How to Save Money Booking Travel on Orbitz

This online travel giant offers ways to save cash and earn rewards when booking.
Elina Geller
Sally French
By Sally French and  Elina Geller 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Orbitz has its roots in cheap flights, but now the online travel deals aggregator offers deals on all sorts of travel, including lodging, rental cars and vacation packages.

Perhaps the biggest thing that sets Orbitz apart from other online travel agencies is its genesis: Orbitz was created by a handful of the world’s most prominent airlines.

In response to the growth of online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines (among others) got together to make their own. These days, however, Orbitz is actually owned by one of the companies it first aimed to compete with: Expedia. But despite being owned by the same company, Expedia and Orbitz have many differences.

Here’s what you need to know about booking travel on Orbitz.

How does Orbitz work?

Orbitz can be used to search for and book a variety of travel, including flights, hotels, vacation homes, all-inclusive resorts, rental cars and vacation packages. When you book, you’ll earn Orbitz Rewards — dubbed Orbucks — which you can accumulate and redeem for hotel stays.

You can book travel online or through the Orbitz mobile app, which entails additional features such as mobile-exclusive deals (like up to 30% off hotels), real-time alerts of travel updates (like your flight status and gate number) and the ability to directly message your hotel through the app.

When you’re ready to book, the entire transaction is handled online. In most cases, there’s no need to speak to a human travel agent. Expect to receive a confirmation email with your trip details upon booking.

While you don’t actually need an Orbitz account to book travel, it’s generally a good idea. By signing up, you’ll automatically become a member of the free-to-join Orbitz Rewards program, which can help you rack up status and Orbucks.

Having an account can also make it easier to access past and upcoming trip information. If logged in, you can view and print your itinerary under the “My Trips” tab.

From there, you’ll be able to easily access your confirmation code (which you’ll generally need to check in for flights), display your whole itinerary in one screen, and quickly navigate to change and cancellation pages should you need to modify your trip.

How to use Orbucks from Orbitz Rewards

When you have an account, you’ll be able to earn Orbucks, which are the official currency of the Orbitz Rewards loyalty program. Orbucks can then be cashed in on hotel stays.

The amount of Orbucks you earn varies by what you book and how you book it. Presumably because Orbitz wants to get you in the habit of booking through its app, Orbitz offers an even higher rate when you book there rather than on the Orbitz website.

Here are the Orbucks earn rates for each type of travel reservation:

For bookings made on

For bookings made on the Orbitz app

Earn rate on flights



Earn rate on packages



Earn rate on hotels



Earn rate on activities



A detailed breakdown of Orbucks earning rates based on booking type and platform.

Hotels and activities (such as guided tours, museum tickets and pub crawls) have the highest earn rate: 4% back in Orbucks. A $500 hotel stay would net you $15 in Orbucks when booked on the website or $20 in Orbucks when booked on the app. While booking on the app might feel cumbersome, it’s almost always better if you want to maximize rewards.

Every Orbuck can be redeemed for $1 off your next hotel stay booked through Orbitz. Unlike many other loyalty programs where you must have enough rewards points to cover the cost of your travels, the Orbucks program allows you to redeem as you go. Even if you only have $5 in Orbucks to your name, that’s $5 off your next hotel stay. That makes it easy to avoid sitting on a pile of points, which we generally don’t recommend.

Plus, the practice of earning and redeeming Orbucks can be stacked with other savings, such as earning points or cash back by booking through a travel credit card.

The catch? Orbucks expire fairly quickly. Most Orbucks expire within one year from when they were earned. As soon as you earn an Orbuck, it’s almost always a good idea to use them on your next hotel stay to avoid the risk that they’ll expire.

Orbitz Rewards elite status

The Orbitz Rewards elite status program entails three tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Orbitz Silver status

How to earn: Free to join.

Top benefits of Orbitz Silver status

  • Member-only prices.

  • Ability to earn Orbucks when you book flights, hotels, packages and activities.

  • Access to a customer service phone line dedicated to members.

Orbitz Gold status

How to earn: Stay four nights a year in lodging booked through Orbitz.

Top benefits of Orbitz Gold status

All of the above Silver status benefits, plus:

  • Extra goodies at VIP Access properties. Benefits vary by individual property, but they tend to be along the lines of free Wi-Fi and free breakfast.

Orbitz Platinum status

How to earn: Stay 12 nights a year in lodging booked through Orbitz.

Top benefits of Orbitz Platinum status

All of the above Gold status benefits, plus:

  • Up to $50 in Orbucks to reimburse qualifying travel expenses.

  • A coupon code worth $85 to cover the cost of your TSA PreCheck application fee (note that the PreCheck application fee recently dropped to $78).

  • Free room upgrades and early check-in (when available) at VIP Access properties.

