200+ Travel Agent Rates [+PDF Download]
Travel agents, for the most part, aren’t exactly getting high on the hog planning vacations to Disney/Maldives/Caribbean/European FITs or what-have-you.
However, career travel agents are afforded a wealth of experiences, life-long memories, and a career they love. If you're someone who loves travel, becoming a travel agent is one way to ensure that travel adventures are woven into the fabric of your life.
Every so often, I get emails that fly through the ether-verse and land in my inbox asking me how to access travel agent discounts. Holy heck there are a TON of amazing travel agent rates and discounts that suppliers offer to active agents. (The operative word here is active agent, but I’ll touch more on that soon).
Below is a comprehensive list of the best travel agent discounts, rates, and reward programs the industry has to offer.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
⭐️ HAR ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS: ⭐️
- Different Types of Travel Agent Discounts
- 10 Things you need to know about travel agent Discounts
- 200+ Travel Agent Rates (It’s Bonkers!)
- Questions to Ask Suppliers About their Travel Agent Rates & Discounts
- Travel Agent Hotel Rates
- IHG (International Hotel Group) Travel Agent Rates
- Hilton Hotels Travel Agent Rates
- Hyatt Hotels Travel Agent Rates
- Marriott Hotels (formerly Starwood)
- How to Become a Travel Agent (if You’re Not One Already)
Different Types of Travel Agent Rates
Not gonna lie. Some travel agent rate programs are complicated. But here’s what you can generally expect in terms of travel agent discount programs:
- Point Systems: Depending on the vendor, point systems off you just that — a certain number of points per night booked. Points allotted will likely vary by tier of property. If you book a luxury property, you’ll get more points. Travel Agent point systems, while complicated, are great for flexibility. It levels the playing field and operates like an amped-up client-facing rewards program.
- Straight up flat Discounts: Some travel agent discounts are simple—you get a certain percent off your stay. Easy peasy.
- Special Reduced Rates: Because you’re a travel agent (or because you love travel), you know that suppliers have peak seasons, different classes of properties, rooms, etc. Many suppliers will issue reduced rates, outlining what the cost is for a different room category, itinerary, sailing date, etc.
- Traveling for Free: Free travel is not the norm. there are circumstances travel agents may get a free cruise, a free theme park ticket, or a few free nights at a resort (etc.). This typically happens after a travel agent completes a vendor’s training program. (They want to reward you for taking a deep dive into learning their product and want you to fall in love with it so you can sell more of it.)
- Group Rates: I’m not going to go deep into group rates, since this is something that (believe it or not) is offered typically in addition to travel agent rates. However, for many vendors, if you book a certain number of people on a trip or cruise (or a certain number of nights stay) you get a free credit you can use for yourself or for a client. (e.g. for Globus brands, you can receive travel agent (and companion) discounts ranging from 25% - 100% depending on itinerary, group size, and when you book.)
- Familiarization (FAM) Trips: In my mind, FAM trips are more of a travel agent perk than a travel agent discount or rate. FAMs are free or deeply discounted trips offered to travel agents (or travel professionals) to educate them about a product or destination. Often FAMs are highly structured and facilitated by a group of travel professionals. I don’t consider this a travel agent discount, but it’s an “all work and no play” scenario (or close to it). But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it because it’s still a huge travel agent perk.
Am I missing any kinds of travel agent rates or discount programs? Holler at me in the comments below!
10 Things You Need to Know About Travel Agent Rates & Discounts
Travel agent rates aren't a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. So here are a few things to know about what to expect when you're shopping for discounts:
1. You Need an Accreditation Number to Get Discounts
You need to be a travel agent to access travel agent rates and discounts. What makes someone a travel agent? An accreditation number . . . whether you get your own or align with a host agency.
2. Travel Agent Discounts are for Active Travel Agents
Beyond being a travel agent, you need to sell travel. I know this may seem incredibly obvious, but oftentimes vendors will only offer travel agent rates or perks when you sell a certain threshold of their product. What does this mean? It means that the more you sell, the better the discount.
Ultimately, if you’re dabbling in selling travel, your travel discounts will likely be low to moderate and may not even justify the expense of getting started to sell travel.
3. A Niche Will Help You Get More Travel Agent Bonuses & Rates (Here’s Why)
Part of developing a niche is getting a pulse on who your preferred suppliers are. When you begin to get a handle on what suppliers you love, you can focus your time and energies on learning those suppliers inside out.
