Virgin Australia Velocity Gold: Europcar, Hertz car hire perks

By Chris Chamberlin, October 24 2014

Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold card comes with perks such as priority boarding and lounge access, yet also unlocks some nifty freebies when hiring cars with Europcar or Hertz.

As a reward for countless hours of sitting in economy – or even just a few nice trips in business class – you can now choose between Europcar Privilege Executive status or an impressively-worded Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star card.

Both programs provide car type upgrades, priority assistance and rewards in return for your ongoing loyalty, but which is the best deal for business travellers?

Here’s how the elite car hire perks for Velocity Gold members stack up between Europcar and Hertz.

Europcar Privilege Executive

Europcar's Privilege Executive members enjoy the following:

  • Free car upgrades to the next booking category
  • A free weekend rental after 10 separate hires or rentals spanning 40 days
  • Express pick-up service with the flash of your driver’s licence
  • A priority assistance desk to skip queues at all major airports
  • 10% discount on hotel stays with Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and Mercure

To encourage Europcar’s corporate customers to make a pit stop on personal trips, Privilege members also get a free weekend hire after their third ‘leisure rental’, and a $30 Europcar coupon after the fifth.

(Leisure rentals are those booked on regular rates and tariffs, rather than hires with a company’s discount or corporate code attached.)

Those Audi rentals of yours are sure to turn heads...
Those Audi rentals of yours are sure to turn heads...

When gained through Velocity, Europcar Privilege Executive status is valid for 12 months. To keep it, you’ll need to have loaned at least 10 cars or hired for at least 40 calendar days over the previous two years.

That’s a great bonus for existing members of the Europcar scheme as it takes into account the rentals you made on your trek to Velocity Gold and adds them to your post-Gold journeys to work out your tier level down the track.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star

Across the road with Hertz, Velocity Gold members could instead grab a Gold Plus Rewards Five Star card for:

  • Free car upgrades to the next booking category
  • Earning 1.1 Hertz Rewards Points per US dollar spent (A$1.14)
  • Earning 600 Rewards Points after every 15 qualifying rentals
  • Free weekend day-only rentals starting at 500 Rewards Points
  • Express pick-up service with the flash of your driver’s licence
  • A priority assistance desk to skip queues at over 1,000 locations worldwide

As with Europcar, the comp’d Hertz status lasts for one year. If you’ve hired at least seven cars or have spent at least US$1,500 (A$1,706) with Hertz during that time, you’re all set.

Our call: Europcar Privilege Executive

Although Europcar’s scheme doesn’t incorporate earning points as you’ll find with Hertz, the Privilege free weekend rental benefits really pack a punch.

Let’s assume that you hire a car 10 times a year and pay A$100 a pop. With Hertz, that gets you roughly 877 Rewards Points, yet a free rental across the full weekend costs 2,000 Rewards Points.

Through Europcar, the same rentals would nets you that free driving weekend – and if at least three of your hires are for personal use, that becomes another free weekend.

With a more generous two-year membership assessment period and discounts at Accor’s major business hotels, gearing towards Europcar Privilege Executive is a real no-brainer.

For the icing on the cake, Virgin Australia frequent flyers hiring with Europcar on all corporate rates earn two Velocity points per Aussie dollar on time and kilometre charges within Australia and New Zealand, and a flat 400 Velocity points per rental in all other countries.

Corporate bookings made with Hertz, on the other hand, may or may not earn Velocity points at all – or where points are earned, the rate could be significantly reduced – again shunting Europcar even further into the lead for points-hungry high flyers.

So unless your corporate travel policy already has you locked in with Hertz, put a Europcar Privilege Executive card in your wallet and you’ll never look back.

Also read: Virgin Australia Velocity Gold: free VIP status with Hilton, IHG hotels

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Great thing to know Chris! Thanks a lot!

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