Now through July 26, you can earn triple rewards when you book a flight on Condor or Thomas Cook, two European carriers that predominantly serve leisure customers. Condor is the newest international partner of Alaska Airlines, which means you can earn miles and status when you fly Condor and credit your ticket to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. (HT to Loyalty Lobby) The normal earning rate of 1% will instead be increased to 3%.
Orbitz Rewards is one of my favorite online travel agency (OTA) loyalty programs (the other is Hotels.com). “Orbucks” are easy to redeem for all or part of a hotel stay, and if you get the Orbitz Rewards credit card you can earn them even faster. Although you can also earn Orbucks for booking flights, it’s much faster to earn them for hotel stays due to the higher commissions these reservations provide. That’s one reason the triple Orbucks promotion is such a big deal.
To find this offer, make sure you’re logged into Orbitz Rewards and then visit the promotions page. Loyalty Lobby reports there was also a double Orbucks offer good on all airlines, but it’s already expired.
The other benefit to booking flights through Orbitz is that you can double dip in two loyalty programs by earning Orbucks and also submitting your ticket to earn miles with Alaska Airlines. Hotels typically require you to book directly with them to earn any rewards or benefits.
On the other hand, let me warn you that sometimes booking with an OTA has a downside. If you need to change or cancel a reservation, or if there is a serious delay that interrupts your travel plans, there is a tendency to pass the buck. You may be flying with the airline, but you made your purchase with Orbitz, and getting the two to cooperate isn’t always easy. If not for the extra rewards, I would still recommend booking directly with the airline.