          • Gordon says:

            So there are high mileage hire vehicles out there and the info from other posters was correct! As JDB says worthwhile contacting direct and via WhatsApp. I will do this when I rent again to get a confirmation of price and vehicle spec. So if there are any discrepancies I have something to hang my hat on!

    • JDB says:

      Once you have ascertained the prices from a broker site, it’s easy enough to go to the car hire firm directly to get the same prices, better payment terms plus any benefits you might have. Brokers usually play on prices offered locally (even the big brands have distinct websites outside the usual global site with its own discount codes etc) vs those made up for tourists. In less developed countries the big brands are often cheap because locals assume they will be expensive!

      • Ken says:

        Better payment terms ?
        Car hire firms prefer you pay at the desk as people are far more likely to buy the additional excess insurances or be up sold other nonsense.
        Can just about see a benefit if you are booking 9 months ahead.

        • JDB says:

          @Ken – the insurance excess issue is a different one and often overblown, but I’m not sure how your theory holds as, if you book directly the ‘pay now’ price is usually quite a bit lower than the ‘pay at counter’ price and in those countries where staff live off selling insurance, they will badger you however you have booked or paid. In some countries, the counter insurance is very different to that offered by a car hire excess policy.

          I therefore prefer to get the cheaper ‘pay now’ price for ‘pay at the counter’ terms. It’s the same with going to hotels directly rather than booking on the chain site or an OTA. Other better car hire terms include extra drivers for free or three weeks for the price of one day. In remote places, upgrades aren’t really a thing even with Hertz, Avis etc. as they don’t have better cars to offer and they may not be a good thing anyway. Doesn’t work booking online so I call or use WhatsApp.

          Many broker sites want you to pay upfront as this means they can deduct their commission/mark up at source.

          • Mikeact says:

            Perhaps HfP would consider a separate forum for car hire/rental etc., as I guess the majority on here rent cars at some stage.

          • Rob says:

            Might do. Thinking of adding lounges too.

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Mmm can’t say I’ve ever come across 3 weeks hire for the price of a day when booking direct. Booking direct does if you have status can offer you a free driver or a queue jump at the counter which can be valuable. I agree re paying now as you’ve locked in the exchange rate as well as getting a lower rate. Anecdotally customers who’ve not paid have on occasion been left without a car when cars are short.
            I really couldn’t be bothered however with calling Hertz or Sixt and trying to argue a rate in SA or Oz when a rate through a broker with the same outfit can easily be two thirds or less that of direct

          • Rob says:

            If you can get a status match booking direct works ok. In Boston at Easter Hertz sent me a text message to go to a certain bay and take my pick of car. No paperwork, no licence check, no card swipe, nothing. Can make a big difference at busy airports.

          • JDB says:

            @yorkiefkyer – per my post it was only the two extra drivers that were charged just one day for a three week rental! I looked at broker sites to rent a car in Tasmania in May (so off season) and they were no less than direct and all very expensive; my friends there suggested calling and asking for ‘specials’ which I did and £500 became £300 (still a lot for five days) and the total insurance cover to £0 excess (inc tyres & windscreens) for the five days was only £12. In Mexico if you book on the site of Avasa, the Hertz franchisee you will get better rates than any broker (as it will be booking via Aeroméxico but only ever for up to 8 days) for any respectable brand and if you WhatsApp them at the pick up location, it will be less again. Where we go in NW Argentina, it’s half the price of any broker site to book on WhatsApp directly. These are often (sub)franchisees and they don’t seem to do so well from international bookings and tourist prices are totally unaffordable in the domestic market so there is lots of room to negotiate for everyone to be happy.

            I’m just reporting my first hand experiences, but when there’s a broker or middleman involved, they are getting well paid, so I know there is a better price to be had.

    • Gordon says:

      @Rob, maybe one on live flight issues/Delays, too, Haha, This was a 24 year old 777-200ER, having a booking on BA 2037 in ten weeks, I’m just glad this windscreen decided to fail now. I bet there were a lot of unhappy children on that flight, But no injuries and a safe return is the main thing…,

  • Kwab says:

    Similarly, I rarely rent from Sixt but I’ve been Platinum for 10+ years. It seems to mean very little. You get the upgrades but they still seem ready to try and fleece you for ‘damage’ upon return.

    • Rizz says:

      That’s what’s been described in the recent OMAAT article and comments below it ( Looks like the culprit was SIXT although people have had bad experiences with other agencies as well – in any case a good reminder to always take photos/videos documenting the car’s condition upon pickup!

      • Ken says:

        I think you can have the same issue with all hire companies. I always photograph each panel and check inside including boot.
        It takes a few minutes.
        Frequently one of the the fastening on the parcel shelf in the boot is damaged (presumably people cramming luggage in) and have had someone try and charge me for that.

        Fortunately all phone photos have meta data that includes time & geo location of when they were taken.

        • Gordon says:

          Since having to argue with a hire company on damage in cyprus once, (a small dent on the roof, somewhere you would not think to look) in which they relented. I do exactly that. When I visited Cyprus regularly many years ago, I used to sometimes get the same car and the existing damage was still evident.
          So when someone is charged for damage, the funds do not necessarily go to repair the vehicles!

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