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Expedia Launches Rewards Program For Small Businesses

With new program, entrepreneurs earn rewards for frequent traveling and monitor company bookings.
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Good news for entrepreneurs: There's one more company fighting for your travel business.

Expedia, the online travel agency, on Wednesday launched a special rewards program for small business owners who hold Chase's Ink small business credit cards. Expedia's announcement comes half a year after rival Orbitz announced a small business rewards program of its own.

To register for the new Expedia, Ink cardholders can sign up online--registration is free--and then invite employees to participate.

Expedia's new program will give entrepreneurs $100 for every 10 prepaid hotel nights they book through the website. Business owners will also gain access to a new online dashboard, which will let them monitor all of their company's travel plans.

Expedia says these perks will come on top of the company's longstanding Expedia Rewards Program, which awards points for booking flights and hotels through its website. Users can then then cash those points for flight and hotel discounts without blackout dates.

"We saw some power-users out there--booking 50 or 100 trips a year. Turns out they were travel arrangers for small businesses," Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Associated Press.

The Orbitz for Business program, by contrast, doesn't include rewards, but offers discounts on flights and hotels, fee-free online cancelations and exchanges, and 24/7 customer support. Both programs charge some booking fees; any flight booked through Orbitz for Business, for instance, comes with an additional fee that ranges anywere between $4.99 and $17.99, according to their website.

Small firms are a fertile market for travel agencies: Only a third of small businesses use a corporate booking system for their travel needs, the AP reports. And Expedia may be looking to shore up its business: Expedia's business has been growing more slowly than that of its competitors, the AP notes, with airline ticket sales actually falling 8% in the second quarter.

Last updated: Sep 12, 2012




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