How to Use Expedia Points: Complete 2023 Guide

Summary:

You can use Expedia Rewards points to purchase flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel expenses from your Expedia account. To get these points, you spend money on hotels, rental cars, flights, vacation packages, cruises, or activities and earn points that can be redeemed for future travel. How many bonus points you earn per booking varies depending on whether you book through Expedia’s website or mobile app, your elite status, the type of travel service you book, and other factors.

You don’t have to be a frequent traveler to reap the benefits of travel rewards programs like Expedia Rewards, which are offered directly by the online travel agency. Even if you don’t travel enough to accumulate a lot of reward points, you can still take advantage of membership discounts just for signing up.

Read on to learn more about the Expedia Rewards program, how to earn points, and redeem rewards for travel products. We’ll also review how to link to your other travel loyalty programs and what you need to do to achieve elite status and unlock bonus points and travel perks.

How to earn Expedia Rewards points

It’s easy for Expedia rewards members to earn points. Just log into your Expedia account, search for various travel products, and pay online. You’ll earn points per dollar spent each time you make hotel reservations and book flights, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises, excursions, and other activities.

Pro Tip

Download Expedia’s mobile app on your phone and book travel from there. This will help you earn double the points per dollar, receive special app-only discounts, and have your itinerary, real-time updates, and notifications right at your fingertips.

How to use Expedia points

Expedia makes it easy to use your rewards points on whatever service you need, right from your account.

  • Redeem. Easily redeem points from your Expedia account by logging on, selecting your travel service, and going to the checkout page.
  • Select. From there, under “Payment,” choose the “Use My Points” option. If you’re reserving hotel bookings, be sure to click on “Pay Now,” not “Pay Later.” Only prepaid hotel bookings are eligible for payment in points.
  • Purchase. Expedia will then automatically deduct your points from your account and use them to pay for your travel arrangements.

If you don’t want to use all of your reward points, just enter the amount you would like to redeem at that time.

IMPORTANT! Be aware that points cannot be transferred to another person or redeemed for cash. However, you can redeem points for bookings you make in someone else’s name. For example, if you want to use your Expedia points to book a trip for yourself and a friend, you can use your rewards to pay for both plane tickets.

Using Expedia points for flights

Though you can use your Expedia points to book air travel, it’s important to know that you must have enough points to cover the full value of the flight, including taxes and fees. In addition, flights booked with Expedia points cannot be changed or canceled.

Also, keep in mind that air travel differs from other Expedia bookings. In most cases, you can pay for hotels or rental cars using partial cash and partial Expedia Rewards points. Unfortunately, you cannot do this for plane tickets.

Expedia Rewards elite status membership tiers

Like other rewards programs, Expedia Rewards has different membership tiers that you can achieve as you book more travel experiences through the website or mobile app. Blue status is automatic, but a Silver or Gold status requires more frequent travel booked through Expedia.

Blue status

Expedia Blue status is free just for signing up and only requires your name, email address, and password. With Blue status, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend on eligible hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, packages, and activities, as well as one point for every $5 you spend on eligible flights. As an added incentive, you’ll get three points per dollar if you book a VIP access hotel.

Blue status also gives you immediate access to savings of 10% or more on select hotels with member prices, and you can begin to accumulate points on that and other eligible bookings.

Pro Tip

Remember, if you use the mobile app (instead of the website), you’ll get double points, so it makes sense to use the app as often as you can.

Silver status

Travelers can achieve Silver status as soon as they’ve accumulated 10 “trip elements” within a calendar year. A trip element is equal to the different items you book for your trip.

To get a better idea of what a “trip element” includes, so the below as an example. You’ll receive one trip element per:

  • Flight ticket
  • Hotel room, per night (each night is considered one trip element)
  • Vacation rental night (each night is considered one trip element)
  • Car reservation
  • Cruise cabin night (each night is considered one trip element)
  • Activity ticket

As you can see, if you book your flight, rental car, hotel booking for five nights, and three different activities through Expedia, you could earn 10 trip elements on a single (very busy) vacation. (It should be noted that a trip element must cost $25 or more to be eligible.)

In addition, silver status allows you to earn two points per dollar spent on eligible bookings. Silver members also get additional perks like free breakfast and spa credits where available at VIP access hotels.

Gold status

To achieve Gold status — the top tier elite status for Expedia — frequent travelers must accumulate 25 trip elements within the calendar year. Benefits for Gold members include earning three points for each dollar spent on eligible bookings, plus late checkout and unlimited free room upgrades at VIP access properties when available.

Those with Silver or Gold status also receive any membership rewards and discounts that come with Blue status, along with expedited customer service.

Do Expedia points expire?

Unfortunately, Expedia points expire after 18 months of disuse. In order to keep them active, you either need to purchase new travel services outright or redeem Expedia rewards points for travel.

