Amex Platinum

In a previous article, we spoke about how some premium credit card holders are entitled to status benefits in the loyalty programs of selected rental car companies. For instance, holders of the American Express Platinum card are automatically eligible for National's Emerald Club Executive status, which guarantees upgrades at participating locations on all cars booked as a mid-size (intermediate) or larger. While there really are no _status-related benefits_ in the Avis Preferred loyalty program for these Platinum card holders, there is one benefit that could result in substantial savings for fairly frequent Avis renters -- the ability to earn one free weekend twice a year (once in the first half of the year and once in the second half of the year).

How to Earn Free Weekends 

Avis offers a two-day weekend certificate for American Express Platinum cardholders who have two qualifying rentals in the first half of the year (January 1 through June 30) or second half of the year (July 1 through December 31). It's a pretty good benefit and can be repeated once every six months by renters who are able to navigate the lengthy list of program terms. Just how long is the list of terms? Lengthy ...

"Free weekend offer valid with completion of two (2) Qualifying Rentals from Avis in the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands within the defined promotional period: January 1 – June 30 or July 1 – December 31. A Qualifying Rental is a paid rental consisting of two consecutive days time-and-mileage charges on any car class. Reservation and completed Qualifying Rental must be made using AWD A756900 and a Platinum Card ® from American Express. The AWD must show on the rental agreement to qualify for the Free Weekend promotion. After two (2) completed Qualifying Rentals, within the promotional period, customer will receive by mail a one-time-use Certificate (a “Free Weekend Certificate”, or “Certificate”) for one (1) Free weekend of time-and-mileage for a rental commencing no later than date printed on the Free Weekend Certificate. The Certificate will be mailed within 60 days of the completion of each promotional period. Free Weekend Certificate is valid for 2 free days during a weekend rental period. Weekend rental period begins Thursday and car must be returned by Monday 11:59 p.m. or a higher rate will apply. A Saturday night keep is required. Free Weekend Certificates can be used in conjunction with a weekday, weekly or monthly rental, but the Certificate will be valid for the weekend rental period portion only. Certificate is redeemable on a Subcompact (Group A) through a Fullsize four-door (Group E) car. A redemption fee may apply. Certificate is redeemable at participating locations in the U.S., P.R and US VI only, except not valid in Alaska, or in the New York Metro area. Customers may get one (1) Free Weekend Certificate during each promotional period. Free Weekend reward will not be earned on rentals that receive mileage/credits/points for a frequent traveler program (i.e. airline frequent flyer, hotel points program, etc.). For Avis First members who complete a Qualifying Rental(s): Rental(s) will be credited toward a Free Weekend Day and will be counted toward the annual Avis First membership requirements. For reservations made on Avis.com, Free Weekend Certificate will be applied at time of rental."

The biggest requirements to earn a free weekend? Each of the two qualifying rentals under the promotion has to be at least two days, must be booked under AWD A756900, and a customer has to pay with the Platinum American Express Card. Renters who choose to earn frequent flyer miles or hotel points -- instead of Avis Preferred Points -- are ineligible to earn the free weekend. 

The drawbacks on the award weekend redemptions? Remarkably few.

  • The free two-day weekend requires keeping the vehicle over a Saturday night (truly a "weekend"). 
  • The weekend award can only be used in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands with the exceptions of Alaska or the New York Metro area (the two areas where the AutoSlash team would really want to use the award weekends).
  • The certificate is valid for cars only (no SUVs, trucks, or minivans) at the full-size category or smaller.
  • While it's not stated in the Terms and Conditions, even the so-called "free" weekends come with the taxes and fees required by the state/city/airport where the vehicle is rented.  

Can AutoSlash Help?

Of course! We always help when we can. On the qualifying rentals to earn the free weekend, the required AWD A756900 is unlikely to be the cheapest possible rate but we're able to provide a quote for users of our website who have already American Express Platinum card are automatically eligible for entered a quote request and then send a note to support@autoslash.com. While the cost to book the qualifying rate to potentially earn a free weekend may be more expensive, we leave those types of booking decisions to our website users! 

On redemptions, we can't help at all but that's a good thing! The award redemptions would be made directly through Avis -- we hope renters use our free service to get the cheapest possible rates on their paid rental days and then leverage the rental car companies' own programs when it comes to award days! We're wired -- figuratively and literally -- to always expect renters to find the best combinations of paid and award days.

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