This will help you establish the deep product knowledge and supplier relationships required to be a successful seller. In turn, you earn more travel agent discounts and rewards as your sales increase.
4. You Often Need to Complete a Vendor Certification to Get a Discount
If you’re completely new, you’re not going to have a long scroll of past sales to help you access travel agent rates. But don’t worry. For many suppliers, they offer special rates, FAMs, or even free trips once you complete their training programs.
You'll want to make sure you stay current on supplier certifications so you can keep up with their updates and offer your clients the most recent info.
Suppliers want you to love their brands and they know you gotta experience yourself to love it!
5. Rules Most Likely Apply
Do I even need to say this? Just in case I will: As you know travel agent rates will come with fine print. Blackout dates apply, rates are subject to change (without asking for your permission), travel agent rates are non-commissionable, etc., etc., etc.
6. Travel Agent Rates and Programs can Change at the Drop of a hat
Yep. They can and do. So when you read about specific travel agent discounts below, be sure you always check directly with your supplier/ BDM for the most updated travel agent discount policy.
7. If You Book Under a Host, Will You Get Your Discount?
Yes. Your host does not get all the glory, don’t worry. When you set up your logins on portals, suppliers will know which agent booked what and you’ll get your due glory.
There are a few things to consider if you're hosted and looking for travel agent rates. Some suppliers use what's called a secondary phone field. This essentially allows vendors to know which individual agencies (that's would be you!) are booking under the host's accreditation.
Long story short, Maureen Bourcy, Business Analyst with NEST Plus cautions that if this is the case, "[advisors] have to meet the booking minimums to take advantage of the agent discount as the vendor sees you as your own agency. Basically, they no longer fall under the host umbrella where all the sales aggregate and any agent can take advantage of discounts even if they have never booked."
Another exception is Disney. For Earmarked Disney agencies, the accrediting agency will receive the allotted theme park tickets and travel agents rates to distribute among their agents. So ask your agency how that works if you want to get in it!
8. Travel Agent Rates are (Often) Non-Commissionable
You can safely assume that travel agent rates are non-commissionable. It’s a “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” scenario.
9. If you get bonuses, you may need to pay taxes on it
Any point system that can be exchanged for cash may be subject to taxes if you earn more than $600 in bonuses. Don’t ask me. Ask your accountant and make sure you know the tax implications of points you cash in (there’s nothing more fun than a surprise 1099!)
10. Spontaneity is Rewarded
Nothing is as sad as an empty cruise ship. Many suppliers offer you deeper discounts closer to the departure date. So if you’re up for a nail-biter, it might make the difference between a 20% discount and a 50% discount.
Travel Agent Rates & Discounts that Will Make Your Brain Explode
Let's be honest with ourselves, this is probably what you're here for in the place, so I won't try to milk the suspense any longer. Here's HAR's travel agent rate resource, below! To find more information on the rates, click on the link in the cell. Please note that "Parent Brand" and "Vendor" may have different links!
Also, things change! As always, check directly with the supplier for the most current travel agent rates and discounts!
Next up, we're going to summarize different programs for some of the most sought-after hotels (according to Google).
Questions to Ask Suppliers About their Travel Agent Rate Plans
The chart above gives you a great sneak peek into what you can expect for special travel agent rates and discounts.
If you’re really wanting to compare different rates and programs, here’s a few questions you can ask suppliers about their discounts:
- Is it commissionable?
- What travel accreditations are available?
- Are there companion benefits?
- Do you need to complete supplier education to secure the rate? If so, how often do I need to renew or recertify (if at all)?
- Are there other eligibility requirements?
- What's the sales threshold to attain travel agent rates or benefits?
- Does belonging to a host agency impact my benefits?
- What are typical blackout dates or seasons?
- How long do I have to redeem my travel agent benefits (if it’s a point system)? When do they expire?
- How do I request or access these benefits?
These questions will help you gauge a supplier’s “user-friendliness” and accessibility when it comes to travel agent discounts. It may also help you narrow down which suppliers you want to focus your time and energies on.
Travel Agent Hotel Rates
I'm going to do a deeper dive into a few travel agent hotel rates. I'm including just a few here, that most commonly come up in searches. They offer a good idea of what kind of rates travel agents can expect from hotels.
You may be able to find better travel agents rates if you book the hotel through a tour operator.
Keep in mind that these hotel programs listed below are hotel-direct. Advisors seeking discounted hotel rates will most likely them directly through the hotel (rather than booking via a tour operator).
