The Hertz Corporation is an American car rental company whose existence dates back to 1918. One visionary, Walter Jacobs, was only 22 when he started the first rent-a-car in business in the United States. Thus, he appropriately named it Rent-A-Car, Inc. Jacobs launched the business with 12 Model-T Ford vehicles, which he repainted and maintained on his own. He later sold the company to John Hertz in 1923. Hertz Corporation has come a long way from owning 12 cars in its fleet to over 420,000 by 2020. As a result, it has come up with a way of rewarding its loyal customers through the Hertz President’s Circle status. Let’s take you through some of the benefits of achieving the status, and how you can be a member.
What You Get in Return for Being a Hertz President’s Circle Member
According to One Mile at a Time, being a member of the Hertz President’s Circle has several perks. Among them is the ability to pick whichever car you find in the lot on the spot without paying extra for it. This offers the ultimate advantage because you do not waste time at the counter. You also have quite a variety of cars to choose from, and you can upgrade. Although you benefit from the confirmed vehicle availability, you still have to make at least 48 hours reservation. Some people have claimed that this benefit is not always honored; therefore, there is no guarantee a vehicle will be available. The status facilitates reduced time wastage also with the eReturn feature. Hertz eReturn is an Instant Return in which you can drop off the car, and an agent will assess the vehicle to determine if they should charge extra. Once satisfied, your transaction is closed off, allowing you to drive off without wasting more time. The status also grants you a four-month trial of expedited airport security. In 2019, Hertz started offering the terminal drive-back service exclusively to President’s Circle members. It is a complimentary service offered four times a year. You get an email confirming that you have earned a free terminal drop-off, and to redeem it, you pull up to the front of an open return lane and show a Hertz representative the email. Should you encounter any problems, you can rely on the dedicated call center line to have your issues resolved. You can also drive with your spouse or domestic partner at no extra charge within the United States. Another benefit is the 50% bonus earned on Gold Plus Rewards. There is a current offer from Hertz, enabling Five Star and President’s Circle members to gift their status level to a family member, work colleague, or friend. Once you activate the gift, it is eligible until June 30, 2022.
How Do You Join the President’s Circle?
Deals Points describes Hertz President’s circle as the top-tier elite status in the company’s Gold Plus Reward program. It falls between Hertz Five Star Status and Platinum status. One way to become a member is by spending $4,000 or completing 20 rentals in a year. However, in 2021, these requirements were lowered due to the pandemic. As such, you could join the President’s circle by spending $3000 or completing 15 rentals. There are other options for achieving the status. One is signing up for the Capital One Venture X card, a great alternative seeing that it is free to get the President’s Circle status upon signing. The best thing about this card is you get five more people achieving the status courtesy of your card and all you have to do is pay the $395 annual fee. Every time your account celebrates an anniversary you are awarded 10,000 miles and a $300 annual travel credit. Another way of joining the Hertz President’s Circle is by matching your status with other rental companies. You will have to be a member of Avis President’s Club, Enterprise Plus Platinum, Europcar Privilege Elite, or National Executive Elite. You must enroll in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program to apply for a status match. They need proof of status and identity through email. Alternatively, you can register for free if you are a member of Delta Platinum Medallion, Delta Diamond Medallion, or Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador.
Should You Rely on Hertz for Car Rentals?
There have not been kind words said regarding Hertz. Besides complaints about the lack of cars when you need them, some alleged that they were still not getting the benefits even after being eligible. Hertz also has a reputation for having its customers jailed on alleged rental car theft because of poor documentation in its accounting department. According to Naples Daily News, Julius Burnside’s insurance company rented him a car from Hertz after his car was totaled in an accident. He returned the car after using it and paid for it in full. Still, Hertz wanted him arrested, so Burnside turned himself in, confused. He wound up spending over seven months in jail, but finally, the prosecution dropped all charges against him. He is one of many customers who regretted ever renting a car from Hertz, and the company faced a multi-party lawsuit for falsely reporting stolen cars. Hertz has made it a habit of reporting the cars it rents out to customers as stolen. Yet, even amid the lawsuits, Hertz insists the claims are meritless and that it cares deeply about its customers. Therefore once you decide to start going for the minimum of 20 rentals in a year to achieve President’s Circle status, bear in mind that you risk being arrested based on driving a stolen car. The company is out to make the most out of its customers. On April 1, 2021, it introduced a membership fee of £3 for its UK customers. The fee is charged annually on your membership anniversary date, and if you are not ready to pay, Hertz said the only option is canceling your membership. However, they need at least 14 days’ notice.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn