This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase
Booking.com is the most visited travel website in the world. More than 500 million people visit Booking.com in search of accommodation and each day more than 1 million bookings are made.
There are so many other booking sites but none that would even come close to being as popular as Booking.com.
It’s therefore not surprising that the Booking. com affiliate program is very popular among affiliate marketers in the travel niche.
In this review, you will learn everything about the program.
Table of Contents
Booking.com Affiliate Program
The Booking.com affiliate program can be joined directly from the affiliate landing page.
The sign-up process is very easy and your account is confirmed almost instantly.
The only requirement to become a Booking.com affiliate is to have a website with relevant content.
That doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to have a travel blog or website focused on traveling. As long as you have at least some content related to travel and accommodation, you will have no problem getting accepted.
Once you get accepted to the program, you will be provided with your unique affiliate link and you can start promoting.
It goes without saying that the Booking.com affiliate program allows creating deep links. You can create links to pretty much anything. Besides specific properties, also to regions, cities, landmarks and more.
Even though it’s great to have an option to link to anywhere, I would not recommend linking to regions or landmarks that much.
The reason why is that the program has a very short referral period. Actually, the shortest referral period an affiliate program can have, and that is session tracking.
This means that if your visitor leaves the Booking.com page and then returns later, you will not receive any commission.
Therefore, it’s better to link to specific accommodation or to search results for a particular city as the chances for conversion are higher.
What Tools Can Booking.com Affiliates Use?
Booking.com is the biggest player in online accommodation bookings and so being a Booking.com affiliate has its benefits.
The Booking.com affiliate program has many tools that you can freely use.
Below is their short description.
A map widget is a great tool if you want to show your visitors accommodation options in a specific area. As they move around the map on your website, new accommodation options pop up.
This tool can be very useful when you write a post about a specific area. You may recommend the top accommodation in the area and include the map in the post.
If your readers don’t like the accommodation you are recommending, they can quickly and easily access listings for accommodation that is nearby.
The search box allows your visitor to select their desired destination and dates. Once they click on the ‘’Search’’ button, they are redirected to Booking.com to the property listings that match their criteria.
It’s possible to customize the style of the search box and pre-apply filters. So, for instance, if you have a category page where all your posts related to Paris appear, you could pre-apply the filter for Paris.
Of course, besides cities, you can also target countries, but the more specific you are, the better.
Personally, I think that search boxes are more suited to your category pages. For posts, the map widget makes more sense as you can target specific areas that go along with your post and also a map is more interactive than a search box.
Inspiring Search Box
The inspiring search box is similar to a normal search box, but it provides you with an extra option to show images of destinations of your choice.
All you have to do is to select a city and a day of the week and Booking.com will automatically generate current deals.
Booking.com offers Booking.com affiliates banners in six different sizes in various designs.
Moreover, all banners are available in 43 languages.
If you have a WordPress website, setting up the Booking.com tools mentioned above will be very easy for you.
Booking.com has plugins that allow you to quickly add search boxes, map widgets, and banners to any of your posts or pages.
It goes without saying that the plugins also enable creating deep links to any of the Booking.com listings.
Booking.com Affiliate Program Commission
Booking.com affiliates can earn a commission for bookings but also for property owners who create listings on Booking.com through their link.
The Booking.com commission structure may be a little confusing for affiliates.
The program has a progressively structured model which means that your commission rate depends on the number of booking you generate per month.
At the beginning, you will start with a 25% commission rate. As you can see in the table below, the maximum commission rate you can have is 40%.
However, please note that you will not get a commission that is equal to the percentage of the price of the booking, you only earn the percentage of Booking.com commission.
The commission that Booking.com receives from the property owners can be 10%, 15%, 17% or 20%. Sadly, Booking.com does not disclose what type of property falls under what commission rate. They just mention that it depends on several factors such as the accommodation country.
Let’s say that your visitor booked accommodation from your link worth $100 and that the accommodation is a type of property from which Booking.com receives a 15% commission.
In this case, Booking.com earns $15 and so you earn 25% from it, which is just $3.75.
Property Referral Program
Booking.com always wants to expand and offer more accommodation options around the world and so it enables affiliates to earn a commission for any type of property that starts a new listing on Booking.com
Before you receive any commission, the new listing will have to undergo Booking.com’s standard verification checks.
Next, it needs to be opened for accepting guests within 30 days and have at least one booking within 90 days.
If all that is fulfilled, you will receive a €50 ($55) commission.
Your referrals receive from Booking.com five commission-free bookings. It’s not much, but still, you can use it as an incentive.
The Booking.com affiliate program and property referral program both offer two options for commission payments.
The first option is direct transfer in Euros, US Dollars or British Pounds and the other is PayPal transfer.
The default currency for direct transfers is Euros, but Booking. com is also able to process the transfers in US Dollars and British Pounds. You just need to send a request.