Another thing to note is that hotels with education programs typically will offer the best travel rates (above a standard travel agent rate).
IHG (International Hotel Group) Travel Agent Rates
IHG is linked included in our download above. Yay! IHG offers a baseline discount of 35% off their Best Flex Rate. Not to shabs!
Here are a few more details.
IHG offers a baseline discount of 35% off their Best Flex Rate.
But IHG often has offers beyond their base discounts, induing higher discounts on room rates, discounts on spa services, and other fun stuff. At the time of writing this, IHG had special offers that ranged from 35% - 50%. You can find IHG's latest travel agent promotions here.
If you're a travel agent, accessing IHG's travel agent rates is easy. Here's how you can do it in three steps:
- You need an ARC, IATA, TIDs, or TRUE number to set up an account with IHG. If you're a travel agent employee and you don't have that a travel ID card, you can provide a letter on agency letterhead from agency management verifying your agency employment.
- To book IHGs rates, you need to be logged into your IHG travel agent. If you don't have one, you can register here.
- Login to your IHG travel agent account.
IHG is the parent company for whole lotta hotel brands. Their travel agent rates extend to:
- Crowne Plaza
- Candlewood Suites
- Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
- IHG army hotels
- Hotel Indigo
- Atwell Suites
- Holiday Inn Express
- Holiday Inn Resorts
- Staybridge Suites
- Six Senses
Marriott (and Starwood) Travel Agent Rates
Marriott acquired Starwood in 2015. So if you're looking for Starwood's travel agent rates, look no further than Marriott. Marriott has two different types of travel agent rates. Here's the rundown:
1. Marriott's Travel Agent Rates
Marriott's travel agent rate is their blanket travel agent rate program which is available to any accredited travel agent with a valid IATA, ARC, CLIA or TIDS accreditation number. The travel agent rate varies depending on availability, hotel category, and season. Marriott's travel agent discounts run up to 50%, but you can typically expect less. (At the time of writing this, the discounts ranged from 10-15% when I search my hometown.)
Marriott's travel agent rate offers can be used to book up to two rooms for unlimited nights (depending on availability)
Marriott's travel agent rate offers can be used to book up to two rooms for unlimited nights (depending on availability). Here's how to take advantage of Marriott's travel agent rate offers:
1. To access Marriot's rates, travel agents need an IATA ARC, CLIA, or TIDS number (and the ID to prove it when you check-in).
2. To book Marriott's rates, you can log in here.
3. Go to "Promotions" and "Travel Agent Rate Search"
2. Marriott's Fam-Tastic Travel Agent Rates
Marriott's Fam-Tastic program is designed less for personal leisure and more to provide an opportunity for agents to familiarize themselves with properties (hence the name). This program is only available to Marriott's preferred travel agencies. If you're with a host agency, you can check on their host profile or drop them a Q&A to see if Marriott is one of their preferred suppliers.
For Marriott's Fam-tastic program, advisors can reserve one room for four nights maximum.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements for a standard travel agent rate, advisors must also complete the Hotel Excellence program. Their FAM-tastic rate offers deeper discounts than their standard travel agent rate, but with more restrictions. Agents can use this rate after they complete their core HE! classes. The rate is available ongoing on an annual basis for agents who fulfill their continuing credits. For Marriott's Fam-tastic program, advisors can reserve one room for four nights maximum.
Here's how to access these rates:
1. Log into your Marriott account here with your accreditation number
2. Go to Marriott's Hotel Excellence Program and click Register Now if you need to create an account or sign in if you already have one. From here you can access their programming and redeem your travel agent benefits.
3. To book a Fam-tastic rate after you complete your education (or continuing education) go here.
Here are a list of Marriott's brands that are included in their program (sorry, but you're not going to find the Ritz Yacht Collection here). Those in bold were originally Starwood brands:
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Aloft Hotels
- Autograph Collection
- Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Delta Hotels
- Design Hotels
- EDITION Hotels
- Element by Westin
- Fairfield by Marriott
- Four Points by Sheraton
- Gaylord Hotels
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- JW Marriott Hotels
- Le Méridien
- The Luxury Collection
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Marriott Hotels & Resorts
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Moxy Hotels
- Protea Hotels by Marriott
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- The Ritz-Carlton
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
- SpringHill Suites
- St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
- TownePlace Suites
- Tribute Portfolio
- W Hotels
- Westin Hotels
Hilton Hotels Travel Agent Rates
Hilton offers a 25% - 50% discount for travel agents. All bookings under Hilton's travel agent rate are non-commissionable.
