So, what’s this World Elite logo on my credit card?
Well, I have two cards with the World Elite benefits, so I decided to find out. Let’s start with some of the benefits that can you get you behind the wheel, or into a fresh set of wheels, depending on how you roll.
The World Elite Program
The World Elite program is essentially a system of travel benefits. These benefits obviously only apply to World Elite cards, but you have plenty to choose from. I happen to have two in my wallet: the Barclaycard Arrival+, and the Citi AAdvantage Executive card. In addition to the cards in my wallet, you can choose from the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select, the Citi Prestige, the Hawaiian Airlines Barclaycard, the JetBlue Plus Card from Barclay, you get the idea.
Between World Elite MasterCards, World MasterCards, and Visa Signature Cards there are plenty of options to put in your wallet for a few extra benefits. In the past, I’ve gotten some peace of mind from the 24/7 concierge service and travel interruption/accident insurance. For now, though, let’s take a look at a more tangible benefit.
Rental Car Status
With your World Elite MasterCard, you’re entitled to special discounts and status at multiple rental car companies. These include Sixt, National, Avis, and Budget. Although i don’t use rental car services often, I know this kind of benefit can definitely be useful for some kinds of travelers. Depending on the location you’re traveling to, it may help as well. Some areas are much more easily covered by car, than by taxis, public transit, or on foot.
Want to drive, but worried about the rental car insurance? Don’t worry, World Elite cardholders are covered for insurance too. Simply pay for the full transaction on your card, and then decline the rental car company’s insurance. MasterCard will take it from there. Remember, this may be easier said than done, but if you get a decent rental company, there shouldn’t be any issues. Always be sure to inspect the car before driving off the lot, and always read the rental agreement before you sign it.
World Elite MasterCard holders will benefit from a 15% savings on rental service worldwide, and complimentary Sixt Platinum membership. Platinum level is typically attained by renting with Sixt 10 or more times per year or 20 times per year, depending on your country of residence. Folks from the US, UK, Belgium, Spain, and France get the easier 10 rental requirements, while others have to hit that 20 mark. Platinum members receive free additional drivers within the continental US, and access to special savings as well.
If you prefer National, you’re looking at a 1 year membership at the Emerald Club Executive level, and up to a 25% savings on rental cars. Folks without the fancy logo on the MasterCards will need 12 paid rentals or 40 paid rental days to earn the benefits. Executive level earns the cardholder free guaranteed upgrades, and “midsize” rates for full-size cars. Remember though, the Emerald Club Executive membership only comes for one year.
Cardholders also qualify for a complimentary membership in the Avis Preferred Plus program, as well as up to a 20% savings on rentals. Members of the Preferred Plus circle receive complimentary upgrades whenever available, extra Avis Preferred Points for each dollar spent, and a members-only phone line for specialized customer service. Your average car renter can only earn Plus status by completing 12 rentals or spending $5,000 in a calendar year.
So there aren’t any Sixt, National, or Avis rental agencies where you’re going? If there’s a Budget, you’re still covered! You’ll get similar benefits here: up to 20% off, and complimentary enrollment in Budget’s Fastbreak program. Although, from what I can tell, the only true benefit from Fastbreak is that you can skip some lines and paperwork. Anyone can enroll in the Fastbreak program.
Limousine & Chauffeur Service
Oh, too fancy for a rental car, huh?
Don’t worry, your World Elite MasterCard still has you covered with limousine service from Sixt and Vitesse. Each company gives World Elite cardholders 20% off service and some added benefits. At Sixt, you’ll get a complimentary carseat for the kiddo, and a bottle water. Not much, but every little bit counts. Sixt has locations in 90 countries worldwide, so you’re covered when you need a ride.
With Vitesse, in addition to the 20% savings, cardholders are eligible for a complimentary carseat upon request, and a complimentary vehicle upgrade based on availability the day of your rental. Vitesse seems like the better deal, as a vehicle upgrade is usually worth more than a bottle of water. I’d take some Poland Springs over an Escalade in the desert though, so I suppose it depends on your situation..
I’m a walker, not a driver, so I don’t use these benefits frequently. For some travelers though, rental car and limousine benefits can be a huge help to their trip. I’m planning some adventures later this year, and think I will be taking advantage of the World Elite program’s partnership with Sixt.
When that day comes, you’ll be sure to hear about it! In the meantime, look for more posts in the World Elite series, and thanks for reading!