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Selecting the right hotel affiliate program to make a fortune

6 September 2017 1 comment

By providing convenient tools for searching for hotels, you can earn on every booking. To do this, you must work with special partner networks. Several major players are on the market — Travelpayouts, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Hotelscombined, Agoda and TripAdvisor. By comparing each offer in terms of its conditions of cooperation, available tools and rate of conversions, it is possible to choose the best hotel affiliate program for each webmaster.

Travelpayouts

“Travelpayouts” is a CPA (Cost Per Action) affiliate program composed of several vital components including widely known brand names such as Jetradar.com and Hotellook.com.

Hotellook is an engine which lets users compare hotel prices from among different websites to find the best solutions. About 40 languages are available.

How much money can be made with “Travelpayouts”?

The affiliates of “Travelpayouts” are all assigned a specific share of 50% to 70% derived from the income generated by the company. The actual numbers regarding the amount of gains depend on the prices and the agency from which users make their purchases. In general, “Travelpayouts” gets about 7% from each price. Afterwards, 50% to 70% is shared with its co-partners.

Let’s consider a scenario in which a customer pays $300 for a hotel booking. $26 is then transferred to “Travelpayouts,” from which $13 or $18 is shared with the ‘bedmate’. The moment you become affiliated, you will be able to access all the necessary details in your member area, along with statistics. You will also be able to view your personal payments history.

Who are the most successful participants?

Everyone who is willing to begin making money can become an associate of this platform. However, spam is strictly prohibited.

You won’t waste time on the registration process because you won’t have to wait for verification and approval. Once you get onto the platform, you can start making profits.

Nevertheless, it is essential to outline some of the most successful participants:

  • Website owners (Widgets, banners and search forms posted on their websites will help them earn money every time a successful booking takes place);
  • Travel bloggers who write posts describing the advantages of booking this way will get their corresponding reward;
  • Social media advertisers who post information about “Travelpayouts” on travel-related groups will also be paid for their efforts; etc.

Tools offered

The first tool is the search form, which allows clients to search for accommodations by destination. It basically redirects from a partner’s web page to Hotellook, where it displays the available variants.

The list includes several other tools:

  • White Label
  • Hotels Map
  • Text Links
  • Hotel Widget
  • WordPress Plugin
  • Hotel Selections Widget
  • Landings
  • API
  • Mobile Application

White Label helps integrate all the necessary data into your website’s domain, making it unnecessary to redirect users. Partners have full access to data by API. For mobile application developers, Travel SDK is available.

How do affiliates get paid?

No.

Payment method

Minimum threshold to get paid

Commission

1

Bank transactions to foreign currencies (USD, EUR)

$500

€400

About $30

2

PayPal

$50

€40

Around 5%

3

ePayments

$50

€40

2.9% is charged when withdrawing funds to a bank card

All relevant payments are made between the 11th and 20th of each month. In exceptional cases, early payment on an individual request is possible.

Booking.com affiliate program

Booking.com allows people to compare room reservation options in their destination city for the date of their choice. The price range is set by the client. In addition, direct cooperation with hotels implies that commissions are charged. In general, the Booking.com affiliate program is a formidable shareholder on the market, one which rivals must take into account.

Earning money

Commissions are calculated according to a commission split model which is individualized to each partner. All your earnings are proportionately linked to the amount of successful bookings made via your website. Moreover, it is also dependent on whether the hosts of the rooms or properties confirm the guest stays. The more bookings made, the higher your commission.

Every partner must reach a certain amount before starting to earn commissions. That boundary is 50 successful check-outs. Then, you can receive 25% of the total sum. More information is provided in the table below:

Checkouts per month

Commissions obtained from the total amount earned by Booking.com

0-50

25%

51-150

30%

151-500

35%

501 or more

40%

Does Booking.com welcome anyone who wants to become associated with it?

Due to the prestige of this online platform, several rules and restrictions exist. These are disclosed only to those people who have decided to accept the offer.

