Virgin Velocity Gold/Platinum flyers get free car hire, upgrades

By danwarne, August 31 2011

Virgin Australia's relaunched Velocity Rewards scheme is cleverly getting a jump on the market-leading Qantas Frequent Flyer by extending the benefits for free top-tier members to hotels, and now, car hire.

As we detailed yesterday, being a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer with Virgin Australia will earn you equivalent status with Hilton HHonors or Intercontinental Priority Club -- which means free broadband, room upgrades, point-earning bonuses and discounts on reward stays with the hotels.

However, on top of that, Velocity members are also eligible for an 'elite' membership with either Europcar or Hertz, giving a range of benefits including car type upgrades (book a small car, get upgraded to a standard-size car), discounts on rental rates, and more.

As it happens, Europcar's upper-level members also get status-matching with Accor Hotels' reward program: so if you pick Europcar's scheme, you can enjoy elite membership with Accor along with your choice of Hilton or Intercontinental (through Velocity).

Which rental car program is better for Velocity Gold members?

Velocity Gold members have the choice of enrolling as a Europcar Privileges Privilege Executive member, or a Hertz #1 Club Gold Five Star member.

Here's how they stack up against each other:

Europcar Privileges Privilege Executive

  • One car category upgrade (up to standard class)
  • up to 20% discount on international car hire leisure rates
  • Guaranteed reservation
  • Express pick-up service: pre-printed rental contract, keys delivered upon presentation of driver's license without any other formalities
  • Special rates at participating Accor hotels and direct access to Accor’s A|Club Gold card loyalty program (which offers a room upgrade, late checkout to 4pm, a welcome drink and a gift each stay)

Hertz #1 Club Gold Five Star

  • A one-car-class upgrade (where available).
  • A free rental day voucher after 20 rentals
  • Express pick-up with presentation of drivers licence only

Europcar's Privilege Executive membership is obviously more valuable than Hertz #1, with its reciprocal Accor Hotels membership, 20% discount on leisure rental rates on top of Hertz #1 Club's Five Star benefits.

Which rental car program is better for Velocity Platinum members?

Europcar Privileges Privilege Elite

  • One free weekend rental per year
  • A free upgrade to full-size car category (where available.)
  • up to 30% discount on international car hire leisure rates
  • Guaranteed reservation
  • Express pick-up service: pre-printed rental contract, keys delivered upon presentation of driver's license without any other formalities
  • Special rates at participating Accor hotels and direct access to Accor’s A|Club Gold card loyalty program (which offers a room upgrade, late checkout to 4pm, a welcome drink and a gift each stay)
  • Free additional driver for each rental

Hertz #1 Club Gold Presidents Circle

  • A guaranteed one-car-class upgrade up to a maximum of premium-auto level (where available).
  • Guaranteed booking
  • A free rental day voucher after 20 rentals
  • Express pick-up with presentation of drivers licence only

Europcar Privileges Privilege Elite membership is clearly better than Hertz #1 Club Gold Presidents Circle -- amazingly, it offers a free weekend rental, 30% discount on leisure rental rates, and reciprocal membership of Accor's gold membership. 

Burning Velocity Rewards points on car hire

Of course, in addition to the free benefits above, Velocity Rewards members have long trumpeted the ability to burn points on car hire as an important benefit compared to Qantas Frequent Flyer. 

Currently, Europcar is Virgin's only partner for car hire rewards, but Hertz and Thrifty are coming onboard as new partners too.

You can see how many points you would need to book different kinds of cars at the Velocity Rewards website.

aqua

aqua

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 43

you say Europcar is the best, but from a cars only perspective, they upgrade you from a max of standard, whereas Hertz upgrade form a max of fullsize. So it depends if you are a standard or full size hirer

Agreed, the Accor Club is a persuasive non car benefit of Europcar


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