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United Club and Presidential Plus get Hertz Presidents Circle status, lose Avis

by on Tue October 21, 2014 • 7 Comments

United just announced a new, deeper partnership with Hertz that offers special privileges to holders of the $450 per year United Club credit card and the no longer issued Presidential Plus card.

All cardholders, as well as all Premier 1K and Platinum members will be able to sign up for Hertz President’s Circle status effective January 1, 2015.

And Premier Gold and Silver members get Hertz Five Star status.

You can upgrade your Hertz account here if you are a United Premier member

Hertz President’s Circle is the 2nd tier in Hertz’ elite rental program, just above its Five Star status. It guarantees a one-car class upgrade at all U.S. locations (to a maximum level of a full size vehicle), while Five Star status only includes space available upgrades. Though in reality you often have to beg at the counter for your ‘guaranteed’ upgrade.

This is a good news / bad news situation.

For United Club cardholders it’s an upgrade as before you received Avis First status, which only includes space available upgrades.

But for United Presidential Plus cardholders this is a bit of a downgrade.

If you have a Presidential Plus card you were able to get Avis’ President’s Club status, which included a double upgrade on rentals, all the way up to Luxury class cars. That benefit will last until the end of 2015 (so you have a year to take advantage of both Avis and Hertz status).

In our experience, the Avis President’s Club program is more reliable for car upgrades than Hertz President’s Circle thanks to the double upgrade option.

How does it compare to others?

This is stronger than the benefit The Platinum Card from American Express offers, which is just Hertz Five Star status, but The Platinum Card also includes access to National’s Executive Club which gives you a guaranteed upgrade on every rental.

More mile earning

Additionally, as of November 1st you can earn more miles on Hertz rentals, up to 1,250 miles per rental if you’re a Platinum or higher member of MileagePlus.

And all Chase MileagePlus cardholders earn 750 miles per rental instead of the base 500 miles, a nice bump if you’re not a Premier member of United MileagePlus.

The bad news is you won’t earn miles for renting at any other car rental company. It’s now exclusively for Hertz rentals and those at its owned brands Dollar and Thrifty.

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7 thoughts on United Club and Presidential Plus get Hertz Presidents Circle status, lose Avis

  1. DaveC

    Really disappointed with the change from Avis to Hertz as the rental car partner.

    My last trip mid-May 2016 was the first time I discovered I was no longer an Avis Presidential club member (I had rented two weeks earlier and it still showed Avis Presidential).

    At the Avis counter, the attendant did not hesitate to still give me a two-tier upgrade from my Full-Size to a leather Ford Explorer. (Philly airport).

    I signed up for Hertz Presidential Circle upon return home. Several weeks later, another trip to Philly. I arrive to the Hertz counter, get my (supposed) upgrade from a Full-Size reservation.

    I get into a dinky 4-cyl Hyundai Sonata, dirty light gray cloth interior, stripped down (not even a compass) .

    I politely complain at counter. I learn that:

    (1) Sonata is considered a full-size rental

    (2) The fine print for upgrades: You cannot be upgraded above a full-size vehicle with Hertz Presidential Circle.

    I called Hertz directly afterward (I didn’t believe attendant on either point). Hertz confirmed both of these realities.

    It seems I will be better off sticking with Avis as a preferred member (as full size likely guarantees a better vehicle), and simply earn a Preferred Plus membership that gives one level upgrade NOT HELD TO FULL-SIZE.

    Starting to wonder about this card……..making less sense all the time. I am a United Platinum member, and haven’t seen a domestic business class upgrade in a year (12 flights). Wondering about United too. Oh….Continental!!!!

  2. Robert Darvin

    I have the Hertz platinum Card and the American Express Centurion Card, is there any benefit with the United CC which I also have. Thank you.


      @Robert – If you’re already Hertz Platinum, there’s no higher benefit you can receive. Just don’t be afraid to ask for a better car than you’re assigned. The United Club / Presidential Plus get one level lower status, the President’s Circle level.


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