Free Top Tier Rental Car Status If You Have An(y) American Express Card

National Car Rental will give their top tier elite status, Executive Elite, to new members who enroll with an(y) American Express card. Enrollment needs to be via this link by February 29, 2020.

Status is supposed to last through February 2021 but some reports suggest that it actually lasts through February 2022 (qualifying in 2020, which we’re now in, would normally last through 2022). Honestly benefits of Executive Elite really aren’t much greater than Executive (which normally comes with the Amex Platinum card), both get to pick a car from the Executive aisle rather than just the Emerald aisle. The major incremental benefit is faster earning of free rental days.

In addition “pay for your first rental with any American Express® Card and earn five Emerald Club Credits toward a future rental day.” Five credits is enough for an Executive Elite to claim a free day and Executive Elites redeem for “any car class with no blackout dates”.

Numerous reports suggest that Hertz will match National’s Executive Elite to their Presidents Circle.

Past reports are that this will all work upgrading an existing National account as well, rather than being limited to new accounts.

(HT: MilesTalk)

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The upgrade to executive elite worked instantly for me. I’m now at that status level through Feb 28, 2022! Thanks for the tip!

  2. I did not get Executive Elite status after signing up via the link and adding an AMEX card. My profile only shows that I have the basic Emerald Club status.

  3. Confirming upgrade worked for me by signing in rather than enrolling when I hit the promo screen.

  4. I don’t believe it’s working for existing Executive Elite members who did this last year. Has anyone in this category been successful with the expiration extension?

  5. Same here, EXECUTIVE ELITE Status Expires Feb 28, 2022

    I actually had a pre-existing account and it still worked. It just ported everything over. Added my Amex Business Blue Plus 🙂

  6. It worked for me on an existing account without even asking for my Amex info. Showing through Feb 2022. However, it did replace my corporate account info with an “Amex EE” account. Rates for my typical business rental are awful with this new account, but I can still put my corporate number in for an individual rental and it gives me the correct coporate rate, so it’s a little annoying but does bump me up to Executive aisle access, so probably worth it for me as I rent at airports about once a month.

  7. Note you don’t get the 10% discount that they give to Emerald Club Account, as it gets changed to AMEX EE.

  8. Confirmed that by merely running through the enrollment process (which then signed me in) again it re-upped me by swapping out the existing code and replacing it with the AMEX EE code as Lynn mentioned above.

    So yeah: existing users can use this to extend their status for two years!

  9. Worked for me! One note though — I was one credit away from a free day, but after updating with this EE offer, the counter reset to zero :/

  10. Thanks for this tip. I’ve never rented from National before. I usually stick with Hertz, Enterprise, or Silver Car. Hertz has a partnership with Delta that offers reciprocal elite benefits, but I’ve never found a way to get the ‘President’s Circle’ status to show up after linking accounts. In general (regardless of loyalty programs), I’ve had good experiences with Enterprise. They usually have more interesting vehicles in inventory, in good condition, and at decent rates. Silver Car is great provided you’re near a location.

    What is everyone’s strategy for crediting reward points? Is it better to credit the rewards to Emerald Club or a partner program?

    I rent <10 times a year, so my opportunities to build up a balance and redeem are limited. I'm tempted to credit them to more "usable" currency (e.g., Delta) or one of the harder-to-transfer-but-useful currencies (e.g., Korean Air, Lufthansa).

  11. A couple of things from the YMMV department:

    1. CSR has same deal and at least for one trip that I checked, the prices are slightly lower than AMEX; and

    2. While I can see the convenience of the National setup, I am typically paying for car rentals out of my own pocket and value the price over convenience — the difference between this National Deal (Amex or Chase) and the best rate at DTW for a January 2020 4 day trip was about $100. In other words, a full-size car with Budget was ~$130 through the Chase portal — the National Deal was ~$240.

    Again, I get that rates vary across the country and yes, it is cold and grey at DTW in January 😉

  12. I’m curious if this makes sense. The offer requires you to use your Amex card for the first rental, which for most of them don’t offer primary coverage (correct me if I’m wrong!). Am I correct in saying that you have to weigh the benefit of status earned by paying via an Amex card versus the loss of primary coverage by not using (say) a Chase Reserve card?

  13. Just upgraded mine from Executive to Executive Elite with this link. I’d recommend taking a photo, as I did this last year and then the status was revoked and was told I never had it. Not much difference between EC and EE in my experience, other than faster reward days, which is always nice, one free day for a 5 day rental

  14. We cant figure out how to extend this from last years offer which expires in Feb 2020. Any help would be much appreciate. Someone said to swap out the code but the code already says AMEX EE with Feb 28 expiry

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