Both The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review) offer a variety of useful perks, and it can almost be tough to keep track of them. I recently wrote about the complimentary hotel status offered by the Amex Platinum, and in this post wanted to take a look at the complimentary car rental status offered by the card.
Amex Platinum premium car rental status details
Just for having the Amex Platinum Card you receive car rental benefits with three major car rental companies — Avis, Hertz, and National (enrollment required). Note that this applies to both the personal and business versions of the card, and authorized users are eligible for this as well. Once you enroll for these programs on Amex’s website, you should see the new benefits & status kick in within a few days.
While I wouldn’t consider these perks to be that extraordinary, they can add value with your next car rental, so let’s take a look at what you need to know about these (and when you’re renting a car, make sure you also consider the best cards for gas station purchases).
Let’s go over each of the three perks you get, starting from most valuable to least valuable.
National Emerald Club Executive status
As an Amex Platinum cardmember you can enroll to receive complimentary National Emerald Club Executive status. You would ordinarily earn this after 12 paid rentals or 40 paid rental days in a calendar year. While there are quite a few rewards, I’d say the most significant are as follows:
- Executive area access, allowing you to choose any car (full size and above) in the Executive area and only pay the midsize rate (in the United States and Canada)
- Faster free rental days, allowing you to earn one rental credit for every qualified car rental, and get a free rental day after earning six credits
- Guarantees upgrades when you reserve using the midsize rate (in the United States and Canada)
- Upgrades in Europe, giving you a free one-class upgrade at participating locations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, and Germany
- No second driver fees, allowing you to add a second driver to your rental at no additional cost
- Special offers, including members-only discounts and offers
Avis Preferred Plus status
As an Amex Platinum cardmember you can enroll to receive complimentary Avis Preferred Plus status. You would ordinarily earn this after 12 rentals or $5,000 spent in a calendar year. This Avis status includes the following benefits:
- Skip the counter and go straight to your car at most locations
- Complimentary upgrades whenever available
- 25-50% more points for every qualifying dollar spent with Avis
- A special customer service support number
- Exclusive monthly email offers
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards privileges
As an Amex Platinum cardmember you can enroll to receive complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership. In reality this isn’t much of a benefit at all, as this is the entry level membership tier in the program, and is free for everyone (Hertz’s elite tiers are Five Star and President’s Circle). Nonetheless the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program does offer the following benefits:
- Bypass the counter, and pick your car and go, from a wide selection of options at Hertz locations
- Earn one point for every dollar spent with Hertz
- Get a free additional driver — limited to a spouse in the United States
In addition to the general perks offered by Hertz Plus Rewards membership, you can get further benefits by using Amex Corporate Discount Code (CDP) 211762. This could offer savings on your rental, a four-hour grace period on returns within the United States, a one-class car upgrade (subject to availability), and more.
Which Amex Platinum car rental perk is most valuable?
While renting cars can be extremely frustrating, I’ve enjoyed my rentals with National. Executive status is awesome, and makes the whole rental experience significantly more pleasant — not only does National typically have decent cars, but for many locations you can pick your car, and then there’s virtually no paperwork.
So if you haven’t given National a try, that’s something I would do, and the Amex Platinum status will help with making that as pleasant as possible.
That being said, I wouldn’t recommend actually paying for your car rental with the Amex Platinum:
- The card doesn’t offer any bonus points on car rental spending
- The card doesn’t have collision damage waiver included as a standard benefit
Instead I’d recommend using a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) for your car rental, as it offers 3x points on travel purchases (including car rentals), and offers collision damage waiver.
The Amex Platinum offers car rental perks with Avis, Hertz, and National. National is by far my favorite major car rental company, and having Executive status with the company is valuable. If you have the Amex Platinum and have any upcoming car rentals, make sure you enroll to receive some complimentary elite status perks.
If you have the Amex Platinum, have you used the car rental benefits?