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On February 1, 2022, Expedia will revamp its Expedia Rewards program. Expedia will introduce “Trip Elements” as its new elite status earning system. And how you'll earn points is changing too.
While not the most popular or lucrative rewards program, Expedia Rewards does merit understanding. Here’s how you'll earn Trip Elements, how you'll earn rewards points, and the other details you should know about.
Expedia Rewards Elite Status Changes to “Trip Elements”
In the new system, you will earn Trip Elements from your bookings. So…what are Trip Elements? Think of Trip Elements as the number of pieces (or elements) in your booking. Booked a flight? That’s an element, whether it involves connections or a round-trip booking, etc.
On a cruise or hotel booking, you can earn an element for each night. You’ll also earn a Trip Element per room/cabin per night. So, a 7-night cruise where you booked 2 cabins would earn 14 elements.
- Flights – 1 Trip Element per ticket (a roundtrip including stopover, a single flight, a leg of a multi-flight booking) where the booked flight itinerary is flown
- Hotels – 1 Trip Element per room per completed night stayed (regardless of the number of guests)
- Accommodation Rental – 1 Trip Element per completed night stayed (regardless of the number of rooms)
- Cruise – 1 Trip Element per cabin per night for the length of the voyage (regardless of the number of guests)
- Rental Car – 1 Trip Element per completed car rental reservation
- Activities – 1 Trip Element per completed activity ticket booked
The full details can be found in Expedia's terms, which are here.
How to Earn Expedia Rewards Status
Trip Elements are how you move up to a higher tier with Expedia Rewards. So, understanding these changes is really important for anyone maintaining Silver or Gold status with Expedia Rewards.
The new requirements are:
- Silver — 10 Trip Elements in a calendar year
- Gold — 25 Trip Elements in a calendar year
Tier status is based on Trip Elements earned from January 1 to December 31 of each year. What if a trip starts in one year but ends in the next? It will be pro-rated and then applied to the two different years accordingly. Tier status is valid for the remainder of the year in which you qualify, the full next year, and until February 28 of the third year.
Perks in the Expedia Rewards program include:
- Blue (general member): Lower member prices, points earning, and the Expedia Hotel Price Guarantee
- Silver: Free perks at VIP Access hotels and 10% more points, plus all the Blue benefits
- Gold: Free room upgrades at VIP Access hotels when available, 30% more points, plus Blue & Silver benefits
Earning Expedia Rewards Points
Here’s Expedia’s chart for how you’ll earn points in the new system.
Expedia further outlines earning activities as follows:
- 1 point per $5 spent on flights
- 1 point per $1 spent on vacation packages, hotels, cruises, and rental cars
- 2 points per $1 spent on these when booking through the mobile app
- 3 points per $1 spent on a VIP Access™ property
- Bonus points added on for those with Silver or Gold status
- Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed on Expedia bookings
Expedia Rewards is not the most common rewards program. It’s also not the most lucrative. As you can see in the chart above, points are worth a flat rate of 1 cent each. Other programs we’re more familiar with offer at least this much value.
However, it is worth knowing about Expedia Rewards, since it’s a common booking platform, and there are changes coming soon that you should understand. That being said, if booking a hotel with cash, you may be better off with the Hotels.com Rewards program.
Long story short: Expedia points earning is changing and Trip Elements will soon determine how you earn status. And you’re still likely better off pursuing other, more rewarding loyalty programs.
Do you collect Expedia Rewards? Does its system sway your booking behavior?
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