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There’s nothing like having top elite status with a loyalty program. Even better, it’s great when you can get that status for free. Often times, status is waiting right below your nose in the fine print.

loyalty program

It starts with American Express. If you like to rent cars, you’re in luck because American Express cardholders can sign up for an Emerald Club account with National Car Rental and automatically receive their top-level National Executive Elite status. It comes with free car upgrades, the ability to bypass lines at the counter, and the option to choose your own car.

To sign up, use this link and register before the end of January. Best of all, you only need to rent one time and pay with your registered American Express card to earn 5 bonus credits (which is enough for another free rental day). That’s essentially two days for the price of one. Note that this limited time offer is only valid for new members of the Emerald Club program.

Other Credit Cards With Elite Status

If free elite status interests you, look into other credit cards that offer it. Several of Hilton’s co-branded American Express cards come with status, but the Aspire card delivers perhaps the best of any credit: Diamond status (Hilton Honors’ top tier making it worth the annual fee).

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card (formerly the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card) comes with free Silver Elite status in Marriott’s newly named Bonvoy program. It also makes it easier to reach Gold Elite by meeting a minimum spend requirement.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with comped Platinum Elite status while the World of Hyatt Credit Card adds free Discoverist status plus the option to get to higher levels for reaching certain minimum spending threads.

What’s even more interesting is that many rental car companies will match your elite status from a competitor. Why not sign up for National’s Executive Elite status now? If you prefer to rent with another company, you can try and do a free status match to their highest tier, too.

Ramsey Qubein

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