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Review: Is the ebookers BONUS+ loyalty scheme worth joining?

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This is our review of the ebookers BONUS+ loyalty scheme.  Is it good enough to persuade you to book your flights and hotel on ebookers?

In 2020 we reviewed Expedia’s loyalty programme, Expedia Rewards, just to learn that it was a huge disappointment.

Compared to Hotels.com (who share the same ownership) and their simple and straight forward Hotels.com Rewards programme (get 1 point per night, get a free night for every 10 points based on your average spend) Expedia Rewards is anything but convincing.

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

Is the ebookers BONUS+ loyalty scheme worth joining?

Today I want to review the ebookers BONUS+ loyalty programme to see whether it is as disappointing as Expedia Rewards or as good as Hotels.com Rewards.

One positive angle is that ebookers has teamed up with DragonPass to offer airport lounge access as a loyalty benefit.

How does ebookers BONUS+ work?

ebookers BONUS+ launched in 2014.  It originally 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.

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 is a cap on how much you can earn per year from flight bookings.  This is set at £60 for Silver members, £120 for Gold members and £240 for Platinum members.  There is no cap on what you can earn from hotel or ‘flight and hotel’ bookings.  If you have substantial flight spend, it makes sense to also book 12 hotel nights via ebookers in order to access the higher £240 flight rewards cap.

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

What are the ebookers BONUS+ tier benefits?

When you first sign up you are a Silver member.  After four hotel nights 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
  • ‘Insider prices’

Gold (four hotel nights)

  • Silver benefits
  • Airport lounge access with DragonPass (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 airport 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)

(EDIT: The comments below suggest that only ‘pay in advance’ hotel nights count towards these rewards)

The DragonPass benefit is the key one, I think, unless you tend to pay baggage fees.  DragonPass is a third party airport lounge network which lets you get reduced or free lounge entry at airports around the globe.

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

The DragonPass network is as big as the Priority Pass one and has an useful extra benefit for anyone who is UK-based. DragonPass gets you into the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 (review here), whilst a Priority Pass card does not.

The average DragonPass lounge costs around £25.  It covers most independent lounges globally so you won’t have trouble using your free pass.  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 – potentially cheap – hotel nights with ebookers to get to 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 DragonPass lounge pass after just four 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.


Hotel offers update – December 2021:

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

Want to buy hotel points? There is currently a special offer running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 7th December), Marriott Bonvoy (45% bonus to 8th December) and World of Hyatt (30% discount, equivalent to a 43% bonus, to 30th December).

Comments (15)

  • John says:

    This is my go to hotel site. Unlike hotels.com you can earn bonus+ even if you use a promo code and you can usually get 10-15% off codes for ebookers.

    So if hotels are eligible with the code (some chains aren’t) you can get 10-15% off, plus up to 5% back in Bonus+ as well as a lounge pass after 4 nights a year.

    For me this is better than hotels com.

    • Ben says:

      Agreed, ebookers has been my go to website for the last few years for booking non chain hotels due to the ability to stack promo codes (which are frequently available for at least 10%) plus the bonus+. Worth mentioning that the bonus credit is available immediately after booking, not once stay is completed.

    • BJ says:

      +1, pre-pandemic this really worked for me. When staying in the back of beyond in Asia there is often no alternative to inexpensive independent hotels. The discounts, rebates and lounge passes easily trumped hotels dot com. The lounge passes came in handy when flying Air Asia at times I did not have PP. Used to be some other lounge company (cannot remember which) but their CSA were superb, they would change or cancel and reissue passes on request, even at the last moment. One year I failed to requalify as platinum and they rolled it over for me too. Just keep an eye on ebooker rates, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.

    • Gavin says:

      Same here, used them quite a bit for non-chain hotels in Asia pre pandemic. Found they worked out cheaper than hotels dot com, there was always a voucher code for around 12% to 15% with a bit of googling. No need to mess around with CB sites.

  • Ikaz says:

    Plus the seem to have given status members free bonus+ this year (£30 for the platinum and £15 for gold). Anyone else seen this?

  • James says:

    Use this all the time rather than be chained to a hotel group. Much more choice and often insider prices as well. Either the discount codes are useful or if not the Voldemort portal has between 8-13% off with your bonus plus savings on top of this. Lounge access has been helpful, not so much the luggage or WiFi as yet.

  • AndyC says:

    I have used Ebookers in the past and got to Platinum status with a large amount of credit built up. Then came Covid and with so many broken promises (i.e. refunds for cancelled bookings offered and then reneged upon) by E-bookers, not to mention the number of ignored E-mails, plus the amount of credit-card chargebacks that had to be made as a result of the company’s chaotic admin., I shall never use Ebookers (which itself, of course, is part of Expedia) again.

  • Doug M says:

    I don’t think booking com anything to do with Expedia.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Correct. It’s Priceline, and worth comparing with an Expedia family agency when booking.

    • Andrew says:

      Oh sorry! Thought it was Expedia. Probably confused it with ebookers. Worthwhile alternative to check – excellent at the moment with many 10% off genius prices and 12pts/£ at Virgin Red.

  • John says:

    Never rely on portals when making purchasing decisions

  • kitten says:

    Surely you contacted them to challenge the decline? Or were you in breach of volde t’s and c’s -hotel may have seen 2 affiliates and used volde ts and cs to reject

    • r* says:

      The challenge is in progress atm. The price diff was basically the same as booking direct even without backcash, but still felt a bit cheaty.

  • Flying Misfit says:

    When Rob wrote about this last year thought I’d credit a 4-night non chain hotel booking I had to ebookers to get that dragon pass … ebookers were cheaper than direct which on the face of it would have worked out nicely

    What I didn’t appreciate is that only pay at time of booking counts as a stay towards 4 nights … pay at hotel is ineligible.. whilst its in their t and cs … I thought it was pretty poor form given that all the info pages on site don’t mention that important detail

    Just worth pointing out for those seeking the DragonPass

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