Internet travel company Priceline.com has strengthened its marketing alliance with online auctioneer eBay. Customers of the discount travel broker can now earn loyalty points for Priceline.com purchases through eBay’s “Anything Points” program.
“It may be a little offbeat, but it certainly is an alternative to frequent flyer miles,” Priceline spokesman Brian Ek told The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate. “If you are someone who can’t seem to collect enough frequent flyer miles, this is another option to receive rewards.”
Under the Anything Points program, members can earn and use points for purchases online. The points are deposited in the members PayPal account and can be used for almost anything featured on the eBay site — not to mention they can be converted into miles and points with several airline and hotel programs through Points.com; a fact that seems to have escaped Mr. Ek, but that, as a reader of this magazine, you are no doubt well aware.
Ek said eBay users can earn up to 1,500 points for booking airline tickets and hotel rooms offered through Priceline and up to 500 points for renting a car.
The partnership may well give Priceline.com a competitive advantage over other travel discount brokers, many of whom have fallen out of favor with hotel companies. Recently, many large hotel programs have ended the practice of awarding loyalty points for stays booked at third-party sites like hotels.com.
Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Scott Kessler said Priceline, like other online travel sites, hasn’t been able to reward customers for doing business with them. “This is intended to address that,” Kessler told The Advocate.