Travel agency Orbitz.com has added a Visa rewards card to its loyalty program for customers using the online airlines booking service.
Orbitz and Alliance Data Retail Services are offering the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card to earn Orbucks, the currency that Orbitz Rewards users accumulate to redeem for travel-related perks.
Orbitz and Alliance Data have a multi-year deal in place for Alliance to provide credit and marketing services related to the card, Chicago-based Orbitz says in an April 22 press release. Through the arrangement with Alliance Data, Orbitz will also have access to digital and mobile technology to communicate with customers and drive adoption of the rewards card.
The Visa cardholders will earn 5% of a purchase in Orbucks each time they use the card for booking flights, hotels or vacation packages through Orbitz, or 2% when making everyday purchases such as gasoline or groceries.
Orbitz attempts to simplify its rewards system by making each Orbuck equal to one dollar. The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card carries no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees or blackout dates on redemption. Orbucks do not expire, as long as the consumer uses the card at least once in the course of a year. The Orbucks earned through the card are in addition to any others the consumer would earn through the Orbitz loyalty program for bookings.
A consumer spending an average of $2,780 on travel and $10,000 on non-travel card purchases during a year would earn as much as $423 in Orbucks, Chris Orton, chief operating officer and president of Orbitz, says in the press release.
"If they used the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card and booked their travel through the Orbitz.com mobile app, that translates into two or three free hotel room nights," Orton says in the release.
Travel payments companies are increasingly adopting technology. The Dallas-based Alliance Data, which issues the Virgin America affinity credit card, also launched two co-branded products in January with Virgin Airlines' Elevate frequent flier program.
MasterCard and Points International partnered earlier this year to provide a similar program, emphasizing more flexibility with its MasterCard Rewards for travel arrangements and the ability to exchange, buy, trade or gift rewards points.
And Visa Europe last fall adopted technology through Conferma that allows banks to issue a virtual account number for business travel customers. The traveler uses the one-time virtual account when making travel reservations through various online channels in Europe.