200+ Travel Agent Rates, 2023 [+PDF Download]
One of the biggest perks of becoming a travel agent is the wealth of travel experiences you have access to. As a travel agent, if you take vendor training, or reach a supplier's sales threshold you'll be rewarded with special travel agent rates for personal travel, special perks, and amenities, and access to FAM (familiarization trips) to immerse yourself in destinations.
But the big question is, what are these discounted travel agent rates, and how do travel agents access them? We updated HAR's Travel Agent Rate PDF download that includes details on 200+ supplier discounts. The download includes information on travel agent rates, special discounts, and special reward programs — all exclusive to travel agents (and maybe your friend or family :) ).
Not only that, but the download eligibility details and links to the travel advisor portal so you can register your travel agency. (Not a travel agent just yet? Here's how to become one!) You can view the full PDF below!
But of course, this article is so much more than a download! We'll cover what different kinds of travel agent discounts are out there, how to qualify a supplier's travel agent loyalty or reward program, and elaborate on some of the top travel agent hotel discounts.
⭐️ 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)
- Travel Agent Airline Rates
- How to Become a Travel Agent (if You’re Not One Already)
Different Types of Travel Agent Rates & Incentives
Every supplier is going to have a different kind of travel agent rate or loyalty program. Some are complicated. Some are simple. Here’s what you can generally expect in terms of travel agent discount programs (emphasis on generally here):
- Point Systems: Depending on the vendor, point systems offer 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 somewhat complicated, are great for flexibility. It levels the playing field and operates like an amped-up client-facing rewards program.
- Cash incentives: Some vendors will offer you cash hard cash for bookings (e.g. you get $25 for every room night booked). This isn't a rate or discount, but it's definitely an incentive!
- Straight-up flat Discounts: Some travel agent discounts are simple—you get a certain percentage off your stay. Easy peasy.
- Special Reduced Rates: Because you’re a travel agent (or because you love to travel), you know that suppliers have peak seasons, different classes of properties, rooms, etc. Many suppliers will issue reduced rates exclusive to travel agents, 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 typically offered in addition to travel agent rates. 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 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.
Suppliers want to keep travel agents happy! Many will have some combination of these perks above. Am I missing any kinds of travel agent rates or discount programs? Yes. I guarantee you I am. 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 travel agent Discounts
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 after you reach a certain sales threshold. 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 an accreditation.
3. A Niche Will Help You Get More Travel Agent Bonuses & Rates (Here’s Why)
Part of developing a travel agent 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. 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
Travel agent discounts are often saddled with long terms and conditions and/or fine print. This fine print may be peppered with info like blackout dates, rates are subject to change (without asking for your permission), or mentions that travel agent rates are non-commissionable.
6. Travel Agent Rates and Programs can Change (Without telling you)
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 (Business Development Manager) 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 host portals, suppliers will know which agent booked what and you’ll get your due glory.
When you set up your logins on host 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 (typically larger travel agencies), it's the accrediting agency that will receive the allotted theme park tickets and travel agent rates to distribute among their agents. So ask your agency how that works if you want to get in it! That said, there are still incentives for solo Disney advisors who complete the College of Disney Knowledge! (Just check out the download!)
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 why you're here for! Here's HAR's travel agent rate resource, below! To find more information on the rates, click on the link in the cell.
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 are 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 and 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 a travel ID card, you can provide a letter on agency letterhead from agency management verifying your agency employment.
- To book IHG's 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 Marriott's FAM-tastic 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.
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 "Special Rates" then select the "Travel Agents" option.
Beyond travel agent rates, Hilton is also part of the Unlimited Rewards program which offers .50¢ to $2.00 per night stay you book for your clients. (This also applies to Avis and Budget car rentals as well.) Just remember that if you start racking up the dough on your debit card through Unlimited Rewards, you may need to report the income to your springtime friend, the IRS.
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
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
Travel Agent Airline Discounts
I'm going to take a deep dive into travel agent airline discounts. Why? Travel agent airline discounts are more complicated to access for a smaller reward. Here's why . . .
These travel agent airline rates are typically referred to as "AD50" or "AD75," signifying 50%-75% airline discounts for travel agents. At first, this seems like an amazing discount. But as you’ve probably guessed, travel agents do not get 50-75% off their airline tickets. Otherwise, so many people would want to become a travel agent that our website would break :)
Without going too deep into the weeds, here's why these airline discounts can seem misleading at first. Airlines break seats down into many different fare classes. All these fare classes have different pricing and rules attached to them. Among other things, the fare classes help the airline understand if you paid full fare or a discounted rate, if you’re in first class/business class/economy class, if you’re doing one way or round trip, and lots of other details. (You can learn more about airline fare basis classes here.)
Even at 50-75% off, Y fare class seats usually cost more than the other economy tickets available.
When it comes to travel agent airline discounts, the AD50 and AD75 discounts apply only to Y-fare class seats, which are full-fare economy seats. Essentially, they’re the most expensive economy-class tickets possible. Even at 50-75% off, Y fare class seats usually cost more than the other economy tickets available.
Not only are AD50 and AD75 discounts often more expensive than other economy tickets available, but there are also more hoops to jump through to access them. Airlines that offer these flight discounts will often have stringent eligibility requirements and detailed terms and conditions required to even request them.
Ultimately, when it comes to airline discounts for travel agents, you may find yourself fanning a small flame. Travel agent airfare discounts often only apply to full-fare rate classes, and travel agents are likely able to find better fares for personal travel through other means.
According to seasoned corporate travel advisor and owner of Pioneer Travel, Mike Edic, "By the time you figure out the 'discounted' price, you can still purchase a real ticket for a lot less." Edic elaborated that these rates are seldom cheaper unless it's a last-minute booking (where all that remains are those pricey, full-fare Y-class seats).
However, don't let that discourage you from becoming a travel agent! As you can tell from this article, there are tons of different ways travel agents tap into discounted travel. Not only that but as you develop expertise, you'll have the hawk-eye to find the airline rates that offer you the best value . . . even without an AD50 or AD75 code!
Want to Become a Travel Agent? Try HAR's 7-Day Setup Free Trial
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.
HAR's free 7-Day Setup Core course offers a daily email for a week to connect you to the resources you need in the order you need them. If you want more structured support, I recommend also checking out the free trial for HAR's 7-Day Setup Accelerator course trial as well! (Signing up below will start the 7DS with instructions on how to register for the 7DS ACcelerator trial).
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:
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 fab 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, Mike Edic of Go Pioneer Travel, and 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!