How to Maximize Your Travel Savings With Expedia+
Loyalty programs are great for frequent travelers, they give you extra benefits just for staying a certain number of nights or taking frequent flights. If you find yourself traveling for business, or pleasure, a lot and don’t have a strong allegiance to one brand, you probably use one of the many online travel agencies to book your trips.
Expedia.com is one of most widely used travel websites and it also happens to have one of the best loyalty programs in the online travel space. In the middle of 2014 Expedia.com rebranded its loyalty program, calling it Expedia+.
Earning Travel Rewards Through Expedia+
Earning points with Expedia+ is extremely straightforward and simple. You will receive the following points for different types of bookings:
- 2 points for each $1 spent on hotels
- 1 point for each $5 spent on flights
- 2 points for each $1 spent on vacation packages
- 2 points for each $1 spent on activities
- 2 points for each $1 spent on cruises
Redeeming Your Expedia+ Rewards Points
Accrued Expedia+ points can be used toward discounted hotel stays, flights and even charitable donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
If you decide that you want to redeem your points for a discounted or free hotel stay, Expedia.com will deposit a coupon into your account to use on your next booking.
To redeem points for a flight, you will first need to search for the flight you want. The search results will show you the price of each flight in Expedia+ reward points. If you have enough points to cover your selected flight, you will be able to finish booking.
If you choose to donate your points, 3,500 points count toward a $25 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Expedia+ Membership Levels
Expedia+ has three different membership levels. Everyone first starts with +blue status. Next is +silver, which is reached after booking seven qualifying nights or spending $5,000 annually. The highest membership level is +gold, which members earn after 15 qualifying nights or spending $10,000 annually.
Here are the benefits you will get with these upgraded levels.
- 10 percent increase on points earned for eligible bookings
- Priority customer service
- Access to exclusive offers
- 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotel stays
- Access to dedicated Expedia local expert agents in Hawaii and Orlando
- Enjoy the same benefits as +silver members
- Additionally, receive 30 percent more points on eligible Expedia bookings
- +VIP Access Hotel upgrades and flexible check in and check out at over 1,400 hotels worldwide (when available)
Extended Hotel Price Guarantee
One of the standard benefits for Expedia.com is that it offers a $50 credit if you book a hotel and find it cheaper within 24 hours. As an Expedia+ rewards member, you can take advantage of the extended hotel price guarantee, protecting you until midnight the night before your stay.
Increase Your Points With Expedia+ Credit Cards
Those who want to earn more Expedia+ rewards points can sign up for either the Expedia+ Card or the Expedia+ Voyager Card. Both of these credit cards allow you to earn additional Expedia+ points beyond the standard membership guidelines.
With this card, you will earn 15,000 Expedia+ rewards bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months of being a card member. You will earn three points for every $1 you spend on Expedia flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages. For every other purchase you make, you will earn one point for each $1 spent.
You will earn automatic +silver status each year that you are a card member, along with one elite qualifying night toward +gold status for every $2,500 that you spend during a calendar year. This card has no annual fee.
Expedia+ Voyager Card
When you sign up for the Expedia+ Voyager Card, you will receive 25,000 Expedia+ rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will earn four points for each $1 spent for flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages on Expedia. You will then earn two points for every $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment, and one point on all other purchases.
As an Expedia+ Voyager Card member, you will automatically receive +gold elite status each year you have the card in addition to a $100 statement credit that more than offsets that $95 annual fee that comes with the card.
Each year that you are a card member and spend $10,000 on the card you will earn an additional 5,000 bonus points.
For anyone who is not tied down to one hotel or airline, the Expedia+ program is a great way to earn points that can be redeemed for discounted, or even free, vacations.
Photo credit: PortoBay Hotels & Resorts