Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership Guide: (Fees, Benefits, & More) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

It is always a good idea to sign up for loyalty programs when it comes to expenses like rental cars, hotels, and airfare. There is usually no cost involved with signing up and you get to reap the rewards and get things like free rental cars and other special perks. 

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program. I’ll cover all of the membership benefits (upgrades, free rentals, etc.) you can expect to receive and also hit on other things like fees. 


Table of Contents

What is the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program?

The Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is the official loyalty program for the Hertz rental car company. There are three different levels of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program:

  • Gold
  • Five Star
  • President’s Circle

Below, I will go into detail about each of these three levels and talk about the different types of benefits that you can expect to receive with each level. I’ll also provide you with helpful links so that you can easily get all the information you might need. 

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards levels.

Hertz Gold benefits 

How to qualify

There is no minimum rental required to qualify for Gold. Instead, this status level is open up to the public and all you have to do is sign-up. If you would like to sign-up and enroll, you can do that here.

 Tip: Have your driver’s license and a credit card handy when signing up (even though the service is free). You will likely not be able to use a debit card to sign up. 

Upgrades

There is no stated upgrade policy for Gold members but it never “hertz” to ask! 

Bonus on points

There is no bonus on points when you are a Gold member. Instead, you will simply earn 1 Hertz point per dollar that you spend on qualifying rentals.  

Skip the counter

As a Hertz Gold member you will be able to skip the counter when checking in for your rental car. This is a fantastic way to save time because as you might already know, sometimes the lines for check-in can be very long and move along at a snail’s pace. 

Hertz Ultimate Choice 

As a Hertz Gold Plus member, you’ll get access to the Hertz “Ultimate Choice” selection. What is Hertz Ultimate Choice? Well, basically, when you book a midsize class vehicle or larger at select airports, you will have access to additional vehicles based on your status so you can choose which vehicle you’d like to rent.

The higher your status, the wider selection of vehicles you can choose from.  Keep in mind you only get this perk if you book mid-size or above, so economy and compact car rentals won’t qualify you for this.  If you booked a class above what’s offered in Ultimate Choice (like a luxury vehicle), you can still choose from the Ultimate Choice.

Hertz Free CLEAR Airport Trial

As a Hertz Gold Plus Member you can enjoy a one month free trial with CLEAR. If you are not familiar, CLEAR is a great program that allows you to skip the line whether you have TSA Pre-Check or you are just entering in the standard line. All you have to do is scan your biometrics and just like that –you’re making your way through security. 

For frequent travelers this is a great benefit. However, it is not very hard to get a free trial of CLEAR for a couple of months, so getting it for one month is really not that big of a deal. If you want to find out more about the CLEAR experience at the airport and check out our review here

Note: Hertz may require you to complete one car rental in order to qualify for the trial. 

Hertz E-Return

With E-Returns, you sign up for eReceipts and this just expedites the car rental drop-off process. You can do this by updating the Vehicle Preferences page of your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Profile. All you have to do is fill out the Express Return slip on your rental car agreement when you return the vehicle and then leave it along with the keys. 

The return slip only asks for basic information like the return date and time, return mileage, gas levels, etc., so it only takes a few seconds to fill out.

Depending on the location you’re at and when during the day you return the vehicle, you might just leave the slip on your dashboard or you might need to deposit the slip into a return box or hand it to an agent. I suggest that you verify how you need to return the slip with a rep before you take off with your rental car. Also, if there is damage to the car make sure that you report it! 

No Blackout Rewards

Thankfully all members don’t have to worry about blackout rewards if they choose AnyDay awards. Hertz offers both AnyDay Rewards and Standard Rewards. AnyDay Rewards are not subject to blackout periods and may be used during the busiest travel periods. Meanwhile, Standard Rewards are available during all but the busiest travel periods and are cheaper (require fewer points).

  • If you want to view the 2019 AnyDay calendar click here.
  • To view the 2019 International AnyDay calendar click here.

Earn with Other Brands

When you are a Gold Plus Member you can actually earn points with other programs. So for example you are able to earn frequent flyer miles with certain airlines whenever you make a qualifying rental with Hertz. You can click here to find the list of frequent flyer partners or scroll down to the bottom of the article to see them. 

Transfer Points to Travel Partners

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to transfer your points to travel partners went you are a Gold member. More on this perk below. 

