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Delta Adds Hertz Status for All Medallion Elite Members

The new partnership will give Delta's frequent flyers greater opportunities for car rental upgrades among other perks

by Lauren Smith

February 1, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is upgrading its partnership with car rental company Hertz, giving all SkyMiles elite members premium status with Hertz and changing the way they earn miles with car rentals.

Previously, Delta’s mid-tier Gold Medallion elites were gifted Hertz Five Star status, while higher-class Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion elites could claim Hertz President’s Circle status. Silver Medallion members couldn’t match to a premium status with Hertz.

That’s now changing, with Silver Medallion members boosted to Five Star status with Hertz, alongside Gold Medallion members. With Five Star status, drivers can earn 25% Hertz Rewards points, one-class car upgrades (space available, meaning if the Hertz location has appropriate cars in stock), and access to a wider range of cars.

Photo: Courtesy of Obi – @pixel7propix

Platinum and Diamond Medallion elites still have access to Hertz’s President’s Circle, with 50% bonus points, guaranteed one-class car upgrades, the ability to choose from the widest range of cars, and a dedicated phone line.

Additionally, Delta is introducing a new earning structure on car rentals, which will earn some drivers more SkyMiles.

Previously, entry-level SkyMiles members earned a flat 500 SkyMiles per car rental through Hertz, either booked directly with Hertz, through Delta’s website, or through the Travel with Delta portal. Medallion members could earn up to 1,250 miles per rental, depending on their elite status.

Now, the price of your car rental (before fees and taxes) will translate directly into SkyMiles, meaning pricey car rentals will take you further.

The earning rate depends on your SkyMiles status:

  • Diamond Medallion: eight miles per $1
  • Platinum Medallion: seven miles per $1
  • Gold Medallion: six miles per $1
  • Silver Medallion: five miles per $1
  • SkyMiles member: four miles per $1

However, members renting cheaper cars for fewer days may earn fewer SkyMiles than they did under the previous system. For example, basic Sky Miles members could previously earn 500 miles by renting an economy car for $65 for a single day. Under the new system, that’s fallen to 260 miles.

Even elite members face a penalty for short, inexpensive rentals. Renting the same economy car previously earned them up to 1,250 SkyMiles. Now they’ll earn up to 520 SkyMiles.

However, if you spring for a luxury model or rent a car for many days, you really will benefit from what Delta is calling an “accelerated miles earn.”

A basic member renting that economy car for $65/day for two weeks will now earn 3,640 miles rather than 500, while an elite could rack up a maximum of 7,280 SkyMiles.

Photo: Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Commenting on the changes, Ai Stiver, vice president of merchandising and ancillary revenue at Delta, said, “We’re constantly looking for ways to make membership even more rewarding for our SkyMiles Members – whether in the air or on the ground.”

“SkyMiles benefits extend beyond on the flight, rewarding our Members through the whole journey. In partnership with Hertz, we are thrilled to extend status match and accelerated miles earn on Car rentals booked on or on our Fly Delta App.”

Laura Smith, executive vice president of sales and customer experience at Hertz, added, “Both Hertz and Delta are committed to bringing value to our mutual air and car rental customers while providing an exceptional travel experience.”