My Experience Renting as a Hertz President’s Circle Member at Las Vegas International Airport

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There is something about renting a car that is very liberating. You plunk down a piece of plastic in the form of a credit card and you get to drive out with (usually) a beautiful ride. Car rental loyalty programs are trying to compete in this space but do their benefits actually deliver on what they promise? Read on to see how our dream experience with Hertz in Las Vegas actually looked like…


This post is one chapter on our trip during the end of the pandemic to Las Vegas, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us here or on social media through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more travel tips and hacks on how to “Upgrade Your Travels”.



My Experience Renting as Hertz President’s Circle Member at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport.


As a result of being one of those types that’s on the road for work a fair bit, I’ve had the opportunity to rent quite a few cars over the last fifteen years. I estimate that I’ve probably rented in the “hundred and hundreds” of cars.

After some really disorganized experiences with Alamo and Dollar, and some mucked up experiences with Avis, I’ve tended to stick with Hertz for most car rentals. For several years, they were really organized and well managed. They’ve slipped a little from their crown, but I haven’t seen a reason to fully change from them.

Generally, the upgrades are pretty good, if not outstanding. While booking an intermediate car, we’ve been upgraded into Mercedes SLK Convertibles…

Getting Upgraded into a Mercedes SLK as a Hertz President’s Circle Member – Los Angeles International Airport

…even a great brand new Volvo V60 station wagon with less than 4,400 kilometres on the clock.

Getting Upgraded into a Volvo V60 Wagon – Hertz President’s Circle Vancouver International Airport

About Hertz Gold Plus Rewards:

Since this space is about loyalty programs, Hertz offers a loyalty reward program called Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. The program is primarily designed to keep your driver’s licence, credit card and insurance preferences on file to allow for quicker rentals that allow for bypassing the legal formalities of the rental counter in many locations and allow you to get out on the road faster.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards also offers the ability to earn Hertz Gold Plus Reward points. While we didn’t typically get a lot of value from car rental points, they’ve recently delivered outsized value from travel when car rental prices escalated during the pandemic when many Hertz locations reduced their vehicle fleets, driving up car prices.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards offers three tier levels of Gold, Five Star and it’s top tier President’s Circle. It’s around the Hertz Presidents Circle level where the benefits get interesting.

Hertz President’s Circle Benefits:

Hertz’s highest tier level is Hertz President’s Circle. Hertz Presidents’ Circle offers the following benefits:

  • Upgrades: Guaranteed
  • Hertz Gold Rewards points earning: $1 = 1.5 points
  • Hertz Ultimate Choice: Widest Selection
  • Dedicated Hertz Reservation Line

With reward redemptions starting at about 950 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points, you’ll need a little bit of spend in order to get a free rental.

About Hertz Ultimate Choice:

My favorite feature of the Hertz rental experience is the Hertz Ultimate Choice feature found at airports where Hertz Gold Canopy service is offered.

Hertz Ultimate choice offers the ability to “pick from the best car in our newest fleet and go”. Airport locations in the united states offer the best versions of this, but there are select locations that do offer a great experience.

Hertz Car Rental Area – Toronto Pearson Terminal One

Typically, there is a sign board that designates the lot, along with a convenient monitor that indicates the location of your car. Dependent on the size of the lot, there is a correspondingly large zone.

Hertz President’s Circle Zone – Miami International Airport

There is also typically a sign information board that sets out the location of your car, in addition to any messages. Dependent on the size of the station correlates to the size and number of renters on the sign.

Hertz Information Board – Miami International Airport
Seeing “Presidents Circle” next to your name never really gets old
at Hertz Toronto Pearson International Airport

As a Hertz President’s Circle member, and as long as you rent an intermediate class car or better, I was able to choose any car in the aisle. As a result, there is usually something pretty good kicking around the lot.

Our Hertz’ President’s Circle Ride to the JW Marriott Miami
Picking Out an Infiniti Q50 as an Ultimate Upgrade

There are odd times when you get stuck with the usual boring junk, but it’s better than nothing. There are often a few compact Sport Utility Vehicles parked around, and usually a Dodge Charger or two.

