After a testing period earlier this year, Expedia has formally unveiled an initiative that gives travelers access to more than 115,000 vacation rental properties from HomeAway‘s network on Expedia.com. To find these listings, visitors search for your desired travel destination and dates. Vacation rentals will appear among the hotel listings, and clicking on any of them will take you to all available options in the area that you’re searching. You’ll be able to use Expedia’s neighborhood and price filters, and all lodging can be booked immediately, rather than requiring a quote or an email exchange with the property owner. While the listings aren’t fully integrated — reservations are made on a separate page powered by HomeAway — the booking process is simple and requires just one form. As with all HomeAway bookings, your reservation will be confirmed or declined within 24 hours.
And for those who love nothing more than maximizing credit card points, the new Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi lets travelers earn extra points for the new Expedia+ Rewards program — letting them redeem flights, hotels, packages, and even excursions faster than ever before. For context, the lowest-tier rewards members typically earn 1 point for every $5 for standalone hotel bookings and 2 points for every $1 spent on cruise bookings and packages. Voyager cardholders, however, get 4 Expedia+ points for every $1 spent on eligible Expedia.com purchases, 2 points per $1 on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per $1 for everything else charged to the card. So long as you’re active on Expedia every 18 months — either purchasing or redeeming — your points won’t expire. Another nice bonus is either immediate top-tier +gold status, which comes with great perks like 30% point bonuses for Expedia purchases and free upgrades and exclusive amenities at Expedia’s VIP+ collection of boutique hotels.
It’s not just about the points — or even using the website — though. The two-chip feature, lack of foreign transaction fees, and $100 annual credit for expenses like baggage fees and inflight food all have the avid traveler in mind. Other benefits that can come in handy, whether or not you’re traveling with Expedia, include lost baggage protection and trip cancellation and interruption protection. While there is an $95 annual fee, the $100 credit for “nuisance fees” alone makes it up. There’s also an Expedia+ card with mid-tier +silver status, with slower earning than the Voyager card but does not charge an annual fee.