While many of us book our flights and hotels directly through the company’s website, there is a way to double up on rewards. All of the major online travel companies (Expedia, Travelocity, etc.) have reward programs that encourage you to book through them. These points are in addition to any miles you earn on a flight (although not necessarily at a hotel), so you can double-dip by booking flights on them. Today, I’m going to look at Expedia. Also, keep an eye out at the bottom for my method to triple-dip bonuses!
Expedia Rewards accounts are free, so there’s no reason not to sign up here. Earning points is easy and based on your booking. The earning chart is as follows:
2 points per $1 on Hotels, “Activities” or packages
1 point per $5 spent on Flights
That’s it. Simple enough.
On the redemption side, it’s not much tougher.
Hotels: 13,500-14,000 points per $100 hotel credit
Airfare: One point is worth $.006 (six-tenths of a cent)
So we’re not exactly talking big bucks. But it’s free and, in the case of airfare, doesn’t cost you anything.
[notice] Certain hotels may not offer points or elite benefits if you do not book through the hotel’s site. Please check with the hotel for details. I’ll address this point below.[/notice]
Expedia Elite Status
Like everyone else, Expedia has an “elite status,” which gets you benefits such as upgrades and amenities at certain hotels, 25% bonus points and a dedicated customer service line. You can see the entire chart here.
Triple Dipping with Expedia
In a previous post, I discussed earning cash back for shopping online with certain partners. Expedia is one of those partners and you can get paid rather well for your bookings. So, if you are going to book through Expedia, use…
Mr. Rebates for Air, and Hotel. You’ll receive 2% back on the hotel and car rental and $2 per order for the tickets.
For packages and anything else, use Big Crumbs, where you’ll receive varying amounts, all greater than 2%, for different activities.
Since Expedia doesn’t offer points for stand-alone car rentals, you are better off booking it directly through Mr. Rebates.
Example: Putting it all together
Let’s go from Boston to Los Angeles for two weeks. We’re going to book a flight, hotel and car rental.
Step 1: Clear the cookies in your browser. That way, you will be sure to get the cash back from your Mr. Rebates.
Step 2: Sign into Mr. Rebates. If you don’t already have an account, I’d be thrilled if you would let me refer you, since I get a small (very small) percentage of what you spend from the company. You can sign up here.
Step 3: Navigate to Expedia. We’ll book the hotel and air here. Our flight comes out to $384.50 per person, which earns you a nifty $2 from Mr. Rebates, 77 points from Expedia and over 5,000 frequent flyer miles from the airline. You triple-dipped!
Step 4: While here, let’s book the hotel. Today, we’re going to stay at the InterContinental Century City. Ka-ching! $273 per night means a total hotel bill of $3,822, but also earns us 7,644 Expedia points and $76.44 from Mr. Rebates. Note: If you book this way, you may not earn Intercontinental hotel points. So my suggestion is step 5:
Step 5: Instead of booking the hotel through Expedia, just book it directly through Mr. Rebates. In other words, navigate to Intercontinental on Mr. Rebates. Wow, 5% back! Much better than Expedia points. So you’ll earn $191.10 in cash back from Mr. Rebates and your loyalty points (think “frequent flyer miles but the hotel equivalent”) from Intercontinental.
Step 6: Use Mr. Rebates to rent your car. No need to go Mr. Rebates->Expedia->Car rental, since Expedia doesn’t give points for stand-alone car rentals. Thrifty Car rental gives us 4% back, so our economy rental costs us $419.58 but gets us a rebate of $16.78.
And you’re done! The above may seem complicated the first time you do it, but It will save you big bucks in the end. By going through the above scenario, you’ll earn points from Expedia, over $200 in cash and all the points you would have earned anyway. And as an added bonus, the whole process adds only about two minutes, so you’re picking up $200 for two minutes of extra work! Remember, make the points work for you!Want to subscribe? Just enter your email in the box above (and to the right) and click on the confirmation. GMailers, check your Social or Promotions boxes!
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