At the time of writing this, two sample destinations (NYC and Minneapolis at the same hotel category and booking dates) offered a 25% discount. Keep in mind that travel agent discounts are off full price, not member prices or other discount prices like AAA or AARP.
Agents can book two rooms for a seven-night maximum at a travel agent rate. Below is an example of what it looks like on the user end. The image shows rates for a Hilton Gardens in NYC (Nov. 29 to Dec. 1st).
Here's how you can access Hilton's travel agent rates:
- Travel agents need an IATAN accreditation (and an ID card upon check-in) to access Hilton's travel agent rate. Agents outside the US need a valid ID.
- Go to Hilton's travel agent site and click "Book My Exclusive Offers." (Not "Book" in the upper right corner)
Above that, Hilton is also affiliated with their Unlimited Rewards program affiliation that offers .50¢ to $2.00 per night stay you book for your clients. (This also applies to Avis and Budget car rentals as well.)
Hilton Hotel Brands:
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
- LXR Hotels & Resorts
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts
- Canopy by Hilton
- Signia Hilton
- Curio a Collection
- Tapestry Collection
- Embassy Suites
- Motto by Hilton
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hampton by Hilton
- Tru by Hilton
- Homewood Suites
- Home2 Suites
- Hilton Grand Vacations
Hyatt Hotels Travel Agent Rates
While Hyatt's site advertises discounts up to 50%, they start on the low end, often falling below "book now & save" discounts. Here's an image for two off-season bookings below for a Hyatt Place in the weekday winter off-season (Nov. 29 - Dec.1st, 2021).
1. Hyatt Place, Union Square New York:
2. Hyatt Place in Downtown Minneapolis:
Additionally, there's a 2-room booking limit with Hyatt's Travel Agent rates. However, they do not cap the number of room nights if the rate is available.
Here's how to book Hyatt's travel agent rates:
- Agents must have a CLIA, IATAN, or TIDs (for agents outside the US) accreditation number and ID card. (Outside US, agents need an IATA/TIDS).
- Agents must be a World of Hyatt member. You can create that account here.
- Search/ book Hyatt's travel agent discount rates here.
Here's a list of Hyatt brands that offer travel agent rates:
- Caption by Hyatt
- Thompson Hotels
- Hyatt Centric
- Park Hyatt
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Zilara/Hyatt Ziva
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt House
- The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
- Destination Hotels
- Joie de Vivre
Want to Become a Travel Advisor? Here's How.
The one thing that all travel agent rates, promotions, loyalty programs, and discounts have in common is that you have to be a travel agent.
For those who are serious about selling travel as a primary income source or for supplemental income, we have two great resources you should tap into:
1. ASTA's roadmap for Becoming a Travel Advisor
This is the course that offers everything you need to get set up and get selling. It's a 240+pg self-guided course complete with video tutorials, tips on booking, an industry overview, and much much more. We're a little biased because it's written by Steph Lee, but I'd like to think we're biased and objective . . . it's the best course out there for the value.
Speaking of discounts, HAR readers get this course deeply discounted. With the code HAR149, you'll pay $149 bucks for a course that retails at $299.
Probably one of the best super-secrets about this self-guided course is that, even though it's self-guided, you can ask the HAR crew questions at any time. So you essentially have access to the instructors (which, let's face, would cost a pretty penny in most other courses). All you have to do is contact the HAR crew.
2. HAR's Free 7 Day Setup: A Travel Agency Challenge
If you're squeamish about dropping any cash, check out HAR's free 7 Day Setup. We'll send you emails daily for one week that will walk you through the steps of starting your own agency. You can use the program as a resource to get going ASAP, or to do a little more research into seeing what it takes to sell travel!
Holy Moly! Thank You!
I almost found myself on the dark web looking for travel agent rates. Google only gets you so far . . . that is until it got you to this article.
But here’s a list of fabo industry professionals who picked up the slack for Google (brace yourself, it’s a long list!): Bonnie Lee at Travel Quest, Summer Corbitt at Uniglobe, Guy Young and Priscilla Odoom at Insight Vacations, Josh Mahon at Rocky Mountaineer, Maria Triantos at Celestyal Cruises, Jim Tedesco at Apple Leisure Group Vacations, all the stellar travel advisors who weighed in on Steph Lee’s FB page.
This is a living, changing, breathing document . . . Do you have a favorite travel agent rate or reward program? Holler in the comments!