Elite Status The Basics

Getting a Higher Priced Rental For the Price of a Mid-Size

National Car
Written by Charlie

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Some of the most expensive (non-luxury/premium) rental vehicles around minivans and pickup trucks. Yet, I recently was able to rent both by paying the price for a mid-size. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

The problem is, it is not always a guarantee that you will get that much of an upgrade, but since you can pick your own car, you have a great chance of getting something really nice. I am talking about the National Car Emerald Executive status. You might ask why I am writing about this program again and now. Well, take the time to familiarize yourself a little with it as you may need to know some of these things for later on today. 🙂

National Emerald Elite Program

I wrote a couple of months ago about this great elite status and how much I profited from it while I was in the US. It saved me a lot of money and gave me some great experiences. While the Avis status I used to have (Avis President’s Club) used to give me a double upgrade, it was not nearly as nice as National’s Emerald Executive status. With Emerald Executive, you get to pick any car in the Executive aisle just by reserving a mid-size. In my rental experience with National over the last couple of years, I have never not been able to get a lot nicer vehicle for less.

What kind of vehicles have I seen in that aisle? Minivans, full-size pickup trucks, full-size SUVs, premium SUVs, Mustangs, and several premium cars. The most I had paid? The most expensive weekly amount was $140 for a week. To rent the particular vehicles I actually drove, it would have cost me three or four times that amount. And it wasn’t just about getting a nice vehicle. With a family of my size (5 people), the roomier vehicles were definitely easier to travel in.

Here is a portion of the post I wrote last month to detail about the program and why you want it.

Why Strive For Emerald Executive or Elite

National Car

If you want even more care and perks, then it is time to step up to Emerald Executive. This is the level where you begin to see a few more benefits come your way. One of the big increases is that you get to select a car from the executive aisle. Every car in that aisle is a Fullsize or larger. Basically, you will find a large assortment of cars available here. If the other aisles for specific car types are full, they will generally dump the cars here. You can get SUVs, vans, crossovers, even premium cars! Just show up and pick out the car you want and you are on your way! All you need to do in advance is reserve a midsize car and that is what you will be charged for – no matter what you select from the Executive Aisle!

Here is what you get with emerald executive status:

  • Choice of Fullsize or better cars from our exclusive Executive area.
  • Guaranteed upgrades: You always pay for one car class less than the car you reserved.
  • One Free Rental Day with six rental credits.

Here is what you get with emerald executive elite status:

  • A guaranteed car (up to a Fullsize) with 24-hour notice.
  • Vehicle delivery to most private airport terminals at many U.S. National locations.
  • One Free Rental Day (any car class with no blackout dates) with just five rental credits.

Not only are there specific benefits, but there are also the unnamed benefits. These include better service when speaking with customer service representatives, sometimes reps will allow the car to not incur extra fees if returned a little late, even better cars at time of rental (like the high-end cars that may not normally be in the aisle), and other things that will depend on the location and the representative. You should not achieve this status for these reasons, but these are some things that you can find at times and should not be counted on.

You also receive elite discounts! I received a 10% discount on both of my last rentals as a Emerald Executive member. Depending on the cost of your rental, that can really add up overtime!

In my recent rental, I reserved a Midsize and ended up driving away with a Chrysler Town&Country. Some of the other cars available were Jeeps, Mercedes sedans, crossover vehicles, and luxury intermediate SUVs. It hurt to walk away from some of them, but with a family, the van was best! :) Definitely not a bad choice either – leather interior, DVD player, heated seats, fantastic gas mileage (30mpg hwy – actual!). I’m not complaining!

How To Get It

This post gives several of the ways to pickup this status (without actually having to rent a car for a total of 40 days during the year). Also, Gary (View from the Wing) wrote the other day how you can get the National Emerald Executive status just for having a World Elite Mastercard. One such card is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (I receive a commission if you are approved using this link).

Also, later today, you will actually have a chance to win National Emerald Executive status and get all of these perks for yourself! Even if you only use it on one rental, you will find tremendous value. So, check back later today! 🙂

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

2 Comments

  • Free Emerald Executive status? Nice. I am all ears. I switched from Enterprise to Avis purely for the American bonus mileage.

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