How to Get Easy Rental Car Elite Status from Avis, National, and Sixt

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Your Credit Card May Entitle You to Rental Car Elite Status

Reader johnf shared in the comments that one of unique benefits of MasterCard for their ‘World Elite’ level cards is rental car status.

In fact, World Elite MasterCard rental car benefits entitle you to status with 3 rental companies.

You might even be able to really round things out, since Hertz will status match.

Some Cards That Qualify for this Free Status

All you need to qualify for these offers is a World Elite MasterCard. Here are some common rewards cards issued in that flavor.

Back in May the Barclaycard Arrival Plus became a World Elite MasterCard. This is a no fee the first year World Elite MasterCard and comes with 40,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months.

Recently my US Airways Premier World MasterCard® got upgraded to a World Elite MasterCard. I believe this is because I spent over $25,000 this year on the card.

I think this is the best card to get for many people which can be a World Elite MasterCard, since there’s a 50,000 mile signup bonus without any minimum spend requirement. But it appears that you have to put quite a bit of spend on it before it becomes ‘World Elite’.

The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard is World Elite from the get-go, but there’s pretty limited uses for their miles (here are the 8 best).

The Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard is one that many readers have (signed up when the bonus was 100,000 miles), and qualifies.

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. With the AA card, which rental company do you get elite status and how do you go about getting it? Nice that you talk about it, but explaining how you go about getting it would be nice.

  2. Owning my own business, so therefore paying for my own expenses, means I want rental cars as cheaply as I can get them–since comfort and grandeur are less vital than simply being able to get from point A to B and C. I therefore LONG AGO forsook rental car company status in lieu of bidding on priceline.com for the cheapest possible rental cars in every city I visit. The savings were tremendous–thousands of dollars over a year, and usually I don’t stand in line for more than 5-10 minutes anyway, even without status.

    I’d much rather spend the money on a nicer hotel room or dining with clients, or pocket it as profit and use that for holiday trips.

  3. Nice info that I would have never found without the post. Getting on the phone in a few minutes to take advantage of these benefits. Thanks for sharing!

  4. And that’s a line of hooey. Called the World Elite number on the link and was told you don’t get the Avis perk until you are invited (what?) and after the minimum number of rentals (what?). I guess it will be a hang up and try again situation as it’s pretty clearly spelled out on the linked page that you get it for having the WE card. I’ll try later this weekend when I have time to play phone roulette with the call center.

  5. FYI for those currently who have Emerald Aisle membership but not Executive level. I called the number on the Mastercard site linked above and that number takes you to a travel agent – they weren’t really equipped to help. I ended up calling Emerald Club at 1-800-962-7070. I had to add my World Elite Mastercard as my default method of payment and they flagged my account / forwarded to someone who is supposed to upgrade me in 3-5 biz days.

  6. Found a link via Google to an Avis page that seems to be a landing page from an invitation from Citi Prestige WE MC. Near bottom there is a link that opens an email if you are already have Preferred status. Sent last name, City of residence and Wizard number and should have upgrade in 24 hours subject to verification. Just to make it easier I went to my Avis account and removed my Amex card number and replaced it with a World Elite MC as they may verify the card that way I’m guessing.

  7. @Graydon I signed up for all three statuses earlier this week, and the agent said the same thing about having to be invited into Avis. She send me a confirmation email with an hour with the three links “invites”. There wasnt any requirement for a minimum # of rentals.
    For everyone’s convenience here are the three links:
    http://www.sixt.com/mcelite
    http://www.avis.com/car-rental/html/bridge/preferred/cwt/index.html
    http://www.nationalcar.com/offer/mcelite

  8. Just a datapoint for anyone interested, I have both the Citi AAdvantage Platinum and Executive cards. Two weeks after receiving my platinum card and before I even applied for the executive Citi upgraded the platinum to a MC world elite. It was weird getting a new plate less than a month after receiving the first card.

  9. +1 – what Matt B said. I called the same number he did – 800-962-7070 and the agent said once I made Citi Executive my primary card it should update within 24 hours. Thanks Gary – this was a useful piece of information for me as now I don’t have to try and chase 12 rentals with National this year!

  10. Simplest choice would be Capitalone BuyPower Card (previous GM Card). No fee, no worries 🙂

  11. Does anyone know if they will somehow tack on additional charges if I signed up using a regular World Mastercard and not the Elite version? I tried using my regular and it worked and enrolled me. But I’m afraid when I go to actually pay, that they will somehow adjust the charges or when I pick up my rental, they will cancel my reservation. Anyone have any experiences with this?

  12. Thanks John F. Was easily able to change two Sixt reservations online thanks to your links. Savings in Italy was 15%, but only 5% for a Morocco booking. Still, wound up saving about $40 for a few minutes work.

  13. @Norzan
    Agree with you GM (now buypower card) no fee and world elite, great one to keep even if just in the drawer to to cap 1 service and low credit lines they offer on that card.

  14. I’m a Citi AAdvantage Exec card holder and I called National at 800-962-7070 that Betty and Matt B mentioned. The agent didn’t know anything about it and had to look it up. When she eventually found it, she said it had to be initiated from the Mastercard side. So I called Mastercard at 855-802-1387 and the agent said that she would take care of it. I then got an email from a Mastercard agent who said to wait 10 days.

  15. I have been a National Emerald member since 2010 with approximately 12 rentals/40 days during that period. I am also a Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard holder.

    I was unable to upgrade my status to Executive using Gary’s link because I am already an Emerald member. It took several calls to Mastercard and National but I finally received Executive last week.

    Here is a link that the Mastercard representative provided to me, hopefully it will help someone.

    https://www.nationalcar.com/index.do?action=/hotDealsTemplate&msg=national-mcworldelite

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