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Do you love trawling Orbitz to score cheap flights, hotel stays and vacation packages? If so, the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card can sweeten these travel deals by rewarding you well for every booking.
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card may be a good fit for Orbitz loyalists who seek a high rewards rate on travel purchases made through the well-known travel search engine site or on its app. The card's rewards earning rate on Orbitz bookings is hard to beat.
But this card may not be right for you if you don't want to deal with a complex rewards earning structure, if you use Orbitz only occasionally or if you crave flexibility in rewards redemptions. And travelers who love to redeem rewards for free flights should definitely choose a different travel credit card.
If you do decide to opt for the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, you may want to consider adding a general purpose travel rewards card to your wallet as well for situations where the card falls short.
Like most travel rewards cards, the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card offers an introductory bonus to new cardholders who spend a set amount within a certain time frame.
Current offer: Get a $100 statement credit when you open an Orbitz Rewards Visa and spend $1,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
What it's worth: $100
Who's eligible to earn this bonus?: You can earn this bonus only one time. So cardholders who have held this card in the past and already earned the bonus once won't be able to get it a second time.
But the Orbitz Visa's sign-up bonus is mediocre at best when compared with other cards’ sign-up bonuses. Many of these travel cards have welcome bonuses worth hundreds of dollars — and also offer extra perks that boost the value of the card even more.
One example: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. (However, you do have to spend substantially more to get the bonus.) And the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card lets you Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. That's double the value of the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card's sign-up bonus with a lower spending requirement.
That said, you do get an extra benefit when you open the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card: complimentary Orbitz Rewards Gold status and perks.
One of the biggest draws of the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card: a high rate of earnings on travel booked at Orbitz.com or through the Orbitz mobile app. Here's how much you can earn when you make purchases with your Orbitz Rewards Visa Card: 9% in Orbucks back when you book eligible activities and hotels using the Orbitz mobile app, 8% in Orbucks back when you book at Orbitz.com, 7% in Orbucks back when you book flights and travel packages using the Orbitz app, 6% in Orbucks back when you book at Orbitz.com, 5% in Orbucks back on all other qualifying Orbitz purchases and 2% in Orbucks back on all other purchases.
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card's rewards on Orbitz bookings beat the rewards many other cards offer in travel bonus categories. Some popular travel cards offer 2X, 3X or 4X points per dollar spent in travel and dining bonus categories, which is a fraction of what you can get with the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card on Orbitz bookings.
But if you dine out a lot, it's worth noting that the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card doesn't include restaurants and takeout as a bonus category. That spending fits into the "all other purchases" category, which earns 2% in Orbucks back.
And the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card has one big downside: You can only redeem your rewards for Orbitz hotel bookings. The advantage of many general travel cards is that you can squeeze more value out of your points or miles when you redeem them by transferring to travel partners. That's an option you don't have with the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card.
What are Orbucks worth?
Orbucks are worth $1 off your hotel stay. For example, 100 Orbucks can be redeemed for a $100 discount on your Orbitz hotel booking. This value is equal to the average rewards program point of 1 cent. They’re also pretty simple to redeem, though your redemption options are limited to Orbitz hotel bookings.
Ease of redeeming: Easy
The Orbucks you earn from an eligible Orbitz booking will get deposited into your Orbucks account immediately, and there's no minimum amount of Orbucks needed to redeem your rewards.
You can redeem Orbucks only for "redeemable hotel" stays booked through Orbitz.com or the Orbitz app. An Orbitz "redeemable hotel" is defined as any prepaid, stand-alone hotel that shows an "Orbucks applied" message in the Orbitz search results.
You can partially pay for a booking using Orbucks. If you only redeem enough Orbucks to cover part of the total, the amount of Orbucks used will be deducted from the total amount due.
How to redeem your Orbucks
Orbucks are fairly easy to redeem. When you log into your Orbitz account, you'll see your Orbucks balance immediately. You can do a search on Orbitz or the app to find hotels at your destination that have an "Orbucks applied" message indicating that you can use rewards to prepay for all or part of your stay when you book.
However, if you book multiple rooms with rewards, your Orbucks will be applied to the overall cost of the booking. It's not possible to apply the rewards only to certain rooms in a multi-room booking.
The Orbucks you earn with your credit card will be available to you as long as you're actively using your card. They will expire 12 months after your most recent purchase on the card.
Other Orbitz Rewards Visa Card benefits
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card offers an array of other benefits, from Orbitz elite status to travel insurance and other perks. While it doesn't offer quite as much in the way of perks as some of the general purpose travel cards, its offerings are competitive for a no-annual-fee travel credit card.
Orbitz Rewards Gold status
You automatically get Orbitz Rewards Gold Status when you open an Orbitz Rewards Visa Card. If you don't have the card, you have to stay four nights in one year at a hotel booked through Orbitz to get this status level.
Orbitz has three levels of status: Silver, Gold and Platinum. All Orbitz status levels offer the following benefits:
- Member-only prices
- A dedicated elite customer service line and the ability to earn Orbucks rewards when you book flights
- Hotels and travel packages through Orbitz
Gold status offers an additional perk: You can get amenities including breakfast and free Wi-Fi at "VIP Access" properties.
You will keep the Gold status you earned by opening the card as long as you make at least one purchase on the card every 12 months. Your status will expire one year after your most recent purchase on the card.
