I wrote an introduction to hotel booking site Rocketmiles here. It is a small-scale (ie limited selection) business which offers significant airline mile bonuses when you book.
At the time I first covered it, it was working almost exclusively with US airlines. Over the last year Rocketmiles has moved closer to home, partnering with Etihad, Qatar, Turkish, Norwegian and now – finally – Avios points.
This is how the company works:
Rocketmiles has deals with various hotel room consolidators to provide it with rooms at wholesale prices. Whilst the selection of hotels available is not huge, the large profit margins on the rooms allow them to offer very generous mileage incentives when you book.
Rocketmiles will offer you 1,000 – 5,000 Avios points PER NIGHT when you book with them.
Their pricing, frankly, is rarely the cheapest. If you can find a room on Rocketmiles you will often be able to find it on other consolidator websites for less. The price should, though, compare well with booking the hotel directly from its own website.
As an example, I searched for London on Monday 20 October. The Danubius Regents Park offers 5,000 miles per night and was £176, rising to £215 with taxes and fees. That compares favourably with booking directly via the Danubius website, where you will pay £212.
However, Kayak found the same room for £126 on another site and both rooms were fully refundable.
In general, you should not pay more with Rocketmiles than you would if you booked direct. At the same time, you should recognise that any hotel on Rocketmiles is playing in the ‘consolidator’ market and you may be able to find it being quietly touted around at a price below the official rate.
If you are not spending your own money when booking hotels, it can be very attractive.
Note that, for reasons not fully understood, their site does not accept UK-issued American Express cards although it will accept Visa and MasterCard OK.
Generous launch offer
As a launch offer, you will receive a bonus of 3,000 Avios points when you create a new Rocketmiles account and make a booking.
The 3,000 Avios additional bonus is valid for bookings made by the end of the year for stays until the end of April 2015.
There are two separate booking links. Click here to book and earn miles in avios.com or click here to book and earn miles in British Airways Executive Club.
The sign-up bonus is, without a doubt, a decent deal. It means that you will receive at least 4,000 Avios points (3,000 bonus miles plus 1,000 base miles) even for the cheapest one-night stay they offer.
Looking at, for example, Birmingham on Monday 20 October, their cheapest rate was £64 (Menzies Strathallan) rising to £78 with all fees. You would 4,000 Avios for that booking – 1,000 base miles and the 3,000 bonus – which is clearly a decent deal.
I should point out that I have seen more generous Rocketmiles offers for other airlines – I recently received one from Qatar Airways offering 5,000 bonus QMiles on my first booking. There is ALWAYS a first booking deal of some sort available so don’t feel under any pressure to sign up now.
Here is the small print of the Avios deal (these are the avios.com rules, the BAEC rules are identical):
Avios UK Travel Reward Programme members who have not previously made a booking via Rocketmiles will be eligible for a 3,000 Avios bonus, in addition to the standard award rate of between 1,000 and 5,000 Avios, if they register with Rocketmiles, choose Avios as their loyalty programme and make a booking between 01/09/14 – 31/12/14, hotel stays must be completed by 30/04/15. Bonus and standard Avios will be awarded within 5 days of the completed stay. Standard Avios awarded will vary depending on the hotel booked and duration of stay. Members will be advised at time of booking how many Avios will be awarded. Generally hotel rewards points will not be awarded in addition to the Avios awarded.
It is important to remember that you will not earn hotel loyalty points or status credit from your stay booked via Rocketmiles. Depending on the chain, you may or may not be able to get your status benefits honoured (free internet, free breakfast, upgrade etc).
Rocketmiles is fully approved by British Airways. You can see their page at ba.com here. Do NOT book via the link on that page, though, as you will not receive the additional 3,000 Avios. Use the two links above instead.
Those of you with a cunning mind will have realised by now that, since you earn Avios via Rocketmiles in both avios.com and British Airways Executive Club, you could easily open two accounts with different email addresses and earn two sign-up bonuses ….
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 5th March), Radisson Rewards (50% bonus to 31st January) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 23rd February)