The number of people that book travel online is steadily on the rise, and it's already hard to imagine booking travel anywhere else than in front of a screen. Apart from enabling users to compare a large variety of prices and deals, booking online is simply more convenient than booking through an offline travel agency. Since online booking is a steadily rising trend, it's important to be aware of the best ways to maximize your travel benefits when booking. I'm going to let you in on one of the best ways to earn extra travel rewards: online travel agency (OTA) loyalty programs.
According to Google's 2012 annual Traveler's Road To Decision Study, in the U.S. 83% of leisure travelers and 76% of business travelers plan online. The percentage of travelers that use their mobile phones for travel information is also on the rise - 57% of business travelers and 38% of leisure travelers. ComScore reported that 5.4 million travelers in the US use their mobile phones for travel services. Among these travelers, a significant amount are enrolled in loyalty programs to get more out of their trip. Business travelers are the biggest loyalty program users, with over 70% of them using loyalty programs for air travel and 68% for hotels according to Google's Traveler's Road To Decision Study.
OTAs have recently started adding loyalty programs that offer benefits and rewards to frequent users. And if you use a OTA loyalty program combined with the right credit card you can earn even more.
OTAs are even teaming up with credit card issuers to give their users yet another incentive to book through their sites. For example, Travelocity teamed up with Barclays. Another OTA that has recently launched a loyalty program is Orbitz. The program is called Orbitz Rewards and it lets users earn a percentage of their spending in the form of 'Orbucks'. Orbucks can be redeemed for eligible hotel bookings (not flights), and you can use them to pay in full or pay a part with your credit card.
|Credit Card||Features||Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Why we like it||We least like||Credit Required||Related links|
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
|Related Links Read our review of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or view more details of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. See more Chase credit cards.|
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
17.99% - 26.99% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
|Related Links Read our review of Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or view more details of Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. See more American Express credit cards.|
The Platinum Card® from American Express
|Related Links Read our review of The Platinum Card® from American Express or view more details of The Platinum Card® from American Express. See more American Express credit cards.|