Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Earn airlines miles when booking hotel stays with Rocketmiles and PointsHound

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Two new hotel booking services have sprung up recently which offer a twist on the usual third-party booking service. Both Rocketmiles and PointsHound give you a large slug of airline miles with every hotel night you book.

The reason that you won’t have heard much about these services is that they do not cover British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

Rocketmiles is a partner with Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, Etihad Guest, Flying Blue, Hawaiian Miles, jetBlue, United, US Airways and Virgin America.

PointsHound is a partner with American Airlines, AeroMexico, Baltic Miles (!), Delta, Etihad Guest, Hawaiian Miles, US Airways and Virgin America.

Both operate on a similar model. They have relationships with a number of hotels in a small number of cities. PointsHound has by far the bigger coverage – 150,000 hotels – whilst Rocketmiles deals with just 1,000.

Rocketmiles, in general, will pay you more miles. This is because they are buying their rooms via wholesale agreements and so have more flexibility (ie a bigger profit margin) to play with. Given the number of properties that PointsHound deals with, I assume they are using a standard agency model with a lower margin.

Here are some examples for London on Monday 16th September.

Choosing American as my earning currency, PointsHound generally offers 200-700 miles for the booking. The outlier was the Park International on Cromwell Road which offered 1,650 AA miles for a $173 room. (Note that, once you have made more than 6 nights via PointsHound, your earnings level is increased.)

Rocketmiles had some seriously big numbers on offer. They never offered less than 1,000 AA miles. The Cavendish in St James offered me 5,000 AA miles for a $415 room. Best Western The Cromwell offered 3,000 AA miles for a $199 room.

I haven’t tried to compare these numbers with Expedia or hotels.com. hotels.com also has its Welcome Rewards programme which offers a free night for every 10 booked.

It is worth noting that Rocketmiles rooms will NOT earn points or elite benefits most of the time, because they are wholesale rates. PointsHound has arrangements with around 1,000 branded hotels that they WILL give points and status benefits – these are flagged as ‘DoubleUp’ on their website.

Comments (10)

  • susan says:

    Rocketmiles referal bonus is 1000 miles for both referrer and referee credited after first purchase

  • Gordon says:

    Does anyone know when the miles get added to your account? The hotel i checked for london, on rocketmiles, offered 2000 miles per night. The rate was payable now but refundable until the day before. I assume the miles won’t be credited until after the stay? If not would they be able to clawback from the airline?

  • Robert says:

    Looking at the rates it seems to be around 10 miles per dollar; taxes aren’t included in the rates in the US though

  • Frenske says:

    Avoid Rocketmiles. They tend to be higher priced than the hotels.com, etc and have limited choice.

    I am happy to refer people, just click on: http://pointshound.com/womjeq

  • Frenske says:

    With pointhound you can also earn points for hotel programs:

    HHonors
    Hyatt
    Priority Club
    SPG

    I believe some of them allow you to convert them to BA Avios. Although conversion rates tend to be bad. Pointshound referral website: http://pointshound.com/womjeq.

  • SC says:

    SPG gives you 5k points extra when sending 20k to Avios or Virgin from what I recall, so not a bad deal in my eyes 😉 Pointshound referral: http://www.pointshound.com/tfzdar

  • darrenf says:

    Another data point – I was looking for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights next February. Pointshound offered me 900 US Airways miles, Rocketmiles offered 3000. Same hotel, same price in cash.

  • MaltapointsTom says:

    You’re not the first person to be sceptical of BalticMiles, but it’s actually quite an impressive (and ambitious) programme – a wide range of collection options and some very reasonable redemption rates. I collect them, even if the rest of you don’t!