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If you want the ability to skip the counter, pick your own car off the lot, and save some money along the way, then National is the car rental company for you. All you have to do is join National’s Emerald Isle program and find the best National Car Rental Discount Codes to apply to your next rental.
All the major car rental companies offer deals, promotions, and discounts. But they all do it a little differently and they don’t make the best discounts publicly available.
Don’t worry, we did a little research to help you out. Here is your guide to saving a lot of money on your next National Car Rental.
What is a National Car Rental Discount Code?
National has two types of discount codes: an “Account Number” and a “Coupon Code”. The Account Number is the National discount code used to identify a special rate for a corporate contract, association, coupon, or another special rate. A Coupon code is typically used for a free car class upgrade or possibly a rebate from a multi-day rental.
Here is a list of the latest National Discount Codes:
Here are some of the publicly available National Discount Codes and Coupon Codes. Just click the “Book Here” link to find the latest deals.
National Car Rental Corporate Codes
Corporate codes are heavily discounted rates negotiated between a company and National. These are a great way to save on car rentals, but you need to be very careful when using them.
Specifically, you need to make sure you’re eligible to use a corporate code before applying it to your next car rental. There are a lot of risks associated with using a code that you don’t qualify for. To begin with, you’ll most likely be asked for identification to prove you’re associated with the company whose code you’re using. If you can’t prove you are associated with that organization, there’s a good chance your rental will be denied.
Even more important, if you get into a car accident, you could have a big issue with your insurance claim if the rental is tied to a corporate account and their business insurance. Often times the claim will go back to the company with the negotiated rate, not to you. This could mean huge delays in getting reimbursement and possibly a claim denial.
I used to publish the most popular National corporate codes on this page but was asked to take them down since people were using them that were not qualified and were getting denied at the rental counter, as well as having other problems.
If you work for a major corporation, especially one that has a lot of travelers (IBM, Deloitte, E&Y, Accenture, etc..), make sure you contact your Human Resource or Corporate Travel Department as the savings can be huge when using these codes. Please just make sure you are associated with the company and qualified to use them!
If you do have a code from your company, go to the National Booking Page to apply the discount code that applies to you. Detailed instructions for entering the code are below.
You’ll have to manually apply these codes in the “Account Number” box after you click the link.
Student and Alumni Discounts
Another way to get a discounted National code is to check and see if your College or University has either an alumni deals page or a student benefits page that offers car rental discounts. As a Michigan State University alumni, I have access to discounts at Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, and National – the discounts can range from 10-30%.
With National, the MSU Corporate code provides a very good discount, close to what some of the best corporate codes offer.
Do a quick google search on your university and see what discounts you can come up with.
Before using one of these codes, double-check and make sure you are allowed to use the University Discount Codes on personal rentals. Some codes are published for business travel only, while others can be used for personal rentals. In some cases, the rental car company provides a separate code for personal use and business use. If you are in doubt, just call the National Reservations desk at 1 (877) 222-9058 and have them verify.
How to Apply a National Car Discount Code
When making your reservation you will see that National has a separate tab for the “Account Number /Coupons”. Click the little down arrow to reveal the Account Number and Coupon Boxes. The Account Number field is where you enter your discount code or corporate code. Just enter or paste the code number in the box and the discount and offer will automatically be applied to your reservation.
National’s Loyalty Program – Emerald Club
National Car Rental’s loyalty program is called the Emerald Club and it offers some of the best benefits in the industry. The Emerald Club is designed to make your car rental experience faster and more convenient. You can enjoy special privileges reserved for frequent renters every time you rent. My favorite perks are the ability to earn free days and the “one, two, free” promotions they run every year.
Other Ways to Save on Your Next Car Rental
Car Rental Discount Codes are not the only way to save when you rent a car. Here are a couple of other tips to consider when renting your next car.
Join the Loyalty Club
This is a no-brainer. Joining National’s loyalty program is free and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. Once you are a member, you can get great perks like “skip the line at the counter” and free upgrades
Rent with a Premium Credit Card
Premier credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, have rental car insurance benefits include which will allow you to bypass the added insurance fees the car companies will try to get you to purchase. Make sure your credit card offers “primary” rental car insurance coverage. My Sapphire Preferred Card saved me when I had an accident in Italy.
Rent Off Airport
I am not a huge fan of this option, since it can be quite inconvenient. However, you can save quite a bit by renting outside of the airport and avoiding all of the added fees that come with renting at the airport, especially if you are looking for a weekend rental.
Don’t prepay for Gas
It’s easy to get sucked into thinking that the lower-priced prepaid gas is a good deal. It isn’t. When you prepay for gas you are paying for a full tank. The odds of you using every last bit of gas before you return are very low. Fill the tank up several miles outside the airport and you will be better off.
Consider booking through an airline portal
Many major airlines have partnerships with rental car companies, offering drivers discounts, the ability to earn miles, and more when you book the car rental through their portal.
You can also book a vacation package through your airline. Any time you can package your flight with a car rental and/or hotel stay, there is an opportunity for additional savings.
National Car Rental “Rack Rates” are extremely expensive. Hopefully, this article gave you some good ideas to save on your next trip.
Ways to Save with Other Rental Car Companies
If you don’t want to rent from National, here are some ways to save with the other major rental car companies:
- Avis – The Best AWD Codes to Save with Avis
- Alamo – The Best Alamo Discount Codes
- Budget – The Best BCD Codes to Save with Budget
- Enterprise – The Best Enterprise Discount Codes or Enterprise Weekend Special Deals
- Hertz – The Best CDP Codes to Save with Hertz
- National – The Best National Discount Codes
- How to Save with AAA Car Rental Discounts
Tim is a business road warrior and avid leisure traveler who has flown over two million miles in the air and spent well over a thousand nights in hotels. He enjoys sharing tips, tricks, and hacks to help readers get the most out of their travel experience and learn how to “travel like a pro”!