If you’re a road warrior who spends a lot of time renting cars, then you know that elite status can make a big difference in the quality of your experience.
From free upgrades to expedited service, elite status can make your travels much smoother.
But what’s the best way to achieve elite status with a rental car company? The answer may be a credit card. Many major credit cards offer rental car elite status as a benefit.
For example, Hertz President’s Circle Status is a benefit of the:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express (review)
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review)
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review)
That means every time you rent a car from Hertz, you’ll get all the perks of elite status without having to do anything else.
If you’re looking for the best credit card for elite rental car status, read on for our top picks.
1. The Platinum Card® from American Express
Hertz's President's Circle Status, National Emerald Club Executive ,& Avis Preferred Plus
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges.
The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you receive many annual statement credits when you enroll your card to offset the fee, including:
- $200 Airline Fee Credit (after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®)
- $200 Hotel Credit (on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay)
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit (up to $20 each month: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times)
- $200 Uber Cash Credit ($15 per month with $35 in December when you add your Platinum Card to Uber or UberEats account)
- $155 Walmart+ Credit (covers the cost of a $12.95 monthly membership)
- CLEAR Credit (up to $189 towards an annual Clear membership for expedited airport security)
You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel.
On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits.
2. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Hertz's President's Circle Status
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections.
The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.
The card has a $395 annual fee, completely offset by an easy-to-use travel credit of up to $300 back annually as statement credits for Bookings via Capital One Travel, and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) for each account anniversary.
Plus, you get airport lounge access via Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.
3. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Hertz's President's Circle Status, National Emerald Club Executive, & Avis Preferred Plus
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is an outstanding choice for business owners who want airport lounge access including the American Express Global Lounge Collection, Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more.
The Business Platinum card also offers several statement credits to offset the $695 annual fee:
- $200 Airline Fee: Annual airline fee credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select per calendar year.
- $400 Dell: Annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases, up to $200 semiannually.
- $120 Wireless Phone Services: Annual statement credits for purchases made directly with any U.S. wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.
- CLEAR: Up to $189 toward an annual Clear membership for expedited airport security.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Statement credits for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck).
You can also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
The American Express Business Platinum comes with automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold so that you can enjoy perks like room upgrades, late check-out, and a points bonus.
Additionally, the points you earn can be transferred to several Amex transfer partners such as Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, and Marriott Bonvoy. This potentially increases the value of your points depending on how you redeem them.
4. United Club℠ Infinite Card
Avis' President's Circle
- Earn 80,000 United Miles After Spending $5,000 in the First 3 Months
- 4X Miles on United Purchases
- 2X Miles on Dining, Travel, Transit, and Rideshare
- United Club Airport Lounge Access
- IHG Platinum and Avis President’s Club Elite Status
- Free First and Second Checked Bags
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- $525 Annual Fee
The Chase United Club Infinite offers United Club membership for the primary cardholder if you have a same-day boarding pass for travel on United, a Star Alliance partner, or a contracted partner.
You can also bring two adults or one adult and dependent children under 21 years of age as guests.
The card also offers 4 miles per dollar spent on United purchases, 2 miles per dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Plus, you and one companion can get your first and second checked bags free on United-operated flights when you buy the tickets with your card.
5. Chase Sapphire Reserve
National Emerald Club Executive & Avis Preferred Plus
- Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
- $300 Annual Travel Credit
- 10x Points on Hotels and Rental Cars and 5x Points on Flights Booked Through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x Points on Dining, Takeout, & Eligible Food Delivery
- 50% More Redemption Value
- Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- $550 Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a great option for travelers who want premium perks such as airport lounge access and top-tier travel protections.
The Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, but you receive an annual easy-to use $300 travel credit and access to 1,300 Priority Pass airport lounges.
Plus, great benefits such as trip delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase and return protection, extended warranty, and no foreign transaction fees.
Cardmembers also earn extra points with 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on travel, dining, and food delivery purchases, and 1x points everywhere else.
You can also cash out points at a 50% bonus (1.5 cents per point) when redeeming points towards travel or transfer the points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.