If you decide to withdraw your payments through PayPal, please note that Booking.com can process payments only in Euros. Of course, you can then withdraw money from your PayPal account in the currency of your choice, but PayPal's currency exchange rates will apply.
The withdrawal threshold is quite high: you need to earn a minimum of €100 ($110). The financial cycle is also long: expect to be credited the commission around two months after the guests have checked out.
If you want to know specifically how the financial cycle works, I recommend watching the video below.
Can You Make $1000 a Month as a Booking.com Affiliate?
You have learned that Booking.com affiliate earnings are not that high, so is it possible to earn $1000 a month?
Of course, it is, but it will be a lot of work.
Let’s do the math on a hypothetical example of promoting a hotel in the USA.
The average daily rate for booking a hotel in the USA is around $130. Imagine that your referral guest books a 2-night stay.
The booking price would be $260 and Booking.com would receive a cut in the amount of $39 (provided that type of property falls under the 15% commission).
You as a Booking.com affiliate would earn $5.85.
That’s not much, but of course, it’s still a hypothetical example. Your average earnings could be much higher (obviously also lower). This is just an example to give you at least some idea how much you can earn per one booking hosting.
If you, on average, earned around $6 per booking, then you would need around 170 people to book accommodation on Booking.com through your links in order to make $1000 a month.
This is not an easy task. Don’t forget that Booking.com has session tracking.
Each person has to click on your link and book the accommodation before closing the browser window.
A lot of people who click on your links will not be ready to book. They will just browse for tips and inspiration.
How to Make Money as a Booking.com Affiliate
If this is not the first article you are reading on my blog, then you know that for each affiliate program I include some tips about how I would approach promoting the particular program.
Booking.com made it easier for me to write this section as the program provides Booking.com affiliates with some valuable tips.
Best Performing Booking.com Widget
Booking.com states that the best performing widget is the inspiring search box.
I have to admit that when I discovered it, I was quite surprised. I would not expect the inspiring search box to be the best performing widget.
The inspiring search box allows you to promote accommodation in countries that you select, but the thing is that it does not allow you to show specific cities.
You select a country and the widget shows photos of the top three destinations in that country.
So that means you cannot be as specific with the targeting as you can be with the map widget, which allows you to create a map for any particular city.
If the inspiring search box is the best performing widget that Booking.com recommends, it means that Booking.com affiliates make the most money by promoting the most popular destinations in particular countries. This obviously makes sense; that’s why they are popular destinations in the first place.
Therefore, if you want to focus on just the Booking.com affiliate program, it makes sense to mainly focus on content around the top-visited destinations.
Booking.com claims that the popular destinations frequently change and so Booking.com affiliates should pay attention to what is showing up in their inspiring search boxes. Also, Booking.com recommends checking out trending destinations on their blog as they often reveal the current trends there.
Find Low Competition Keywords
Knowing that the inspiring search box is the best performing widget is good information to have, but keep in mind that obviously the most popular destinations also have the most competitive keywords.
You need to strategically plan what to write content about.
Let me give you an example of promoting popular destinations in France.
Paris will always be the most visited city by tourists in France. The most online content about traveling in France will also be about Paris.
If you were to write a piece of content about visiting the Eiffel Tower, you would be competing with thousands of similar articles.
It would not rank well in search engines and you would not get any organic traffic.
You have to find keywords that are less competitive but still have a big enough search volume.
In the travel niche, finding low competition keywords is not that hard, even for popular destinations like Paris.
There are so many sights to see, restaurants to dine in and attractions to visit. The travel niche is very broad; you can always find something to write about that is not so competitive.
But the problem is writing the content for these low competition keywords.
If you haven’t visited the place personally and don’t have your own experiences and quality pictures, then your content will most likely lack quality.
That’s why travel bloggers who continually travel have a much better chance of succeeding with travel affiliate programs. Provided that they know SEO and plan their posts strategically.
There are many travel websites and travel bloggers, but very few who actually travel a lot.
I am not saying that you cannot be a successful Booking.com affiliate if you don’t travel but it’s just a bit harder. This doesn’t apply just to the Booking.com affiliate program, but to pretty much any affiliate program in the travel niche.
Conclusion: Should You Become a Booking.com Affiliate?
If you have just started a travel website and are looking for a way to monetize it, I don’t think the Booking.com affiliate program is right for you.
The commission of the program is quite low, and the program has only session tracking.
If your visitor closes the window of the browser and books the accommodation just the following day, you don’t get any credit for it.
Competition in the travel niche is huge and if you are not able to create original content, you will never have big success as a Booking.com affiliate.
On the contrary, if you are a travel blogger who understands SEO and can find low competition keywords and write original content around it, the program has big potential.
Besides promoting accommodation booking, you can also consider being an affiliate for car rental companies. Many people looking for accommodation also want to rent a car. You can check Discovercars.com, for instance. They are an Award-winning car rental comparison website and offer a 70% commission from their car rental profit as well as 30% commission of full coverage revenue and a massive 365 days cookies.