Still, any person who is interested in offering the best selection of accommodations is welcome and can be a participant, e.g., a website owner with qualified content, an app developer, etc.

What are the offered tools?

Tool number one is the Search Box, which allows customers to check out hotel offers and makes it possible to draw parallels between prices.

The Co-Brand tool enables Booking.com associates to place logos below the standard blue header. Thus, every user who makes a purchase will see that you are a “bedmate” of a trusted international brand. Furthermore, the partner’s logo will guide customers to the end, ensuring that they do not leave the particular affiliate’s area.

Another tool developed and offered by the company is the Deals Finder. Basically, this streams deals in any destination covered at Booking.com.

The Inspiring Search Box is a very smart business move aimed at increasing the number of orders placed on the site. It inspires the next choice of destination by displaying three images advertising the best places to visit.

The last two tools we cannot omit are the Links tool, which consists of hyperlinks to Booking.com’s pages and connects the latter to users’ Internet platforms, and Banners that grab customers’ attention.

How do affiliates get their money?

Payments are made via either bank transfers or PayPal. The time frame for the reception of profits is estimated to be between 30 and 60 days after the property owners confirm that the guests have completed their stay. The minimum amount for the transfer to be completed is €100. If you have earned less than that, your earnings will accumulate for the next month’s payment.

Hotels.com

Hotels.com is another successful company worth mentioning. It is part of the Expedia affiliate network, which includes several other well-known brands. Every partner can make money from traffic once a booking is made by one of their customers.

Partners can’t work directly; they are always connected through intermediaries. This complicates communication. If you are from Canada or the U.S., you must go to cj.com before being allowed to resolve your issues.

How can a decent amount of money be earned?

Earnings are fully dependant on the terms of your partner agreement. Generally, Expedia network members are ready to pay up to 50% of their profits to their associates. The amount tends to be around 4.92% from one booking. However, discount coupons let users obtain benefits by lowering your commissions. Therefore, the final percentage can’t be predicted.

Hotels.com sorts its collaborators into corresponding departments based on geographical location. This results in slightly different percentages for different regions.

If you have the Payoneer card (and here we are referring to the U.S. market), this service can be a relatively comfortable way of earning money. If you don’t, your commissions will be transferred to your bank account or you will receive cheques, which is not very convenient.

Moreover, even if the client carries on without booking anything, he will see personal advertisements via AdSense on the online resources he visits. The outcome is that while you may bring in a client, you won’t get paid for it.

Last but not least is the fact that associates also lose clients after installing the application offered by Expedia. They offer a 2% discount to make people get their app. However, any client who books via this app will not be counted as part of your commission, since you do not get paid for the app.

Participation

No explicit restrictions are outlined on the website. Therefore, the general assumption is that everyone is free to participate in the promotion and advertisement of products.

What tools are at collaborators’ disposal?

Five tools are available to the associates, starting with the so-called “Rich APIs”.

All the co-partners can choose from among nine APIs. Moreover, users can enjoy three potential advantages:

  • Every single API can be personalised in accordance with your needs and wants. It is available in 35 languages and more than 30 currencies. Furthermore, partners can use 12 proficiencies that show only those properties that best suit your clients.
  • Technical advancements are another very important benefit. Having accumulated extensive experience, EAN keeps improving the technological side of the APIs. For instance, partners can use Cloud Infrastructure, thereby accessing the best international data centres.
  • There are more than 6.5 million property images in more than 380,000 geographical locations.

The second tool is the so-called “Template Solution”. B2C has collaborated with EAN to develop this particular instrument, making it easy to integrate and reliable in terms of suitable property images that are displayed at the right time. This tool can be applied in two ways: either select the “fully white-labelled template solution”, meaning that your customers will see only your logo, or choose the “co-branded template solution”, which will display both.

Moving forward, it is also necessary to point out that Hotels.com possesses several tools that help organise the work of agencies involved in the hotel booking business.

