One Key is a new membership rewards program which is scheduled to be launched sometime later in 2023 by Expedia Group, which is the parent company of at least ten different brands in the travel industry. It is being touted as “the largest and most comprehensive travel rewards program our brands have ever created” with more choices, more value, and more flexibility.
One Key: The New Rewards Program of Expedia Group
The new One Key membership program offers a rebate of sorts of two percent on lodging, vacation rental property stays, activities, packages, car rentals, and cruises; and 0.2 percent — yes, two-tenths of one percent — on flights.
Expedia Group is based in Seattle and includes a portfolio of such brands as:
- Vrbo, which was previously known as HomeAway
Although consolidating its current membership programs into one comprehensive program may sound like a good idea — and may offer benefits not previously realized — some devaluations will also occur; and some of those devaluations are expected to be major. For example, with Hotels.com, you currently earn a stamp with each night you stay at a participating hotel or resort property; and you receive a stay of one reward night after staying ten nights. The value of each reward night is typically based on the average cost of every ten nights.
Existing stamps with Hotels.com will be converted to the One Key membership program at a rate of ten percent of the cost of the night of lodging, which is a fair value.
Final Boarding Call
The only program in which I had been active from Expedia Group was the one with Orbitz; and I found that program mildly rewarding at best. However, I personally have benefited from saving money with Expedia in the past when booking reservations at hotel properties — such as at the Cresta President Hotel in Botswana, which I have reviewed my stay.
Although frequent travelers have found value in the membership programs from the companies of Expedia Group, those membership programs were especially valuable to those who were agnostic with regard to loyalty, as members were not required to stay at only certain brands of lodging to earn rewards, as is the case with the membership programs of multinational lodging companies…
…but then again, although many of the hotel and resort properties of those lodging companies were marketed by the companies of Expedia Group, they often did not participate in Hotels.com and other membership programs — and reservations which were booked at third-party companies often invalidate elite benefits to be enjoyed.
Not all of the details of the new One Key membership program have been revealed as of yet — perhaps because some parts of the program are still being worked out prior to its launch — but they should eventually be known in the coming months…
All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.