May 2 – AMEX Financial Review, Expedia Margins

Not much stuff that hasn’t been rehashed yet today but if you haven’t read these posts I strongly suggest you do as I find them extremely interesting.

View from the Wing has a very good post on the AMEX financial review. One of the comments says

I can vouch that Amex in Canada has a similar process, albeit not quite as intensive. Earlier this year, I got a call from them that they wanted to “verify employment and income details”. I spoke to them and the issue they had was that the employer listed on my application from years ago was no longer in business and they needed to update their records. They wanted to know my current employer and income details, but were not able to accept a non-Canadian employer. However, I offered them access to my (Canadian) bank records which included transfers from overseas clients. This was escalated to a supervisor and after a few days, they advised that everything was okay. No change to credit limit and no freezing of the card involved.

You should also check out Loyalty Lobby‘s post on Expedia margins is really interesting. 25% margins are really high for just aggregating hotels.



  1. “25% margins are really high for just aggregating hotels.”

    Actually it’s pretty standard for OTAs, commissions are lower than they were 4-5 years ago where independent hotels were paying 40%+ and 25% was standard for large chains.

  2. 25% isn’t just for aggregating hotels. It’s also for getting heads in beds. Expedia has great SEO and is a one-stop shop for travel. Do you think Bob and Mary’s B&B has that kind of marketing muscle?

    But it does confuse me why major chains participate in the racket. I would expect a discount from Expedia if I’m not going to earn my hotel points and whatnot. Maybe they feel they all need to be there so they can compete. If one or two chains participates, that breaks the barrier and the consumer decides it’s easier to shop on Expedia than to visit and compare the rates on,,, etc.

    • Well that means the marketing of the hotel room is worth 1/3 of the actual product. It depends of course on how much traffic the hotel is getting. It’s a very grey area because nobody knows whether there are different levels of commission (for non-chain hotels anyway) and whether that affects placement of the hotel on the search results.
      That’s why the chain hotels have that Roomkey booking popup, don’t they? They just need to implement it better and make it less annoying.

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