One Key review:, Expedia and Vrbo’s new rewards programme

All you need to know about the new loyalty scheme

Hotels. com, Expedia and Vrbo are launching a brand new rewards scheme this summer. So what do you get from this rewards programme and what happens to the rewards you already have saved up?

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about One Key.

What is One Key?

Expedia Group’s new rewards programme, One Key, will replace Hotels. com Rewards and Expedia Rewards. It will also allow you to earn and redeem rewards on Vrbo. 

Your accounts on Hotels. com, Expedia and Vrbo will switch over to One Key sometime this summer, although the actual date is yet to be announced (the time frame given by the Expedia Group is between July and October 2024).

What are the benefits of joining One Key?

In theory, you should be better off with the three booking sites joining together under one rewards scheme, but for many, the Hotels. com reward nights were a great perk and unfortunately, the amount earned through the new programme will not be quite as generous.

Under the new scheme, you will receive 2% of your spending at Hotels. com and on holiday rentals, activities, packages, car rentals and cruises booked via Expedia and Vrbo. Flight bookings via Expedia will earn 0.2% – that’s just £1 for every £500 spent.

Unlike the current Hotels. com Rewards, you no longer need to wait until you’ve stayed for 10 nights at hotels to redeem your rewards. One Key allows you to use your rewards as you receive them and for a variety of travel options such as flights and car hire as well as accommodation.

You’ll also get access to Member Prices and enjoy extra perks that get better as you move up tiers.

How do I earn rewards with One Key?

Once you are signed into your One Key account, you’ll automatically earn 2% in OneKeyCash per pound spent on eligible hotels, holiday rentals, activities, packages and car hire and 0.2% in OneKeyCash per pound spent on eligible flights. 

You can earn more on bookings at eligible VIP Access Properties as you move up the tiers. More about the tiers in a moment.

Your OneKeyCash is earned on top of most airline miles and credit card rewards as well as cashback from sites like Quidco and TopCashback. 

Another feature of One Key is that the account holder who makes the booking earns the OneKeyCash, no matter which travellers are named in the booking, so there’s no need to set up separate accounts for your family members or children.

Receiving your OneKeyCash

How you receive your One Key Rewards depends on the type of booking. When you ‘Pay Now’ for your booking, your OneKeyCash will arrive in your account three days after you complete your trip. 

For ‘Pay Later’ and Vrbo bookings, your OneKeyCash will usually be confirmed 45 days after you complete your trip, but it may take up to 90 days.

OneKeyCash in your account will not expire as long as you have made an eligible booking or redeemed a reward in your account at least once every eighteen months.

Climbing the tiers with One Key

One Key Rewards has four tiers. The blue tier is the level you join at and you’ll advance through the tiers as you book trip elements, as they are referred to. For example, one trip element may be one hotel room night (each night counts as an element), or one day’s car hire, or one flight.

Here’s the amount of trip elements you have to book to move up the tiers.

BlueSign up
Silver5 trip elements a year
Gold15 trip elements a year
Platinum30 trip elements a year

Just to note, existing Hotels. com and Expedia Rewards members will have their eligible activity counted towards their One Key tier status. 

Comparison of the tier benefits

The table below shows just what you’ll get depending on what tier you are on.

Earn and use OneKeyCash on eligible bookings on Expedia, and VrboAll the benefits of Blue tierAll the benefits of Silver tierAll the benefits of Gold tier
Save at least 10%  with member prices on select hotelsSave 15% or more with Silver Member Prices on select hotelsSave 20% or more with Gold Member Prices on select hotelsEarn 6% in OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and
Earn 3% in OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and Hotels.comEarn 4% in OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and Hotels.comReceive Platinum VIP Support
Receive an extra perk, such as a food and beverage discount at selected VIP Access hotelsGet late checkout, early check-in and room upgrades when available at selected VIP Access hotels
Price Drop Protection at no extra cost on selected flight bookings made on the Expedia app

Spending your OneKeyCash

As this is a new rewards scheme, we can’t speak from experience but can tell you that OneKeyCash can be used on eligible ‘Pay Now’ bookings and participating holiday rentals. It can also be used on eligible flights and you’ll need enough OneKeyCash to cover the entire cost including taxes and fees.

We’ll be sure to add more here once the scheme is up and running and we’ve tried and tested it.

Will this affect my and Expedia Rewards?

Any existing Expedia and Hotels. com Rewards will be converted into OneKeyCash at their existing value and the expiry date will remain the same. So if you have a Hotels. com reward night worth £100, this will be converted to £100 in OneKeyCash under the new scheme.

If you haven’t earned a reward night, the stamps you have collected towards it will be turned into OneKeyCash based on their existing value, i.e. 10% of the cost of that particular night excluding VAT and fees.

We’ve covered these changes in more detail in our news article.

Do I need to do anything to my, Expedia or Vrbo accounts?

When One Key launches, existing Expedia and Hotels. com Rewards members will be automatically moved to the new programme. New members will be asked to set up an account or log in to your existing account and to accept terms and conditions.

One Key will be in touch with current account holders on Hotels. com, Expedia and Vrbo in the coming weeks and in the meantime, members can keep earning and redeeming rewards with the current schemes in place.

One Key vs previous schemes

Here’s how One Key compares to the schemes it replaces.

Reward schemeEarning rewardsSpending rewards
Hotels. com1 night free for every 10 booked (worth 10% of spending before taxes and fees)Have to stay 10 nights before you can exchange for a free night stay
Expedia1% cashback for bookings (0.2% for flights)Spend rewards on all aspects of booking
One KeyEarn 2% back on bookings at Hotels. com, Expedia & Vrbo(0.2% on flights)Spend rewards as you earn them on all aspects of travel at Hotels. com, Expedia & Vrbo 

One Key Rewards: our opinion

The One Key Rewards programme may be less rewarding than the old Hotels. com Rewards, but it does give travellers more ways to earn when booking with Expedia, Hotels. com and Vrbo. It’s the first time that Vrbo has had a loyalty scheme which is a welcome addition and it sounds like spending your OneKeyCash will be easy to apply.

Climbing the tiers appears to be more achievable than most reward schemes, since individual elements of your trip each count towards a reward. So if you book your entire holiday, including flights, hotels and car hire through Hotels. com, Expedia or Vrbo, you’ll be climbing the tier ladder in no time at all and earning the extra benefits that come with it.


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