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Avis is one of the largest car rental services worldwide. They have over 5,000 offices across numerous countries and continents. At the heart of their great commercial success is a strong — and free — rewards program that is useful, but also complicated. This comprehensive guide was designed to be easy to follow and address any questions you may have about Avis Car Rental and their loyalty program.
- Avis Program Benefits
- How to Become a Member of Avis Rewards
- Avis Rewards Program Status Levels
- Redeeming Avis Rewards Points
- Pairing Credit Card Rewards and Avis Rewards Points
- How to Reserve a Car Through Avis
- Avis Partner Offers
- Avis Locations
- Miles, Points and Partners
- Avis Business Rentals
- Buying a Car from Avis
- Frequently Asked Questions About Avis
- Final Thoughts on Avis' Rewards Program
Avis Car Rental Program Benefits
Avis offers a loyalty program consisting of two levels: Avis Preferred and Avis Preferred Plus.
Avis Preferred® is free to join and has no minimum amount of spending or activity required to remain active, so there is no reason not to have an account. This program's main purpose is to serve as an express rental program, allowing you to skip the rental counter and begin driving your rental car quickly.
Once you're signed up, the process of renting a car from Avis is streamlined. You can find your name on a list at the rental location, find your car in its designated parking spot, show your license at the exit and you're on your way. You are also awarded points (minimum of 100 points with any rental) for all transactions with Avis. These points can then be redeemed for free rental days or accessories for your rental car.
Avis Preferred Plus® is earned by frequently using Avis for your rental needs. The program's requirements are that you either rent at least 12 times or spend a minimum of $5,000 within one calendar year. The added benefit of this status is that you earn an extra 25% on all the money you spend. This translates to 1.25 points per dollar when purchasing a rental. You also get a complimentary one-class upgrade, as long as there is a qualifying car available.
How to Become a Member of Avis Rewards
Becoming an Avis Preferred member is very simple. You need to be at least 25 years old and a resident of the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. You will not be able to qualify if you have been previously terminated by any Avis program or denied an Avis car rental. As long as you meet these simple qualifications, you can become an Avis Preferred member with the potential of earning Avis Preferred Plus status.
The actually process of gaining membership is straightforward. First, you need to sign up online on the Avis website. After doing so, you'll receive an Avis Wizard Number. Think of your wizard number as an Avis Preferred membership number. This is the number you will be using to log into your account after you have been enrolled.
Avis Rewards Program Status Levels
At the base level of Avis Preferred, you will earn 1 point for every $1 spent on a qualifying car rental and 2 points per $1 spent on accessories. However, there is room to improve and increase the amount of points you earn for each dollar you spend.
Within the Avis Preferred loyalty program, there are elite status levels that are accessible to customers. For example, Avis Preferred Plus is the first level of elite status, and it's received after using Avis for rentals at least 12 times or spending $5,000 within one calendar year. At this level, you receive 1.25 points for each $1 spent on a rental car and 2.5 points for every dollar spent on accessories.
In addition, Preferred Plus members who reach 25 rentals or $7,000 of spending within a calendar year will receive 1.5 points per dollar spent on rentals and 3 points per dollar spent on accessories. This is a 50% increase in points on rentals and accessories from the base level.
Avis President's Club and Chairman's Club®
President's Club and Chairman's Club are the two highest levels of Avis' loyalty program and require an invitation.
Avis Chairman's Club has a range of benefits that define luxury. (As listed on the Avis official website:)
- Meet-and-greet: An Avis representative will meet and escort you personally to your vehicle after you fly into any major U.S. or Canadian airport location.
- Personal Return Valet Service: Inform Avis of your return and a representative will escort you to your departure terminal.
- Guaranteed vehicle availability: Regardless of reservations, there will always be a vehicle available for Chairman's Club members.
- Complimentary Upgrade: After reserving an intermediate vehicle (Group C) or larger, you'll automatically receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available car.
