You can now earn Virgin miles via hotel booking site PointsHound

Last August, I wrote about Rocketmiles and PointsHound.  These are both online hotel booking services, but with a difference – when you book, you earn a large pile of frequent flyer miles in return!

At the time, both of the sites were US-focussed.  However, PointsHound has recently been acquired by Canadian group points.com and is rapidly expanding its partnerships.

PointsHound

For European and Middle Eastern airlines, you can now earn with:

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Etihad Guest

Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

Icelandair

Flying Blue

When it originally launched, PointsHound offered ‘double up’ rates.  These rates WOULD count as ‘qualifying stays’ with the hotel in terms of giving you loyalty points and elite benefits in IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards etc.  These rates are not currently available.

If you use PointsHound, you need to be aware of the following limitations:

You will NOT earn stay credit or loyalty points in the hotel scheme of the property you book except for points on additional spending.

You may or may not – depending on the generosity of the individual hotel – get your elite benefits recognised.  Hilton generally does still give elite benefits such as free breakfast and internet to Gold members. Other chains are less generous.

You should compare PointsHound pricing with other ‘third party’ websites such as Expedia or hotels.com.

The site is also buggy.  If you search by US$ pricing, you are presented with several special deals.  On July 29th, for example, I would get 4,350 Virgin miles for booking the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge for $380.  Switch to £, though, and I would be paying £212 and earning just 925 miles.  All very odd.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic, Little Red and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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Comments

  1. Phillip says:

    Plus, the more you book, the higher up the rank you move in terms of your PointsHound membership, which in turns gets you bonus airmiles. On certain occasions they have some great rates, but like always, research before purchasing.

    I have to say I find RocketMiles very limited in its hotel portfolio. They are, however, currently offering 5000 bonus miles for your first booking (targeted it seems).

  2. Great site Raffles, thanks for the referral!

    I think it’s less buggy and more “focussed” – the “big earn” promo rates seem (at least in my quick UK hotels search) exclusively on US$ rates – they clearly get a bigger / better referral rate for US$ bookings.

    I saw the same (or similar) costs across USD, EUR and GBP, but the USD earning was 2550 per night, the other 2 were 400 Flying Club Miles!

  3. I can’t find the special deals anywhere. Am I being a bit special myself?

    • The special deals come up at the top of the (default sorting) of the list, or under “Best Deals” in the sorting criteria – they don’t exist in some places, or outside USD currency (as far as I could see) but search for London in USD and you should see some with the orange slogan on the photo “Big Earn Rate” in the top left.

      • Actually I’ve just noticed – the deals do exist in at least other currency – I thought they might in CAD – as it’s (possibly?) linked to the USD …

  4. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Rob – you don’t need to hit 10 nights/year for Hotels.com. Welcome Rewards expiry works like BAEC – you just need to have one booking (cash or redemption) every 12m in order to keep your balance active. In theory, you could earn your free night over a decade! You only need to hit 10 nights in a year to get Silver status with them (not that it’s worth anything).

  5. True. But I’d rather have the cash. It paid for my Oslo Pass :-)

  6. Just be aware that the quoted price on searching is not the final price. Just went to book the Hilton LHR (£12 more than lastminute/expedia and offering 3700 VS miles) and noticed they added £53 to the final price. Decided not to book through them.

    1 Nights $455.58
    Tax Recovery Charges & Svc Fees
    $91.12
    Total
    $546.70

  7. Yes it seems that their system can show the room price but doesn’t add the VAT until you click through to book it. So if you’re looking at USD prices to get the big miles bonus, just multiply it by 0.7 for GBP and you’ll get a rough idea of the price.