The last solution, powered directly by Hotels.com, is called “Click & Earn”. Companions make money in the form of commissions paid for each successful booking made via their Internet resources, using the link posted on the partners’ webpages.

One more important note is about the very essence of Expedia’s powered programs. These programs are not joined together in one common network even though they belong to the EAN.

Trivago is also a member of the EAN family. Those who participate get paid for clicks made in the search toolbar and not for the redirection to Trivago. The webmaster is free to choose the best method for earning commissions — clicks or bookings. Bear in mind that Expedia and Hotels.com are booking websites, whilst Trivago searches for the lowest prices.

How do partners get paid?

Affiliates receive their commissions for successful bookings carried out by customers. The common percentage is 4.92%.

Hotelscombined.com

Hotelscombined.com gets paid for clicks, called “leads”. Therefore, associates get paid regardless of the reservations. The name of the method is pay per lead, defined as “a click off to one of the hotel booking supplier websites” compared on HotelsCombined.

These measures significantly improve the prospects of monetising traffic. What’s more, the co-partners’ gains are guaranteed by the provider of the program, which compares a multitude of prices. Additionally, the developers have ensured that everyone can access the application, as it is available in more than 40 languages.

Co-partners can either monetise mobile traffic or create a mobile app that will help make profits.

How is money made?

As stated previously, affiliates get paid for leads their customers make when they visit their online platforms. Basically, you get paid for sending interested users to hotelscombined.com, where they can compare prices for the destinations they would like to visit. The amount of commission you receive depends on the quality of the traffic as well as the rate at which the leads turn into bookings. These two factors determine the commission per lead you receive.

The general commission rate is estimated to fluctuate between 50 cents and two dollars. Obviously, the commission will decrease in cases in which the partner is unable to generate enough sales.

The life of a cookie is 365 days, which means that those clients who used your website once to click on the HotelsCombined advertisement will be included in your commission as long as the cookie exists.

In addition, “Monetisation Guarantee” is a service worth mentioning. Potential collaborators can include it in their agreement to ensure future gains. This is done on an individual basis. This guarantee allows you to get your money in case it does not reach the agreed-upon minimum amount. It is available only to those webmasters who have spent some time earning commissions with competitors of HotelsCombined.

Participation

Anyone is free to join the affiliate program and start making money. However, an issue arises when it comes to whether or not one runs a website. In the first case, everyone has the opportunity to join, even if the Internet resource’s content is not voyage-related.

Tools

The main tools are Text Links, Deep Links, Banners, and Search Boxes. If you ask for Data Feeds, they will also be provided.

These can all be reinforced with two more tools. The first one is Co-Branding, which implies the use of two brand names: yours and the HotelsCombined one. The second is Private Branding or white-labelling, meaning that only your brand will be displayed.

Getting paid

Only two payment methods are available and are shown in the following table:

Payment method

Minimum amount required

Bank account

$500

PayPal

$100

The disadvantage is that you must earn the minimum amount to get paid. Moreover, transactions and money transfers are carried out only in dollars (no other currencies), which can be undesirable when it comes to exchange rate fluctuations and overall monetary market instability. Thus, you can lose money if you need to convert it to another currency whenever a change occurs.

Also, your account will be reviewed as you reach the minimum payout, and there is a chance that it could be locked if Hotelscombined defines your traffic as low quality, in which case you’ll never get your commission.

Agoda.com

Agoda possesses an immense property owners’ database which includes more than 925,000 hotels and private individuals. Partners can attract customers using a wide choice and good prices. Furthermore, comprehensive support is lent to Agoda’s partners, which is reflected in the opportunities for personalisation. The website is available in 38 languages.

Earning commissions

The commission you earn depends on the number of stays your customers complete. You will not get paid for no-show guests. Furthermore, as stated by Agoda’s officials, the model is progressive and allows you to increase your share up to 60%.

