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[ANALYSIS] National Emerald Club Program

As a points collector, I always tell my friends, it doesn’t hurt to join a loyalty program that doesn’t have any annual fees. You never know when those points will bring you unexpected rewards. One of our most popular car rental companies, National, offers a loyalty program for frequent (and non-frequent) renters called the Emerald Club.

Emerald Club members can enjoy special privileges such as the following:

  • Skip the wait line and proceed forward to the Emerald Club Aisle in most major airports located in the country.
  • You have the option to choose any vehicle located in the Emerald Club Aisle and do not have to go to an assigned car.
  • As a member of the Emerald Club, you have the option to choose to earn National Free Rental days or earn points from your preferred loyalty program.
  • There will be no extra charges for family members or business associates who decide to take over the driving.
  • As an Emerald Club member, you can reduce the reservation process by National’s One-Click Reservation which applies information from your profile.
  • You can earn 1 rental credit for every qualifying vehicle rental; as soon as you have 7 credits, you are qualified for one Free Rental day.

With National, you also have the opportunity to earn Emerald Club Executive status with just 12 paid rentals days. With the Executive status, you have guaranteed free upgrades each time you rent with National. Additionally, with 25 paid rental days, you can earn Emerald Club Executive Elite status, giving you access to Private Airport Delivery. This means that National will provide a car for you at most private airports, usually within a 50 miles radius.

I really like the National program because you have the option of earning benefits from National or you can transfer all your earnings to a preferred loyalty program. Some of their travel partners include American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Hotel partners include Hilton’s HHonors.

As an example for a rental day with National, you can earn 50 Mileage Plan miles on each paid rental days at participating National locations. There doesn’t seem to be a limit on how many miles you can earn, which is something that attracts my attention. Personally, National’s car rental loyalty program has a lot of flexibility and if you are a frequent renter, the perks that come with their elite status are worth the efforts.

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