- Complimentary Car Delivery: Vehicles can be delivered to you directly as long as you are within 25 miles (40 km) of a participating Avis location in either the U.S. or Canada.
- Dedicated Customer Service line: Access to a 24/7 hotline to make reservations and receive personalized customer service.
- Spouse or Significant Other: Your life partner may pick up the vehicle on your behalf and all of the same benefits will still apply.
Avis President's Club does not have the same level of luxury as the Chairman's Club, but these are still benefits that anyone can appreciate.
- Double Upgrade: After booking an intermediate or higher level car, you'll automatically get a double upgrade whenever available.
- Guaranteed Car: There will always be a car available regardless of reservations.
- Dedicated Customer Service line: Access to a 24/7 hotline to make reservations and receive personalized customer service.
Redeeming Avis Rewards Points
Avis offers a wealth of possible awards, including free rental days, car-class upgrades and vehicle accessories (e.g. GPS, radio, car seats, booster seats, starter cables and so on). Car rentals typically start at 700 points while accessories can be accessed for as low as 250 points.
However, it's important to know that the cost of the vehicle rental correlates with how many points you need to redeem:
|Reward Day Level||Points Per Day||Standard Daily Rate|
|Level 1||700||Up to $50|
|Level 2||1,400||$50.01 - $85|
|Level 3||2,100||$85.01 - $125|
|Level 4||3,500||$125.01 - $225|
Note: When redeeming Avis Preferred Points for rewards, points are applied to the base rental rate of the vehicle and not to any discounted rate or other promotional offer.
Pairing Credit Card Rewards and Avis Rewards Points
One of the easiest ways to significantly increase the amount of value you are getting per dollar spent is to make sure that you are using a credit card with car rentals as a bonus category. There are many credit cards that offer double or triple points per dollar spent when it's going toward car rentals.
It would be a waste not to take advantage of this opportunity, since often times your credit card points can be redeemed toward airline tickets, hotel stays, cash back, and more. This process of gaining multiple different types of points on the same transaction is called "double-dipping" and serves to generate more value on each dollar you spend.
Below, are a few of our favorite credit cards that earn multiple points on car rentals:
United℠ Explorer Card
$0 for the first year, then $95
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
- 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ Fee Credit
- 25% back on United inflight purchases
- Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
- Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
How to Reserve a Car Through Avis
The process of reserving a car on Avis is user-friendly. The first step is to enter the basic information of your needs. This screen is available both on the homepage and if you click "Make a Reservation" under the "Reservations" tab in the main menu. (The main menu is located at the top of the website).
Enter your pickup location, return location, dates and times, Avis Wizard Number and any discount codes you may have. The search box will provide you with a drop-down menu listing rental locations in the vicinity of the pickup and return locations that you selected.
After inputting your information, you should end up with a list of available rental options. You can sort this list in a variety of ways, including mileage, seats, price and Avis' own recommendations.
After you find a car that you believe is a good fit for your needs, you will be prompted to either "Pay at Counter" or "Pay Now & Save." The latter option can save you up to 30% off the base rate (the "Pay at Counter" price). However, there is a reason for the lower prices. If you use the "Pay Now & Save" option, you will need to pay a fee in the case that you cancel your reservation. If you select "Pay at Counter", you would not need to pay a fee for the cancellation of your rental.
If you cancel your "Pay Now & Save" reservation at least 24 hours before the pickup time you specified, then you will be charged $50. If you cancel within 24 hours of your reservation, the fee will be increased to $150. If you completely do not show up for your prepaid reservation, then you will be forfeiting all of the money you spent on the rental without a refund. Given the high penalties for canceling your reservation, we would recommend that you only use the "Pay Now & Save" function when you are confident you will be renting a vehicle.
If you are not confident and want to rent a car with the option of canceling the reservation later, then it would be smarter to use the "Pay at Counter" function. The price may be higher, but that gap is insignificant when compared with potential fees of $50, $150 or the entirety of the rental price.
