Air Canada‘s Aeroplan elite status holders can now request a complimentary status upgrade in the Avis Preferred® program, extending the value of the status earned to rental cars as well. The status match program is effective immediately and members can register here.
Perhaps most notable in the program, however, is not that an airline and rental car company partnered. That’s happened many times before. This time around, however, Aeroplan makes it clear that some cobrand credit card holders are being treated just like top tier elites, even if they don’t hold the status. Members holding one of the premium Aeroplan credit cards get the same Avis President’s Club status match as the 75K or Super Elite members of the program.
This is hardly the first time airlines have extended some form of benefits comparable to elite status for co-brand credit card holders. United Airlines, for example, has offered similar bonus levels in some promotions for cardholders and elites. Or better discounts for cardholders than for non-cardholders when putting a reward route on sale.
Elite status earned in the traditional ways still confers more benefits. And for the truly frequent traveler that version of status typically remains the most valuable. But airlines continue to tease out the elite-light benefits for credit card holders, further blurring that line.
In the end, it probably doesn’t matter too much. The theoretical erosion of benefits that comes from giving things to the cardholders has not yet moved into the realm of real impact in the delivery of benefits while flying. And Avis certainly does not mind the opportunity to snag loyalty from consumers who have already demonstrated a willingness to pay extra to affiliate with brands they feel strongly about.
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