Digital Booking Sites

Expedia Gives Its Loyalty Program a Makeover

@denschaal

Jul 09, 2014 8:00 am

Skift Take

Expedia and Orbitz, which launched a rewards program in October 2013 geared to incentivize hotel bookings, are battling for consumer loyalties and competing against one another with these new programs.

— Dennis Schaal

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Expedia

Expedia is increasing loyalty points for mobile bookings. Expedia


Expedia.com has revamped its loyalty program, changing tiers and earning plans, as well as introducing the ability for program members to earn points on activities and cruise bookings on most major cruise lines.

The revamped rewards program, Expedia+ Rewards, enables members to earn two points for every dollar spent on a cruise booking, and separately debuts a +silver membership tier with perks such as 10% bonus points on eligible purchases and 250 additional points when booking certain hotels.

The more than 1,400 hotels, called +VIP Access hotels, also offer perks ranging from a bottle of wine to an upgraded or spa treatment. Hotels in the program tend to be similar to those found on Tablet Hotels — independent or boutique properties.

Expedia is also using program points as an incentive to book on its mobile app: Users booking via mobile get triple the points they would on desktop bookings.

Loyalty programs have been a missing link among the online travel agencies as consumers tend to bounce from site to site looking for the best deal with little regard to brand loyalty.

Expedia and Orbitz, which launched a rewards program in October 2013 geared to incentivize hotel bookings, are battling for consumer loyalties and competing against one another with these new programs.

“We continue to evolve Expedia+ Rewards to ensure it’s the best travel loyalty program for the way real people want to travel,” claims David Doctorow, vice president, global marketing, for Expeda.com “At the core of the program is our belief that the business trip you have to take to Ohio or that family trip you’d rather avoid but can’t should get you closer to that beach or ski trip of your dreams.”

The Expedia program enables members to earn two points for every buck spent on hotels, packages and activities. Flights don’t get equal treatment: Members earn only one point for every $5 spent booking flights.

Points in the Expedia+ Rewards program are redeemed for a dollar value that can be spent on Expedia.com. Unlike a hotel or airline program, there are no blackout dates.

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