When it comes to renting a car, I tend to stick to the large car rental companies. I guess it’s just because I’m comfortable with them. You also don’t want to be halfway through your vacation and have your car break down. More importantly, if it does, you want to be able to find a representative of the company somewhere nearby.
I’ve seen Sixt car rental come up on searches I’ve made with Autoslash when looking for the cheapest car rental in an area. They’ve never been that much cheaper and since I’m usually able to get additional benefits from National, Avis or Hertz because of credit cards I hold, I was willing to pay the extra few dollars for the peace of mind.
Eventually, I had a rental where Sixt came up with the cheapest price. I’m not talking a few dollars cheaper, I’m talking a nice dinner amount cheaper.
I researched what benefits I could get from Sixt Rent A Car.
Sixt is not a new, nor a small company. As per Wikipedia, Sixt is a European-based company that currently has over 4,000 locations in 105 countries and they’re the largest car rental company in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Israel. They started to branch out into the United States with a few locations but now have a large footprint at many major U.S. airports.
The first thing I did before booking my rental was to sign up for Sixt’s Express Card program. Enrollment is free, so there’s nothing to lose.
After that, I started looking for what cards might provide benefits for Sixt. It didn’t take long before I found articles online saying you can get Platinum status just by having a World Elite Mastercard. I headed to the Mastercard World Elite website.
There’s a ton of benefits listed on this page but while there used to be a selection offering Sixt Platinum status, it’s no longer there.
I dug a little deeper and went to travel.mastercard.com, the “lifestyle managers” for Mastercard. Just to get to the website, I had to enter my Mastercard number. I used the number from our Citi Premier card but any World Elite Mastercard should work.
Then I had to make an account. After logging in, I searched for Sixt Car Rental and found a 15% off offer but still no Platinum status.
Only when I clicked on the box did I get to see all the benefits:
From here, my only choice was to click a box and contact a Lifestyle Manager.
I received an email shortly thereafter saying one of their representatives would be contacting me within 24 hours but the usual wait time is 2-3 hours. Since it was 1AM, I turned my phone on silent, just in case.
No calls in the middle of the night, but by noon the next day, I received an email. (Bold type is for emphasis).
Thank you for using the Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services online platform to inquire about our car rental upgrade/discount with Sixt.
Drive in style with Mastercard cardholder-exclusive discounts and benefits
Sixt, one of the leading worldwide mobility service providers with rental locations in over 115 countries, has been offering its expertise and experience for over 100 years. With the best selection of vehicles ranging from compact cars, convertibles, SUVs and luxury cars to vans and trucks, Sixt has the perfect option to suit your needs.
Book with Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services to receive complimentary access to Sixt Platinum status, which includes:
- Savings of up to 15% on Sixt rent a car/rent a truck worldwide
- A complimentary upgrade to the next highest car group subject to availability
- Preferred reservation priority
- Access to special Sixt Platinum counters/parking lots at select airports/stations
If you would like us to assist with the upgrade to SIXT Platinum status please reply to this email or call us anytime with your SIXT Express number. It will be our pleasure to assist you with your request.
You could jump through all the hoops just to get the email to reply to or just call them. The phone number to call to upgrade to Sixt Platinum status is 855-802-1387
When I called to upgrade I was connected to a representative after a short hold. I told him that I read about getting Platinum status with Sixt and asked how could I sign up. The representative was very helpful and said he could get me signed up for Sixt’s renter program and then he could put in for my upgrade. I explained that I already signed up for a Sixt account online and he replied, “Well that’s most of the hard work. All I need is your membership number and I’ll forward the information to get you upgraded.”
I was then asked for my Mastercard World Elite account number. Now, I could have given him our Citi Prestige card number but I wanted to see if I could get the same benefits with a less expensive card. I noticed that the JetBlue Plus card from Barclays is a Mastercard World Elite card. I gave this account number and after he verified the account was valid, the process was started.
I was told that the Mastercard concierge team would forward my information to Sixt who would then manually upgrade my account to Platinum status. The process would take four to six weeks. Wait, what???
What system can take up to 45 days to process an upgrade? Our rental was several months away so waiting wasn’t a problem for us. Still, I was shocked at how long this would take. I can’t imagine how anything could ever take that long as even if you had to email someone a name, it should be done within a week.
I’m happy to say that my online Sixt account was upgraded to Platinum within just a few days and it took about 4 weeks for me to receive my Sixt Platinum card in the mail (yes, they really do still send out membership cards).
If you want to know if your card offers Mastercard World Elite benefits, I’m really not sure. I know that our Citi ThankYou Prestige and Citi Thank You Premier are both World Elite Cards. The same goes for my Barclays JetBlue Plus card and Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red card. I’ve looked online but can’t find a definitive list. My suggestion is to just look at your card and if it says World Elite, you’re good.
For this experience so far, the Mastercard World Elite concierge was very nice. He even emailed me a follow up when the upgrade was processed (I noticed the status had changed online long before the concierge emailed me). Sixt sent me a Platinum card, as promised.
If you’d like to read about how our rental went, check out my review: Our experience renting a car from Sixt in San Antonio.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary