November 13, 2017

OTAs start lending consumers money to book hotels

Several major sellers of travel, such as Expedia, are testing extending credit to U.S. consumers to enable them to pay for their vacations over time rather than up-front.

Paying for a trip in monthly payments primarily appeals to consumers with average credit ratings who are willing to accept short-term, interest-based loans.

But consumers with high credit scores also appear to be getting tempted into splurging on luxury trips if companies lend them credit on attractive terms.

The new installment products - called layaway when paid off prior to trip and a loan if paid off after - have been common in developing countries. But the concept hadn’t gained cachet in the United States until the past year.

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