National Rental Car has been my rental car company of choice for the past few years. I started renting with National Rental Car, when my company gave me Emerald Club status, and have stuck with them since. Of course I later learned that Emerald Club status is pretty easy to get.
That said, National has some great benefits for members that rent a bunch, and even for those that don’t rent a bunch.
National Rental Car Emerald Aisle
National’s Emerald Aisle provides a lot of basic benefits, but, when taken together, they really streamline the rental experience. Here’s a summary of the benefits:
One key point is that to leverage these benefits, in general, you need to book a midsize car. This is where I think infrequent renters will see a lot of value. For starters, you get Emerald Aisle Access, so you can choose your car. For me, this is a big deal, because I like choice. I might find a car with heated seats – for me, that’s the thing I care most about. Heated seats.
Of course, other benefits, like no second driver fees are especially great for families traveling. You never know when you might be too tired to drive, and knowing that your significant other can drive with the blessing of the company, well, that is peace of mind. You can also earn credits with Enterprise (who will pick you up!), there’s also the virtual aisle option, and of course you can earn a variety of rewards.
National Rental Car Elite Status
National has two published levels above Emerald Aisle. Those are Emerald Club Executive and Emerald Club Executive Elite. Here’s the high level overview:
Generally speaking the Executive Aisle has nicer cars. The key here is that you should book a midsize or above rental. If you do that, then these benefits apply to you. Differences from the basic Emerald Club status includes earning free rental days faster, and access to nicer cars. Thanks to Executive Aisle status, I’ve driven Chevy Camaros, Cadillac CTS, and a variety of Ford SUVs, including Explorers and Expeditions, all of which were fully loaded.
For the most part, I’ve just been an Executive, which American Express Platinum holders can get for free. But, every so often, we rent enough to qualify for Executive Elite.
National Rental Car – The Hidden Status
While I think most would be happy with Executive Elite status, there are some that have a higher status. It is an unpublished benefit, which I only found through a bunch of searching on FlyerTalk, but it is called Emerald Club VIP. Via Tony King of Flyertalk, here’s the description:
Our Emerald Club Executive VIP tier is for close friends and associates of our CEO and founder, Andy and Jack Taylor. To achieve this status of rental service with us; you would have to be invited personally by our founder or CEO. Only 0.1 percent of our customers are members of this exclusive tier. Their benefits are exactly the same as all other tier levels of the Emerald Club with the exception of local delivery service. I hope I answered your question. If you should need anything further, please email us.
I suppose the answer really is, if you want to be the top 0.1%, well, then Emerald Club Executive VIP is for you… or if you happen to know the big wigs at National.
National Rental Car is my go to for rentals. My uses include airport transfers and sourcing trips. I’ve found that one-way rentals from BWI to Washington-Dulles or Washington-Reagan are not significantly more than an Uber would cost. As far as sourcing, I find that it is cheaper to pay for a rental car, than expense the miles, when I’m going to be driving more than 200 miles (assuming the $0.55 per mile). When I’m traveling, I find the Executive Aisle usually has a car that I want to drive, rather than just a car to drive. Because, at least for me, I’m always looking for the aspirational experiences. Even if you aren’t, National tends to have some low mileage car options.