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Silvercar has been changing the rental car game since 2012 through a simple, straight-forward, customer- and technology-focused car rental experience. There was just one thing missing: a rewards program. But in August 2019, this changed with the launch of the Silvercar Premium Rewards program. And, starting last week, you can now track the Silvercar Premium Rewards program right in your AwardWallet account.
So, let's take a look at what sets Silvercar apart from the competition, and how the Silvercar Premium Rewards program works.
My Experience With Silvercar
Personally, I've been renting cars through Silvercar since November of 2015, because the value proposition has been solid! Even before the launch of the Premium Rewards loyalty program, Silvercar stood apart from the rest of the rental car operations.
I've found that Silvercar gives customers a premium product at a fair price, doesn't nickel and dime renters, avoids the hard up-selling, and uses the latest technology and applications to simplify the checkout experience. Simply, Silvercar makes everything as seamless as possible and exceed customer expectations.
In 2015, every rental was a new fully-loaded Silver Audi A4. Now, renters have the option between the Audi A4, the A5 Convertible, the Q5 Compact Utility Vehicle, and the larger Q7 Utility Vehicle, as well as other color choices like gray and black.
In some locations, Silvercar meets you at the airport terminal and drives you back to the rental facility to get your car. Once in the garage, you can actually unlock your vehicle by scanning the vehicle's bar code and registering it to your account through the Silvercar app (Apple App Store & Google Play).
There aren't any high pressure or sneaky sales tactics to purchase insurance coverage—which in many cases are already covered when using credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Not only that, but Silvercar has reasonable toll transponders (one-time $4.95 charge), and only charges market pricing for the fuel you used plus a nominal $10 fee.
Silvercar started separate from Audi, but in 2017, Audi acquired Silvercar and started adding even more locations across U.S. markets. As of May 2020, Silvercar has locations in 20 airports and 6 in-town locations:
While certain aspects of the experience have changed over time, Silvercar by Audi enhances the rental experience by including the following in all rentals:
- Refined upscale interior
- Built-in navigation system and satellite radio
- Latest tech including Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
- Standard All-Wheel Drive
- In-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi
For those who are looking seeking outdoor adventures, Silvercar offers complimentary surf or ski racks to carry and protect your gear at no additional cost.
Concerned about protecting your little ones but don't want to haul their car seats through the airport? Peg-Perego car seats and boosters will be provided upon request, so your children can arrive safe and in style. All of this starting at $49 per day!
With the loyalty program, it's even better.
How Silvercar Premium Rewards Works
The Silvercar Premium Rewards loyalty program is a revenue-based program. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent on the rental (excludes taxes, fuel, coverage, and other fees). Plus, you don't actually have to register for it; you're automatically registered with your first rental.
Not only that, but the points expiration period is one of the most generous around. To keep your points from expiring, you must have points activity at least once within the last five years. They also claim no blackout dates:
Last time we checked, there are 365 days in the year—that’s 365 days you can use your points. And yes, you guessed it—bonus day on Leap Year!
So what are your Premium Rewards worth? Silvercar states that:
Unlike other rewards programs, your points enable you to redeem rentals days fast. You can get a 1-day rental starting at just 516 points.
- Terms and limitations apply.
- Rental day is estimated at $49 and is subject to availability and rate changes.
That breaks down to roughly 9.5 cents per point ($49/516=.09496). As you'll see in an example below, this number may fluctuate a bit. However, as the program currently stands, you can figure on receiving 9.5% towards future rentals back for every dollar spent. You may be asking at this point, “How do I get started?”
Registering for Silvercar (Plus Discount Codes)
Click on this sign-up link to be directed to the registration site. If you use my referral link JPETROVIC, we'll both get $25 off our next rental.
If you have a rental that exceeds $125, you'll want to take advantage of some of these other codes:
- Get 20% Off your first rental using promo code: FIRST20
- Get 20% Off Use promo code: Y6CD20 (No exclusions for existing members)
Visa Infinite cardholders have access to the code VISAINF20, which can save you 20% on any rental. You can check here to see what level of discount you qualify for, as they state that you may be eligible for up to 30% off. Popular cards that qualify for this include the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and the United Club℠ Infinite Card. The The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card (also a Visa Infinite) is no longer available to new applications, but you may be able to product change from another Chase Marriott co-branded card if you’ve held it for more than one year.
Sometimes you'll find that you can Save On Silvercar Rentals With Amex Offers too! Don't forget that select Audi owners are also entitled to discounts. If you purchased or lease a 2019 or newer Audi on or after August 19, 2019, you're eligible for free days through the Always Audi program.
AwardWallet Tracks Silvercar Premium Rewards
Type in Silvercar to pull up the Premium Rewards program.
Once it's added, AwardWallet will display your balance.
Premium Rewards members have five years before risking points expiration. If you get close to losing points, AwardWallet will email you a reminder to generate activity to save your points. Don't forget that you can now import your expiration dates to your personal calendar.
How to Book (Cash or Points)
To start a booking, pull up the calendar and enter your trip details.
Once you've selected your destination and schedule, you'll see a toggle button to select how to pay.
Again you can see that the value of your points comes in between 9-10 cents each ($145/1526 = 9.5 cents per point). Unfortunately, there are two limitations to using points. First, you can't use your points to cover taxes and concession fees. I reached out to Silvercar, and this was their response:
So, while you can use your points to pay for the rental, any taxes and fees levied will still be charged to your credit card on file. The other drawback is that you can't apply discount codes to award bookings. When using points, you're paying the full retail cost of the booking. Using the VISAINF20 code listed above would save you on a cash booking.
Silvercar has long been a favorite amongst the Award Travel 101 Community, but the simplicity of the Premium Rewards program takes it to the next level. The fact that you can now track your balances using AwardWallet is exciting news for us!
I've loved my experiences with Silvercar. Have you tried Silvercar? If so, what are some of your favorite Silvercar experiences?
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