Best Point Earning

Why I Did Not Rent A Car From Avis To Get 7,500 AA Miles

Written by Charlie

Last week, I wrote about the great deal that Avis and American Airlines have that gives Avis customers up to 7,500 AA miles. I showed how that can be a fabulous deal for some people and why it gives a great opportunity to rack up a few AA miles doing something you were going to do anyway.

But, faced with the need to rent a car this week, I did not rent using Avis and the 7,500 AA mile deal. I really wanted to – especially since it was going to be for a week which would have meant earning the full 7,500 AA miles. I mean, that is like getting at least $110 for free for just renting a car!

Why I Did Not Rent From Avis

However, there are a few fundamental differences between Avis and National that drove me to get another rental from National and skip the Avis deal. This may also affect you as well, so make sure you do a similar analysis to see if you really are getting the best deal.

Elite Differences

With Avis, I have their mid-tier Avis First status. With National, I have their mid-tier National Executive status.

I used to have Avis President’s Club but was downgraded last year to the Avis First level. The biggest drawback of Avis First (from President’s Club) was the fact that it was as-available upgrades of one class of car. So, instead of being able to rent a much lower class to get the vehicle I really wanted, I now have to rent just one class below. And those upgrades are only to full-size car, not some of the “specialty” classes (like SUVs and minivans).

That is vastly different from National which gives their Executive members access to the Executive Aisle and any type of car that is sitting there. Plus, you get access to that from renting only a mid-size car! So, I could rent a mid-size and still get a SUV or minivan! Not bad!

When it came down to it, our vehicle needs were such that we at least needed an SUV if not a minivan. A car was just not going to cut it this time. So, I took to the Avis site to see what was available and saw a staggering $500 total for a minivan for a week! Yes, I know I could have rented a full-size (also not as cheap – coming in at $220) and hoped that I got a really nice agent to move me into a minivan, but that had not been my experience in the past and I really needed the extra space.


Not only would a similar vehicle from Avis have cost me over $500, but I only had 1,000 miles!

So, I went over to National and punched in what I wanted and there it was – a mid-size car for $150. Thanks to my National Executive status, that meant that I could pick whatever I wanted from their Executive Aisle and there are always minivans and SUVs in those aisles. Sure enough, I was able to snag a Toyota Sienna for the price of the mid-size.


MUCH better – plus an additional driver of the minivan!

If I had rented based on the 7,500 AA miles, those AA miles would have cost me an outrageous 4.7 cents per mile!

I realize that locations play a big part in the prices. I also realize that not everyone has similar needs/desires to mine when it comes to vehicle selections. However, make sure you do not your homework before using the Avis 7,500 AA mile deal – you may end up paying a whole lot more for those miles than you would if you bought them right from American Airlines! 🙂 However, if you are renting a mid-size or similar, you would more than likely be just fine with using the Avis/AA offer.

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About the author


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.


    • I didn’t – I think that was referring to the number in the terms. Actually, with National status, you do get additional drivers for free without having to put them on the contract.

  • It really needs to be said that the “value” of an FF mile depends hugely on the the traveler, and tends to be overstated, sometimes greatly so. The price a credit-card issuer pays American for the miles it issues its customers is probably a reasonable definition of their worth; for no good reason other than the vaguely-related fact that Amex will let customers redeem MR points for about half a cent, I’d use that value. Yup, I can upgrade to a business-class seat that might cost $4000 in J, but that’s just bragging rights – a business-class seat is worth the cheapest you can get it for, typically an xUP fare.

  • Depending on the Avis, they have a select and go section that lets you trade in a mid size for any other options. The Avis i normally rent at usually has minivans/SUVs available to anyone who reserved at last a midsize. Hertz has the same deal as well. One thing you could do is make reservations at both (or all three), look at the stock at all of the lots, and pick your favorite.

    • As an add on, I hate renting vans/SUVs, so I usually have a really crappy selection at Avis Select and Go since it usually SUVs/Vans and maybe 1-2 other cars.

  • I’m in a similar situation, but for (2) 6 day rentals 🙁

    I’m considering hertz with Amex 10%-15% off deal