Hotel booking site Rocketmiles has, at some point recently, dropped British Airways as an earning partner.
This is a shame, as it was often a way of picking up a good chunk of Avios from bookings at independent hotels where you had no ability to earn hotel points or enjoy status benefits.
It’s not entirely over, however, because there are three other routes which give you a useful backdoor into British Airways Executive Club Avios.
What is Rocketmiles?
Rocketmiles – if you are not familiar with it – is a similar website to Agoda and Kaligo.com. You can earn airline miles and other loyalty points in a wide variety of schemes when you book your hotel stays via rocketmiles.com.
The one downside of Rocketmiles is that your stays will be treated as ‘non-qualifying’ by the hotel. This means that you won’t earn points in the hotel’s own loyalty programme and you probably won’t get your status benefits either. Rocketmiles, Kaligo.com etc are best used when booking a stay at an independent hotel or at one where you don’t actively collect their points.
Rocketmiles does not provide VAT invoices, which may be an issue if you are travelling for business in the UK.
Who partners with Rocketmiles?
One of the strengths of Rocketmiles is its broad list of partners.
Of the programmes we tend to cover on Head for Points, the following work with Rocketmiles:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Flying Blue
- Heathrow Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Flying Club
Where is British Airways Executive Club?
At some point in the last few months, British Airways Executive Club has disappeared as a Rocketmiles earning option.
The good news is that there are still THREE ways of earning Avios via Rocketmiles:
- Vueling Club
- Qatar Privilege Club
- Heathrow Rewards
I will run through each in turn.
Before I go on, I should mention one Rocketmiles quirk.
The same hotel can earn you a different number of miles depending on which scheme you credit to. This appears to be driven by the commercial deal that Rocketmiles has with each programme.
Let’s assume that you are booking one night at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on 17th November.
The cost is the same (£259) irrespective of where you choose to credit the stay. However, the earning rates differ:
- credit to Vueling Club and you will earn 2,000 Avios
- credit to Qatar Privilege Club and you will earn 3,000 Avios (screenshot above)
- credit to Heathrow Rewards and you will earn points worth 4,000 Avios
Having done numerous Rocketmiles bookings in the past, Heathrow Rewards is almost always the best option if you want to earn Avios.
Even when British Airways Executive Club was a Rocketmiles partner, it usually made more sense to credit to Heathrow Rewards.
Here is a quick summary of how you earn in each of the three schemes above:
Vueling is the Spanish-based low cost airline owned by IAG, the parent company of British Airways.
You open a Vueling Club account on its website here. It will have a long account number starting in 3081.
After your Rocketmiles hotel stay, visit avios.com and log in with your Vueling Club membership details. You can then use the ‘Combine My Avios’ option at avios.com to move your points into your British Airways Executive Club account.
Note that all personal details, including email address, need to match on both accounts in order to use ‘Combine My Avios’.
Qatar Privilege Club
Since March 2022, Qatar Airways has been using Avios as its loyalty currency.
After your stay, you need to link your British Airways Executive Club account to your Qatar Privilege Club account following these instructions. You can then use the Qatar Airways website to move your points into your British Airways Executive Club account.
Note that all personal details, including email address, need to match on both accounts in order to transfer points between Qatar Airways and British Airways.
Heathrow Rewards is the loyalty scheme for the shops and official car parks at Heathrow Airport.
After your stay, you can transfer your points at 1:1 into Avios. There is a minimum transfer of 250 Heathrow Rewards points and transfers must be in multiples of 250 points.
Why should you credit your Rocketmiles stay to Heathrow Rewards?
The obvious first reason ….
As I mentioned above, in my experience you will almost always earn more Avios by crediting a Rocketmiles stay to Heathrow Rewards than to British Airways Executive Club (now deceased), Vueling Club or Qatar Privilege Club.
The less obvious second reason ….
Even if the earning rate was identical across the Avios partners, Heathrow Rewards is better. It is also why I recommend Virgin Points collectors earn in Heathrow Rewards instead of crediting a stay directly to Virgin Flying Club.
A good reason for taking Heathrow Rewards points if you want Avios (or even if you want Virgin Points) is FLEXIBILITY.
Heathrow Rewards has a lot of 1:1 transfer partners. 500 Heathrow Rewards points can be transferred into:
- 500 Avios
- 500 Asia Miles
- 500 Virgin Points
- 500 Royal Brunei RoyalSkies miles
- 500 Emirates Skywards miles
- 500 Aegean Miles&Bonus miles
- 500 Miles & More miles
- £5 Heathrow Airport shopping voucher
- £10 Heathrow Airport parking voucher
You can leave your points sitting in Heathrow Rewards until you are firm about where you need them.
There is also the opportunity for a transfer bonus. Heathrow Rewards ran some aggressive transfer bonuses before the pandemic. These included 50% and 100% bonuses when transferring to Avios and Virgin Points.
If that offer came back, you would have been substantially better off taking Heathrow Rewards points in the first place.
Whilst Rocketmiles is no longer an ‘official’ British Airways Executive Club hotel partner – here is the list of remaining partners on ba.com – there are still three ways of earning Avios if you book a hotel stay via Rocketmiles.
The Heathrow Rewards route was always more generous and more flexible than using British Airways Executive Club anyway!
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.