Do you know you can earn thousands of airline miles for one hotel booking? I certainly didn’t! When I found out this was possible, it changed how I booked hotels forever. Many airline loyalty programmes offer the chance to earn miles through hotel stays. Usually the offers are things such as 500 miles per night, 500 miles per stay or 1 mile per dollar spent. These have been around for years, but this is not what I am talking about.
I’m talking about Kaligo, Rocketmiles and PointsHound.
These companies source hotel rooms at a discount from consolidators, price them at the same price as buying from the hotel direct and use the difference to be able to reward you handsomely. Of course, they also make their own profit as they are running a business!
I earn my miles through the British Airways Executive Club which offers earning with Kaligo and Rocketmiles. I’ll detail my experiences with these two companies so you can get a flavour for how you can benefit. I don’t use PointsHound as they are not affiliated with the British Airways Executive Club but I hear they are similar.
Most of my bookings so far have been through Kaligo who advertise 425,000 hotels on their site. At one point they went through a period of offering substantial bonuses for spending a cumulative amount of money with them. An example would be a bonus for bookings made during first quarter of the year where you earned 3,000 miles if you spent over £250, 10,000 miles if you spent over £500 and 20,000 miles if you spent over £1,000.
The highest amount I earned on a single booking with no bonus was 7,200 miles for a 4 night stay which cost me around $650. The chain I stayed with had an earning rate of $1 per mile in my airline programme so instead of 650 miles I earned 7,200 miles. A no brainer!
The bookings with Kaligo are usually pre-paid and non-refundable so I would advise only booking when you have absolute concrete travel plans. The miles have always posted for me within a week or so of my stay but this could vary depending on your programme.
There will be times when Kaligo will be more expensive than booking with the hotel directly, so I strongly recommend you always check the hotel pricing as well as pricing on other hotel booking sites. Once or twice I have paid more money with Kaligo as I would be earning over 10,000 miles for the stay, so it really depends on what you find valuable.
I have a referral link for Kaligo where both you and I will earn 1,000 bonus miles when you complete your first stay.
The rest of my bookings have been through Rocketmiles who I believe are the company that pioneered the concept. They don’t seem to have as many hotels on their site. However, their web site is very attractive and I have sometimes found hotels there that were not available on Kaligo. I joined through a promotion offering 7,000 bonus miles for your first booking meaning I made 11,000 miles for my 3 night stay.
The highest amount I earned on a single booking with no bonus was 9,000 miles for a stay that cost $1,100. The chain I stayed with had an earning rate of $2 per mile in my airline programme, so instead of 2,200 miles I earned 9,000.
Like Kaligo, the bookings with Rocketmiles are usually pre-paid and non-refundable so I would advise only booking when you have absolute concrete travel plans. The miles have always posted for me within a week or so of my stay but this could vary depending on your programme.
There will be times when Rocketmiles will be more expensive than booking with the hotel directly, so I strongly recommend you always check the hotel pricing as well as pricing on other hotel booking sites.
Rocketmiles will often e-mail existing customers with a 3 day promotion where you are offered a 500 mile bonus for making a booking during the promotional period which is quite nice.
I have a referral link for Rocketmiles where both you and I will earn 1,000 bonus miles when you complete your first stay.
Each of the three web sites shows which airlines you can earn with and each of them has partnered with many of the major airlines around the world.
While I have illustrated the highest amounts of miles I have earned, I find most stays tend to earn at least 1,000 miles and it increases from there. What is interesting is that the amount of miles is not connected to the amount you pay. I have seen 3 star hotels earning 18,000 points and 5 star hotels that cost much more earning 2,000 points.
I could have earned more miles than I have. However, I am not so wedded to miles earning that I will stay in an inconvenient location for example. I’m also not the person who will go for a 2 star hotel earning me 12,000 miles over the much nicer 3 star for the same price that earns me 6,000 miles.
Everyone is different and if you’re someone who stays in hotels for business trips or for leisure trips you can earn quite a good few extra miles by booking through Kaligo, Rocketmiles or PointsHound. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.