One of the really unique benefits of the United Club Card has been Avis Car Rental status.
This benefit dates back to the Continental Presidential Plus Mastercard, and carried over to the United Club card — the pricey co-branded card which bundles lounge access.
Avis offers four status levels:
- Preferred – the base level where your information is on file and you go straight to the car
- AvisFirst – the only elite level you can ‘earn’ through rentals, it lets you accumulate free rental days
- Presidents Club – guaranteed availability and two car class upgrade
- Chairmans Club – best (non-specialty) car on the lot when you rent mid-size, get driven back to the terminal instead of riding the bus, they’ll deliver a car within 20 miles, and an unpublished benefit that many though not all receive is market rate for gas without prepaying a tank
United Club card members received Presidents Club status with their cardmembership. And since you can’t even earn that status, it’s relatively rare enough that often times the benefits in practice were better than those which were published.
You could get the status along with significant corporate rental contracts, or as an American Express Centurion (black card) cardholder.
But now the page where United Club Card cardholders sign up for the benefit carries this notice:
So the Avis Presidents Club benefit is going away. On January 28, United Club Card members will only be able to sign up for ‘AvisFirst’. And existing Club Card members with Presidents Club status are slated to be downgraded to AvisFirst on April 1.
It’s a benefit that’s been around for more than five years, so I don’t really have an explanation of why it’s going away. And interestingly, older link I blogged about years ago has been updated to show United rather than Continental but doesn’t include the notice that the offer is disappearing.
In the past they allowed signups without actually verifying that one was a United Club Card holders, although on occasion with the Continental card they would eventually match up their lists against Chase’s lists although that process was an imperfect one.
Sad to see this benefit disappearing on many, many levels.