Hertz is one of the largest rental car companies in the world, with locations throughout the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
Over the years, I’ve learned the ins and outs of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program and found ways to maximize the program — though that’s gotten more difficult with recent devaluations.
Here, I’ll share all the best ways to earn and redeem Hertz points and give an overview of earning and using Hertz Gold Plus Rewards elite status.
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How to earn Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points
Unfortunately, renting cars is the only real way to earn Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points. You’ll earn one Hertz point per dollar spent on rentals. Those with Hertz elite status will earn bonus points based on their status level:
Five Star: 25% bonus equaling 1.25 points per dollar.
President’s Circle: 50% bonus equaling 1.5 points per dollar.
It is worth noting that Hertz points expire after 18 months without earning or redeeming activity.
How to redeem Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points
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Things get tricky when it comes to redeeming Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points. Hertz has two redemption levels: Standard and AnyDay. Standard awards are significantly lower priced but are restricted to specific dates. On the other hand, AnyDay rewards can be redeemed without blackout dates but cost twice the number of points.
With that in mind, I recommend redeeming points for Standard rewards. AnyDay rentals are generally a bad value unless your rental is extremely expensive.
Here’s a quick overview of the Hertz award chart and how you can maximize redemptions.
Maximizing Hertz Standard redemptions
In August 2022, Hertz introduced a new reward chart. Now, Hertz Standard rentals are half the cost of AnyDay rentals and start at 950 points per day for a round-trip rental within the U.S. Here’s a look at pricing for round-trip compact through premium rentals within the U.S.
Further, you can rent Specialty, Adrenaline and Prestige cars for more points. The Specialty tier includes higher-end vehicles and can be found at most Hertz locations. On the other hand, Adrenaline has performance vehicles like Corvettes and high-end Mustangs, while Prestige has ultra-high-end luxury vehicles like Cadillac Escalades, Jaguars, Land Rovers and BMW.
Specialty round-trip rentals within the U.S. start at 1,900 points, Adrenaline vehicles start at 2,787 points, and Prestige vehicle rentals start at 3,167 points. You can view the award chart for these redemptions on Hertz’s website.
Hertz also offers discounts on one-week rentals booked with points. Weekly round-trip standard rentals within the U.S. start at 4,750 points, which is roughly 675 points per day and a significant discount over booking seven one-day rentals.
Finally, one-way rentals — where you return your vehicle to a different Hertz location — are twice the cost of a round-trip rental. This means a one-day, one-way Standard rental within the U.S. will cost 1,900 points.
How to book Standard awards with Hertz
So, when can you book Standard awards? Good question — and there’s no easy answer. Unfortunately, each Hertz location has a different set of Standard award dates; some offer more than others.
You can view the list of Standard award dates by heading to Hertz’s website and entering your pickup location. The website will show you the peak dates, which you can only book with AnyDay rewards. You can book any date period not listed here at the Standard rate.
In cities where Hertz has multiple locations, it’s best to check multiple Hertz locations to see which has off-peak dates that work with your travel schedule. Some locations only have peak dates during holidays, while others block off entire seasons. So, your mileage may vary on finding a location that works for you.
Maximizing your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points by renting high-end cars
Your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points can go a long way — in some cases, they can be worth more than two cents per point. I recommend booking premium rentals when using your points for Standard awards to maximize your value. You can use these awards for anything from a compact car to a high-end premium rental, so you might as well rent a cool ride if you’re already using your points.
For example, the total cost of a one-day Large Premium Sedan at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on Dec. 14, 2022, is $156.29 after tax. You can use 950 points to rent this car, giving you a respectable 1.64 cents per point on your rental. This is significantly more valuable than booking a Large Sedan, which costs $119.57 after tax.
So if you can, rent a higher-end car with your points. You’ll have more fun and get more value from your hard-earned Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points — not a bad combination.
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards elite status
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Hertz offers three status tiers, with two being elite status tiers: Five Star and President’s Circle. You can earn status based on how often you rent cars with Hertz or how much you spend with Hertz.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits offered by these status tiers and discuss qualification requirements. Note that the rental requirements are typically higher than what is listed below, which are the lower requirements for 2022.
Hertz Five Star elite status
Five Star status is the lower end of the two elite status tiers and is currently earned after you complete 10 Hertz rentals or spend $2,000 on rental cars in a given calendar year. Hertz Five Star elite members receive several benefits with limited usefulness for most renters. The most notable of these benefits include:
Space available upgrades: You’re eligible for a one-class car upgrade if the Hertz location you’re renting from has cars in stock.
