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Guide to Expedia+ Rewards

Guide to Expedia+ Rewards

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus or affiliate income for anyone that makes a purchase through some of the below links. This helps to support the running of this website. Opinions expressed here are mine alone, and the article has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any company.
 

Expedia is a popular booking channel for flights, hotels, car hire, activities, and many more travel needs. They have landing pages for most major countries around the world.

When you book through Expedia you can also join their Rewards programme – Expedia+ – which allows you to earn points which can be redeemed for credit for future bookings with Expedia.

This article explores what you can use these points on, and where you can coup the best value out of the programme.

How Many Expedia+ Points will I earn?

 

The number of points you can earn and what you can spend them on will differ depending on the country you're from. We've only listed Asia Pacific countries that have a large English speaking population, given this website is (unfortunately) not bilingual! You don't have to be travelling to earn points - you can book for others too.

In New Zealand and Australia, you'll earn:

  • 2 Expedia+ points per NZ$1 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, activities, and select car hire
  • 1 Expedia+ point per NZ$5 spent on flights

'Select car hire' means car rental with the following suppliers: Europcar, Hertz, Budget, Alamo Rent A Car, Avis, Thrifty Car Rental, Enterprise, Sixt, Dollar Rent A Car, and National Car Rental

In Singapore, you'll earn:

  • 20 Expedia+ points per SG$15 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, and activities
  • 2 Expedia+ point per SG$15 spent on flights

In Hong Kong, you'll earn:

  • 1 Expedia+ points per HK$5 spent on hotels and activities
  • 1 Expedia+ point per HK$50 spent on flights

In Taiwan, you'll earn:

  • 1 Expedia+ points per NT$20 spent on hotels and packages with a hotel
  • 1 Expedia+ point per NT$200 spent on flights 

In Indonesia, you'll earn:

  • 1 Expedia+ points per Rp7.500 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, and activities
  • 1 Expedia+ point per Rp75.000 spent on flights 

In the Philippines, you'll earn:

  • 2 Expedia+ points per P50 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, and activities
  • 2 Expedia+ point per P500 spent on flights

In Japan, you'll earn:

  • 1 Expedia+ points per ¥75 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, and activities
  • 1 Expedia+ point per ¥750 spent on flights

In Malaysia, you'll earn:

  • 2 Expedia+ points per RM5 spent on hotels, packages with a hotel, and activities
  • 2 Expedia+ point per RM50 spent on flights

If you do the maths, some countries have a much better earn rate - e.g. you'll earn 2 Expedia+ points for every NZ$1 spent on hotels through the New Zealand website, but only 2 points for every NZ$1.56 in Malaysia (equivalent). This seems too much disparity to just be currency fluctuation, so I wonder what other factors are at play.

One great thing with this programme is that you will earn Expedia+ points even if you elect to pay at the hotel, and not upfront through the website.

Triple Dipping Points Earn on Flights

When you book a flight on Expedia, you'll not only earn the frequent flyer points/miles that you’d normally earn by booking direct, you'll also Expedia+ points. As Expedia have no booking fees, and flight prices generally match what you can find through the airline direct (you should always still confirm this), it’s worth booking with Expedia and earning both sets of points. If you have a credit card that earns points/miles, you'll effectively triple-dip on your flight bookings.

    So - how much will I need to spend before I can redeem my Expedia+ points?

    To keep it simple, I will only discuss the New Zealand earn and redeem rates below. However if you click on the country links above, you'll go to the Expedia+ Hotel Benefits page for your home country, and it'll tell you on there what you can redeem your Expedia+ points on.

    As a +Blue member (the level you start at when joining), you'll need to spend NZ$1,750 on hotel stays to earn 3,500 points.

    You can redeem those points for:

    • NZ$25.00 off over 170,000 hotels on Expedia - Redeem now
    • NZ$50.00 off at +VIP Access hotels (there are around 2,200 of them) - Redeem now
    • NZ$25.00 off Flight + Hotel packages - Redeem now

    This gives you a per point value at the lowest end of 0.71c, or if redeemed for +VIP Access hotels, close to 1.43c. If you have the base Blue status with Expedia+, you are working with the equivalent of:

    • A 1.43% rebate minimum for Expedia+ points earned from hotels, or 2.86% if redeemed for +VIP Access hotels 
    • A 0.14% rebate minimum for Expedia+ points earned from flights, or 0.28% if redeemed for +VIP Access hotels

    The percentages increase if you acquire +Silver or +Gold status (read more about the different elite benefits further below) as the number of Expedia+ points you earn will increase.

    e.g. a +Silver member will only need to spend around NZ$1,591 on hotels (10% bonus on base points), and a +Gold member will only need to spend around NZ$1,347 (30% bonus on base points).

    You'll receive 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotel bookings, regardless of length of stay, so if you are staying at these hotels, this will quickly increase your points balance and get you closer to a reward.

    You don't need to have enough points to cover the full purchase amount - you can pay the balance using a credit card.

    I found at least 16 +VIP Access hotels in New Zealand, including Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Rydges Hotels, and the SkyCity Grand in Auckland. As you can see from above, these are better value hotels to redeem your Expedia+ points on, as they double in value. You can browse all the +VIP hotels here.

