Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: get Europcar, Hertz VIP status

By Chris C., January 29 2015
Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: get Europcar, Hertz VIP status

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer Platinum status is about more than airport lounge access – you’ll also drive away with a free elite membership with Europcar or Hertz.

On reaching Platinum for the first time, you’ll be invited to accept either a Europcar Privilege Elite or an impressively-worded Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle card.

Both schemes afford basic benefits such as an upgraded rental car and priority assistance at the airport, but which is best for business travellers?

Here’s how the car hire perks stack up for Velocity Platinum members with Europcar and Hertz.

Europcar Privilege Elite

Europcar's Privilege Elite members enjoy the following:

  • Free ‘double’ car upgrades to the second-next booking category
  • A free weekend rental after 10 hires or 40 rental days
  • A further weekend rental after 25 hires or 85 rental days
  • A free additional listed driver on every rental
  • 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 at Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and Mercure hotels

Encouraging business travellers to hire cars when holidaying around the globe, Privilege members – whether new to the program or with a shiny card – also get a free weekend car hire after their third ‘leisure rental’.

That’s anything booked on publicly-available rates and tariffs as opposed to with corporate discount code attached, with a $45 coupon up for grabs after the fifth rental.

Through Velocity, Europcar Privilege Elite status is valid for 12 months only – to retain it, you’ll need to have loaned at least 25 cars or hired for at least 85 calendar days over the previous two years.

That’s of great benefit for existing members of Europcar’s Privilege scheme, as it reflects the journeys you’ve taken on your way to Velocity Platinum and also those after reaching Velocity’s highest frequent flyer tier.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle

Down the street with Hertz, Velocity Platinum members could instead opt for a Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle card for:

  • Free guaranteed car upgrades to the next booking category, yet not beyond ‘Full Size’
  • Guaranteed vehicle availability
  • Earning 1.25 Hertz Rewards Points per US dollar spent (A$1.23)
  • Earning 600 Rewards Points after every 15 qualifying rentals
  • Free weekend day-only rentals starting at 550 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

As with Europcar, free Hertz status lasts for one year. If you’ve hired at least 20 cars or have spent at least US$4,000 (A$4,925) with Hertz during that time, you’re all set.

Our call: Europcar Privilege Elite

While we’d normally lean towards a scheme with points versus one without, the free weekend rental benefits with Europcar Privilege really add up – and make earning points for free rentals somewhat irrelevant.

For example, let’s say you hire cars 10 times per year and pay A$100 each time. With Hertz, you’d earn around 1,015 Rewards Points, yet you’d need 1,650 Rewards Points for one free rental that covers you for a full weekend away.

Through Europcar, the same number of hires earns you that free driving weekend – and if at least three of those 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 Elite is a real no-brainer.

Through Europcar’s partnership with Velocity, members of both programs can earn two Velocity points per Aussie dollar spent 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.

It makes sense to choose Hertz if that’s where you’re limited to by your corporate travel policy, but if you’re given a choice in rental cars, Europcar’s Privilege Elite status is our top pick.

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

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 144

My Father is a Europcar Privilege Elite and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle. He doesn't know much about Frequent Flyer Programs, Could he create a Virgin Velcoity account, and would he be able to link the two?

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

I already had the Hertz Gold membership when I reached Velocity Gold so I went with Europcar. What a hassle to set up! With prices far higher than Hertz I've yet to actually book a Europcar. 

For most leisure travellers I doubt the free gifts after 15-20 rentals per year will apply so whilst it looks good it won't get used much so is really a 'pseudo' benefit

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