National and Enterprise rental car programs extend elite status and free days

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National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have both announced a full year’s extension of rental car elite status and Free Days, extending elite status set to expire in February 2022 through February 2023 and Free Days set to expire on 12/31/21 to 12/31/2022. This is nice news for anyone with status or free days.

I have long been a fan of National Car Rental as their Executive status (which comes with the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve among other cards) offers the ability to rent a mid-size/intermediate car and then choose from what is typically a nicely-equipped selection of cars. I’ve often reserved a mid-size car when it was hundreds of dollars cheaper than a minivan or SUV knowing that there was a very good chance I’d find what I needed on the Executive Aisle (and been successful). Even when I don’t have a specific need, I know I can usually count on a nice comfortable vehicle for the mid-size price.

In pre-pandemic days, there was an easy offer to get Executive Elite status through American Express (long since expired). Executive Elite status is the tier above Executive and offers an additional even higher selection of cars (though YMMV — there wasn’t always a material difference and in the current environment you’re sometimes just lucky to get a car at all). My Executive Elite status was previously extended to the end of this year and should now be extended through the end of February 2023. That’s great.

Note that I do not yet see this extension reflected in my account, but Enterprise Holdings has put out a press release about these extensions.

The extension of free days is also great — if you had previously-earned free days that were scheduled to expire at the end of this year, you’ll now get another year to use them. My favorite thing about National Free Days is that they work on one-way rentals. When I have to change airports or just drive a distance from A to B in one day, I have often used free days to save a substantial amount of money on what is typically an expensive rental (since National includes the one-way cost in the daily rate rather than tacking it on as an additional fee). That has long made their recurring “One Two Free” promotions (which offer a free rental day after two qualifying rentals) particularly attractive to me.

Overall, good news. Hopefully the extensions continue to spread through other loyalty programs (Hyatt and Marriott, I’m looking at you and your free night certificates).

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