Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been busy talking to our over 5 million Expedia® Rewards members to hear from you about what you like in a travel loyalty program and how you’d like to see our program get better for you. We asked you to share and we’re so grateful at how many of you took the time to tell us what matters most to you about Expedia Rewards. You told us that one of the reasons you book through Expedia is saving money on packages and you want to get rewarded for that. You told us that your hotel experience can make or break your vacation and that you want us to be your partner in making sure you have the best hotel stay you can. You told us that you value being able to get all of your airline points while still being able to add to your Expedia Rewards points bank. And you told us you wanted to redeem your points sooner.
We’ve introduced several changes to the Expedia Rewards program, and with more new changes this month, we wanted to take the time to reintroduce you to Expedia Rewards. So here are 10 things you may not know about Expedia’s unique traveler loyalty program:
1) Redeem your points faster. With the changes to the Expedia Rewards program, you can now redeem your points earlier and faster. We’ve just introduced a $25 hotel coupon in exchange for 3,500 points. You can get double the value – a $50 coupon for 3,500 points – when you book your hotel at one of our more than 1,400 VIP Access® hotels through December 31, 2013.
2) Have your airline mileage points cake and eat it too. When you book your flight through Expedia and you’re signed up with an airline’s own loyalty program, you get the loyalty program points for your airline and, as a bonus, you get extra points added to your Expedia Rewards account, 1 point for every $5 you spend on your flight if you book the flight all by itself as a standalone ticket.
3) Maximize your points by saving money. Wait, what? That’s right. One of the biggest reasons to book your travel through Expedia is our ability to help you save money by booking a package. A package is when you book your hotel and your flight together at the same time and, on average, people who book this way are saving up to $500, and sometimes more! This is really big savings you can either pocket or reinvest in your trip to book that spa appointment, snorkeling excursion, or special dinner that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. With the Expedia Rewards program, we give you even more reasons to book your travel together at one time. Instead of getting 1 point for every $5 you spend on your airfare, if you book it alone, you get 2 points for every dollar you spend on a package. On average, people who book a standalone air ticket get 135 points, whereas people who book a package earn 2922 points through Expedia Rewards; and that’s on top of your airline mileage points that you still get to keep. Save money and earn more points faster. Talk about a great way to maximize your dollars.
4) Get treated like a VIP at top hotels. Earlier this year, we combined the Expedia Rewards program and your Elite Plus program so that Elite Plus members are now the top tier Expedia Rewards customers. The program comes with a lot of benefits, but from what you told us, your favorite benefits are the ones that make your hotel stay even better. That’s because Elite Plus customers get upgrades based on availability at over 1,400 hotels in our VIP Access® hotel network. Some of the best hotels in the world are part of this program, like the Armani Dubai, The Goring in London, Aqua Cancun, Antiche Figure in Venice, and the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. Who wouldn’t dream of staying at one of these spectacular hotels, especially when you get a chance for a room upgrade? More than that, over 500 of these VIP Access hotels offer our Elite Plus members other exclusive amenities, such as spa discounts and free drinks. Hello, fabulous!
5) Get your own Batphone for customer service. Elite Plus customers also get priority customer care from one of our dedicated Elite Plus travel specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – a great perk for frequent travelers, whether you’re traveling for business, pleasure, or a little bit of both.
6) Earn points in your own backyard. Whether you’re on a vacation or just a staycation, Expedia can be your BFF beyond just the travel basics. Expedia offers a whole range of activities, like snorkeling, seeing a show, taking a city tour, going on a helicopter ride, or even skydiving. With the changes to Expedia Rewards this year, you can now earn 2 points every time you book an activity through Expedia. There are more than 3500 activities to choose from so get out there and go!
7) Feel confident you got the best price. Part of the Expedia Rewards promise includes our Hotel Price Guarantee, which means that if you’re a member of the program, if you find a lower price on a hotel online (even up to the night before you travel), we’ll match it. It’s a nice bonus just for Expedia Rewards members on top of Expedia’s already strong Best Price Guarantee program.
8) Help your friends, earn points for yourself. Whether you’re booking for business or pleasure, it pays to lend a hand. As the travel arranger in a group, you can book your friends or coworkers’ travel for them and earn points for yourself.
9) Redeem for the trip of your dreams. The Expedia Rewards program gives you several ways to redeem your points. You can redeem your points to get a hotel coupon up to $1000 or turn your points into an airline ticket. There are also special opportunities to redeem points for exclusive experiences. Recently Expedia Rewards members were able to participate in auctions for a New York food and wine experience, including dinner with a top chef, a Napa Valley wine tasting extravaganza, and an opportunity to golf with a pro in Las Vegas.
10) Get access to exclusive offers. There’s nothing better than surprising the ones you love and we couldn’t love our Expedia Rewards customers more, so from time to time, we offer exclusive programs, like bonus points on hot destinations, trip giveaways, and our Around the World in 100 Days program going on now.