The $50 in Orbucks travel reimbursement covers up to $50 spent per calendar year for any of the following expenses:

To claim those expenses, you’ll need to submit a photo of your receipt through Orbitz’s Reimbursement Request Form. You can also mix and match, so you could expense a $25 baggage fee and a $35 seat upgrade fee. The combined $60 receipts would get you $50 back in Orbucks.

If you have Orbitz Platinum status, that’s also an easy way to get TSA PreCheck for free. TSA PreCheck is a membership program that offers dedicated airport security lines and streamlined screening at a few hundred airports across the U.S. The application fee is normally $78, but if you’re an Orbitz Platinum member and you fill out the TSA PreCheck Request Form, Orbitz will email you a code to cover the application fee.

The best credit cards for booking on Orbitz

Certain travel credit cards pair especially well with online travel agencies like Orbitz and even competitors like Expedia, or Priceline. Here are the best cards specifically for Orbitz users.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (for travelers who like flexibility)

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

This card is a good one beyond just Orbitz spending; it's also good for purchases throughout your daily life.

If you’re open to occasionally booking outside of Orbitz, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase. Otherwise, the earn rate is 2 points per dollar on other travel spending (including online travel websites like Orbitz). You’ll also get 3 points per dollar on dining at restaurants, streaming services and online grocery purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.

The card has an annual fee of $95, which can be slightly offset by a $50 statement credit offered each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase.

In your first year, take advantage of the introductory offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Credit cards with annual fees can certainly be rewarding, but annual fees aren’t for everyone.

With the $0 annual fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you'll earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on any purchase, whether it’s a fun vacation booked on Orbitz or just your everyday spending.

What’s nice about this card is that your points can be redeemed as a statement credit for almost any sort of travel purchase, including flights, hotel stays, vacation rentals, baggage fees and restaurants (whether at home or on vacation).

Points are usually worth 1 cent each, but sometimes they’re worth more. If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you earn 25%–75% more points on every purchase. With the highest tier of Preferred Rewards status, that’s more than 2.6% back on all spending. Plus, points don’t expire.

Beyond the $0 annual fee, there are also no foreign transaction fees. Apply now to earn the sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet rating 

On the opposite spectrum of no-annual-fee travel cards is a card with a $695 annual fee: The Platinum Card® from American Express. But for frequent travelers who like the luxury life, it can easily be worth it. Terms apply.

Several built-in statement credit perks can help the annual fee easily pay for itself. These include:

  • $200 a year for airline incidental fees. This reimburses costs like checked-bag fees or in-flight refreshments, and it applies to a single airline of your choice (you can change airlines once a year). Enrollment required.

  • $200 a year for hotel bookings. This credit applies to prepaid bookings through American Express Travel at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties.

  • $200 a year for Uber. This is issued as $15 monthly Uber Cash (though you get a total of $35 in December) to cover rides or eats orders in the U.S.

  • $100 a year at Saks Fifth Avenue. Enroll and receive $50 worth of credit for in-store or online purchases from January through June, plus another $50 for purchases from July through December.

  • Up to $100 for trusted traveler programs. You can receive either one $100 statement credit every 4 years for the application fee for Global Entry or one $85 statement credit every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.

  • $189 a year for Clear. Clear is a program that helps you speed through airport security and get into stadiums more quickly. Statement credits are enough to cover Clear’s annual cost.

  • Terms apply.

It also pairs well with Orbitz, because while Orbitz offers an excellent rewards rate through its loyalty program for hotel bookings, the Orbitz loyalty program’s reward rate for booking airfare is only ho-hum. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card® from American Express is prime for airfare spending — as long as you're fine booking airfare outside of Orbitz.

You’ll earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. You’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel should you opt to book lodging with American Express, too. Terms apply.

From there, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked with American Express Travel, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Terms apply.

How to save money on Orbitz

Orbitz Rewards is certainly one way to save money on bookings (and earn points toward future travel with them too), but it’s not the only way. Whether it’s charging it to the right credit card, comparison shopping, using a shopping portal or using exclusive deals, here are the best ways to save money with Orbitz.

1. Use CashbackMonitor to stack and earn cash back / travel rewards

CashbackMonitor is a shopping portal aggregator that shows you all the cash back and travel rewards you can earn for any specific merchant. Here are the current earn rates shown on CashbackMonitor for Orbitz.

Click on your preferred shopping portal and complete your transaction on Obitz. Note that not all Orbitz purchases will earn the advertised rates. For example, if you want to use TopCash back for your Orbitz purchase, you will see that only hotel bookings earn 7%. Other purchases earn different rates.

2. Comparison shop elsewhere — then flex Orbitz's Price Guarantee

With Orbitz's Price Guarantee you can get a refund for the difference if you find a cheaper offering of the identical booking (including on the same date) elsewhere. So before booking with Orbitz, it’s not a bad idea to browse other websites like Expedia, Priceline or the direct travel provider itself.