6-month CLEAR trial membership
Get a free 6-month CLEAR trial membership when you open an Orbitz Rewards Visa Card. This benefit gives you access to an expedited security line to help you get through airport security much more quickly when you fly.
After the free CLEAR trial, get $60 off the cost of your membership with automatic renewal. CLEAR normally costs $180 a year ($15 a month, billed annually) but with the Orbitz deal, you can get it for $120 a year.
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card offers some travel insurance, though its coverage is less comprehensive and robust than the insurance offered on some other travel cards. Travel insurance coverage on the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card includes:
- Accident insurance – Get up to $250,000 coverage for accidental death or dismemberment while on a trip you purchased with the card.
- Baggage coverage – Receive up to $3,000 in insurance coverage for lost or stolen bags on a trip you pay for with the card.
- Card loss coverage – If your card is lost or stolen, you can get an emergency cash advance to tide you over until your replacement card arrives.
- Hotel theft protection – Get up to $1,500 for items stolen from a U.S. or Canada hotel room paid for with the card.
You also get access to the Visa Signature concierge service available by phone 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. You can use this service for help with a variety of travel issues including: planning a trip, getting a lost ticket replaced, locating lost luggage, finding emergency transportation and getting language translation services.
You get the travel insurance benefits on the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card as part of the Visa Signature package of benefits.
No foreign transaction fees
Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the U.S. The most common foreign transaction fee is about 3%. With the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, you don't pay any foreign transaction fee when using your card in other countries.
A card free from foreign transaction fees like the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card can save you a significant amount of money on an international trip. For example, you could save $150 on a $5,000 trip by not paying a 3% fee on all of your purchases.
How does the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card compare to other cards?
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card can be a worthwhile addition to the wallet for travelers who almost always book through Orbitz. But a general travel credit card may offer a better deal if you don't book through Orbitz enough to really take advantage of the high earnings rate you get with the card on Orbitz app and website purchases. We'll also look at how it compares to the best general purpose travel credit cards available today.
Orbitz Rewards Visa Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a solid travel credit card option for those who aren't particularly loyal to Orbitz (or Priceline) and prefer a simple rewards structure. The rewards earning structure of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card couldn't be simpler: earn unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
This sheer simplicity may appeal to travelers who don't want to have to consult a cheat sheet to know how much they'll earn on any given purchase. The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card's rewards structure is pretty complicated, with multiple earnings tiers and different rates depending on whether you book travel on the app or the website. The Venture card also offers an array of redemption options, including the ability to use rewards for PayPal purchases and to transfer your points to Capital One transfer partners. And unlike the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a generous sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.
One downside of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: a $95 annual fee. All the advantages of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card make it the better choice for everyone except dedicated Orbitz loyalists and travelers who don't want to pay an annual fee.
Orbitz Rewards Visa Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Travelers who prefer a solid general purpose travel credit card may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card provides 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases
The redemption options offer loads of flexibility that may more than make up for lower earnings on some travel. You can redeem reward points, called Ultimate Rewards (UR), for travel, a statement credit, gift cards and more. You get a 25% bonus when redeeming those points for travel on the Chase portal, or a 25% bonus when redeeming for statement credits in certain categories through Chase's new "Pay Yourself Back" program. You also can transfer UR points to participating hotel and airline loyalty programs. That last option will allow you to get the most value from these points because you can increase the rewards rate by transferring points to programs such as Southwest Rapid Rewards or IHG.
Another big plus: This card offers a much larger sign-up bonus than the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, though you do have to spend more to earn it. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. But keep in mind that, unlike the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee.
Orbitz Rewards Visa Card vs. Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card®
The Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card® is a good option for those who use Orbitz' competitor Priceline to book travel. The points earned through this card can be used as statement credit against your monthly bill. You get a bonus 10% of your redeemed points back whenever you use them as statement credit for a Priceline.com purchase of at least $25 made in the last 120 days.
A major downside of the Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card® is that it is not very rewarding outside of Priceline.com purchases. This decreases its value when it comes to everyday purchases. The Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card® gets you only 5X points on Priceline.com purchases and 1 point per dollar on purchases everywhere else. With the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, you can earn double that amount on every $1 you spend on purchases not in the higher-earning bonus categories.
The Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card® does have one offer the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card lacks: an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers (a 14.99% or 21.99% (Variable) APR applies afterward). You can even earn up to 5,000 points for transferring a balance for a limited time.
Is the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card worth it?
The Orbitz Rewards Visa Card may be worth it if you use Orbitz almost exclusively for your travel bookings. The high rate of rewards can make the card a good deal as long as you're not bothered by the fact that you're restricted to cashing in your rewards for Orbitz hotel stays.
But before applying for the card, you may want to shop around to find out whether you're really getting the best deal by always booking with Orbitz. You may want to do some comparison shopping on other cheap flight search engines like Skiplagged, Agoda and Momondo to evaluate their deals next to those you find on Orbitz. If you're paying more to book through Orbitz than you would elsewhere, that price difference can cancel out the generous rewards.
Most travelers will find a general purpose travel credit card much more flexible and possibly more lucrative when taking redemption options into account. If you've got your sights set on the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, also consider carrying a general travel card in your wallet.
The information related to Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and Priceline Rewards[TM] Visa Card® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.