There is a massive variety in vehicles available and their price points. If you are looking for the most affordable options, then it would be best to sort the list from least to most expensive. It's also worth noting that the price being shown next to each car is the price of the total duration of the rental.
The next step after you click "Pay at Counter" or "Pay Now & Save" is to select any extras you would like for your rental. Avis also provides discount packages, which group together related extras and lowers the total price to provide a better deal. Among the discount packages, you have the following options: Protection & Safety Package, Entertainment Package and Unlimited Protection with Wi-Fi. The prices increase respectively, because you have all the benefits of the previous packages with new additions. These prices are all given per day, so make sure you calculate the total cost of these packages in regard to the length of your trip.
You can also buy parts of the package or extras that are not included. These can be found in the following tabs next to Discount Packages: Protections & Coverages, Equipment and Services.
Protections & Coverages include Cover The Car (LDW) to avoid paying for damages on the vehicle, Cover Myself (PAI) that provides insurance and medical coverage, Cover My Belongings (PEP), which insures your possessions up to a certain price ceiling, and Cover My Liability (ALI) that defends you against claims others may make in the situation of an accident.
Equipment refers to car accessories that can be added to your rental. These include Unlimited Wi-Fi (TAB), Satellite Radio (XMR), Hand-Free Navigation (GPS) and Child Safety Seats.
Lastly, Services are extras that are designed to leave you with less to worry about. These options include: Cover Roadside Issues (RSN) which is a 24/7 service for car issues like flat tires, dead batteries and lost keys; Additional Driver (ADR), which permits someone else to also drive your rental; Fuels Plans (GSO) allows you to pay for gas in advance using comparable rates and therefore return the car on empty; and Avis Travel Partner, which broadly provides assistance and support during your travels (translations, medical services, lost luggage, inquiries and flight updates).
The final screen, after selecting any extras you may want, displays your receipt and asks for your personal information. After inputting all the required personal and billing information, all you need to do is click "Reserve." The entire process of reserving a car on Avis is streamlined, user-friendly and quick.
Avis Car Rental Partner Offers
Avis partners with a variety of different companies to provide discounts and deals. These offers can be found on the homepage or by using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Hover over "Offers" and click "Partner Offers" from the options that appear.
These offers change often, but here are the current options to provide you with a sense of the type of promotions that you can access:
- AARP: members save up to 30%
- Fuel Rewards®: members save up to 25% off base rates and earn 5 cents/gallon for every $50 spent on rental cars
- Extended Stay America Hotels: Save up to 30% off your next stay
- British Airways: Earn up to 75,000 bonus Avios
- Studio Tour: $10 off a 2-day pass to Universal Studios Hollywood™
- Veterans Advantage: Save up to 25%
- American Express®: Save an additional 5% on prepay rentals
- Zipcar: College students can join for $15 for the first year
Avis Car Rental Locations
Avis has 5,500 locations in over 165 countries across the world, making it one of the largest car rental agencies currently in the market. If you are looking for a specific Avis location, click the Locations tab in the main menu.
This tab will provide you with Avis' top airport car rental locations, all U.S. locations and all global locations. However, the most useful feature is easily its "Find a Location" function. All you need to do is fill in the "Where are you going?" portion with your destination. The tool will then list all Avis car rental locations that are near your destination.
Avis: Miles, Points & Partners
One of the most underutilized functions of Avis is their Miles, Points & Partners tab under "Cars & Services" in their main menu. This tab allows you to earn miles, points and other special discounts through Avis' Travel Partner Program. In other words, Avis partnered with a variety of airlines, hotels and other select companies that you will be rewarded for using.
