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Orbitz Offers Intriguing New Credit Card

picture of Ortibze Rewards credit cardOrbitz.com, the online travel agency, has revamped its rewards credit card.

The rewards are more generous and easier to understand, there’s a new $50 introductory cash bonus and there are no annual or foreign transaction fees.

There’s one big change, though, that’s for the worse: Redemption has become more restrictive.

You can only redeem your rewards for hotel stays.

While that might not be a deal breaker, you might not be aware of it unless you read the card’s fine print.

Orbitz’s old card allowed you to redeem rewards for free flights, hotel rooms, cash, gift cards or merchandise.

Despite the change, this card is a solid upgrade.

The new card offers bigger rewards if you book your travel through Orbitz’s mobile phone application.

You’ll earn 10% on hotels, 7% on flights and 6% on packages. If you book the old-fashioned way, using a computer over the Internet, you earn 8% on hotels and 6% on flights and packages.

All other purchases on the card, like gasoline, groceries and car rentals, earn 2% back.

Rewards are paid out in Orbucks, which the company says can be redeemed immediately for hotel stays, rather than having to wait until you accumulate enough points for a free room. According to the website, Orbucks “go straight into your account, ready to use, the second you earn them.”

That’s a great feature.

There are also no blackout dates and no restrictions on combining rewards with other offers.

I also like that there are no complicated points to calculate, a problem I have with most other cards that reward you in points.

Here, one Orbuck equals $1.

Orbucks earned through the card do not expire as long as you use the card at least once every 12 months.

In addition to the rewards, you get a $50 statement credit after spending just $200 on the card within the first 90 days.

The card also comes with additional benefits such as lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance and hotel burglary coverage. Cardholders also become Star-level members of Orbitz Rewards program, which entitles you to hotel upgrades, complimentary hotel amenities and a priority customer service number.

Another thing I like is that Orbitz has a Rewards Calculator so you can see how well the card stacks up against the competition.

According to Orbitz, the average consumer spends $2,780 on travel and $10,000 on non-travel credit card purchases each year.

That consumer would earn $423 in Orbucks if they used the Orbitz Visa Card and booked their travel through Orbitz.com’s mobile app, which translates into two or three free hotel room nights. That compares to a $239 statement credit on Priceline and $175 in gift cards and hotel savings through Expedia.

APRs range from 15.9% to 24.9%, depending on credit history. There is no 0% introductory rate on either purchases or balance transfers.

For more information, visit http://www.orbitz.com/rewards/visacard.

Compare the Orbitz card to other credit card offers in our database.

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