On March 28, 2011, Expedia, the online company used for booking flights, hotels, cars, and travel packages, launched their revived customer loyalty program. The new program offers at least one point per one USD spent, and the points increase as the customer adds on packages, stopping at four points per USD. For example, if a customer books a flight, car, and hotel, they will receive three points per USD spent on that booking.
President of Expedia.com, Scott Durchslag, stated in a press release “more than two million travelers come to Expedia.com every single day. This program is one important way that we can thank our customers for their loyalty.”
Most airlines, hotels, and online booking companies have loyalty programs, so what is the big deal about this one? Expedia Rewards gives the Expedia account holder the ability to earn points and rewards when not only booking for themselves, but others as well. This would be extremely useful to a person booking a trip for a because they will be able to see the benefits of booking through one site, and that one account would receive all of the points. Expedia Elite Plus terms and conditions state that: “A single registered Expedia membership account will be given credit for all bookings made to that account, regardless of who completes the travel.”
Expedia Elite Plus
Expedia also has an elite member rewards program. Members of Expedia’s Elite Plus Program earn extra bonus point per dollar on hotel and package bookings. The qualification to be an annual Expedia Elite Plus is 15 hotel nights or $10,000 in annual Expedia bookings. Some members received complimentary Expedia Elite Plus, but new members need to stay 15 nights or spend $10,000 in travel during 2011 to earn Elite Plus rewards that will expire in February of 2013.
Like the Expedia Rewards program, “a single registered Expedia membership account will be given credit for all bookings made to that account, regardless of who completes the travel.” (Expedia Elite Plus terms and conditions)
This is a beneficial program because it gives travelers an advantage compared to frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs due to the fact that the Expedia account holder can earn points and credit with purchases for other travelers. Elite Plus members are able to receive free upgrades, late checkouts and other perks from designated “VIP Access” hotels, which many travelers prefer. Elite Plus members also have the benefit of getting a lower room rate for stand-alone hotel bookings if it is found on a U.S. based website anytime from booking on Expedia until the day before arrival from the Hotel Price Guarantee.
Expedia’s new customer loyalty program is a good value for extra travel points ranging from airfare purchases to travel packages. The savings are an instant rebate value on the cost and some future rebate credit in an Expedia Rewards account.
Websites to include @ Bottom / Sources: Reuters, USA Today, Expedia
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Filed under: Loyalty Marketing