Dedicated Call Center Line

Gold members do not get access to the dedicated call line. 

A trial membership of CLEAR is one of the benefits of being a Gold member.

Hertz Five Star benefits

How to qualify

In order to qualify for Hertz Five Star, you’ll need to achieve 12 Rentals or spend $2,400. 

Upgrades

You will be entitled to upgrades but only as they become available. These upgrades will be for a one-car-class upgrade and the maximum upgrade is to a full sized class vehicle with a minimum reserved compact vehicle. You can click here for data points on Hertz upgrades

If you are curious as to what type of vehicles you might be able to rent, check out this thread which talks about all of the different types of vehicles that make up the Hertz fleet. And check out this page for details about all of the different types of vehicles. 

Bonus on points

As a Five Star member, you will receive a 25% bonus on your earnings. 

Skip the counter

Same as above. 

Ultimate Choice 

As a Five Star member, your dedicated section of Ultimate Choice vehicles will be larger than the Gold section. 

Free CLEAR Airport Trial

Five Star members receive a CLEAR Airport trial of two months. Once again, this is a nice perk but it’s not that difficult to come across a two-month free trial, and I’ve even seen 3-month free trials like the one issued by Lyft. So while I really like CLEAR, this perk isn’t quite as valuable or unique as it might first appear. 

E-Return

Same as above. 

No Blackout Rewards

Same as above. 

Earn with Other Brands

Same as above. 

Transfer Points to Select Travel Partners

The nice thing about hitting Five Star is that you are allowed to transfer your points to travel partners. These partners consist of airlines, hotels, and other forms of transportation. Below are the different Hertz travel partners you can exchange your points with according to Hertz

Airlines 

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines

Hotels 

  • Marriott Bonvoy members
  • Priority Club Rewards

Other 

  • Amtrak Guest Rewards point

A minimum balance of 600 Hertz points will be required to exchange Gold Plus Rewards Points for miles/points or credits. All redemptions must be in increments of 600 Points. Your Hertz points will be exchanged with airline miles at the following ratio 600 Points: 500 airline miles, according to the terms and conditions. 

Dedicated Call Center Line

Five Star members do not get access to the dedicated call line. 


President’s Circle benefits

How to qualify

In order to qualify for Hertz President’s Circle, you’ll need to achieve 20 Rentals or spend $4,000. You can also achieve this status via status match or status challenge from one of the major car rental companies like National, Enterprise, or Avis. For example, people have been able to be matched to President’s Circle by having National Executive Elite or Enterprise Platinum. Click here to find out more.

Hertz Upgrades

You will be guaranteed upgrades as a President’s Circle member. The upgrades are similar for Hertz President’s Circle but more guaranteed. Basically, you can get a confirmed upgrade with at least 48-hour advance reservation, at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada. The maximum upgrade is to a full-size class vehicle with a minimum reserved economy vehicle. 

Bonus on points

As a President’s Circle member, you will receive a 50% bonus on your earnings. 

Skip the counter

Same as above. 

Ultimate Choice 

You will have the widest selection of cars to choose from with Ultimate Choice. 

Free CLEAR Airport Trial

President’s Circle members receive a CLEAR Airport trial of four months. Now this is a benefit that I think is worth more since you don’t typically find a CLEAR trial lasting for four months. 

E-Return

Same as above. 

No Blackout Rewards

Same as above. 

Earn with Other Brands

Same as above. 

Transfer Points to Select Travel Partners

Same as above. 

Dedicated Call Center Line

President’s Circle members do get access to the dedicated call line. This is a great number to call if you are ever faced with issues regarding your rental and don’t want to wait to speak to a rep or think that the location might not have the right understanding about benefits you’re entitled to.  

Valet service 

One cool perk that you get is the valet service. This is basically a terminal drive-back service that you can get at participating locations up to four times a year as a President’s Circle member.


Hertz Gold Mobile alerts 

You can also sign-up for Hertz Gold Mobile alerts to get updates on your car rental and to even check for upgrades. This is a convenient app because it can actually tell you exactly which car you will be driving and where it is parked as soon it is ready (it will even give you the license plate number). 

So for those of you truly on the go, this is a great feature. You can also set it up so that you get these notifications delivered to your phone as emails or text messages. 

