Silvercar Launches Premium Rewards Loyalty Program

Filed Under: Rental Cars, Silvercar
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I’ve written extensively about Silvercar, including my rental experience with them in OrlandoSilvercar is an innovative rental car company available in over 20 US markets, which exclusively rents Audis.

They used to just rent the A4, but in the meantime have expanded their selection of cars, including Q5sconvertible A5s, and Q7s. I guess this isn’t too surprising, given that Silvercar was acquired by Audi.

While Silvercar has been around for years now, up until now they haven’t had a loyalty program — that has finally changed.

Silvercar Premium Rewards Loyalty Program

Silvercar has just rolled out their new loyalty program, which is called Premium Rewards. I’m surprised it took them this long to launch a loyalty program. Given their limited footprint and growth aspirations, you’d think they would have wanted to introduce this a while ago to increase loyalty.

Silvercar’s new loyalty program is straightforward — it’s revenue based, there are no elite tiers, and points earning and redemption rates are relatively consistent. Furthermore, you’re automatically enrolled with your first rental, so you’ll start earning rewards instantly.

Earning Points With Silvercar Premium Rewards

With Silvercar’s new loyalty program you earn one point for every dollar spent with them. This applies to all kinds of car rentals, but excludes taxes, fuel, coverage, and other fees.

During the booking process you’ll see the number of points you earn displayed, though it’s pretty straightforward.

Redeeming Points With Silvercar Premium Rewards

Redeeming Silvercar points is also straightforward. During the booking process you’ll have the option to redeem points for your rental.

You have the option of redeeming either 50% or 100% points towards the cost of a rental. It seems that one point will get you roughly 9-10 cents towards the cost of a future rental, meaning this is essentially a program offering a 9-10% rebate.

For example:

  • Above I showed a rental that costs a total of $81, including a $65 base rate
  • You could book the same rental for 684 points plus the $16 in taxes and fees, so that’s about 9.5 cents of value per point

That’s a pretty solid return when you consider how straightforward the program is.

As far as points expiration goes, Silvercar can’t seem to decide what their own policy is. The benefits page says that points don’t expire as long as you have some activity at least once every five years, while the terms state you need some activity at least every two years. So…

Other Ways To Save With Silvercar

In addition to Silvercar’s loyalty program, there are some other great ways to save with them. For one, if you have a Visa Infinite Card (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) you can always save 20% on the cost of your rental. Simply enter promo code VISAINF20 at the time of booking.

On top of that, if you haven’t yet rented from Silvercar, they have a generous referral program, where you can get $25 in cash after your first rental if you’re referred by an existing customer.

If you enter my code, BSCHLAPPIG, at the time you sign-up for Silvercar, you’ll get that after your first rental (and I’ll get the same). Just go to the top right of silvercar.com and click on “sign-up,” and then enter your email address and password. Once your email address has been verified you can log-in and enter the above referral code.

The above two promotions should be combinable, and in many cases should put a rental into a comparable price range to a basic rental from another car rental company.

Silvercar Premium Rewards Summary

Silvercar now has a loyalty program where you earn one point per dollar spent, and each point can be redeemed for 9-10 cents towards the cost of a rental. That’s an excellent additional reward when renting from my favorite car rental company.

(Tip of the hat to Summer Hull)

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Comments
  1. Although this is all good and mostly true Silvercar at one point. I might mention or add that prior to Audi buyout and prior to Alaska Airlines buyout of Virgin used to award Virgin America miles for rentals at a decent rate. This created the trifecta of earning at about 4 miles per $. So $100 rental was 400 miles, etc. My wife rents extensively from Silvercar and had built up a decent amount of Virgin miles and then got to convert those at the inflated rate over to Alaska miles. Although earning Virgin miles wasn’t a true loyalty program it still operated and created loyalty to some degree.

  2. Somewhat unrelated. A question from someone who has never rented with silvercar, and actually rarely rents cars in general. The primary rental car insurance of the Chase Sapphire Preferred would cover Silvercar rentals, I assume?

  3. @DTS: check to see if CSP has value limits on cars rented. Some credit card insurance plans limit coverage to cars costing less than $75K, or similar. So don’t rent an expensive car and BEWARE if you reserve a <$75K car and, when you get to the airport, they're out of your choice and give you a "free upgrade" to a $75K+ value car instead. Poof! There went your CSP CDW coverage.

    @Lucky: I thought about renting from SilverCar in Las Vegas during the last CES tradeshow in January. I finally decided against it because, at least in the LAS location, a) they have "9-5" type operating hours and b) they're "offsite" from the McCarran RentalCar Center, so that means 2 buses from the airport. The minimal operating hours were the killer though. Suppose your transcon flight from NYC to LAS gets delayed until SilverCar/LAS has closed. Then, especially in the case of a large tradeshow which creates massive rental car demand, you're really SCREWED. Have you encountered any SilverCar locations that rent either 7×24 or at least something like 7AM-Midnight?

