Expedia has launched a new Business Rewards program exclusively for Chase Ink customers. The new program is designed for small businesses and includes several travel management tools and rewards geared toward their needs.
The main reward seems to be that companies can earn $100 in credit for every 10 hotel nights booked through the program, and that employees can still individually participate in the Expedia Rewards program and earn their own rewards. However, you generally do not earn points or elite status with hotels when booking hotel stays through Expedia so take that into account when deciding whether stacking the Expedia rewards program is more lucrative than directly booking with a hotel. Personally, I’d rather just book directly with a hotel since the prices are usually the same as Expedia, but leveraging this program might make more sense, especially if you own a small business and want to see a bigger return on your employees’ travel spend.
To enroll, you or your company just need to have one of the Chase Ink cards such as the Ink Bold, the Ink Plus, the Ink Classic, or the Ink Cash. Though this project is a joint venture from Expedia and Ink from Chase, you can use any method of payment accepted on Expedia.com to book the travel and you will still earn rewards for eligible travel. However, to be eligible to enroll, you must go to the Expedia Business Rewards site via the Ink Insider page at InkFromChase.com.
Basically, when you sign up for the program on Expedia using an Expedia.com account and enroll your employees under your account by linking their Expedia accounts to the company’s business rewards one, your company will start accruing “reward nights” on stays booked on Expedia. The employees will book travel on the site using their own accounts, earning their own frequent flyer miles and Expedia Rewards points, and the bookings will show up automatically in the company account.
A reward night is basically just a pre-paid qualifying hotel night stay. In order to earn these reward nights, the travel booked must include pre-paid hotel nights though it can also be part of packages that include other components like air and car. When the company racks up 10 reward nights, it is given a coupon for $100 to spend on future pre-paid hotel stays – not airfare or cash back. These “Flexible Reward Coupons” can be used on future business trips or even just transferred to any employee or friend with Expedia accounts as gifts – they don’t have to work for the company. Reward nights expire 18 months after they’re earned and the $100 coupons expire 12 months after they are created by the reward night conversion. One downside: coupons cannot be combined – you can only use one of them at a time for each trip you book, so basically you’re just getting $100 off each itinerary.
The other handy part of the program is the management tools for the manager of the business rewards account, which includes overviews of total travel spending, employee itineraries and company reward nights and coupons earned. However, business rewards administrators cannot themselves book or change travel plans through the Expedia Business Rewards site – all travel must be booked and modified through each employee’s Expedia account or Expedia customer support.
As is typical with business rewards programs, the earning and redemption options aren’t the most lucrative, but I still appreciate that Expedia and Chase have come up with a way to let small businesses earn some rewards back on business travel and that employees can still earn their individual points and miles.
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