PARSIPPANY, N.J., Aug. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avis Car Rental has enhanced its customer loyalty program, Avis First, to offer members even greater flexibility. The Company announced that it has removed the blackout restrictions on its two-day weekend rental reward certificates, making it easier for Avis First members to redeem the certificates during holiday periods, around major events and in key markets such as the New York metropolitan area. "We continuously listen to our customers and strive to provide our loyal renters with valuable rewards that cater to their personal needs," said Jeannine Haas, chief marketing officer, Avis Budget Group. "We are pleased to announce that Avis First members can now use their weekend rental rewards at any time and at any place – making the program more rewarding than ever." Avis First members also benefit from free one-car-class upgrades when available; access to a members-only website, www.avisfirst.com, which tracks rental activity and reward redemption; a dedicated toll-free phone number; and access to special offers throughout the year. To be eligible for Avis First, residents of the United States and Canada must rent with their Wizard number and be enrolled in Avis Preferred, the Company's express rental program with service at more than 3,300 locations worldwide. When an Avis Preferred member has completed 12 qualifying rentals or 35 qualifying rental days in a calendar-year period, the member is automatically invited and enrolled into Avis First. Rentals at participating Avis locations worldwide can qualify for enrollment into Avis First and earning of weekend rental rewards. Upon activation of their Avis First membership, customers are e-mailed their first two-day weekend rental reward. Avis First member rentals are then tracked and coupons for subsequent two-day weekend rentals are automatically e-mailed after every fourth qualifying rental. Members may earn up to eight free certificates per calendar year. Certificates are valid at participating Avis locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.