How I rented a $100,000 BMW for $3 a day

I could not consider it after I drove the 2022 BMW 740i rental automobile — BMW’s flagship sedan — out of the Nationwide Automobile Rental facility.

Merging on to the Dulles Toll Street, I used to be greeted with an astonishing quantity of energy in an outstandingly comfy cabin. The autobahn-built govt sedan glided over each pothole that Washington, D.C.’s roads might throw at it, due to the sleek adaptive suspension and plush Dakota leather-based upholstery.

However the very best half? My three-day rental price a grand whole of simply $10.10, due to leveraging my elite standing and free rental days from Nationwide.

Here is how I used free days to lease a $100,000-plus BMW 7 Sequence — and the way you would possibly be capable of do the identical.

Nationwide Emerald Membership standing


Nationwide Automobile Rental lets its members select from an aisle of vehicles at nearly all areas. All of the vehicles on the aisle are the identical value; you decide your most well-liked automobile, the keys are inside and also you merely current your driver’s license on the exit.

Nationwide has three revealed elite tiers: Emerald Membership, Government and Government Elite. There’s additionally an invitation-only VIP tier, which has particulars which are largely unknown to the general public.

These are among the key advantages of Nationwide Emerald Membership standing:

Emerald Membership Government Government Elite
{Qualifications} Free to hitch, open to the general public. 12 paid leases or 40 rental days in a calendar yr. 25 paid leases or 85 rental days in a calendar yr.
Free day accrual fee One free day each seven credit. One free day each six credit. One free day each 5 credit.
Choose any automobile on the Emerald aisle if you reserve a midsize or increased Government aisle. Government aisle.
No second driver charges
Assured upgrades if you reserve a full dimension by means of a luxurious automobile
Assured car As much as full dimension with 24-hour discover.

In follow, I’ve discovered Government Elite standing much better than it seems on paper. This yr alone, I have been upgraded on all of my leases, routinely to German luxurious vehicles.

My Nationwide automobile leases this yr. NATIONAL APP

Throughout a current rental at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Worldwide Airport (SJC) in California, the Nationwide agent requested me for my final identify as I walked as much as the Government aisle. After noting my Government Elite standing, he instructed me that any automobile on the lot was mine.

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Associated: Your information to incomes, redeeming and loyalty with Nationwide Emerald Membership

Standing match


You do not must be a frequent renter to get Nationwide elite standing.

Even if you happen to’ve by no means rented with Nationwide earlier than, you might be eligible for Government Elite standing out of your first rental. After enrolling within the Emerald Membership program without cost, you may submit a standing match by going to this web page. In keeping with the corporate web site, if you happen to maintain standing with any of over 40 applications (together with American AAdvantage, United MileagePlus and Hilton Honors), Nationwide will improve your standing without cost. You will want to supply a screenshot of your standing, together with your identify, present elite standing and your standing expiration date.

Do not have elite standing but? You may earn lodge elite standing — most of which match to Nationwide — with a wide range of totally different playing cards. Likewise, each The Platinum Card® from American Specific and The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Specific embody Nationwide Government standing as a advantage of the cardboard.

By offering Nationwide with my United Premier 1K membership, I used to be granted Government Elite standing inside 24 hours that’s legitimate for over two years.

In keeping with, 92% of Nationwide standing matches had been authorised. Whereas these outcomes are self-reported, submissions point out that Nationwide will even match mid-tier statuses like Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite to Government Elite standing. Nationwide is even mentioned to grant standing matches if you happen to maintain standing from one other rental automobile program.

Associated: The entire information to automobile rental elite standing matches

Nationwide free days

Members earn free days for any automobile class with no blackout dates. As an Government Elite member, you may earn one free day after each 5 rental credit you earn.

You will earn one rental credit score on leases between one and 7 days. You may calculate your rental credit score accrual by dividing your whole rental days by 4 for leases which are eight or extra days.

For instance, a rental of eight days earns two rental credit, whereas a rental of 12 days earns three rental credit.

To redeem a free day out of your Emerald Membership account, choose “Redeem Days.”


You may reserve as much as a Premium Elite SUV (BMW X3 or comparable) utilizing your free day(s).


I used three free days for my rental to e book a Premium Elite SUV. After I picked up my automobile, the agent checked my reservation. I requested if a sedan was out there since I choose driving sedans to SUVs — and to my astonishment, he walked me over to a BMW 7 Sequence.

Associated: by no means pay full value for a rental automobile

Driving the BMW 7 Sequence

As a automobile fanatic, there is not any model I choose to BMW.

Whereas my compact BMW 230i again residence pales compared to the 7 Sequence rental, the driver-focused expertise remained the identical.

Stepping inside, I used to be greeted by a good-looking three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters, however the cabin’s centerpiece is the iDrive 7.0 infotainment system providing gesture management, wi-fi CarPlay and encompass view cameras.


When night time falls, the temper lighting makes for an upscale environment, reminding me of Virgin America’s notorious purple lights. Naturally, the colour of the lights will be personalized.


I drove deep into the upscale Northwest D.C. neighborhoods surrounding American College and the automobile felt proper at residence. The one factor that was lacking was a international dignitary within the backseat.


Stepping out of the automobile for a fall foliage stroll in D.C.’s Rock Creek, I seen the discreetly positioned “harman/kardon” brand adjoining to the door body. I later discovered that there have been two subwoofers and 16 audio system situated all through the automobile.


A lot to my dismay, the automobile needed to be returned. After I obtained the receipt, I used to be struck by sticker shock seeing that the automobile would have price $897 for 3 days earlier than taxes and costs.

E-mail from Nationwide Automobile Rental. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Trying again at it, I nonetheless cannot consider I spent 72 hours with this epic automobile for simply $10.10.

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Backside line

As one who holds top-tier standing with Hertz, Avis and Nationwide, each rental I full with Nationwide reaffirms my affinity for the Emerald Membership program and my loyalty to Nationwide.

Along with giving its members an aisle of vehicles to select from, Nationwide offers beneficial free days — with no blackout dates — that can be utilized to redeem a BMW X3 or comparable for “free.” In the event you’re given an improve together with your standing like me, you simply would possibly end up driving the automobile of your desires.

To obtain comparable advantages, enroll within the Emerald Membership program and request a standing match.

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