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Expedia and Citi recently announced a new travel co-branded credit card program, offering two new chip-enabled cards, the Expedia+ Card and the Expedia+ Voyager Card.
The cards offer a range of features and member benefits, with the goal of rewarding members for both travel and non-travel spend at all locations that accept MasterCard. For the Expedia+Voyager card specifically, perks include immediate Expedia+gold status with automatic upgrades at more that 1,400+ VIP AccessTM hotels and amenities at select + VIP Access™ hotels worldwide.
“At Expedia, we understand that that every trip is unique, personal and is full of moments that have the power to be transformational,” David Doctorow, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Expedia said in a release. “The Citi Expedia+ Voyager card is about getting to those magical travel moments faster. Now using the card for everyday expenses like buying groceries or dining out is an investment in your next vacation, your next moment.”
Card members earn points by using their cards on both travel and non-travel spend, with no cap on the amount of points they can earn. With the Expedia+ Voyager card, card members earn four points per dollar spent on eligible Expedia bookings, including flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages, two points for every dollar spent on dining out and entertainment, and one point for every dollar spent on other purchases. Bonus points are also offered based on spend and anniversaries.
These points can then be redeemed for savings on flights and hotel stays available on Expedia.com. Expedia+Voyager members also receive credits to use on incidental airline fees, and benefit from built-in insurance and protection features from Citi.
According to Jonathan Gelfand, Managing Director at Partner Advisors, LLC, which helps create and optimize financial partnerships like these, the new card offerings by Expedia and Citi reflect the pressures of competitors.
“The credit card market has become much more competitive over the last few years,” Gelfand said. “Ongoing rewards and sign-up bonuses have been increasing to attract affluent, high-quality customers. After the recession, customers have been hesitant to open up new accounts for the sake of new accounts, and have to be enticed to change behavior.”
Gelfand cites other co-brand credit cards, including Total Rewards Visa, Orbitz Rewards, and the Barclaycard Arrival as examples of programs that have been successful due to a transparent value proposition. In particular, Total Rewards Visa, the only co-brand credit card in the casino entertainment industry, has driven increases in customer engagement through gaming and hospitality.
While it remains to be seen how successful the Expedia+ Card and the Expedia+Voyager Card will be in driving engagement, Expedia and Citi believe the cards will deliver value.
“Whether you are planning a family vacation, an adventure overseas, or shopping at home – we are rewarding you for each and every purchase you make with a Citi Expedia+ Voyager card,” Ralph Andretta, Head of Product Management, Citi Cards said. “From complimentary room upgrades and exclusive perks at +VIP Access hotels to savings on travel expenses – this card delivers tremendous value no matter where you are headed.”
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