If you use their partner airlines, you will be able to earn points, discounts or other forms of values and savings. For instance, American Airlines AAdvantage members can earn 500 miles per rental on all qualifying rentals at participating airport rental locations in the U.S. and many other countries. You don't need to actually fly on the airline at all. You only need to show your AAdvantage membership at the time of your rental to gain access to those benefits. As long as you read the terms and conditions to figure out how to earn the miles on the specific airline you want, you will be able to rack up easy mileage quickly and at no cost.
If you use their partner hotels, you can earn points and discounts when renting a car. For example, Avis is partners with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and will offer you 500 World of Hyatt Bonus Points per rental. You don't even need to stay at the hotel itself to gain this reward. You simply need to provide your World of Hyatt membership number at the time of rental. The ability to pair your rentals with hotel bonus points is something you should take advantage of every time that you can, as long as the fee for doing so does not offset the extra points you receive.
Frequent Flyer Tax
For rentals in the United States, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix and Canada, Avis will assess a frequent flyer fee to offset a portion of the company's annual cost of participation in frequent flyer programs from the following U.S. airline and hotel programs:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines*
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Carlson Companies
- Copa Airlines*
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Hyatt Hotels
- IHG - InterContinental Hotel Group
- JetBlue Airways*
- La Quinta Inns & Suites
- Southwest Airlines*
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts
- Virgin America
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Each of these airline and hotel programs will assess a frequent flyer surcharge of $0.75 per day. The programs with an asterisk beside their name (American Airlines, Copa Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines) will assess a fee of $1.00 per day.
Avis and British Airways
Avis and British Airways are partners, bringing many extra benefits to Executive Club members and creating a lot of opportunities to earn Avios points through renting a car with Avis. British Airways Executive Club members receive the following benefits:
- Earn 1 Avios per $1 on Avis car rentals with a minimum of 500 Avios per rental (maximum of 10,000 Avios)
- Earn 500 bonus Avios on your first rental after joining Avis Preferred and receive a complimentary upgrade on your next rental
- 750 bonus Avios after renting a car through Avis at least 4 times within one calendar year
- 250 bonus Avios after paying for an Avis rental using a co-branded British Airways credit card
Avis Business Rentals
If you go to the main menu on Avis' website and hover over "Business Rentals," you're given a wide array of options: Small & Mid-Sized Businesses, Production and Entertainment Rentals, and Meeting and Group Car Rentals. These are all extremely distinct from each other, so we'll break them down one by one.
Small & Mid-Sized Businesses
"Avis For Business" was designed to most benefit small businesses. As a member, you and your company will gain access to Reward Days, discounts, and more forms of saving each time you or your employees rent a vehicle with Avis. The logic of this program is the more rentals you company completes, the greater the rewards that your company will receive. Here are some of the perks that you can expect to have after signing up for Avis For Business:
- One reward day after your first completed rental and for every 15 completed rental days
- Double rewards for the first 90 days as a member
- Up to 30% off base rates
- Access to Avis For Business member website where you can view all of the rental activity and Reward Days of your company
- Complimentary Avis Preferred membership to help avoid lines and paperwork
- Dedicated customer service team that is a call or click away
Production and Entertainment Rentals
Avis Production Program was created for the sake of large-scale film casts and crews that need to constantly be on the move through the production of their film, whether that is due to filming on location or taking the show on the road. Given Avis' massive global presence, they are uniquely positioned to make the most out of this niche need. Avis even provides their own representative for each production to ensure that their program benefits are being executed well:
- Low group rates with free unlimited mileage
- Special site inspection rates
- Complimentary car rewards program
- Quality service through Avis Production Desk Central Billing and the Avis Worldwide Electronic Billing (WEB) Program
Meeting and Group Car Rentals
If you're planning an event or meeting where you imagine you will need five or more rental cars, Avis will match you up with one person solely dedicated to making sure that your event runs smoothly. The Avis meeting specialist will assemble an exclusive package of special low rates. You can also earn seven free rental day certificates through this program after 20 rentals.
