Free Top Tier Elite Status With National Car Rental Plus Free Rental Day After One Rental

National Car Rental will give instant Executive Elite status — which is their top tier status — to anyone with an American Express card. This offer says it will be around through January but could easily be pulled before then.

Doctor of Credit says that this requires a new National account to qualify. Frequent Miler says that it actually works upgrading an existing National account as well.

Status should last through February 2020. There’s also a free rental day component of the offer. Register, then pay with an American Express card by January 31, and you’ll earn a free rental day.

  • The rental can be used for any available car class excluding trucks
  • The rental day expires 12/31 of the calendar year following the year in which the credits were earned

You can then status match to Hertz Presidents Circle status by sending an email and screen shot of status. And you can possibly status match to Avis Presidents Club as well.

National Car Rental’s Executive Elite status is their top tier. I used to be Executive Elite but no longer rent as often, and am merely Executive via my Platinum American Express Card. The published benefits are modest.

Executives and Executive Elites pick from the ‘Executive Aisle’ rather than the Emerald Aisle when renting mid-size and above. I never noticed better upgrades as an Executive Elite, I was just taking something from the aisle, but several people tell me that when they ask for something nicer managers will generally give them pretty much whatever they ask for at most locations. That’s not a published feature of the program.

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, 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. I should say if you have Hilton Gold/Diamond (which everyone in the credit cards’ game is supposed to have?), you could easily status match to Executive Elite …

  2. @steve Try using a different browser than you normally use with National. I use MSN/Outlook for my email server. I signed up for my partner using Opera, my usual browser. For myself, I opened the email with in IE, then clicked the links which opened another tab in IE.

  3. Weird login problem using Chrome, but I was finally able to upgrade existing account.

    Helps to visit the site first to login, then use the Amex EE link mentioned to upgrade the account.

    I was Exec Elite for many years, but switched to Hertz Gold Circle via UA Platinum. Better rates. Will see if National has become competitive again.

  4. I was Executive Elite for many years and slowed travel down and dropped to Executive. Have not noticed one bit of difference (for the worse or better). Get same cars, smiles and special requests often greeted with same level of service. Frankly, I think most agents don’t really know the difference between Executive and EE (and the name “Executive Elite” doesn’t help with that either).

  5. gary, if booking a mid-size thru autoslash ( for lower rate), will it still be possible to have access to the emerald aisle at the counter on pick-up date? has this worked for anyone before? or i need to book directly with national? TIA

  6. This just dilutes the Executive area even more…it had been pretty normal to walk out to a BMW on the aisle. My last trip I snagged a Chevy Tahoe with 2 miles on it…these will be harder to get now.

  7. @dan
    If Autoslash links you to Priceline and you book National, I’ve had no problem attaching my EC number later. But if they sell you a prepaid offer (something recently added AFAIK) you have to try to do it at the counter (caused problems when I tried it).

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