Tech Nerd Tuesday: Can You Travel on Bitcoin Alone?
Bitcoins are being accepting by more and more travel companies. (Photo: Thinkstock)
We haven’t yet reached the point where you can seamlessly book an entire vacation using Bitcoin, but it is getting easier and easier for consumers to use the virtual currency to pay for various bits and pieces of their travel and even to keep track of their rewards points.
(Check out this FAQ on Bitcoin if you want to brush up on the currency)
Last month the online travel agency CheapAir.com started accepting bitcoins to make reservations at more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Shortly afterward, CheapAir announced that their customers could also book their Amtrak train travel using Bitcoins.
For luxury hotels, back-end revenue management engine Revpar Guru has built an entire booking widget around Bitcoin in preparation of its adoption by globetrotters. Their tech platform not only allows for hotel payments at locations like D Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, but it allows international customers to deposit bitcoins into accounts that can be used for sundry items so that they never need to exchange currency.
A visualization of bitcoins (Photo: Thinkstock)
The rewards site PointsHound, which aggregates your points and miles when you book travel, is now offering Bitcoin as a reward redemption option.
This was all pretty small potatoes in the travel world until very recently. Traveling on Bitcoin’s virtual dime got an added air of legitimacy last week when one of the major players in the travel market finally began accepting the currency. Expedia.com now accepts the virtual currency for payments for hotel rooms on their website.
“We’re continually looking at ways consumers want to pay for their travel; Bitcoin is a great example of how Expedia is investing early in an array of payment options to give our customers and partners more choice in the ways they interact with us,” said Michael Gulmann, Vice President, Expedia Global Product.
(Photo: Jo Piazza)