One of the benefits of Virgin Australia status is the complimentary car hire loyalty program status match. If you have Gold or Platinum Velocity status, you can automatically receive an equivalent status level in either the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards or Europcar Privelege program.
But which program is the better choice for your Velocity car hire status match? To answer this question, let’s have a look at the benefits of Europcar and Hertz status…
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
Velocity Gold members receive Hertz Five Star status, which is normally earned after renting 7 Hertz vehicles within 12 months. This comes with a free one-class vehicle upgrade, subject to availability, and 10% bonus points on rentals.
Velocity Platinum membership is equivalent to President’s Circle Hertz status, normally earned after 20 annual rentals. Officially, this status comes with a guaranteed vehicle upgrade and guaranteed vehicle availability.
However, our members’ experience with the “guaranteed” vehicle upgrades for President’s Circle members is that these are not actually guaranteed.
I’m Hertz President’s Circle (from some hotel status a while back) and have been nothing but disappointed. The so called guaranteed car upgrade almost never happens.
What’s annoyed me even more than the lack of upgrades is their customer service when I’ve queried it. The T&Cs very clearly state “guaranteed upgrade”. No ifs or buts. When questioned they tell me it doesn’t apply to certain locations (yet they can’t tell me the list of these locations) or that its only if an upgrade is available. The second point makes a mockery of the term “guaranteed”. It also means that there is nothing to distinguish the upgrade benefit from the level below.
Instead of Hertz, Velocity Gold members can opt for a status match to Europcar Privilege Executive status. This is normally earned after 10 Europcar rentals and, like Hertz status, comes with free vehicle upgrades.
In addition to free upgrades, Europcar Privilege Elite status (available to Velocity Platinum members) comes with a free additional driver and a free weekend rental every year. This status level is normally earned after 25 rentals within a year.
Unfortunately, it seems these benefits are offered just as inconsistently as with Hertz.
I have the Europcar status, and like with Hertz didn’t get any benefits. I am also supposed to get an automatic upgrade but got the car I requested, the woman at the desk also had zero idea what europcar privilege members even get. So it was basically useless.
Another member writes…
With Hertz, there is at least consistency: getting a car without talking to anyone, getting an occasional (barely noticeable) upgrade, etc. With Europcar, inconsistency is name of the game: I always book one of the cheapest options and I have been upgraded to Mercedes, to being flatly told I was not eligible to any form of upgrade.
Better Hertz Status Recognition Outside of Australia
According to AFF members, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members receive better service and status recognition outside of Australia. The service is especially good in the United States.
I’m Hertz PC and use mainly overseas where the service and upgrades have been amazing. LAX you just pick your car in the PC lot and off you go……
I’m Hertz PC too. It doesn’t get much in Australia, but I really like the Ultimate Choice in the US. I’ve had some great cars.
If most of your car rentals are in Australia, it seems that neither Hertz nor Europcar offer any of their advertised status benefits consistently enough to warrant choosing one over the other. But as always, your mileage may vary!
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Europcar / Hertz