Expedia’s Rewards Program Launches, and Reveals its Redemption Chart

I covered Expedia’s new rewards program when it launched in beta at the end of January. And then I complained that they were sending out bonus offers without telling you how much the points you’d be earning were worth!

Now that Expedia has publicly launched the program, they’ve made public their award chart. Redemptions of points for flights is coming. But in the meantime you can redeem points for coupons good towards the payment of pre-tax cost of Expedia’s “Special Rate” hotels.

Here’s the reward chart and the dollar value of each redemption option:

Points    Hotel Coupon     Value Per Point
        3,500                               25                       0.007
        6,000                               50                       0.008
      10,000                             100                       0.010
      14,000                             150                       0.011
      18,000                             200                       0.011
      22,000                             250                       0.011
      29,000                             350                       0.012
      32,000                             400                       0.013
      35,000                             450                       0.013
      38,000                             500                       0.013
      40,000                             550                       0.014
      42,000                             600                       0.014
      44,000                             650                       0.015
      46,000                             700                       0.015
      47,500                             800                       0.017
      49,000                             900                       0.018
      50,000                          1,000                       0.020

Since most standalone travel earns just one point per dollar it’ll take a long time / a lot of spend to earn rewards. But it’s still a 1% – 2% rebate on your travel spend with Expedia, which is better than other similar offerings at the moment. (It’s worth noting that packages earn 2 to 4 points per dollar, and thus 4% to 8% rebate.)

And thus it’s a reason to consider booking with Expedia over Orbitz or airline websites (be more careful especially booking hotels with Expedia, since not all hotels offer points earning or elite benefits on stays booked through sites like Expedia’s).

You can generally double and triple dip here, I use eBates usually to earn cash back on my Expedia bookings. And I’ll still earn miles on the airline tickets booked there. Airline sites rarely ever offer mileage bonuses for online bookings anyway, though some will offer cash back through the various shopping portals.

Good move for Expedia to offer this, even though it’ll take a long time for most folks to get much through the program and especially for the higher tiers. They give “VIP status” to members who spend $10,000 in airfare on the site in a year, but that’ll only give you $100 towards a hotel. A VIP qualifying through airfare spend would take 5 years to accumulate enough points for the top level reward. Still, since it’s more or less an add-on (the previous program, linked in with Citi’s Thank You Points, didn’t offer anything on airfare-only bookings) it’s a real plus.

I should note that it’s less valuable than Hotels.com’s program for rebates on hotel spend. But with Expedia you earn through hotel and airfare. Further, holders of the Travelocity Amex can get up to 10% cash back for their Travelocity spend. Though Expedia’s points are in addition to credit card rewards. Overall, I’m just glad to see the baby steps that the online booking services are making into the loyalty space!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The fact that booking through a site like expedia nullifies stay/night earnings with most major hotel chains kind of kills it for me. :-/

  2. if the airfare is high, then mrrebates is better, because the rebate is 1% rather than a fixed dollar amount like ebates or fatwallet

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