The following table sheds more light on this issue, revealing how the progression works:

Number of completed stays

Affiliate Commission Percentage (ACP)

1 – 49

35%

50 – 99

37.5%

100 – 199

45%

200 – 999

55%

1000 +

60%

The formula by which the commission is calculated will be discussed later.

Who can participate?

A compulsory condition for participation with Agoda is to be the owner of an online resource. Agoda admits both small websites and big ones that belong to large businesses. Nevertheless, there is a chance to become an affiliate even if you do not own a website. In this case, you must be a travel agent, and additional documentation will be requested.
In any case, redirecting to the URL is absolutely forbidden.

Tools that can be used

Agoda provides several tools, including Hotel Power Ads, text links, and other useful services for partners. Customizable search boxes and multi-lingual data feeds are also available to affiliates. Furthermore, if you obtain permission from Agoda to modify any of its tools, you can do so to optimise your money-making abilities.

How do partners get paid?

As we mentioned previously, there is a formula which allows you to calculate the amount of commission that will be paid to a partner:
CP = (CI – HI – (CI * PP)) * ACP

CI — Client Invoice (amount the client paid to Agoda)
HI — Hotel Invoice (amount Agoda paid to the hotel)
PP — Processing Percentage = 2.6%

We can rely solely on the average number of 3%, given the initial ACP of 35% and 7% in case of an ACP of 60%.

Regarding the payment method, there is only one — direct bank transfer. Affiliates get paid one month after guests have completed their stays. For example, if a guest stayed until 5 April, you will be paid in May. In addition, the minimum amount that can be paid is $200, while $10 will be charged to cover the bank transaction expenditures.

TripAdvisor

A subscription to this partnership program enables you to become part of the largest travel community in the globe, enhancing the performance of your trip-related platforms. Moreover, the database comprises more than 500,000 cities and hotels.

However, the drawback of TripAdvisor’s program is that it is possible to become a companion only through CJ (Commission Junction), meaning that there is no direct connection with the provider of the program.

Profiting with TripAdvisor

Commissions constitute 50% of TripAdvisor’s income and are paid only for confirmed stays. The public calculation formula, which Agoda has, does not exist. You can get about 4% of the room cost.

Who can participate?

Everyone is free to participate. However, you can be rejected. If this happens, you can try to find out why by emailing tripadvisor@cj.com. The general requirements have not been made public so far.

What tools are offered?

Affiliates use three available tools:

  • Text links
  • Banners
  • Content widgets

In terms of functionality and performance, there are no major differences from similar offers by other companies.

How do I get paid?

The average percentage that is likely to be paid is about 4% of the room price. The average gains from a click-out are stated to be between 15 cents and 75 cents. TripAdvisor states that many of its partners have a conversion rate of 75%, which is one of the best on the market.

All payments are carried out via the co-partner CJ Affiliate. All commissions are added together and if the minimum amount is exceeded, CJ will send a paycheque in the currency of your choice. It is very easy for Payoneer card owners. In other cases, either a direct transaction to a bank account is performed or a cheque is sent. The latter is possible in only a limited number of countries.

Cooperate directly with hotels

This option suits those webmasters who dedicate themselves to a specific area of interest. In terms of customisation, such scenarios tend to be much less flexible than the previously mentioned affiliate programs. It can also be argued that their revenue indicators are dubious, as there is no possibility of determining an average income.
Direct cooperation can be regarded as a special case because it does not offer any opportunities to select a partner website.

Conclusion

The hotel affiliate program market maintains a wide range of offers. Partners of Travelpayouts have access to a large selection of tools and to a detailed knowledge base, enabling them to earn high commissions and receive fast support. Working with a network is beneficial because of the high conversion. This is achieved through a quality product for finding hotels, as well as a variety of flexible and configurable forms. To identify the best solution, you must try different options. You can start right now with Travelpayouts.

Andrey Novoselov

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  • Great article, thank you for the share.