If you want to check for upgrades, you’ll need to check out the Mobile Gold Upgrades. Brace yourself for the name, but it’s known as “Hertz Carfirmation” and it will show you other available cars and upgrades and allows you to select the vehicle that you’d prefer. 


Earnings Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

You will earn one Hertz Gold Plus Rewards point for every qualifying U.S. dollar spent on Hertz rentals worldwide. Hertz notes that a “qualifying rental” includes all car rentals, (excluding truck and van rentals), at participating locations in :

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Puerto Rico
  • St. Thomas USVI
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain

It’s not clear to me on whether or not you earn points with optional purchases since I see conflicting information. One page states that you can also earn points when you decide to purchase optional items like:

  • Hertz NeverLost
  • SiriusXM
  • Insurance coverage options
  • Additional mileage charges
  • Car seats

But the terms and conditions state the following: 

Points will not be rewarded on taxes, tax reimbursement, governmental surcharges, vehicle license fees, airport related fees, Fuel Purchase Option and refueling or other optional services

Hertz experiences 

You can also earn Hertz points by booking “experiences.” These can consist of all sorts of different types of activities in different cities and you can browse them here. You should note that you will technically be booking through a third-party company (PlacePass).  The prices should be competitive but it would probably still be worth comparing prices to other sources.  

Purchasing Hertz points 

If you’d like to purchase Hertz points, that’s a possibility, too. They will allow you to purchase up to 10,000 additional Hertz points per calendar year for 20 cents per point as long as you have a minimum balance of 500 Hertz points. Just note that the minimum purchase amount is 50 points.


Redeeming Hertz Gold Rewards (award chart)

Hertz publishes a redemption catalog that shows you how many points would be required for an award booking. The amount of points required depends on the type of vehicle that you are renting, the type of award (standard award or AnyDay award), and whether or not you’re booking a one-way award. Location can also be a factor as well, so the award chart is a little bit complex and you want to review it carefully. 

Here are the award charts for daily rentals and also for weekly rentals. Keep in mind that Hertz will now allow you to use both points and cash to make your booking. 

Standard US Award Chart

Standard Rewards

One-Way Standard Rewards

 
Compact through Premium and Hertz Green Collection  
Free Rental Day (Per day, up to week days)7501,500
Specialty Vehicles (Luxury, MidSize SUV, Minivan and Convertible)  
Free Rental Day (Per day, up to week days)1,500N/A
Adrenaline Collection Vehicles  
Free Rental Day (Up to 4)2,200N/A
Prestige Collection Vehicles  
Free Rental Day (Up to 4)2,500N/A
Dream Collection Vehicles  
Tier 1  
Free Rental Day (Up to 4)5,000N/A
Tier 2  
Free Rental Day (Up to 4)6,000N/A

The Dream Collection vehicles are expensive but there are some pretty sweet ride that you can jump in if you have the points to do it. these include cars like: 

  • Porsche 911
  • Porsche Boxster
  • Nissan GT-R
  • Porsche Cayman
  • Mercedes G550
  • Land/Range Rover

Here is the chart for Hertz weekly rentals. 

Standard US Award Chart

Standard Rewards

One-Way Standard Rewards

 
Compact through Premium and Hertz Green Collection  
Weekly Rental (Per week, up to 2)3,7507,500
Specialty Vehicles (Luxury, MidSize SUV, Minivan and Convertible)  
Weekly Rental (Per week, up to 2)7,500N/A
Adrenaline Collection Vehicles  
Weekly Rental (Per week, up to 2)11,000N/A
Prestige Collection Vehicles  
Weekly Rental (Per week, up to 2)

And here is the chart for speciality rentals.  

Standard US Award Chart

Standard Rewards

One-Way Standard Rewards

 
Specialty Vehicles (Luxury, MidSize SUV, Minivan and Convertible)  
Free Rental Day (Per day, up to 4 week days)1,500N/A
Weekly Rental (Per week, up to 2)7,500N/A

How to use your points on a Hertz booking 

Follow the steps below to use your points to book a Hertz rental car. 

  • Step 1: Make a reservation on Hertz.com or use the Hertz app to book a reservation.
  • Step 2: Click the “Use my Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points” 
  • Step 3: If the booking qualifies for a reward, you will see all your options on the “review and book” page.
  • Step 4: Pay for the reward

If you would like additional assistance with making Hertz redemptions on the App then be sure to check out this article. 

