Elite status programs for rental car programs don’t get quite as much attention as those programs for hotels and airlines. However, they can still add a lot of value to your travel experiences if you know what benefits you are entitled to.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Avis Preferred. I’ll cover things like how to qualify, the bonus earning rates, and the key benefits to be on the lookout for.
What is it Avis Preferred?
Avis Preferred is the official elite status loyalty program of the rental car company Avis.
Avis Preferred levels
Avis Preferred has two official (named) elite levels although technically there are three elite levels. Here are the Avis Preferred levels and qualification requirements:
|Preferred||Preferred Plus (I)||Preferred Plus (II)|
|Rentals||Automatic||12 rentals||25 rentals|
In addition to these levels, there are also two invitation-only levels. These levels do not have published requirements but I’ll cover those further below.
Avis Preferred is the basic elite level that is open to the public. All you have to do to obtain this elite level is simply enroll.
You can also get set up with this by getting it via the American Express Platinum Card. In addition to car rental benefits, the Platinum Card has some of the most valuable credit card benefits on the market including lounge access, hotel elite status, and special bonus category earnings.
Tip: Check out the free app WalletFlo so that you can optimize your credit card spend by seeing the best card to use! You can also track credits, annual fees, and get notifications when you’re eligible for the best cards!
Avis Preferred Plus
Avis Preferred Plus is the first true elite level status of Avis. There are essentially two different levels of Avis Preferred Plus.
The bottom level is obtained after 12 rentals or after spending $5,000. Meanwhile the top level is obtained after 25 rentals or spending $7,000.
You can also get Avis Preferred Plus by having the FoundersCard.
How to join
If you would like to sign up for Avis Preferred head over to this link.
To be eligible, you must be 25 years old or over and reside in the US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, or Canada.
Earning Avis points
The amount of points that you will earn depends on the level of elite status that you have.
|Preferred||Preferred Plus||Preferred Plus|
|Rentals||1 point||1.25 points||1.5 points|
|Accessories||2 points||2.5 points||3 points|
Accessory purchases include all of those additional add-ons you can select when making a rental car purchase.
These include purchases like satellite radio, GPS, child safety seats, and roadside assistance.
You don’t earn points for taxes, fees, or surcharges.
Every rental will earn a minimum of 100 points and sometimes you can earn additional bonus points if you rent within the first three months of joining the program.
Your points will be valid for 60 months from when they were earned. This means that you have 60 months to redeem your points but they can be canceled for inactivity if you go inactive for a 12 month period.
Inactivity includes things like not earning/redeeming any points, not completing an eligible rental, or canceling an account.
Boosting your points on rental car purchases
I would advise to use a great travel rewards card that earns a high bonus rate on travel expenses and that has solid travel perks like primary rental car insurance when booking a rental car.
You might want to look into cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred which has primary rental car coverage or a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve which has rental car coverage but also earns 3X on travel.
Avis Preferred Award chart
The Avis award chart has four different levels to it and the redemption rates roughly correspond to the cash prices of the rentals.
|Reward Day Level||Points Per Day||Standard Daily Rate|
|Level 1||700||Up to $50|
|Level 2||1400||$50.01 – $85|
|Level 3||2100||$85.01 – $125|
|Level 4||3500||$125.01 – $225|
So if you are a basic member, you can expect it to take you about $700 in spend to get a free rental car day. That’s assuming that you redeem at the cheapest level.
If you utilize the upper range of the standard daily rates to calculate the value of your points, then the estimated point value would be around the following:
- Level 1: 7.1
- Level 2: 6.0
- Level 3: 5.9
- Level 4: 6.4
It’s worth pointing out that sometimes you can find Avis worldwide discounts, coupon codes, and special rates or other offers with cheaper standard daily rates.
Redemptions for accessories begin at 250 points each per day.
Avis Preferred benefits
As a Preferred member, you can often get expedited service which allows you to go straight to your vehicle upon arriving at the rental car location. Look for the special signs designated for Avis Preferred customers when you arrive at the rental car station.
Enrolling also gives you the privilege to earn Avis preferred points for every qualifying dollar that you spend.
You can also save your rental preferences so that the next time you make a reservation, the process will be much quicker and more efficient.
Avis Preferred Plus
As an Avis Preferred Plus member, you will receive all of the benefits above such as skipping the counter but you will also receive some additional perks.
One of the most important benefits to any loyalty program is the upgrade potential.
As an Avis Preferred Plus member you will be eligible for upgrades whenever they are available. These upgrades will be a one class upgrade (the Avis signature series fleet is not included).
