National Car Rental revised its terms and conditions last week, sneaking in some changes (they don’t tell you what the changes are) right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
A reader alerted me that the updated terms specifically say that elite status credit will not be given for car rentals where you choose to earn miles instead of free rental day credits.
Qualifying Rentals: Members attain their Membership Level (described below) based upon the number of qualifying vehicle rentals… A qualifying rental does not include … when a member chooses to receive mileage, credits or points for a frequent traveler program (such as, but not limited to, an airline frequent flyer or hotel points program)…
National Car rental writes in to clarify that, even though this is what they say, it isn’t what they mean:
. I’m reaching out about your blog post on the updates to our Emerald Club terms and conditions because I’d like to offer you and your readers some clarification. In the section you called out, what we intended to express is that if you choose to earn frequent flyer miles you will not earn credits for free rental days. However, if you choose to earn frequent flyer miles for your rentals you will receive credits toward status in the upgraded loyalty tiers (e.g. Executive and Elite status).
The way the terms are currently written, we agree that this is not clearly communicated and we’re working to add some clarification around this section as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we sincerely apologize for the confusion this has caused and encourage you to share this information with your readers/followers.
So you’ll still earn credit towards elite status even if you choose to earn miles rather than free rental days.
Since the mileage offers are rarely that great, I pretty much always opt for free rental days anyway. But earning miles can be useful to keep an account active, preventing miles from expiring with a program where you don’t have much other regular activity.