Hertz President’s Circle – Ultimate Choice Section – Toronto Pearson
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My Experience at the Hertz Las Vegas Airport

For some reason, I was really looking forward to renting from Hertz at the Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport. The Harry Reid International Airport offers a massive off site rental car facility, with enough space and infrastructure to handle the most serious of car rentals. This usually means a large Hertz Ultimate Choice selection.

I had it in my mind that I would be strolling through the lot and enjoying a vast selection of wonderful cars before hopping in something really nice. Well – maybe there would have been a few junkers in there as well, but at least I imagined leaving in a convertible or something upscale.

I arrived to the Harry Reid Car Rental centre courtesy of the complimentary shuttle bus from the Harry Reid Terminal Three loading zone. I headed up to the President’s Circle area of the lot to enjoy the Hertz Ultimate Choice experience.

Unfortunately, when I got there, I found the Hertz Ultimate Choice lot totally empty.

Seeing Emptiness at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport

Within the empty lot, those within President’s Circle status were queuing for the first available car. Cars were being delivered into the lot freshly washed and being spit out and put back into service to the next available customer in line.

I didn’t want myself to get stuck with a new Chevrolet Suburban so i started to hope that I’d end up with a better car.

A Grey Caddliac CTS arrives. It gets scooped up by an elderly couple in their early seventies. Darn, that would have been great.

I’m next in line. . .

A massive white Ford Expedition arrives. I pass, and offer it to the people behind me.

They also pass. It sits idle in the parking spot.

A Ford Mustang Convertible arrives. Hmm. . .This could be okay.

I head around to the driver’s side. A lot attendent comes up to me and asks if this is okay?

I mention I have a Hertz $50 USD voucher from an earlier rental where I got a car with a damaged tire. I ask if I can redeem this at the exit kiosk, or whether I need to go to the office in the lot with my car number.

He asks me: Are you President’s Circle?

Yep.

How long is your rental?

“Just a Day…”

He says: I think you’ll be more comfortable in this thing…

He leads me over to the Ultimate Upgrade aisle and into a BMW 740i.

Yeah, this will work. . .

I give up the Mustang and its keys to the next couple in line.

I head into the office and get my $50 USD credit processed. I came out with the keys to this wonderful vehicle with a zero upgrade charge, all courtesy of Hertz President’s Circle status.

Even more entertaining, the navigation system offered photographs of the familiar Las Vegas hotel attractions. Regular visitors to Las Vegas will recognize the usual shapes and sizes of the MGM Grand, the Park MGM (Monte Carlo) and the curves of the Aria / Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Having Access to Wheels in Las Vegas:

While you can get away without a vehicle in Las Vegas, it’s super handy to have access to a car. We were able to get around and visit In – N – Out Burger; a Southern Californian originated favourite of ours.

Not withstanding a triple header concert of John Waite, Men at Work and Rick Springfield on Freemont Street on Saturday night.

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Returning at Las Vegas Harry Reid Rental Car Center:

At the end of it’s use, I would end up returning the car at the Las Vegas Harry Reid Rental Car Center before our flight home. While there were a few additional cars on Sunday evening, it was still pretty dry on the inventory at the Ultimate Choice Aisle.

It’s pretty amazing to see that when rental car companies shed their fleets as a result of the pandemic, it hasn’t really recovered. What would have been rows of upwards of a hundred cars are down to a small handful, if you are lucky.

I would end up heading off to The Club at LAS Lounge Las Vegas prior to my flight home.

My Thoughts on Hertz President’s Circle at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport:

While I was looking forward to an awesome selection of vehicles at the Hertz President’s Circle Aisle at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport, the experience was actually pretty pedestrian.

Instead of having wonderful rows upon rows of vehicles to choose from, the selection was exceptionally meagre with a “take what you can get” environment. Fortunately, thanks to a generous lot attendant, I ended up with probably the nicest upgrade of my Hertz President’s Circle rental history.


What is the nicest vehicle upgrade you’ve received while renting a car?

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