3 Major Travel Companies Launch One Massive Loyalty Rewards Program

In just a few short months, three major travel companies will come together to launch a comprehensive loyalty program.

The move will make accumulating and using hotel rewards across platforms possible and will include the introduction of a new loyalty program to a popular accommodation booking site for the first time ever.

When it launches in mid-2023, One Key will combine the Hotels.com and Expedia rewards program with a first-of-its-kind loyalty program from Vrbo.

Users will have access to travel rewards from hotels, vacation rentals, and other travel bookings all in one place.

a woman stands in a vacation rental with her yellow suitcase

How Does It Work?

Like other travel loyalty programs, users will be eligible to earn rewards based on their purchases.

Booking a hotel room, renting a car, arranging a cruise, and even buying plane tickets can all reap the rewards called OneKeyCash.

The rewards can then be used to pay for more purchases on Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. Some other notable details include:

Woman opening curtains in hotel room and looking at ocean
  • To qualify for One Key, you’ll have to register for a free membership when registration opens in the coming months.
  • For every $1 spent (excluding taxes and fees) on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, activities, packages, car, rentals, and cruises, members will receive 2% back in OneKeyCash.
  • Eligible flight purchases will receive 0.2% back in OneKeyCash for every $1 spent.
  • The system is tiered, so the more you purchase, the greater the rewards you earn. Frequent users will be entitled to a higher reward rate of OneKeyCash. For example, Silver tier members earn 50% more, Gold tier receive 100% more, and Platinum tier members get a 200% bonus over the base tier amounts.
  • Once you have earned and received your OneKeyCash it can be used on any of the three platforms, regardless of which one you used for your bookings.
Travelers laying on hotel bed after arrival suffering from jet lag

Do You Need To Sign Up?

If you already have an account on Hotels.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, you will automatically be enrolled in One Key. Any current rewards you have will transfer to One Key, and if you have more than one account, they will be merged together.

If you are not already an account holder, you’ll need to sign up on the website once the application is released.

an older couple looks at the sites while on vacation

Some Good Things On The Way

The most significant change that One Key will bring to travelers is the addition of a rewards program on Vrbo – something that did not previously exist.

When travelers book vacation rentals with the platform, they will now not only be eligible to earn rewards towards future Vrbo stays but can also use the OneKeyCash rewards towards purchases on Hotels.com and Expedia.

a woman relaxes on a couch after arriving at her vacation rental

The company will offer extra member perks, including further discounts on bookings, priority traveler support, and price drop protection.

Additionally, users will be eligible for further deals when staying at VIP Access hotels, including food and drink discounts, late checkout, and room upgrades.

One Key Has Some Limits

While Vrbo users and others will be happy with the additional perks, the program does have some limits that travelers will need to know about.

a woman stands on an expansive hotel balcony and looks out onto the beach
  • Travelers who use Hotels.com Rewards will lose out when the new program launches. The current rewards program essentially allows users to earn 10% in rewards by gifting a free hotel night after 10 stays. With the new program, bookings through Hotels.com will only be rewarded with between 2% – 6% depending on their tier level.
  • For now, the One Key program will only be available for users who have created an account on US platforms.
  • OneKeyCash can only be redeemed for “pay now” bookings and the cash must cover the entire ticket cost, including taxes and fees. If there is a remaining balance, it cannot be used for add-ons, for example, additional checked bags or seat selections for flights.
  • It will take up to three days to receive points from “pay now” bookings and can take up to 90 days for “pay later” purchases. That could be a problem if you are already traveling and want to use rewards to book hotels or activities.
  • While the platform can be used to purchase hotels and vacation rentals around the world, users need to be based in the U.S., and rentals must accept USD.

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