    Current Bonus Points Offer with the Expedia Mobile App

     

    Until 31 March 2017, Expedia+ members earn 6 Expedia+ points for each NZ$1 spent on standalone hotels booked on the Expedia Mobile Application, and 3 Expedia+ points for every NZ$5 spent on standalone flights booked on the Expedia Mobile Application (three times the standard points earned on standalone hotels or flights). Bookings must be made via iOS and/or Android devices.

    Read more here.

    To earn the 3,500 points required to redeem for a reward, this is how much you'll need to spend through the app on hotels:

    • A member with +Blue status will need to spend NZ$584
    • A member with +Silver status will need to spend NZ$565
    • A member with +Gold status will need to spend NZ$531 (if you spend your points on a +VIP hotel, that's an almost 10% rebate!)

    Remember that you'll receive 250 bonus points for +VIP Access hotel bookings - and these bonuses are all stackable.

    I've made a booking, when will I receive my Expedia+ points?

    Expedia have helpfully provided a table that shows when your points should credit to your account. This way, you can plan their usage:

    How long will my Expedia+ points last for?

    Expedia+ points will not expire as long as there is a qualifying purchase or redemption activity through Expedia on your Account at least once every 18 months. "Qualifying purchase or redemption activity" means an Expedia+ eligible trip or travel item which has been both booked and completed and points have been confirmed, or the redemption of a travel reward through your Account.

    Membership Levels

    Everyone starts off at +Blue level when they join the Expedia+ programme. If you find yourself making frequent bookings through Expedia, you may have the chance to move up to +Silver or +Gold.

    For New Zealand members, you can qualify for the next level of elite status by:

    1. Staying the specified number of hotel nights valued at NZ$50 per night or more, or;
    2. Meeting a qualifying spend threshold on Expedia. The following criteria must be met between 1 January and 31 December of any given year:

    Qualifying travel or activity must be completed by 11:59pm AEDST (yes, it's tied to Australia) on 31 December of the qualifying year to count toward Elite status. Travel that begins in one calendar year and ends the next will count toward elite status for the later calendar year.

    Eligible Expedia spend for the purposes of qualifying for elite status includes hotels, flights, car rentals, holiday packages, and activities.

    Once earned, elite status is valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which you qualified, the next full calendar year, and through 28 February of the following year, unless Expedia specify otherwise!

    In most cases - you're going to hit the qualifying number of nights before you hit the 'alternative' qualifying spend rate (e.g. NZ$50 nightly rate bookings will see you move up to Silver after NZ$350 spend over 7 nights, and moving up to Gold after NZ$750 spend over 15 nights).

    Now, lets look at the extra benefits you'll receive for +Silver and +Gold status:

    +Silver

    • Earn a 10% bonus on all base points earned.
    • Receive 250 bonus points for eligible hotel or hotel package stays at hotels bearing the +VIP Access icon.
    • Receive exclusive amenities on property at participating +VIP Access hotels, where available, such as spa amenities and free drinks.
    • Priority customer service including priority call routing and expedited service when contacting Expedia customer care.
    • Periodic special offers will be made available exclusively to +silver members.
    • Exclusive benefits from a dedicated concierge service in Hawaii, Orlando, Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and New York via Expedia Local Expert®. Restrictions may apply. Subject to change at the discretion of Expedia. Discounts do not apply to activity bookings on Expedia.co.nz - you have to present yourself at the concierge desk in person.

    +Gold

    Same as +Silver, except:

    • Earn a 30% bonus on all base points earned.
    • Receive upgrades upon availability at check-in at participating +VIP Access hotels.

    Price Guarantee

    This deal may vary slightly by country, so be sure to check through your local Expedia site if you're unsure - but the general premise here is that Expedia guarantees to beat any other price found online for travel bookings.

    In New Zealand, if you find a cheaper hotel or package (flight + hotel) online within 24 hours of booking, Expedia will refund the difference, plus give you a NZ$50 travel coupon for future travel.

    However, if you're an Expedia+ member, you also qualify for an extended Hotel Price Guarantee that provides price matching on hotels up until the midnight before check-in. This means you can use our service at SavTravv Hotels to find cheaper bookings either on Expedia or other websites, right up until midnight before check-in, and not even have to change your booking (or if you have the time, you can search yourself!)

    Read more here, or submit a claim.

    The full terms and conditions for Expedia in New Zealand can be found here. If you're from Australia, Singapore or any other Asia Pacific country, click this link, and then change the website address domain to match that of your country.

    Any other ways I can save with Expedia?

    If you're from Australia, sign up with CashRewards - you can get up to 5.5% cashback on any booking through the Expedia website. Full details shown below (e.g. note that price-matched sales are ineligible for cashback):

     

    Summary

    While I generally prefer to book direct with a hotel, as it cuts out the middle man and is often better value, if you are travelling frequently and don't have any brand loyalty, booking through the likes of Expedia or Hotels.com often gives back in terms of value, either through points or other special offers and discounts. These websites are also more competitive now by allowing price matches right up until the night before you stay.

    Remember, we're always here for you to reach out to if you need suggestions on what loyalty programmes could work best for you - send us your questions at ask@savtravv.com, or leave comments below.

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