Expedia to Consolidate Loyalty Programs Across All Brands

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Expedia announced it would consolidate its loyalty programs across all its brands, including, Vrbo, Hotels.com, Travelocity and Orbitz. The new program will span flights, hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals, cruises and activities, the company said.

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“Everything we do is in service to customers, creating travel products and features that are simple to use and even more rewarding for those who travel with us,” Jon Gieselman, President of Expedia Brands, said in the statement. “We want our customers to get the most of their travel experiences, plain and simple. No one needs to do anything right now, but soon their current rewards will be even more valuable, as they will gain access to the world of Expedia Group through one consolidated, easy to use program.”

Expedia Group’s Member Only Deals and loyalty rewards have saved customers nearly $10 billion on travel alone, the company said. The Expedia Group family of brands includes Expedia, Hotels.com, Expedia Partner Solutions, Vrbo, Egencia, trivago, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, Wotif, ebookers, CheapTickets, Expedia Group Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert, CarRentals.com and Expedia Cruises, according to the announcement.

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The unified and upgraded program will continue to be free to join. The company said that with more than 145 million members across its current and separate rewards programs, Expedia Group already has “one of the largest loyalty platforms in the world.”

“I have a stack of logins and loyalty cards, and soon it just won’t be necessary because I’m going to earn benefits whether I’m renting a car, booking a flight or reserving a hotel room,”  Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, told CNBC.

“A customer will be able to earn points for their Vrbo vacation rental and redeem it on an Expedia car rental, for example,” he added.

An exact launch date has not been set, but a company spokesperson said the rollout is expected “within the coming year,” CNBC reports.

Gieselman added that with the world re-opening, the company added hundreds of agents on the phones, introduced a virtual agent and developed a one-click cancel tool, according to CNBC.

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A major goal of the new unified program is to educate customers about the relationships between the company’s brands and how to leverage them, “which will make life easier for travelers,” according to CNBC.

Make Your Money Work for You

“There was a time when our brands did compete against each other in the marketplace and that, to a certain extent, was part of the strategy,” Gieselman said. “We are now entirely focused on the best customer outcomes and bringing a more unified experience across our brands. Loyalty is a big piece of this and a huge leap towards that vision.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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