Last Updated on January 31, 2021 by Michael
Arrive at any major airport or train station in Europe, and you’re guaranteed to see a Europcar location. What’s not always appreciated is that Europcar is a true global company, with sites on six continents and a free loyalty program called Europcar Privilege.
There are benefits to membership but, unfortunately, there’s a significant limitation. Unfortunately, the program’s benefits only kick in if you book directly through Europcar’s website or by phone.
The Four Tiers of Europcar Privilege
The loyalty program has four tiers, each of which stacks benefits on the previous level:
- Club, the base level, gives a free weekend after three rentals each year. There’s also a 10 euro voucher after two rentals.
- Executive, achieved at 10 rentals (or 40 days) in two years, adds a 20 euro voucher after the fifth rental. Plus there is a one-class upgrade (subject to availability).
- Elite, achieved at 25 rentals (or 85 days) in two years, adds a 30 euro voucher after the fifth rental. You also get a two-class upgrade (subject to availability) and an additional driver.
- Elite VIP, achieved at 40 rentals in two years, adds a 30 euro voucher after the fourth rental. It also includes a PriorityPass membership.
Each of those tiers promises benefits with a lot of footnotes:
Overall, the program sounds great. First, you are eligible for a free weekend of up to three days after three rentals in each status tier. Also you get a free weekend each time your status tier is upgraded. But according to the Europcar’s Terms and Conditions, only “public rates” count toward the free weekends, dollar-off vouchers, additional drivers, and that PriorityPass membership.
Europcar has its own definition of “public”:
- any non-discounted rate obtained via a booking made directly through Europcar’s website or call center
- rates obtained via bookings made on a partner microsite
- temporary promotions published via banners on Europcar sites
Public rates do not include:
- rates obtained via any indirect website or indirect booking source
- corporate negotiated flat rates
- promotional rates
The Pros and Cons of Europcar Privilege
Europcar offers expedited counter service, which is key for a stress-free rental experience. In addition, you can elect to earn frequent flyer miles on rentals, and there’s a 15 percent discount available for Accor hotels.
On the downside, only reservations booked through the Europcar website or by phone are eligible to accrue the primary benefits. We typically see this “direct booking” requirement with smaller discount rental car companies, such as ACE Rental Genius.
The free upgrades for renters with executive or higher status are based on availability. They can’t be combined with the “Free Three-Day Weekends.” And those free weekends are booked into ACRISS code class CDMR. That translates to a compact, 4-door car with manual transmission and air conditioning.