Launching in the United States on July 6, 2023, One Key is a new loyalty program that unifies the Expedia and Hotels.com rewards programs and, for the first time, brings a rewards program to Vrbo.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Expedia Group describes One Key as an exciting and comprehensive travel rewards program that gives customers the freedom to earn rewards any way they travel – on eligible flights, car rentals, hotels, vacation rentals, and more.
Today, the Expedia Group has separate travel rewards programs for Expedia and Hotels.com and no rewards program for Vrbo. These separate travel rewards programs use different reward structures, and there’s no ability to earn and use rewards between the two.
Many people might not consider that a bad thing because Expedia and Hotels.com are so different, but the Expedia Group has come to the conclusion that a unified loyalty program is exactly the thing that travelers want and need.
As a result, One Key will replace Expedia Rewards and Hotels.com Rewards and introduce a first-ever rewards program to Vrbo.
Travelers will be able to earn rewards across all three brands, and they’ll be able to earn across different trip products, including eligible hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals, flights, cruises, and more.
Introducing One KeyCash
Central to One Key is OneKeyCash, a new rewards currency that can be used to discount eligible future travel when booking on Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo.
For each dollar spent, members receive 2% in OneKeyCash for hotels and other eligible bookings and 0.2% in OneKeyCash for eligible flights. The earned OneKeyCash can be redeemed towards future travel bookings on Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo, as long as they are ‘Pay Now’ bookings or participating vacation rentals in US dollars.
While it cannot be redeemed for cash, it can be used on eligible bookings made in someone else’s name.
New membership tiers
One Key offers a tiered membership system that rewards members as they spend more money across all three platforms:
- One Key Blue:
- Earn and use OneKeyCash on eligible bookings across Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo.
- Access free price tracking for flights on the Expedia App.
- Enjoy savings of 10% or more with Member Prices on thousands of hotels worldwide.
- One Key Silver (Includes Blue benefits):
- Save 15% or more with Member Prices on thousands of hotels worldwide.
- Earn 50% more OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties.
- Receive additional perks at select VIP Access hotels, such as food and beverage discounts.
- Priority traveler support.
- One Key Gold (Includes Silver benefits):
- Save 20% or more with Gold Member Prices on thousands of hotels worldwide.
- Earn 100% more OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties.
- Receive extra perks at select VIP Access hotels, including late checkout, early check-in, and room upgrades when available.
- Priority traveler support.
- Enjoy Price Drop Protection at no extra cost on eligible flight bookings made through the Expedia app.
- One Key Platinum (Includes Gold benefits):
- Earn 200% more OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties.
- Receive Platinum VIP Support.
- Enjoy up to $100 off to upgrade your stay and celebrate the launch of One Key (using your one-time Expedia discount of 10%).
How will this affect the Hotels.com Rewards program?
Hotels.com Rewards, the previous loyalty program offered by Hotels.com, provided customers with rewards for booking hotel stays. Members earned one free night for every ten nights booked through the platform, with the value based on the average cost of the ten nights. This straightforward system incentivized customers to stay loyal to Hotels.com and offered a tangible benefit for frequent travelers.
Unfortunately, the Hotels.com Rewards program will cease to exist, and some users may find that rewards are worth less under the new system.
If you are already signed up for either the Expedia or existing Hotels.com loyalty program, then your account will be automatically transitioned into a One Key account. The changeover will occur on July 6, 2023, for U.S.-based members, while travelers in other countries won’t see any changes until some point in 2024 (exact dates still to be announced by Expedia).
At the changeover, existing Expedia Rewards points or Hotels.com reward nights will be converted into One KeyCash and will be automatically transferred to your new One Key account. The existing value of your Expedia Rewards points will be honored, so 100 points will become $1.00 OneKeyCash.
The situation is slightly different for Hotels.com stamps, as these will be converted to 10% of the value of each stamp collected in OneKeyCash