Hertz special experiences 

You can also use your points for special experiences. For example, there are member-exclusive events like Wimbledon, the International Champions Cup (ICC), VIP packages, and exclusive Porsche Driving Experiences. These can be purchased with points or “won” in auctions with your points and you can find out more about those here. 


Hertz Gold Plus FAQ

How long will you keep your status for?

You will keep your level of status until the end of the following year. So if you achieved Five Star status in October of 2019, you’d have that status until the end of 2020. 

Can I transfer points to a partner or spouse? 

You may transfer your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points to a spouse or domestic partner who is also a Gold member permanently residing at the same address as the primary renter. But you cannot transfer points for a redemption toward an airline/hotel/Amtrak account in someone else’s name. You can transfer unlimited points to a spouse or domestic partner.

If you would like to initiate a transfer, call the Hertz Rewards Desk phone number at 1-888-999-4900 (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT Monday through Friday). 

Do Hertz Gold Plus points expire?

Your points will not expire if you have a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards rental activity in the prior 18 months. Having “activity” just means that you earned a Gold Plus Rewards point or that you redeemed points on a rental.

Can I earn credit for past rentals? 

Yes, you are eligible to earn credit for past rentals if your “qualifying rental included the correct promotion code and/or CDP number and the rental occurred in the past six months and qualified for the promotion.” If you want to request retroactive credit, follow these steps: 

  • Log in to your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account on hertz.com.
  • Click “My Account,” 
  • Click “Use My Points”
  • Click “Missing Points Request” and then complete the form. 

What is the Hertz Gold Plus points cancellation policy?

You can view the cancellation policy for points here. Basically this is how the cancellation policy breaks down: 

  • If a booking is cancelled within 24 hours of booking, all points will be returned
  • If a booking is cancelled more than 24 hours before the pickup time the following points will be forfeited:
    • 50% for Gold Members
    • 25% for Five Star members
    • All points returned for President’s Circle member
  • If the customer does not cancel the reservation prior to the time of pick-up and the rental vehicle is not picked up on the rental date, all the points used toward the rental amount will be forfeited, regardless of status.

Find out more about the standard Hertz cancellation policy here

What are the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards fees?

There are no fees for enrolling the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program. 

Is there a minimum age to join?

The minimum age to join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards is 21 according to Hertz though others report it was just lowered to 18. 

Who are the Hertz frequent flyer partners? 

  • Aegean Airlines (A3)
  • Aeroflot
  • Aeromexico (AM)
  • Air China (CA)
  • Air France (AF)
  • Air Transat
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways (NH)
  • American Airlines
  • Asia Miles (CX)
  • Asiana Airlines (OZ)
  • Avianca LifeMiles (AV)
  • Caribbean Airlines (BW)
  • China Airlines (CI)
  • China Eastern Airlines (MU)
  • China Southern Airlines – Sky Pearl Club (CZ)
  • Delta Airlines
  • El Al Israel Airlines (LY)
  • Emirates Skywards (EK)
  • EVA Air (BR)
  • Finnair Plus
  • Flying Blue
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Gulf Air (GF)
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines (JL)
  • JetPrivilege
  • Korean Air (KE)
  • Kuwait Airways (KU)
  • Malaysia Airlines (MH)
  • Marco Polo Club (CX)
  • Middle East Airlines (ME)
  • Miles & More
  • Oman Air (OM)
  • Philippine Airlines (PR)
  • Porter Airlines (PD)
  • Qatar Airways (QR)
  • Royal Air Maroc – Safar Flyer
  • Royal Brunei Airlines (BI)
  • Royal Jordanian (RJ)
  • SAS (SK)
  • Saudia (SV)
  • Sichuan Airlines (3U)
  • Singapore Airlines (SQ)
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines (UL)
  • TAP Portugal (TP)
  • Thai Airways (TG)
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia (VA)
  • Virgin Australia NZ (VA)
  • Xiamen Air (MF)

Final word

The Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is free to join so if you have any potential interest in renting from Hertz there is no “hurtz” in signing up (sorry, couldn’t resist). Some of the lower-tier benefits are a little weak but once you get in the mid-tier and higher-tier, you can take advantage of solid perks like upgrades and a wider car selection to choose from. 

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