Although the terms limit you to a one class upgrade, it is sometimes possible to receive an upgrade of more than simply one class.
Other times, you may be offered an upgrade to higher classes but may be asked to pay a fee for the upgrade.
Here is a look at some of the different types of classes you can rent along with an example of the type of vehicle that belongs to that class.
- Economy: Ford Fiesta
- Compact: Ford Focus
- Intermediate: Toyota Corolla
- Standard: Volkswagen Jetta
- Full-size: Ford Fusion
- Premium: Chevrolet Impala
- Luxury: Chrysler 300
- Convertible: Ford Mustang Convertible
- Intermediate SUV: Ford Escape
- Standard elite SUV: Ford Explorer
- Full size SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe
- Standard SUV: Ford Edge
- Premium SUV: Chevrolet Suburban
- Passenger van: Ford Transit 12 Passenger
- Midsize pick up: Nissan Frontier
- Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
- Standard sport: Ford Mustang Coupe
- Avis select series: Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
- Full-size hybrid: Toyota Prius (Hybrid)
- Standard recreational vehicle: Jeep Wrangler 4-Door
- Standard elite coupe: Dodge Charger R/T
- Full-size pick up: Ford F150 Crew
If you would like to see some real world data points of upgrades then check out this thread here.
Increased earning rates
As shown above in the chart, you could be receiving an additional 25% to 50% more points for every dollar you spend depending on the level of Preferred Plus that you obtain. If you are earning 1.5 points per dollar spent, you only need to spend about $466 to earn enough points for the lowest redemption level of 700 points.
Avis Preferred Plus phone number
You’ll also have a special Avis Preferred Plus phone number to use for reservations in customer service support. Sometimes the standard lines and waiting times can be pretty long so this can be a great timesaver.
The Avis Preferred Plus phone number is: 1-800-331-1200.
Monthly email offers
Finally, you may also receive monthly email offers with potential discounts and other benefits for your car rentals.
Related: Rental Car Age Requirements
Higher elite levels
In addition to the elite levels above, you can also climb up to higher elite levels with Avis.
The elite levels below are only gained by invitation so you will need to be a frequent and high volume customer to get invited.
Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!
Avis President’s Club
- Double upgrade: When you book an intermediate or higher higher level car, you will automatically get a double upgrade if it is available.
- Guaranteed car: Every time you make a rental you are guaranteed a vehicle.
- 50% bonus: As long as you opt in to Avis preferred points, you will receive a 50% bonus for every dollar you spend.
- President’s Club line: You can get dedicated service 24/7 by calling the President’s Club number at 1-800-272-5841
- Savings of up to 25% off base rates: You can get a discount off the base rates when you use your THIRDHOME Avis Worldwide Discount number.
It’s worth noting that you can be invited to the President’s Club if you hold the American Express Centurion Card.
You can read more about this elite status here.
Avis Chairman’s Club
- Meet-and-greet service: Whenever you fly into a major US or Canadian airport, and Avis representative will meet you and help escort you to your vehicle.
- Personal Return Valet Service: When you return to the airport, an Avis representative will help escort you to your departure terminal.
- Guaranteed vehicle availability: Avis will always have a vehicle available for you even if you do not have a reservation.
- Complimentary Upgrade: When you reserve an intermediate vehicle (group C) or larger, you’ll automatically receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available car.
- Complimentary Car Delivery: You can have a car delivered to you anywhere within 25 miles of a participating Avis location in the US or in Canada.
- Avis Chairman’s Club line: You can get dedicated service 24/7 by calling the Avis Chairman’s Club phone number at 1-800-272-5841
- Spousal/Significant other benefits: Your partner can pick up the vehicle on your behalf and receive the same benefits.
Avis Preferred FAQ
You can earn Avis Preferred Plus by obtaining 12 rentals or after spending $5,000.
As an Avis Preferred member you will earn one point per dollar spent but as an Avis Preferred Plus member you will earn 1.5 points per dollar spent.
Redemptions for car rentals start at 700 points and they go all the way up to 3,500 points.
Avis Preferred Plus will receive complimentary one class car upgrades when available.
No, your cancellation policy will always depend on the type of booking you made (pre-paid vs pay later).
No, Avis does not have a co-branded credit card which is why it is good to use a credit card that earns bonus points on travel when booking (and that has primary rental car insurance).
The Avis loyalty program is pretty simple. You can get some nice upgrades and also increase your earning potential by obtaining elite status with Avis. And if you are a frequent customer, you might even get invited to one of the top levels of status.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.