To say that Chris Orton, COO & President, Orbitz Worldwide, is excited about today’s launch of the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card would be an understatement.

Besides the plethora of benefits travelers can receive from the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, Orton is confident his company’s new Rewards Visa Card is superior to any others in the industry. The new credit card launch comes six months after Orbitz unveiled its Orbitz Rewards loyalty program.

“We’ve been on a journey for a couple of years,” Orton told Loyalty360. “The first step toward that was in the fall with the Orbitz Rewards program. “We’re really excited about taking the next phase. This is the next logical step in weaving our credit card program and loyalty program.”

Members of the Orbitz Rewards program are staying in more 4-Star and 5-Star hotels, logging more transactions per member, taking more trips and longer trips, and are coming back more often.

“We feel it’s a win-win for our customers,” Orton said.

Orton said the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card program provides deeper rewards and travel benefits to its most engaged customers, from the road warrior to the once or twice a year traveler.

“We worked really hard with our credit card partner Alliance Data to make the Orbitz Rewards Visa a top-of-wallet card with the best offering in the travel rewards space,” Orton explained.

According to data from PhoCusWright and ADS, the average consumer spends $2,780 in travel and $10,000 on non-travel credit card purchases each year, Orton explained.

“With the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card that typical traveler would earn $423 by booking on our mobile apps–that’s a free hotel room over a long weekend,” he said. “We want our customers to do the math themselves and compare the rewards they will earn on our card vs. competitors’ cards because we feel really confident that they won’t earn this level of rewards anywhere else.”

Orton is confident about the credit cards rewards challenge, which is equipped with a travel rewards calculator, to actually see how much can be earned with the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card versus other online travel credit cards.

“You want to expose that value proposition,” Orton said. “With our calculator on the site, we feel confident we would take that side-by-side comparison with any other program. We’re providing transparency.”

The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card gives cardholders the ability to earn an extra 5% in Orbucks–the currency of Orbitz Rewards and the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card–on Orbitz.com purchases. With nearly two million members already enrolled in the highly-acclaimed, simple, fast and flexible Orbitz Rewards loyalty program, Orbitz Rewards members who use the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card when booking travel can now earn:

10% on Orbitz Rewards hotel bookings using Orbitz.com apps for iPhone, iPad and Android (5% Visa reward plus 5% mobile booking reward)

8% on Orbitz Rewards hotel bookings using Orbitz.com desktop (5% Visa reward plus 3% desktop booking reward)

7% on air bookings using Orbitz.com apps for iPhone, iPad and Android (5% Visa reward plus 2% mobile booking reward)

6% on air and package bookings using Orbitz.com desktop (5% Visa reward plus 1% desktop booking reward)

What’s more, all other purchases earn 2% in Orbucks and cardholders can be awarded a $50 activation statement credit and complimentary Orbitz Rewards Star Status that includes perks like free hotel upgrades and a priority customer service number.

The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card also comes with a long list of other benefits, including:

Security and protection with Zero Fraud Liability

Hotel burglary coverage

Lost luggage reimbursement

Travel accident insurance

Auto rental collision damage waiver

Emergency card replacement

With Orbitz Rewards and the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, there are no complicated points to calculate–one Orbuck equals one U.S. dollar–and Orbucks earned through the credit card do not expire as long as travelers use the card at least once annually. Unlike other travel loyalty programs, customers can redeem on tens of thousands of Orbitz Rewards hotels as early as their next credit card statement cycle when Visa Card Orbucks are deposited into their Orbitz Rewards account.

Travelers can also stack promo codes and combine other offers on top of Orbucks, as well as double up by earning both airline frequent flyer miles and their Orbucks through the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card.

Under terms of the multiyear agreement, Orbitz partnered with Alliance Data Retail Services to provide credit and marketing services for the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card and will leverage its acquisition tools along with its marketing and analytics expertise to drive cardholder spend and further support customer engagement. In addition, Orbitz will have access to Alliance Data’s digital and mobile capabilities to extend greater customer convenience.

CUSTOMER BENEFITS−WAYS TO EARN/BURN

Customers can instantly earn Orbucks (loyalty currency) when booking hotels (3%), flights (1%) and packages (1%).  Customers can use Orbucks they’ve earned toward the purchase of a hotel stay.

Book on Orbitz mobile apps: Earn even more (5% on hotels, 2% on flights). 

Refer-A-Friend: Allows members to refer friends and family and both the member and friend will receive $25 toward future travel (members $25 in Orbucks, referral $25 promo code).

Customers can double-dip:  Earn Orbucks on a flight plus earn frequent flyer miles from the airlines. Plus stack your Orbucks on top of sales, promo codes.

Quickly earn VIP status: Star member (booking 4 hotel room nights – basically a consumer can earn Star Status with one trip) or SuperStar member (booking 12 hotel room nights).

Once customers become Star or Superstar members they will enjoy great benefits such as a special VIP line to handle travel needs, concierge service, help booking events and entertainment while traveling.

Along with the credit card landing page, the card will be integrated throughout the Orbitz site. As Orbitz customers check out they will be able to receive approval and begin earning on the purchase they have just made.

Sarah Butterfass, Senior Director, Loyalty at Orbitz Worldwide, told Loyalty360 the company wants to make sure “we’re rewarding our most engaged members.”

Orton said when “you run the numbers, this is a smart card for anyone to have.”

Almost every single element of the new credit card was driven by Voice of the Customer feedback, Orton said.

“We truly understood it had to be different and that’s what they wanted,” Orton explained. “Every element of the program we launched in October came out of consumer feedback. We talked about what benefits to emphasize with our star members. A credit card was a logical extension. Loyalty was resonating with the program. We wanted to amplify that core value in the card.”

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