Get free airport lounge access when you book 4 hotel nights with ebookers

Earlier this year we reviewed Expedia’s loyalty programme, just to learn that it was a huge disappointment. Compared to Hotels.com (who share the same ownership) and their simple straight forward programme (get 1 point per night, get a free night for every 10 points) Expedia+ is everything else but convincing.

There is actually a third major UK brand under the same ownership: ebookers.

ebookers has recently teamed up with LoungeBuddy to offer airport lounge access as a new loyalty benefit.  We thought this was a good excuse to review the ebookers BONUS+ loyalty programme to see whether it is as disappointing as Expedia+ or as good as Hotels.com Rewards.

ebookers BONUS+ initially launched in September 2014.  It reimbursed you with a 3% rebate on your hotel bookings, 2% on your ‘flight and hotel / car’ package trips and 1% on flight tickets.  This was ‘paid’ in BONUS+ points that could be used towards future bookings.

The programme has since evolved with the addition of tier benefits.

ebookers rewards programme bonus plus

Your BONUS+ points earned now depend on what you book and where you book as you can see here:

how much you save with ebookers bonus plus

Note that you can earn BONUS+ points in addition to frequent flyer miles with flight tickets.  You won’t receive hotel loyalty points or status benefits when booking a hotel with ebookers – you only get your BONUS+ points – so it is best used when booking non-chain properties.

There are also additional tier benefits depending on the BONUS+ category you’re in.

When you first sign up you are Silver member.  After 4 nights in a hotel you become Gold and after 12 nights Platinum.  Flight bookings do not help you to move tiers, which is a sign of how unprofitable these are for online travel agents.

Tier progression is based on the number of nights you do per CALENDAR year, so this is the right time of year to start thinking about whether the programme works for you.

The tier benefits are:

Silver

  • Earn up to 5% rewards on travel, depending on whether you book via website or app
  • Priority phone line
  • No blackout dates when redeeming (not surprising, since you’re simply using your points for a cash discount)

Gold (4 hotel nights)

  • Silver benefits
  • Hotel extras (wifi, breakfast, drinks, spa etc depending on property)
  • Airport lounge access with LoungeBuddy (one lounge pass per year)
  • BONUS+ reimbursement on airline luggage fees (once a year, value up to £20)
  • BONUS+ reimbursement for wifi when travelling (once a year, value up to £15)

Platinum (12 hotel nights)

  • Gold benefits x 2 (luggage and wifi reimbursed twice a year, two lounge passes per year)
  • Free room upgrades
  • ‘Happiness Promise’ (they will pay for another hotel if you arrive and find the property is not as promised)

The LoungeBuddy benefit was only added a few weeks ago.  LoungeBuddy is an app which lets you buy airport lounge access on the spot, in the airport – it also has a huge selection of lounge reviews.  If you’ve never downloaded it, Head for Points readers get a $10 discount on their first lounge bookingsee this article.

If you don’t have airport lounge access via your airline status or ticket class, or via Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum) or Lounge Club (free with Amex Gold) then this is an interesting deal.

The average LoungeBuddy pass will be worth around £20.  They cover most independent lounges now so you won’t have trouble using it.  Add in £35 of value for the airline luggage and wifi benefits and you’re looking at about £55 of value.  That’s not a bad return for booking four hotel nights with ebookers to get to the Gold level.

Conclusion

ebookers BONUS+ is worth a look, especially if you book a lot of non-chain hotels where you aren’t sacrificing any benefits from not booking direct.

The LougeBuddy lounge pass after just 4 hotel nights is a decent bonus if you don’t already have lounge access via other means, and the reimbursement for luggage and wifi can come in handy.  If you currently use Hotels.com Rewards, you might want to consider moving four low value nights to ebookers instead.

You can learn more about ebookers BONUS+ here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: last day for 2400 Avios with LEGO, Etihad / Kaligo deal, buy Flying Blue miles offer
Can you transfer Amex Membership Rewards to someone when you cancel? Er, 'Yes'.
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Comments

  1. PalCsaky says:

    Ebookers is my first port of call when comparing hotel prices. Quite regularly there are 14%-15% off discount codes for hotel bookings or hotel+flight bookings available online. These work in combination with the 5% Bonus + through the mobile app. This way the savings can be substantial compared with other OTAs.

  2. @mkcol says:

    It looks like the challenge is now on to find the cheapest ‘hotel’ to book 4 nights at.

    • the real harry1 says:

      lots of sub £5 hotels out there but will you actually have to turn up to get it recognised?

  3. Cheers for this Rob.
    I am already a Gold member but never realised that there are these additional benefits.
    Agree with previous poster, I found Ebookers to be the best value out there for Hotels and even for activities,
    where one can easily get 10-15% discount code plus the Bonus+.
    Long it may last.

    One question on Ebookers, I assume one can book EZY or Norwegian or Even BA HBO and claim for the luggage cost up to £20.
    Sound right? Also hotel wifi seem a very good option for paid wifi locations.

  4. She’s German – so we can cut her some slack! lol

    • Haha I know, it’s just I’m used to perfection here 😛 (as opposed to the likes of LoyaltyLobby where almost every article has typos!)

  5. Callum says:

    That’s ridiculously generous for ultra-budget travellers. Some quick maths shows 12 nights in a budget Asian hostel could give you a payback of about 400% with the platinum benefits!

  6. O/T

    I have hotels.com points about to expire, what’s the cheapest way to extend them – is there somewhere I can book a cheap hotel but not check in?

  7. Noggins says:

    We checked into our ebookers booked Washington hotel for 4 nights and were welcomed as Expedia VIP members. As such we were given free breakfasts, free internet and a $25 bar credit. (Value $145).
    As they say here ‘you go figure’….!
    (Seemed rude to argue)

  8. Lewis Watson says:

    ‘Happiness Promise’ (they will pay for another hotel if you arrive and find the property is not as promised)

    Is it just me if I buy something and it is not as advertised I expect them to sort regardless of my status?

    • Peter K says:

      Maybe, but often it sorted is slow, whereas this sounds quick. Plus, most Brits hate having to complain so this is a bonus.

  9. Kilburnflyer says:

    Can I clarify: Is it ONE 4+ night stay that earns Ebookers Gold or could it be total of at least 4 nights worth of bookings (which could include multiple bookings of less than 4 nights)? Thanks in advance

  10. Callum says:

    Not as generous as it first seemed! Both budget airlines I checked (Norwegian and AirAsia) have their fares inflated by about £30 if you book via ebookers (a requirement to claim back the luggage cost) – making it useless for at least those 2 airlines (I don’t know if the same applies to BA etc. fares).