Bonus points: You’ll earn 25% more points on all rentals, equal to 1.25 points per dollar spent.
Wider Ultimate Choice availability: When renting from a Hertz location with an Ultimate Choice lot, Hertz Five Star members have access to a wider range of cars.
Unfortunately, I don’t think these benefits are very useful — while a one-class upgrade is nice, it isn’t guaranteed. The most valuable benefit is the 25% point bonus, which is guaranteed.
Hertz President’s Circle elite status
Things start to get more interesting when it comes to President’s Circle status. This is Hertz’s top-tier status level and includes an upgraded set of perks. Here’s a look:
Guaranteed upgrades: You’re eligible for a guaranteed one-class car upgrade. In practice, the upgrade depends on whether the Hertz location you’re renting from has an upgraded car in stock.
Bonus points: You’ll earn 50% more points on all rentals for 1.5 points per dollar spent.
Widest Ultimate Choice availability: If renting from a Hertz location with an Ultimate Choice lot, you’ll have access to a wider range of cars than a standard or Five Star member.
Dedicated Hertz Rewards phone line: You can access a dedicated Hertz phone number for President’s Circle members.
You’ll earn President’s Circle status after completing 15 Hertz rentals or spending $3,000 on rental cars in a single calendar year. These benefits are significantly more valuable than Five Star, but I still wouldn’t go out of my way to rent with Hertz solely to earn status when cheaper options are available.
A look at Hertz’s various partnerships
Hertz has partnerships with several travel companies, the most popular being status matches from Capital One and Delta. Additionally, you can save on Hertz rentals and take advantage of other perks if you’re a AAA member or have The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Free Hertz status with Capital One
If you are a Capital One cardholder, you may be in luck. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders qualify for complimentary Five Star status, while Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders qualify for complimentary top-tier President’s Circle status.
Best of all, authorized users and account managers who are 21 years old or older are eligible — this perk isn’t limited to just the primary cardholder. You can learn more on Capital One’s partner page for Hertz.
Free Hertz status for Delta Medallion elites
If you have Delta elite status, you may be eligible for a free status match to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards status. Medallion Gold members can match to Five Star status, while Platinum and Diamond members can match to top-tier President’s Circle status.
Head to the Hertz page on Delta’s website to take advantage of this status match. Through this partnership, even Medallion Silver members can earn bonus SkyMiles by crediting rentals to Delta instead of Hertz.
Hertz benefits for Amex Platinum cardholders
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The Platinum Card® from American Express also provides some benefits for Hertz Gold Plus members. Amex Platinum cardholders can take advantage of a handful of benefits when reserving a Hertz car and using the Amex Platinum corporate discount code:
Special savings: discounts off standard rates, as well as off of Prestige Collection vehicles.
One car-class upgrade whenever possible: Participating locations will upgrade your rental by one car class based on availability.
Four-hour grace period: You can return your car up to four hours late without penalty.
The American Express Platinum Card doesn’t offer elite status with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. But there is still a way through a status match. The Platinum Card provides Emerald Club Executive status with National, and you can match this status to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status via this form.
Take advantage of Hertz perks with a AAA membership
I keep an annual AAA membership solely for the included Hertz perks. Members have access to a corporate code that gives up to 20% off rentals, waives the fee for young renters aged 20 to 24 years old and offers a discount on prepaid fuel, among other minor benefits.
Save money on rental car insurance with credit cards
Like most rental car companies, Hertz offers a primary damage waiver for its rentals. These waivers protect you against theft and damage incurred to the vehicle, ranging from a simple fender-bender to a total loss of the vehicle.
Primary damage waivers come at a cost, though. You’ll generally pay between $14 and $20 per day, which becomes a huge out of pocket cost if you rent cars frequently.
We always recommend having one of these waivers when renting a car. It can save you a ton of money if you end up in a wreck and protect your car insurance rates from going up, as you can claim the damage waiver coverage before your personal insurance.
Thankfully, you can get one of these damage waivers for free if you pay for your rental with a card with car rental coverage.
Hertz points have the potential to be valuable during off-peak rental dates, and elite status can be useful too if you rent frequently. That said, you’re usually best off renting from the company that gives you the best price.