I received an email from National Car Rental, and if you have an Emerald Club (their frequent rental club) membership you probably did too.
They’ve made changes. So the link in the email is going to take you to a summary of those changes, right?
No, you’re taken to a page that says the terms and conditions of renting from National have changed — effectively immediately (November 26th) and offering links to .pdfs in English and in French.
The English document is 44 pages. There is no executive summary, highlights of changes, or track changes. I haven’t done a full comparison of the old document to the new one. In fact, I’m not even sure hen I last combed through the old one (at one point or another I have actually read the full rental agreements for the major car rental companies).
However, Jenn K. points out that it appears they’ve changed the rules on which rentals count towards elite status in their program:
4. Qualifying Rentals: Members attain their Membership Level (described below) based upon the number of qualifying vehicle rentals. A “qualifying vehicle rental” is defined as the number of vehicle rentals with, or the number of days they rent, a vehicle from National Car Rental locations and all participating Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand locations in each calendar year in the fifty (50) US States, Puerto Rico, or Canada (“Rental Frequency Information”). 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)…
My understanding has been that you could earn miles or credits towards free car rentals (and National hasn’t been very generous with miles, so I’ve always opted for rental day credits) but not both. Regardless of which you chose, however, your rentals would count towards elite status.
The terms and conditions, however, say that if you choose to earn miles for your car rental, the rental will not count towards National’s elite status.
I do not like the policy, but what I dislike far more is not spelling out clearly what rule changes are being imposed without any notice rather than sending a mass email with a link to a .pdf that very few people will read.
And if you have to do something like this, maybe include a positive change — like, say, not insisting on my handing you my physical credit card at the checkout book every single time I rent from you (Avis manages to keep my card on file just fine, thank you very much, and doesn’t ask to see it each time I rent).