I first started using Avis as my favoured car hire people when driving around the USA became a thing for me.  They’re not often the cheapest.  The queues at the collection points are usually madness.  Their man in Washington DC looked at me like I was some sort of imbecile when I asked for instructions on how to drive an automatic.

Then I discovered the Avis Preferred loyalty scheme.  It requires online registration and you’re in.

The key perk for me was to be able to queue jump.  Most Avis airport car hire locations have two queues.  Pleb and Preferred.  The pleb queue tends to involve everybody who just exited the last three flights being served by one stressed operative.  The Preferred queue seems to involve me being seen instantly and getting the newest car in stock.  Indeed, in the USA it seems to involve getting a far better car than I’d booked.

And to be fair, queue jumping and better car make me happy.  So you can imaging the extreme level of excitement as I tuck into my afternoon outdoor Slovenian pizza to read an email from Avis saying that as I’ve used them three times since October I now qualify for a free weekend European rental.

Quite when I’ll take a Thursday afternoon to Monday morning break in Europe I’m not sure.  But the odds are that its going to happen at some point this year so this is certainly an unexpected bonus.  And one I’d completely forgotten about when I signed up.  I need to play this card carefully if possible.  Three days in Malta in March is £15 in value saved.  Three days in Iceland in March is over £150 in value.  There is a big gain to be made if I play it right.

After two further bookings I hit Avis Preferred Plus status.  I’m into the exciting realms of guaranteed cars, guaranteed upgrades and another free weekend European rental.

I never knew car hire could be this much fun!  And I get Avios for it!

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