National Car Rental’s Emerald Club Celebrates 30 Years of Speed, Choice and Control

Thirty years ago today, National Car Rental introduced the car rental industry’s first frequent renter program – the award-winning Emerald Club. To celebrate, through the end of March, National fans can use the hashtag #EmeraldClub30Sweepstakes to tweet their favorite Emerald Club benefit and earn a chance to win one of 30 gift cards valued at $30 each.

Since it launched on St. Patrick’s Day in 1987, the Emerald Club has grown into one of the top loyalty programs in the industry. Today, members receive a host of first-class benefits, including expedited service at airports, their choice of rewards and free upgrades in National’s “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized or larger car. Members can also choose to receive EmeraldAlertsSM – emailed communications that include Arrival and Return Alerts, and Drop & GoSM service with convenient eReceipts.

“For 30 years, the Emerald Club has helped road warriors by offering convenience and control over their rental experience,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing for National Car Rental. “We’re proud to celebrate this milestone and are looking forward to what the next 30 years will bring.”

Over the past three decades, the Emerald Club has introduced and enhanced a myriad of member benefits. In 1988, National debuted its first Emerald Aisle. In 2004, it created the Executive and Executive Elite tiers, providing even more perks to frequent renters, including better vehicle upgrade options and the ability to earn free rental days faster. National then launched its mobile app in 2013 enabling members to more easily manage their Emerald Club profile, reserve a vehicle and track important rental information. At select airport locations, members can even view real-time inventory and hold a specific vehicle for 15 minutes through the app’s “Virtual Aisle” feature.

Global access to the Emerald Club has also grown. In 1996, the Emerald Club expanded to Canada. In 2014, National introduced Emerald Club Priority Service in Latin America and the Caribbean, offering expedited service for members via a dedicated line at the service counter, plus upgrades and the ability to earn free rental days. One year later, National launched Emerald Club Priority Service in Europe, letting members bypass the counter at major airport locations throughout the continent and earn credits toward free rental days. Today, road warriors can take advantage of Emerald Club benefits at more than 25 countries and territories around the world.

The Emerald Club is free to join. To enroll, visit