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Expedia has had a rewards program for a few years now, where members can earn up to 2 points per dollar on flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages. These points can then be redeemed for travel with no blackout dates, or can be used to bid on special redemption offers.
This week Expedia announced that they have enhanced their rewards program and created the new Expedia+ Rewards. The new program includes tiered memberships levels (+blue, +silver, and +gold), and even more opportunities to earn and redeem points. Current Expedia Rewards members will keep their points and history intact, and will be able to track their progress toward elite status on their Expedia+ rewards page.
Similar to how members earned points in the past, with Expedia+ Rewards you’ll earn 2 points for every $1 spent when booking hotels, activities and packages, and 1 point for every $5 spent on flights. An added benefit is that customers can now also earn 2 points per $1 spent on cruise bookings with most major cruise lines. Members can still redeem points on travel (including flights and hotels), exclusive local experiences (for a limited time only) and charity redemptions.
Here are the new membership tier levels and what they include:
As an Expedia+ member you’ll receive the Expedia Hotel Price Guarantee that ensures extended price match up until midnight before check-in, access to member exclusive offers, and (through December 31, 2014) double value on +VIP Access hotel coupons. When you enroll in the free program, you’ll automatically be entered into the +blue level.
+silver status will be earned after booking 7 qualifying nights or spending $5,000 annually, and includes 10% bonus points on point eligible purchases, 250 extra points when booking one of more than 1,400 +VIP Access hotels, and exclusive amenities at over 700 +VIP Access hotels. Amenities vary by hotel and could include a bottle of wine, an upgrade, or a spa treatment voucher. Finally, members at the Expedia+ silver level will receive priority service from a dedicated group of customer service agents.
The highest tier, +gold will be earned after booking 15 qualifying nights or spending $10,000 annually. This tier is the same as the old Expedia Elite Plus; members get 30% bonus points on top of base earnings, receive all of the perks that +silver members get, and get room upgrades whenever available at more than 1,400 +VIP Access hotels worldwide.
Personally, I’m tempted to start booking flights through Expedia more often, because not only do you earn Expedia+ Rewards points, but also you get points on whatever credit card you use for the purchase, the shopping portal you click through to get to Expedia.com (like Chase Ultimate Rewards, which gives you an extra point per dollar spent), and through Expedia’s Business Rewards program that is exclusively for Chase Ink Plus, Bold or Cash cardholders. I never like to leave points on the table, so this is a great way to quadruple dip!
Hotel loyalty programs tend to be more fickle about offering points for stays booked on third party sites, so you’ll have to compare the extra points you’d earn on Expedia to the points you sacrifice by not booking on the hotel website. For airfare, however, you may as well take advantage of the extra rewards so long as the price on Expedia is lower (or equal).