  4. @Keyser Soze

    Have a back up rental somewhere else?
    Call them before you depart NYC? They could possible leave the car nearby for you or maybe drop it off at your hotel the next day. Since you can I lock the car yourself, I think it gives them more flexibility even if you arrive after hours.

  5. @DTS
    @Keyser Soze

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred terms say “selected models
    of Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and Range Rover are covered.” So with that card it is important to verify specific model coverage if you are renting a higher end luxury car. I doubt there would be any problem with coverage for an A4/A5C/Q5/Q7 which are all cheaper luxury cars and the only cars offered by Silvercar.

    I would worry if I were renting from, say, Sixt and upgraded into a BMW 640, MB S550/G550 etc.

    However the Chase Sapphire Reserve merely has a $75k coverage limit and specific models are not excluded, so I wouldn’t worry about renting a car that retailed for under $100k as even totaled it is probably not worth more than $75k unless it was brand new.

  6. Good news indeed. Love the program but they do not provide one way rentals – so that is very limiting for me. The off-airport pickup is also a bummer. However, the loyalty program may move me to use them more often. Thanks for the important update.

  7. I’ve rented a couple of times from SilverCar including last week in Chicago. All rental cars at ORD are expensive and I finally opted for SilverCar because they were just $60 more than a Hertz Corolla over three days. Considering the ease of renting, the included GPS and toll thingy allowing me to zip through the numerous toll booths in IL & WI difference was well worth it.

    Oddly, the day after I arrived home I received an email offering 20% discount off a Q5 rental. So I booked one for three days next month.

  8. If I was in the market for an Audi, then Silvercar would be a great way to do an extended test drive of the model(s) I was interested. Would be nice if you could deduct the rental from the purchase of an Audi within N days of the rental. Audi owners should get bonus points on the rental.

  9. Actually, if you buy an Audi it seems you can get up to seven (7) free rental days from SilverCar.

    I’m looking at trading my BMW later in the year which is why I decided to rent a Q5 for three days with the 20% discount.

  10. Their off airport setup at lax is a disaster. Beware if any issues as their customer service is beyond abysmal and hard to get resolution. I ended up going back to hertz. At least I know what I’m getting.

  11. @ Jay – “…customer service is beyond abysmal and hard to get resolution.” That pretty much describes ANY car rental company whenever an issue arises. As a frequent renter (up to 100 days in a year), I say there are no good guys in this business.

  12. @ chancer
    I tend to agree. As a result, I usually rent from Hertz, and do so with an Amex card that is enrolled (free) with Amex Premium Rental Protection which costs $18-$25 per *rental*, not per *day*. Amex PRP is *primary* LDW/CDW. You pay the lower per-rental charge if your billing address is in California, the higher one for all other addresses. The charge will show up on your Amex bill two days after the rental charge posts. I’m willing to pay for PRP using an Amex for the rental even though I could pay with a CSR card instead and get “free” *primary* LDW/CDW. However, using Amex PRP gets you the “firepower of Amex customer service.” Rental agencies do NOT screw around with Amex, if for no other reason that significant Rental Agency business is done on Amex cards, literally one of the hands that feeds them. Again, in case it’s not clear: PRP costs nothing until you rent a car and then one $18-$25 charge per rental. You enroll buy calling the number on the back of your Amex card and telling them that you want PRP on your card. It’s then automatic from there.

  13. I rented Silvercar a couple of times – in Austin – and realized its not likely to survive in the long run. More expensive, more prominent, noticeable vehicles (that are expensive to repair), less customer service when/where it counts – literally the exact opposite of what I actually want and need when I’m on the road. Novelty wore off very quickly.

    So now its a marketing expense of Audi, in essence. Actually I’d be interested to know their actual strategy and rationale. But I guarantee you its a line item in their budget, not a moneymaker.

  14. @ Kayseri Soze

    I just spoke to AmEx and signed up for PRP for $19.95 (I live in NV) per rental. However it only covers loss/damage to the rental car. If you have an accident and it involves another vehicle/property it’s not covered even if its not your fault. Damage to other vehicles/property (both no fault/fault) need to be claimed with your auto insurer if you have one.

  15. @ Discrete Pete – LDW/CDW is exactly that, a loss and collision damage waiver only. Liability is a separate add-on at the rental counter if the customer does not already have coverage through their company’s discount code or personal auto insurance. Of course, there’s usually the state minimums but the coverages really are the bare minimum. Beware in California where rental car companies have zero responsibility for liability unless you paid for the add-on or have company coverage.

  16. It’d be nice as a good faith gesture if people received some measure of points reimbursement for past rentals. Maybe not 1:1, but maybe 0.25:1.

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