How to Maximize the Vrbo Rewards Program

Reap travel rewards on your vacation rentals with OneKey.
Lee Huffman
By Lee Huffman 
Published
Edited by Meg Lee

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Vacation rentals have increased in popularity as travelers are opting for additional space, amenities like kitchens and hot tubs, and a more authentic local experience.

One of the largest vacation rental platforms is Vrbo, and with the recent release of One Key Rewards, it’s the only one with a rewards program. Here’s how to maximize Vrbo's One Key Rewards program.

How to get more value from Vrbo's One Key Rewards program

1. Register for a One Key Rewards account

One Key Rewards is the new loyalty program for Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo. The program is free to join, and rewards earned from any of the three platforms are combined into a single One Key account.

For every dollar you spend on Vrbo reservations, you’ll receive 2% back in OneKeyCash, which is the currency of the One Key program. These rewards can then be used to book hotels, flights, rental cars and more through Vrbo, Hotels.com or Expedia.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Rewards from Vrbo reservations typically post within 3 days of completing trip.

2. Earn bonuses for holding One Key elite status

One Key Rewards members can earn elite status based on the number of trip elements they purchase, which include flights, hotel nights, rental car days, cruises and other activities. Trip elements qualify when you spend $25 or more, excluding taxes and fees.

The One Key elite status program has four levels: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. You’ll achieve higher levels based on the total number of trip segments earned each year. Here’s what it takes to reach each one:

  • One Key Blue: 0-4 trip elements.

  • One Key Silver: 5-14 trip elements.

  • One Key Gold: 15-29 trip elements.

  • One Key Platinum: 30+ trip elements.

Unlike many other loyalty programs, One Key members can reach the upper levels of elite status fairly quickly.

For example, if your family is traveling on an eight-day, seven-night vacation, you can earn 15 elements from the hotel nights and rental car days alone. Fifteen elements already gets you to Gold status, and flights and activities could add even more to the total.

Once you hold elite status, you’ll earn OneKeyCash bonuses on select VIP Access properties on Expedia and Hotels.com. With Platinum status, you'll save 20% or more with Platinum member prices on over 10,000 hotels worldwide.

3. Redeem OneKeyCash for vacation rentals

You can also maximize the Vrbo rewards program by using the OneKeyCash you earn to book vacation rentals. Members can redeem OneKeyCash to pay for some or all of their reservations at participating Vrbo rentals. These rewards reduce the out-of-pocket cost needed to book a rental property.

4. Book trips for friends and family

OneKeyCash is earned by the individual who booked the reservation, not necessarily the person who is traveling. This means you can earn OneKeyCash and trip elements toward elite status by booking trips for friends and family members, including collecting the rewards from flights everyone takes to the destination.

5. Pay with a travel credit card

Using travel credit cards can be a savvy way to earn valuable points and miles on your purchases.

With the One Key Rewards program, you don’t have to choose between credit card points and OneKeyCash — you can earn both on the same purchase. Not only that, but many travel cards include protections in case your trip is canceled, delayed or interrupted or your baggage is lost or damaged.

Another way to increase your earnings is by getting a credit card that offers bonus rewards when making travel purchases.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3x points on travel, whether booking directly or through an online travel agency like Expedia.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

NerdWallet Rating
5.0
Annual fee

$550

And the more Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you earn, the more you have to redeem for future travel.

What else you need to know

How does Vrbo work?

Vrbo is a vacation rental platform that provides travelers with the privacy and comforts of a home away from home. Its rental homes allow large groups or families to stay together under one roof.

Additionally, travelers can take advantage of amenities like full kitchens, in-unit laundry, private backyards and more.

Vrbo properties are also good for remote workers on extended trips, pet owners wanting to give their furry friends more space and travelers who prefer staying in remote locations without traditional lodging options.

» Learn more: Is Vrbo legit?

Where and what types of properties can you book through Vrbo?

Travelers can choose from more than two million condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses and other types of properties. Here are some examples of the types of properties you can book in a handful of popular tourist destinations.

Nashville, Tennessee

Both of these options in Nashville, Tennessee, are within miles of downtown and cost a bit over $100 per night — a rate that may even be cheaper than some area hotels. One option is a corner penthouse apartment with a balcony, while the other is a private guesthouse in historic east Nashville.

Miami, Florida

Trips to Miami can get expensive, but there are Vrbo options at many price points. Both of these example selections are less than a 10 minute drive to the beach, but they range in price from under $200 to more than $350 per night. Depending on how many travelers are in your group, you may want to select rentals with multiple bedrooms, as well.

Paris, France

Recent regulations have made it more difficult for Parisian hosts to rent their properties on short-term rental sites, but there are still great deals to be found in the City of Light. Options range from studio apartments in the city center for around $150 a night to quieter locations on the outskirts of the city for around $80.

Tokyo, Japan

Staying at a Vrbo in Japan can be culturally immersive, as visitors can experience what it’s like to live in a traditional Japanese home. Both of these options sleep larger groups and have multiple bedrooms, which can be nice for families or groups of friends. At under $150 per night, neither option is a bad deal, either.

» Learn more: Airbnb vs. Vrbo

Maximizing the Vrbo rewards program, recapped

Vacation rentals are becoming a popular way for people to travel. Until now, vacation home programs didn’t offer rewards when booking these types of trips.

With the launch of the One Key Rewards program, you can earn and redeem OneKeyCash at Vrbo, Expedia and Hotels.com. By using these five ways to maximize the Vrbo rewards program, you’ll earn additional rewards and reduce the cost of future vacations.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Airbnb from our Partners
Citi Custom Cash® Card

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash® Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1%-5%

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2%

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
4.5
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-3x

Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

20,000

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

Points
See more cards for Airbnb
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