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Do National Car rental credits or free days expire? The simple answer is no and yes, respectively.
According to the National Car Rental FAQ page, National rental credits do not expire. However, once you have accumulated enough credits, your credits are converted to a Free Day. According to the FAQ page, Free Days expire on December 31 of the year after being issued.
How Many Credits for a Free Day?
How many credits you need to earn a free rental day depends on your status within the Emerald Club.
- Basic Emerald Club members require 7 credits for a Free Day.
- Executive Emerald Club members require 6 credits for a Free Day.
- Executive Elite Emerald Club members require 5 credits for a Free Day.
Plan Your Rentals Carefully
With a complex structure, you will have to give your car rental plans a little forethought and planning. If you know you won't rent a car from National Car Rental over the next year or so, and if you are close to being awarded a Free Day, you may opt to switch allegiance and rent from a different company.
Why? Your National Car Rental credit balance will remain as credits that do not expire, instead of being converted into a Free Day with a ticking expiration counter.
National also has an interesting credit-earning policy that ultimately penalizes longer rentals. Rentals of 1-7 days earn 1 credit, while rentals of 8 days earn 2 credits, and rentals of 12 days or more earn the number of days divided by 4. A 12-day rental, for example, gives you 3 credits.
This creates an unusual situation. If you need a car for 12 days, you could do a 12-day rental and earn 3 credits. On the flip side, you could make 4 separate rentals of 3 days and earn 4 credits. Even smaller reservations would earn even more credits.
With unusual earning and expiration policies, the Emerald Club is a unique program. To get the most out of your rentals, you should keep your rentals as short as possible (1 to 2 days). To maximize the lifespan of your credits, you should try to time your rentals to maintain your balance as credits for as long as possible. This is because National Car Rental credits do not expire, but Free Days do.
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