Your favourite vacation spot just became easier to reach.
Expedia.ca has launched its new Expedia+ points program, and it’s a great way to make that next holiday more affordable.
With Expedia+, you earn points for booking flights, hotels and activities with Expedia.ca; points that you can redeem for future hotel and package bookings to great destinations around the world.
Not only can you earn Expedia points, but you can use your credit card to earn points with their program. And you can earn points with your favourite airline or rental car company.
“It’s a triple dip for points,” said Sean Shannon, managing director Expedia Canada and Latin America.
In addition to earning points, Expedia+ members can build their status at hotels to gain access to preferred rooms or perhaps free Wi-Fi; always a great thing to have on the road.
There are no blackout dates for redeeming your points, and there’s a price guarantee for trips booked with Expedia.ca. If the price drops before midnight the day before your stay, you’ll get the new, lower price. And if you find a cheaper online price for your room within 24 hours of booking, Expedia.ca will give you $50.
“It’s rare to find a loyalty program that doesn’t tie you to a single airline or hotel and even allows you to use more than one program at the same time,” said Sean Shannon, Managing Director of Expedia.ca. “Providing Expedia+ members this choice and control is at the heart of what Expedia.ca is all about – and as Canada’s leading full-service online travel provider we wanted to offer a program that thanks our customers for their continued loyalty.”
Expedia+ members can book any one of the 400 airlines or 365,000 hotels worldwide; a thousand hotels for every day of the year!
There are three levels in Expedia+; blue, silver and gold. Members in all levels earn points and get price guarantees and other benefits, but members in +silver and +gold have added benefits, such as spa discounts or free drinks at select VIP Access hotels.
Members at the +silver level get a 10 per cent “bonus points accelerator” on select bookings, while +gold members can get a 30 per cent bonus.
Membership in Expedia+ is free and automatically gives you +blue status. You’ll get +silver status after spending $5,000 on eligible bookings or staying seven qualifying hotel room nights. You’ll earn +gold status after spending $10,000 on eligible bookings or staying 15 qualifying hotel room nights.
As a member of Expedia+, you also have exclusive access to special offers. Check the Expedia+ Marketplace page for great promotions, benefits and deals to save you money directly or increase the points you earn.
Canadians are big believers in points program, with almost seven in 10 Canadians belonging to one travel rewards program or another. A recent study found that 68 per cent of us are likely to join a new loyalty program, such as Expedia+.
A family of four booking the average trip to Orlando would spend about $3,600 on their trip, which would let them earn $50 in Expedia+ dollars for a future trip.
In addition to earning regular points with Expedia+, folks who book their trips with the Expedia.ca mobile app can now earn triple the points. And those can quickly add up.
Shannon said one in five hotel bookings with Expedia.ca are now done on mobile devices. They’re hoping to boost that amount with the triple points program.
“We want to reinforce that habit. We want to encourage lots of use.”
Shannon cautioned the triple bonus for using the app won’t last forever, though.
In addition to earning valuable bonus points, using the mobile app means Expedia.ca can send you updates on your trip, including gate changes at the airport and even a note on where to pick up your bags after you land.
Your Expedia+ points don’t expire as long as you use Expedia+ every 18 months. The fact there’s no blackout period also is critical, as 86 per cent of Canadians say not having blackout periods adds real value to a rewards program.
One great benefit is that, if you like, you can donate your points to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and help find a cure for cancer.
“We’re Canada’s largest and most well-known online travel service provider,” Shannon said. The company reached the $12 billion gross figure in bookings in Canada in 2012, which shows how much Canadians use and trust Expedia.ca.
So, where are the next hot spots Canadians are heading?
Shannon said the interior of British Columbia is attracting lots of attention with its terrific skiing facilities. It’s a great winter destination, but I really love the Okanagan Valley and the Kelowna area in spring, summer and fall, when you can tour fantastic wineries on bikes and soak up the dry desert views.
I haven’t been to Korea, but I love the food and the marvellous inns of Japan, especially in Kyoto. And New Zealand is one of my favourite countries on the planet, with a fantastic array of natural scenery and folks who have a very low-key, Canadian-like outlook on life.