Orbitz Rewards Visa Card: Who Should (and Should Not) Apply

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Orbitz has launched a new card which gets you a $50 statement credit after you spend $200 in the 1st 90 days.  So this is NOT a card you get just for the sign-up bonus!

You get an additional 5% back in Orbitz Orbucks when you use the Orbitz Reward Visa card for your travel purchases on Orbitz.  And you get 2% back in Orbitz Orbucks EVERYWHERE ELSE.  Orbitz Orbucks can only be redeemed for hotel purchases made through Orbitz.

I like that there’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, it’s issued by a bank I don’t already use (Comenity Capital Bank, issuers of the Virgin America credit cards), and that it grants you automatic “Star” status for free internet and breakfast at certain hotels…but this card is definitely NOT for everyone.

Or even for me!

What Do You Get With the Orbitz Rewards Visa?

Link:   Orbitz Rewards Visa

Orbitz is an online travel agency that’s popular with folks looking for discounts on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.  They have a rewards currency called Orbucks.  Orbucks can ONLY be used to buy HOTEL rooms.

So if you’re not a person who books discounted hotel rooms on Orbitz, this isn’t a good card for you.

One Orbuck is worth $1 back on a hotel booked through Orbitz.

If you spend $100 on anything anywhere, you get $2 towards your next hotel booking on Orbitz ($100 you spent X 2% back in Orbucks).

With the Orbitz Rewards Visa you get:

  • 5% back on bookings through Orbitz
  • 2% back on ALL purchases
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $50 statement credit after spending $200 in 90 days

So your $300 airfare booked on Orbitz earns you $15 off your next Orbitz hotel booking ($300 airfare * 5% back on Orbitz bookings).

You also get automatic Orbitz “Star” status.  Orbitz has a list of All-Star Hotels where, if you have Star status, you can get upgrades such as free Wi-Fi, breakfast, late check-out, and more.  The perks vary from hotel to hotel and they’re clearly listed.

Orbitz Credit Card
A 10 Minute Walk From the National Mall in Washington, D.C., You Get Free Internet at the Washington Court Hotel With Your Orbitz Rewards Visa

With the Orbitz Rewards program there aren’t any blackout dates and you can choose from tens of thousands of hotels.  So in that sense, it’s very flexible.  But it’s NOT flexible like other hotel programs in that you can NOT transfer your points out to get airline miles.

For instance, you can transfer Wyndham hotel points to Southwest.

Stack Savings With the Orbitz Rewards Program: 2 Examples

1.   Use the Orbitz iOS or Android app to book your hotel on Orbitz to get an additional 5% back.

So if you were to use the app AND your Orbitz Rewards Visa to book your hotel, you’d get 10% back.

2.   Use the Orbitz app to book a flight on Orbitz to get another 2% back.  

So using your Orbitz Reward Visa combined with the app gets you 7% off your next Orbitz hotel booking.

Remember, no matter how you earn money back with this card, it is ALWAYS in Orbucks.  And Orbucks can ONLY be used to book hotel rooms through Orbitz!

Folks Who Should Consider the Orbitz Rewards Visa

Link:   Orbitz Rewards Visa

Link:   Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express card

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Link:   Expedia

Link:   TravelPony

Anyone who already uses Orbitz or similar sites like Expedia to book hotels!

The opportunity to stack Orbitz promotions gets you up to 10% off their long list of hotels.  And with the card, their All-Star hotels will give you perks that range from free internet, parking, breakfast, and late check-out.

This can really save you money in expensive places like New York City, Miami, Europe, etc.

Orbitz Credit Card
Walk to St. Peter’s Square From Starhotels Michelangelo Hotel Rome Where Your Orbitz Rewards Visa Gets You Free Wi-Fi

And remember, when you book airfare through Orbitz you’ll also get your airline’s frequent flyer miles.

You won’t get a big sign-up bonus, but you will get a $50 statement credit after you spend $200 in the 1st 90 days.  So this card is NOT worth applying for just for the bonus.

Also, a no annual fee card can help your credit score.

The Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express card earns you 2% back on every purchase but you’ll need an eligible Fidelity account and it DOES charge a foreign transaction fee.

Orbitz Credit Card
Emily and I Used Our Chase Sapphire Preferred in Strasbourg Because It Has No Foreign Transaction Fee & Earns 2X Points on Dining

When I travel outside the US I like to use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card because it has no foreign transaction fee.  But it does have an annual fee, although it’s waived for the 1st year.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2% back on dining and travel purchases and 1% back on everything else.

The Orbitz Rewards Visa card is issued by Comenity Capital Bank.  (They also issue the Virgin America cards.)  So it won’t “block” you from applying for other cards from Chase, Citi, Barclays, etc.  That’s because you should usually only apply for 1 card from each bank at a time.

Because this card is from a different bank, you may be able to add it to your mix of credit cards without much downside.  That said, I’d wait to see if the sign-on bonus increases.  A $50 statement credit really doesn’t do much for me!

So if you already use Orbitz or their competitors such as Expedia, Travelocity, TravelPony, etc., the Orbitz Rewards Visa card is worth considering.  That’s because they’ve designed their program to get you to switch to them!

Those Who Probably Should Not Apply for the Orbitz Rewards Visa

Folks who are loyal to a particular hotel brand probably won’t benefit from the Orbitz Rewards Visa.  That’s because you do NOT earn credit towards elite status with a hotel when you book through Orbitz or similar online travel agencies.

And if you’re looking to stay at expensive hotels, it’s better to collect Chase Ultimate Rewards points, American Express Membership Rewards points, and Starwood points.

For example, there’s a limited time offer for 60,000 points with the Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold.  Those 60,000 points can be transferred to Hyatt.

Orbitz Credit Card
Emily and I Transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt to Stay at a Suite in the Regency Maui in Hawaii

Or if you have a particular hotel brand in mind, apply for 1 of their cards.

For instance, you currently get 2 weekend nights (after spending $2,500 within 4 months) with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card.

Orbitz Credit Card
You Can Have A Weekend on the Beach of Bora Bora With the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Here’s my list of the best hotel credit cards along with why I like each one.

People who don’t often stay at hotels won’t get much use out of the Orbitz Rewards Visa because the Orbucks reward points are ONLY good for discounts on Orbitz hotels.

So those folks would be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on their travel purchases and be able to use them for airfare, hotels, statement credits, or to transfer to airline and hotel partners for award bookings.

Bottom Line

The Orbitz Rewards Visa card gives you a points currency called Orbucks that can be used towards hotel rooms booked through Orbitz.

With the card you get 5% back in Orbucks on all bookings you make through Orbitz and 2% back on everything else, anywhere else.

You get a $50 statement credit after you spend $200 in the 1st 90 days.  So it’s NOT worth signing-up just for the bonus!

This card is best for folks who already use Orbitz or 1 of their competitors like Expedia.  People loyal to a particular hotel chain because they want elite status and those who only want big sign-up bonuses should NOT apply for this card.

The opportunity to stack Orbitz promotions can earn you up to 10% off hotel rooms so this card might make sense for you if you’re a hotel comparison shopper.  And if you’ve run out of cards.

I’m going to pass on the card for now…

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