NOTE: This post refers to National's Emerald Club policy, where free days earned expire at the end of the following calendar year (December 31, 2017 for standard award days earned in 2016).
National Emerald Club

Our team is most fond of the rental companies targetting business travelers (Avis, Hertz, National, and Sixt) for various reasons. The four companies often offer upgrades and choice to elite members in their frequent traveler programs but when it comes to National, customer service is a core part of our selection criteria. Problems brought to the attention of National are normally resolved rapidly, not dismissed with a meaningless apology. And National's customer service is proactive -- we were recently surprised to see notifications from the company of soon-to-expire award days, which (almost always) expire on December 31st of the year after earning.

National Award Expiration is a Stated Rule of the Program 

National's Emerald Club program works differently than the award programs of the other rental car companies. The other rental car companies award points with various expiration policies; those points can be redeemed at the customer's discretion for different types of awards. National only has one type of free award day -- rentals earn credits that never expire but once the credits reach a free day, the award day itself expires at the end of the next calendar year. Any unused award day earned in 2016 will expire on December 31, 2017 ... unless a renter wants to try out an award transfer option stated in the Emerald Club Terms and Conditions (more on that in a bit).

And even though we're meticulous about using our award days and preventing expiration of points/awards, it was still nice to know that a major corporation like National has our back. It's pretty easy to develop long-term trust with a company that intentionally sends out an e-mail with the friendly reminder of "Michael, don't let your Free Rental Days expire". 

Don't worry, National -- there are already (otherwise expensive) holiday plans for that expiring rental day.

And by logging into the Emerald Club account and selecting My Rewards, it's clear when each standard award day expires (remember, One-Two-Free Promotional days always expire in June and have a separate dashboard).

At least I only have one award day expiring this year.

What was that Provision within National's Terms and Conditions?

Sitting on a National award set to expire next month and don't have a planned use for the award? Well, National's own Emerald Club Terms and Conditions may help. In a previous post, we discussed a statement in National's rules allowing transfers to family members. However, those transfers can only be made to immediate family members, which National describes as "spouse or domestic partner, child over the age of 21, parent" and according to National's own rules: 

Transferred Free Days are valid for one (1) year from the original month of transfer.

Given the option of an award expiration or extending the validity by reissuing to an immediate family member, we would be making a call to National to inquire about a transfer! Just note National's terms explicitly forbid subsequent transfers of transferred award days (no givebacks) ... 


Ready to book your next rental car? If you're redeeming an award day, we can't help -- those have to be booked directly with the rental car firms but we want renters to benefit from the companies' loyalty programs! Looking to book a paid rental? Click below to request offers and we'll send the best possible rates within minutes.

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