Buying a Car from Avis
In addition to renting cars, Avis also offers used cars for sale using its own unique approach called the Ultimate Test Drive™. The process is straightforward and extremely useful. First, you need to choose a car, pick a test-drive location and book an appointment.
Next, you need to pick up the car you selected at the test-drive location. You can test-drive the car for up to two hours for free. If you decide that you need more time, you can rent it for up to three days at a reduced rate and make a decision at the end of that period. If you love the car, you can complete all of the paperwork online and make it yours.
If you spent any money renting the car (after the free two hour test-drive) and ended up buying it, the rental fees will be refunded back to you. If you decide you don't like the car, you can simply return it back. If you return the car before the two hours of your test-drive are over, then you don't need to pay any rental costs. However, if you return the car after those two hours and up to a maximum of three days later, you will need to pay the rental fee for those days.
Avis Car Guide
|Vehicle Class||Examples of Available Vehicles|
|Standard Elite Coupe|
|Standard Elite SUV|
|Full Size SUV|
|15 Passenger Van|
|Mid Size Pickup|
|Full Size Pickup|
|Full Size Hybrid|
|Standard Recreational Vehicle|
Avis Select Series Guide
Examples of Available Vehicles
- Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
- Ford Mustang Coupe
- Jaguar XE Sedan
- Mercedes E350
- GMC Yukon-Denali
- Volvo XC90
- Mercedes GLS450
- Jaguar F-Pace
Frequently Asked Questions about Avis
1) Should I use a debit card or credit card to rent a car from Avis?
Debit cards are widely accepted at most U.S. Avis locations for payment. Nevertheless, you should definitely place this purchase on a rewards credit card because you will be able to rack up bonus points for car rentals. Many credit cards offer double or triple points when used to purchase a rental car. You would be missing out on a great opportunity if you decide to use a debit card for this purchase. If you don't own a credit card yet, then this would be the ideal time to start looking.
2) Is there any Avis car rental program that caters to small businesses?
Fortunately, there is: Avis for Business. This program was designed to help small businesses by offering benefits and savings each time you or an employee rent a car with Avis. The more rentals your company completes, the greater your rewards. These rewards include: double rewards for the first 90 days as a member, 30% off base rates, access to the Avis For Business member website and dedicated customer service.
3) Is Avis Preferred free?
Yes. Avis Preferred is the name of the loyalty and rewards program offered by Avis, and this program is completely free of charge. There are two levels of membership that are accessible for everyone: Avis Preferred and Avis Preferred Plus. The latter is gained by spending $5,000-$7,000 in one calendar year. There are also two invitation-only elite levels of membership, which are called Avis President's Club and Avis Chairman's Club. Although these elite levels offer more benefits, there is no clear and easy way to gain entry.
4) Can my spouse driving an Avis rental car that's in my name?
Your spouse or life partner can drive any Avis rental car that was booked in your name. They will also have access to all of your benefits. The only stipulation is that they must be over the age of 25 and have a valid driver's license at the time they drive the rental car. You can also have non-spousal individuals verified to drive your vehicle. This can be done on the recommended extras tab that appears after you click "Pay Now & Save" or "Pay At Counter." The specific extra is called Additional Drivers (ADR) and can be found under the Services tab of recommended extras.
Final Thoughts on Avis Preferred Car Rental Program
There is an extraordinary amount of car rental agencies currently available, so the question becomes: How does Avis differentiate itself?
For starters, Avis offers their own free rewards program called Avis Preferred. By being loyal to Avis, you will earn points based on your rentals that you can then redeem in the form of free rentals or accessories. Additionally, Avis is partners with many hotels and airlines, so you can potentially receive mileage or hotel bonus points through your car rentals, even when you don't actually stay at a hotel or fly on an airline. You can also buy used cars from Avis, and they even let you test out the vehicle free of charge for two hours prior to purchasing. Given the international presence of Avis and the fact that their reward membership is completely free, we would recommend that you sign up if you have a need for car rentals.