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Expedia Rewards loyalty scheme rolls out

By Peter Clark, Marketing Factbook

 

The online travel agency Expedia has rolled out its new 'Expedia Rewards' frequent traveller loyalty programme, allowing members to earn points for the hotels, flights, packages and holiday activities they book via Expedia.com.

The new loyalty programme provides customers with 1 point for every US$1 spent on flights, hotels and activities. However, when booking these services as a package, the rates go up. For example, book a hotel and flight together and earn 2 base points per US$1 spent. Or book a flight, hotel, car and other activities together and earn 4 base points per US$1 spent.

If members book a VIP Access hotel, they get an additional 1 bonus point per US$1 spent. Finally, members of the Expedia Elite Plus programme also earn an extra 1 bonus point per US$1 for hotel and package bookings.

In addition to Expedia Rewards points, Expedia customers who are part of an airline frequent flyer programme or eligible credit card rewards programme can 'double dip', also earning their frequent flyer and credit card programme rewards when booking eligible flights via Expedia.com.

Members can redeem their points for flights on more than 140 airlines, or for hotel coupons valid at more than 70,000 hotels. They also have the option of mixing and matching airlines and choosing from a range of national brand and independent hotels. Membership of the programme is free of charge, and there are no blackout dates or other award booking restrictions.

The loyalty programme benefits are not limited to Expedia Rewards, however. Expedia recently announced an upgrade to the Expedia Elite Plus programme, through which Elite Plus members can earn free room upgrades and VIP perks at VIP Access hotels in some regions. Expedia customers automatically earn membership of Expedia Elite Plus when they book more than 15 room nights, or spend more than US$10,000 on hotels and airfare, in a single calendar year.

As a launch promotion, up until 31st August 2011, Expedia Rewards members earn double base points when booking an Expedia Special Rate hotel or hotel package that is paid using a MasterCard payment card (although registration in advance is required for this offer).

The programme has been structured to allow frequent travellers to accumulate points as quickly as possible. For example, if a customer books a package for two featuring a roundtrip flight, four nights in a hotel, plus a rental car, that trip may cost US$2,000 - which would yield 6,000 points. Then, should that member book the same trip three times, they will have earned enough points to qualify for a free hotel night. Should they then add an activity to each package booking, the accumulated points may earn them two free hotel nights instead. Should they also register for the Expedia Rewards MasterCard promotion and then pay with a MasterCard card each time, the total points could earn them six free hotel nights. And if they choose to stay at a VIP Access hotel each time, they could earn enough for eight free hotel nights after only three package bookings.

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Source: Expedia
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