This is one of the drawbacks that you won’t find with a travel rewards credit card, for example. With most travel credit cards, you’ll never lose your points as long as you occasionally make any small purchase with the card.

And, while Expedia definitely has some great travel deals, you can often find as good or better deals directly from providers or with another rewards program where your points won’t expire. To get a better idea of the other rewards programs you could be a part of, take a look at some of the travel rewards credit cards below.

Can you link other travel rewards programs with Expedia?

To get the most for your travel dollars, you can easily use your Expedia Rewards membership to stack rewards from your other travel loyalty programs, such as frequent flyer, car rental, or hotel programs. This way, all of your information is saved in one place for easy access when you’re booking travel plans.

  • Log onto your Expedia account profile.
  • Under “Travel Details,” click on “Frequent Flyer and Membership.”
  • Click on either flight, car, stay, or AARP.
  • From the drop-down menu, click on your rewards program (e.g., Delta SkyMiles, American AAdvantage, Hilton Honors, Avis, etc.).
  • Enter your frequent flyer or membership number and hit “Save.”
  • Click “Continue” to add another or move on to a new category.

Also, be sure to connect your credit cards and pay for your travel purchases on Expedia with your travel credit cards, such as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards. This way you’re earning points with your credit card rewards at the same time you earn Expedia Rewards points.

Other ways to save on Expedia bookings

Expedia points work only if you travel enough to earn enough points for free travel products, which may not work for you. However, there are other ways to score great deals by booking through Expedia.

Check out Expedia’s “Deals” pages

If you looking for a spur-of-the-moment getaway, visit the Last-Minute Travel Deals page to find great deals on hotels around the world with discounts of 10% or more.

If you need a little more time to plan your trip, go online and find excellent savings on flights to popular destinations, hotel room deals, and discounts on vacation packages. You also earn points and trip elements by booking some of these special offers.

Be flexible

Many cities or regions have more than one convenient airport. Before you finalize your reservations, be sure to check for other airports in the vicinity to see if you can find a better deal. In some cases, you might be able to save hundreds of dollars on airline tickets by expanding your airport options.

You also might want to reconsider the days you’re traveling. If you can easily fly mid-week rather than on weekends, you might find significant savings on plane tickets. The same is true for hotels. Unless there’s a big event going on, you can almost always get better hotel rates on weekdays.

Pro Tip

Instead of getting a rental car from the airport, research offsite rental agencies to see if you can save money on that part of your trip. Even if you have to take a taxi to the car rental location, it might be worth the extra savings on the vehicle. Some agencies might even pick you up.

How to contact Expedia

To get in touch with Expedia, first go to its customer service portal. To find it, click on the “Support” link at the top right-hand corner of its webpage. From there, you can chat with a virtual agent about trip changes, cancellations, refunds, complaints, or other travel topics. If they can’t address your needs, they’ll connect you with a live agent who can.

If you prefer to talk to an actual human, you can reach an agent at (800) EXPEDIA (397-3342). You can also call (866) 310-5768. From abroad, call (404) 728-8787 (charges apply).

FAQs

What are VIP Access hotels?

VIP Access is a collection of properties — including hotels, condos, and apartments — that are hand selected by Expedia based on top customer reviews. They are then vetted by Expedia to verify the properties meet strict quality and customer service standards.

There are more than 9,000 VIP Access hotels and properties promising to “offer a unique experience in locations around the world.”

What is the Expedia hotel price guarantee?

Expedia stands by its hotel price guarantee, so you know you’re always getting the best deals on hotel stays. If you find a cheaper rate on your hotel bookings, up until midnight before your stay, present proof to Expedia, and they’ll refund the difference.

Do I get my Expedia points back if I cancel?

In some cases, you can get your Expedia Rewards points back if you need to cancel one of your travel products. However, the company states that if there’s a cancellation fee, it will be taken out of your points first.

For example, if you paid for a rental car with partial points and partial cash, the fee will come out of your Expedia Rewards points before being deducted from your cash or credit card payment, if applicable.

Key Takeaways

  • The Expedia Rewards program allows travelers to earn rewards points by booking various travel services and later redeem those points for flights, rental cars, vacation packages, and more.
  • You can earn double the points by using Expedia’s mobile app instead of the Expedia website.
  • Expedia Rewards tiers include Blue, Silver, and Gold status. Gold members are the highest elite status with the most free perks like free room upgrades.
  • Expedia points expire after 18 months without a qualifying purchase or redemption of points. Once the points expire, you cannot get them back.
View Article Sources
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  2. Travel Deals — Expedia
  3. Customer Service Portal — Expedia
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  6. How Much Are Hyatt Points Worth? 2023 Hyatt Points Value Guide — SuperMoney
  7. What Are The Cheapest Days To Fly? — SuperMoney
  8. How To Find The Best Deals On Travel: 12 Tips — SuperMoney
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  11. How Much Cash Can You Fly With on a U.S. and International Flight? — SuperMoney
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