Car rental loyalty programs are often overlooked. However, they can be valuable and are becoming more relevant than ever with road tripping on the rise.
As the largest rental car company in the world, it comes as no surprise that Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers a loyalty program. The Enterprise Plus program allows members to earn rewards on their rentals and unlock special privileges through elite status. However, you’ll only be able to take advantage of the program on “qualifying rentals.”
Continue reading to learn all of the ins and outs of the Enterprise Plus program. I’ll walk you through earning and redeeming points, the different levels of elite status and more.
Enterprise operates more than 7,600 locations across the world, so chances are you’ve come across the car rental giant.
The company introduced its completely revamped Enterprise Plus loyalty program in 2012. The program used to be geared just toward business travelers hoping to expedite rentals and drop-offs, but has now incorporated a whole points component. Unfortunately, the program hasn’t evolved much since then.
Enterprise Plus is free and easy to join. However, you can only reap its benefits on qualifying rentals. This means that you must book directly to earn rewards, as opposed to using an online travel agency (OTA) like Priceline. There’s one exception to this, but it’s a good one: Because Enterprise owns National Car Rental, you can earn credits toward free rental days and elite status when renting from National. Also note that some Enterprise and National locations don’t participate in the program, including those in Africa and the Middle East.
How to earn Enterprise Plus points
When renting cars from Enterprise, you can choose between earning frequent flyer miles, hotel points or Enterprise Plus points. If you choose Enterprise points, you’ll earn one point per qualifying dollar spent on rentals. Depending on your elite status, you may earn 10-20% bonus points.
You must attach your member number to your reservations to earn points. If you don’t, you have six months from your return date to request missing points.
It’s worth noting that your Enterprise Plus points will never expire as long as you remain an active member with at least one qualifying rental every three years.
Related: Comparing rental car elite status
What is a qualifying Enterprise rental?
According to Enterprise, here are the categories for qualifying rentals, and rentals that do not qualify.
“Qualifying Rentals” must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- A paid Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand rental at participating locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean or Asia Pacific.
- A paid rental made with National Car Rental in the U.S. or Canada using an Emerald Club number that has the Member’s Enterprise Plus Member Number listed as the frequent travel program preference on the Emerald Club profile.
“Qualifying Rental Days” are paid rental days associated with a qualifying rental. A rental with one or more free rental days will count as a qualified rental as long as there is a minimum of one paid rental day.
Qualifying rentals and qualifying rental days do not include the following types of rentals:
- Insurance replacement rentals; dealer replacement, body shop or fleet replacement rentals.
- Rentals that are included as part of a tour or travel package.
- Pre-paid rentals that were booked through third-party OTAs
- Enterprise Truck rentals that used a commercial or government account number or contracted rates.
- Exotic Car Collection rentals.
- Enterprise CarShare rentals.
- Discounted rentals by Enterprise employees and their family members or friends who are eligible to receive an employee discount.
Stretch your earnings
There are several ways you can potentially double- or triple-dip on rewards with Enterprise. First, you can go through an online shopping portal like TopCashback to earn bonus cash back or points. You’re still booking directly with Enterprise when going through the portal, so you’ll still qualify for Enterprise Plus points.
When booking your Enterprise rental, use a card that provides primary car rental insurance and earns bonus points on travel spending. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card both offer primary rental coverage. This means you’ll be able to decline collision insurance and be covered by the card in case anything goes wrong. You’ll also earn bonus points, with the Sapphire Reserve paying out 3x points on travel while the Preferred offers 2x.
When it comes time to fill your tank, use a card that earns extra points on gas spending, such as the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
As with most rental car companies, you’ll get a much better rate when you use a discount code. These codes are available to employees of many major companies and members of large organizations. You can find some of these on Enterprise’s deals page. Even though you must book directly with Enterprise to utilize the loyalty program, you may also find specials through AutoSlash.
The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Redeeming Enterprise Plus points
Points can be redeemed for free rentals on any available car on any day, with no blackout dates. Free rental days cover the base rate (time and mileage) only. You’re still responsible for paying any applicable taxes, fees and surcharges.
How many Enterprise points do I need for a free rental?
Free rental redemptions start at 600 points ($600 in spend). Redemption prices are dynamic, so the actual number of points required will vary based on your rental details. Points are generally worth about five cents apiece. You must be signed in to determine how many points a reward requires.
While there are no blackout dates, there are some restrictions to be aware of. Most of them overlap with the “qualifying rental” restrictions. You also cannot redeem points for one-way rentals outside of the U.S. and Canada where the pick-up and return location are not the same.
Enterprise Plus elite status
All Enterprise Plus members start with Plus status, with the ability to earn Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Here are the details of the status levels:
As you can see, the benefits are fairly limited. Still, if you regularly rent from Enterprise, the bonus points and upgrade certificates can be valuable.
Enterprise also offers a fairly straightforward status match program. You can get automatic Enterprise Plus status if you currently have elite status with Avis or Hertz. There are also a number of credit cards that offer automatic elite status for car rentals.
Due to coronavirus outbreak, Enterprise is extending any status tiers expiring on Feb. 28, 2021 through Feb. 28, 2022. It will also roll over any qualifying rentals and rental days beyond the qualification requirements into the following year.
The Enterprise Plus program is a great way to make your Enterprise rentals more rewarding. Earning and redeeming points is very straightforward. That said, if you rent cars frequently enough to earn status, you may be able to get more value with another company that offers elite members more benefits.
Depending on your spending, it could make more sense to join National Emerald Club and credit your Enterprise rentals to that program instead. Instead of points based on spend, the program awards one rental credit for every qualified car rental. Seven of these credits get you one free rental day, up to a midsize car.
Featured image by Lou Armor/Getty Images.