For flights, packages, rental cars and activities: You must submit your claim within 24 hours of booking.

For hotels: You must submit your claim up to two days before your stand-alone hotel check-in date.

To qualify for Orbitz's Price Guarantee, the reservation must cost at least $50 (excluding taxes and fees). There are a few other limitations, including that the price must be quoted in U.S. dollars and the cancellation policy must be the same as what Orbitz is promising.

3. Use Orbitz coupon codes

One of the easiest ways to find Orbitz coupon codes is through Orbitz itself. The company makes its coupon codes pretty transparent, posting them all on one page. Before booking, check that page for any applicable codes that could save you money on your next trip.

To use an Orbitz coupon code, select the “Enter a coupon or promotion code” link on the payment page and type in (or paste) the coupon code. Your discount will then be applied, as long as your booking is eligible for the terms of that promotion.

Listings on the Orbitz deals page.

4. Browse the Orbitz deals page

If you just want to get away somewhere — and you’re open-minded to exactly where — then you may be able to score by shopping at the Orbitz deals page.

The deals found here tend to be for very specific dates and at a sometimes-eclectic mix of properties. But regularly checking the Orbitz deals page can be worth it purely to stoke your sense of wanderlust. And if something truly piques your interest, then you’ve also lucked out with a discount trip.

5. Sign up for an Orbitz Rewards account to unlock Insider Prices

Some of the best deals are limited to Orbitz Rewards members. Considering Orbitz Rewards is free to join, it’s almost always a financial mistake not to book from an account.

If you visit the Insider Prices page and you’re not logged in, you’ll see listings but you won’t actually be able to see prices.

Try again from a logged-in account to reveal discounts. In this example, you’re looking at as much as 40% off simply for being an Orbitz Rewards member.

How do I cancel a reservation on Orbitz?

If you need to change or cancel a reservation made through Orbitz, log into your account or open the app and navigate to the “Trips” page, where you’ll find your itinerary. If you don’t have an account, type in your reservation number — otherwise it’ll pop up automatically for a logged-in account.

From there, select the button that says “Cancel.”

Orbitz cancellation policy

Before canceling your reservation, read the terms carefully. Each airline, hotel and other type of reservation sets their own cancellation terms — it’s not set by Orbitz.

If you’ve booked a vacation package, you might be able to cancel your entire vacation package in one go. But depending on what the package consists of, you might need to cancel each part individually.

Not all travel is eligible for a refund, and sometimes booking travel on Orbitz can be aggravating because the policies vary by each individual property. Some trips might be entirely nonrefundable.

However, Orbitz offers a fairly robust set of search filters, including one for fully refundable bookings. If there’s a chance you might need to cancel your reservation — and those chances can feel increasingly likely since the COVID-19 pandemic — it might be wise to only browse listings with that filter on.

Orbitz refund policy

Refunds will go to your original payment method. And if you are entitled to a refund, don’t expect to get your money back right away.

For flights, most refunds are issued within 12 weeks, but some might even take longer depending on the airline.

For hotels, rental cars or activities, refunds are typically processed within 24 hours from the cancellation request. But from there, it can take banks or payment statements up to a week to post the credit to your account, and up to two billing cycles to show the credit on your statement.

How to contact Orbitz

Use the Orbitz customer service page to get help in straightforward situations like changing or canceling your trip or getting a refund. If you need further support beyond the self-service tools on that page, there are a few other ways to get in touch with support:

  • Chat with the virtual agent through the pop-up on the customer service page.

  • Use the chat support feature on the Orbitz app.

  • Call the Orbitz customer service call center phone number at 312-279-7740, which is available 24/7.

  • Send a direct message to Orbitz on Twitter @Orbitz.

Drawbacks to booking travel on Orbitz

Although Orbitz provides a convenient place to book all your travel, there are some negatives to using the platform. 

No hotel elite status

Generally, large hotel chains (i.e. Marriott, Hilton) only allow you to earn your elite benefits and elite night credits when you book travel on their websites. They also do not give perks when travelers with elite status use online travel agencies like Orbitz to book hotel stays.

If you don’t care about elite perks or are staying at a boutique hotel that’s not part of a large chain, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Cumbersome cancellation process

When you book your travel through a website like Orbitz and need to change or cancel your trip, you will need to deal with Orbitz rather than with the airline or hotel. This can add an extra layer of complication if the airline or hotel cancellation policy differs from that of Orbitz. 

Final thoughts on Orbitz travel

Orbitz is a large online travel agency that makes it easy for travelers to book flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and more. The company offers many perks to entice travelers to book their trips on the platform, from offering Orbucks to providing discounts through the app. However, travelers need to remember that Orbitz is an intermediary so if you need to make any changes or cancellations to your trip, the process can be more difficult than if you were dealing directly with an airline or hotel.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more travel cards
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