This post is brought to you by WayAway.
I'm not much of a Hopper fan, but if there's anything about the gamification of the travel industry and the cutesy, rounded fonts, is that it's definitely a thing.
Part of the same company as TravelPayouts, WayAway is a flight search aggregator that offers a unique proposition. They want to give you money back.
Though it is a little bit different that Google Flight's Price Guarantee—which only refunds the price difference up to $500 in one calendar year—WayAway offers up to 10% cashback on travel purchases made through their platform.
The cash back incentives are sent to PayPal, so it's kinda like actual straight up cash.
Their largest cashback partners include Booking.com, Rentalcars.com, and Hostelworld to name some big-time brands for credibility, but if you've got some hesitancy, we suggest making the flight booking on a credit card that you trust.
(I suppose you could earn even *more* cashback on your flight, like if you actually used a cashback card. Double dip!)
How it compares to Google Flights pricing
For us, the cashback doesn't matter if we can find better flights on Google Flights, given that we also like to book directly.
We had been tracking a one-way from New York to Los Angeles for May 31 for quite some time.
A quick search on Google Flights yielded some JetBlue flights for $128.
For comparison, we took a look at WayAway. These were the results.
In short, we were getting the same prices as Google Flights, and was pleasantly surprised to find competitive pricing on WayAway.
If the differentiating factor was that we would receive cashback through WayAway Plus, then this would make this the winner in our book.
How much do you need to spend to justify WayAway Plus?
The cashback feature is mostly enabled for WayAway’s premium feature, WayAway Plus. Travelers are able to earn up to 5% cashback on airfare stays, and 10% on hotel stays.
Users are able to try it out for 7 days, no strings attached: After that, an annual subscription of WayAway Plus costs $99.99. There does seem to be a promotional pricing that lets users purchase annually for $49.99; Map Happy readers get it for $44.99 through our link.
(Since the platform seems to be heavily promoting itself, they are also offering the service for free when five friends are referred.)
Depending on how much you are planning to book, the cashback can be worth it. Though, we figure, you can book as much as you want for the seven days.
Here’s our estimate on what it costs to break even:
|WayAway Plus||Airfare (5%)||Hotel (10%)|
Most likely, if you are planning to pay for the premium feature, expect to spend anywhere from $499.90 to $1,999.80 to break even on WayAway Plus.
Though that is not too hard given how expensive travel generally is, it might be mindful of thinking about how much you would need to spend on the platform.
(The booking happens outside on an external party like Expedia, but is tracked through a cookie.)
The sky is the limit when it comes to how much can be earned, though the time for the cashback to be posted can vary up to 90 days, so this isn’t some get-rich scheme here.
It is also not possible to withdraw than less than $10, so this is not a great feature to use if you are only using it sporadically.
Though there are other features associated with WayAway Plus, like access to travel experts and hidden gems, we can't pretend this is why we are interested in the platform. 😉