Amex Platinum Free Car Rental Status & Benefits

Amex Platinum Free Car Rental Status & Benefits

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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.

The Amex Platinum offers car rental benefits

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.

I’ve had great rental experiences with National

Bottom line

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?

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  1. william c davison

    I spoke with American Ex

    1. Eskimo

      American Ex is the most demanding.

      Are you not paying or receiving alimony or child support?
      Did one of you violated a restraining order?

      Depending on circumstances, it might be better to talk to your lawyer first.

      Much less problem with Asian or European Ex

  2. Michael White

    The benefit for Hertz must have just changed recently. I actually received a new Platinum card on August 17th and just yesterday I logged into my account and clicked on "benefits" and it clearly stated that I am eligible for Hertz "Five Star Elite Status". I clicked the link and within one hour my status changed to "Five Star". Today, when logging into my Amex Platinum online account there is *NO* mention of "Five Star...

    The benefit for Hertz must have just changed recently. I actually received a new Platinum card on August 17th and just yesterday I logged into my account and clicked on "benefits" and it clearly stated that I am eligible for Hertz "Five Star Elite Status". I clicked the link and within one hour my status changed to "Five Star". Today, when logging into my Amex Platinum online account there is *NO* mention of "Five Star Elite Status" and the verbiage was replaced with Hertz "Gold Plus".

    Does anyone notice this benefit change?

  3. Annoyed Avis Customer

    Card Members have the choice to enroll in Avis Preferred®, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards®, and/ or National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive through the Benefits Dashboard.

    Cardmembers do not receive Avis Preferred Plus

    1. Tocsin

      (UK card, other locations may differ) The Platinum card gives Preferred, but the associated Priority Plus card you get from Amex can give you Preferred Plus.

    2. Tocsin

      Typo - should read Priority Pass, of course!

  4. Joe1293

    @DCS
    You ever rent cars
    Just wondering your opinion about which one to rent from?
    Anyone partner with Hilton?

  5. Eskimo

    The big question that is hardly answered.

    For each of the car rental companies.
    Do you get this status only 1 time (and have to requalify yourself), or have to request every 12 months, or as long as you keep your Amex Platinum open?

    1. Joe

      As long as you have the card
      I mainly rent from National

  6. Brian P

    National is outstanding and the best for us also.

  7. Greg

    Booking with Hertz and using the Amex platinum discount code supposedly gives you a 4 hour grace period when returning the car. Hoping to confirm in a few weeks.

  8. Keyser Soze

    An FYI item: After my last Hertz (non Amex Platinum) rental at Las Vegas Airport, I noticed two “new” changes: 1) Hertz now does what I’ll call the “30 Minute CHISEL”. Pick up the car at 2:00 PM today; it’s due back at 1:30 PM on your scheduled return date. 2) When you return the car, they no longer print out the Rental Record from the (outside) return agent’s formerly-standard Belt Terminal. This record shows...

    An FYI item: After my last Hertz (non Amex Platinum) rental at Las Vegas Airport, I noticed two “new” changes: 1) Hertz now does what I’ll call the “30 Minute CHISEL”. Pick up the car at 2:00 PM today; it’s due back at 1:30 PM on your scheduled return date. 2) When you return the car, they no longer print out the Rental Record from the (outside) return agent’s formerly-standard Belt Terminal. This record shows your in/out Times & mileage. One can not help but wonder if the CHISEL is designed to create (“Gotcha!”) Extra day charges. The (outside) Return Agent told me I’d have to go to the counter to get a Printed RR. I saw at least 20 people in line for the counter. Hmm. That number might cause me to miss my flight. I passed. For me, these changes mean that, after literally decades of renting from Hertz, I’m not going to put up with their high rates any longer. Next time, I’ll try Sixt, or possibly National.

  9. NYGuy24

    "The card doesn’t have collision damage waiver included as a standard benefit" I'm a bit confused by the statement because when I look at the credit card terms it specifically says the card DOES have CDW when talking about the Amex platinum. Can someone clarify this?

    1. Eskimo

      The benefit is secondary, which for most people means no benefits locally.

  10. Neuron

    The Amex platinum card also comes with platinum status at Sixt

  11. Tom

    I personally feel like I undervalue this perk all the time. I rent cars quite often (particularly pre-pandemic, my work pattern made it so I rented from them quite a bit, plus National is actually my employer's preferred rental agency). so I actually do get to use the Emerald Executive Aisle frequently and generally have a good experience.

    I typically pay for my rentals with my sapphire preferred card for the superior coverage. Although...

    I personally feel like I undervalue this perk all the time. I rent cars quite often (particularly pre-pandemic, my work pattern made it so I rented from them quite a bit, plus National is actually my employer's preferred rental agency). so I actually do get to use the Emerald Executive Aisle frequently and generally have a good experience.

    I typically pay for my rentals with my sapphire preferred card for the superior coverage. Although when renting on a work trip, I usually use a different card since I am obligated to use my employers' CDW, which as I understand would preclude me from using my Chase coverage - happy to be educated if there is a better way of handling those work trips when having the CDW is an employer-mandated must :)

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Eskimo

American Ex is the most demanding. Are you not paying or receiving alimony or child support? Did one of you violated a restraining order? Depending on circumstances, it might be better to talk to your lawyer first. Much less problem with Asian or European Ex

Eskimo

The benefit is secondary, which for most people means no benefits locally.

william c davison

I spoke with American Ex

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