Frequently asked questions

Affiliate program FAQs

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program makes your site more valuable to visitors. It's also one of the easiest ways to make money online. Every time you send a customer to Hotwire, you earn a commission on their travel bookings.

How do I join?

Follow these easy steps:

  • Fill out the LinkShare affiliate application
  • Once you're approved, choose Hotwire Links
    (Note: We recommend using Dynamic Rich Media links.)
  • Add links to your site and start making money today

Who is LinkShare?

LinkShare helps Hotwire manage our affiliate program. You'll receive a consolidated check from LinkShare each month, and program support from Hotwire and LinkShare.

Is my information secure?

Hotwire uses the latest security measures and encryption technology, including Secure Socket Layers (SSL), to keep all of your information safe and secure. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details. You may also view LinkShare's Privacy Policy by clicking here.

How much will I make?

Affiliates receive a $2 referral fee for every regular airline ticket booking, and 2%* for all other bookings (discount air, hotel, rental car, package).

*On total amount of booking, not including applicable tax recovery fees.

What is the difference between "retail" bookings and "discount" bookings?

Customers are shown all relevant flight information -- flight times, airline name, etc. -- before booking a retail airline ticket. With Hotwire Hot Rate tickets, customers are shown detailed flight information only after the booking is complete.

How often will I be paid?

You will be paid once each month by Linkshare, assuming you have earned commission and are not in violation of Hotwire's Affiliate Agreement.

I operate more than one site. Can I track them separately and receive one check?

Yes, LinkShare makes it easy to manage commissions and payments for multiple sites. Just register all of your sites under the same account.

When visitors leave my site, how will I get credit for their Hotwire booking?

Visitors who click on Hotwire banners or links from your site have a unique cookie placed on their computer. This cookie contains no personally identifiable information, but shows Hotwire that these visitors came from your site. When your visitors complete a Hotwire booking, Hotwire checks for your affiliate cookie and credits your account accordingly.

Once visitors on my site go to Hotwire, how long until their cookie expires?

Cookies stay active for 30 days on visitors' computers, or until visitors remove them manually. This ensures you will get credit for your visitors' eventual Hotwire bookings, even if they research travel at multiple sites prior to making a booking or don't complete their booking immediately.

What are the limitations on using Hotwire's logo and content on my site?

At a minimum, Hotwire does not allow:

  • Scraping or framing of our site
  • Misuse of logos (i.e., altering or modifying in any way)
  • Search-engine marketing with Hotwire keywords, trademarks or misspellings
  • Violations of the CAN-SPAM act
  • False advertising claims (e.g., Save 99% on airplane tickets at Hotwire)

Please read our Affiliate Agreement for further details.

I'm ready to start. How do I create a banner or link?

Once you've been approved for Hotwire's affiliate program, you can view all of the link codes, and preview the banner and text ads in the Create Links section of LinkShare.

Once I create a banner or link, where should I put it?

We recommend always placing links or banners above the fold (i.e., above the point at which a visitor must scroll down to view more content). Studies have shown that visitors pay most attention to the content that they see when they first arrive at a page.

Can I link to a specific Hotwire page, such as Flights, Hotels, or San Francisco Hotels?

Yes, the Create Links section has a variety of links that link to specific sections of Hotwire. If you cannot find the specific page that you require, please contact us and we can create a link for you.

Can I put a Hotwire link on more than one site?

Absolutely. We encourage you to put Hotwire links on all of your sites.

Does Hotwire offer dynamically updated (or ad-served) banners and creative assets?

Yes, you can find them in the Dynamic Rich Media area in Linkshare's Create Links section. These creative assets are 3rd party ad-served by Linkshare.

How can I track my site's performance?

LinkShare offers many reports that track the progress of your site. Visit our Reporting section to see samples, then sign in to LinkShare and choose Run Reports to view a complete list. The Affiliate Resource Center within LinkShare is also a great starting point.

How does Hotwire know a transaction came from my site?

Visitors who click on Hotwire banners or links from your site have a unique cookie placed on their computer. This cookie contains no personally identifiable information, but shows Hotwire that these visitors came from your site. When your visitors complete a Hotwire booking, Hotwire checks for your affiliate cookie and credits your account accordingly.

Do I need to sign an agreement?

In order to participate in Hotwire's Affiliate Program, you must accept to our Affiliate Agreement.

Do I need to report commissions to the IRS?

You are responsible for reporting the income you generate from Hotwire's affiliate program.

May I use Hotwire in press releases, marketing materials or other announcements?

No, unless you receive written permission from Hotwire.

What tax information must I provide to participate?

You are required to enter your full name or your company's name (if you are enrolling as a business), as well as your Tax ID number, which is either your personal Social Security number or IRS-provided employer ID number. All information submitted within LinkShare is completely secure.

What is Hotwire's unsolicited-email policy?

Hotwire complies with all current CAN-SPAM legislation. We do not send emails to users who have specifically opted out. Our affiliates must also adhere to all CAN-SPAM laws.