About three years ago I sat down with Silvercar to talk loyalty program ideas. Their headquarters was walking distance from where I lived at the time. Just the other day I was wondering why nothing ever came of it, and attributed it having gone on the back burner to changeover in executives and their acquisition by Audi.
Summer Hull reports that Silvercar quietly rolled out a loyalty program, and enrollment is automatic. If you’ve had a recent rental (as I have) you may already have points.
- There’s no elite program
- It’s revenue-based
- Earn one point per dollar, and each point is worth between 9 and 10 cents apiece towards the cost of a rental
Summer reports that currently some locations don’t seem to allow booking with points. I am using the Android app and see no references to points whatsoever – in my account or during the booking process. My app updated August 1 and appears to be current. Presumably this is available with the iOS app. So for Android users wanting to check their points balance or redeem points, use the Silvercar website.
In effect it’s a 9% – 10% rebate program. You can use either 50% or 100% points to book a rental.
When I talked with Silvercar there were certainly ideas on how to implement an elite recognition program, such as assigning the lowest mileage cars and providing complimentary soft drinks (if you like water or a Pepsi, having that ready for you). We’ll see if this is just the beginning, and more rolls out later, or if this is all there is.
I don’t rent cars nearly as often as I used to given the ubiquity of Uber and Lyft. However I really like Silvercar for nicer cars and a mostly-inclusive business model. They have an all-Audi fleet and rentals come with free GPS, wifi, and satellite radio. You pay only actual tolls (no administrative charges) and a flat $5 and to refuel the car at market rate.
I find their prices are often very competitive with other chains, especially during the week (the big chains do often super discounting on weekends), and there are ways to save:
- First-time customers can stack a coupon code (e.g. first time rental 20% off code FIRST20 with earning a $25 gift card by being referred by an existing customer.
Once you sign up click on your ‘Account’ and choose ‘Refer a Friend’ from the menu on the left side fo the screen. There you can enter a referral code so that your first rental earns the gift card. My referral code is GLEFF, I get credit also.
- Visa Infinite promo code VISAINF20 is good for 20% off as well, and isn’t limited to new customers.
- And WEEKLY30 takes 30% off rentals of 5 days or longer.
A rebate program is better than not having one, this is in effect a 9%+ discount on your future rentals that stacks with various promo codes and makes Silvercar rentals incrementally more attractive.