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Rocketmiles is a hotel search engine and booking app you can sign up for here that works with a few premium hotel partners in several US cities to offer customers who book rooms bonus miles with American Airlines, Delta, United and Hawaiian Airlines.
So far, Rocketmiles has hotel partners in:
However, there are only a few hotels in each city. For instance, in New York, a search usually yields just 5 hotel partners each time. Rocketmiles claims to select only a handful of high-quality hotels in each city that have been screened by its staff to maintain its offer values and that most properties are 4 stars are better.
That said, there do seem to be plenty of options depending on the dates you want to book, and hotel rates in New York City this month, for example, range between $200-400.
Where this gets interesting is in the opportunity to earn thousands of bonus miles, even on a single night booking. For instance, I checked a one-night stay in New York City midweek next week, and the Grand Hyatt, the Roosevelt Hotel and the Affinia Manhattan all offered 5,000 bonus United, American, Delta or Hawaiian Miles just for the one night.
For a quick comparison, the Grand Hyatt rate on Rocketmiles was $359 for the night and I’d earn 5,000 miles on any of those airlines and no Hyatt points (though I’d try presenting my Hyatt number at check-in and seeing what happened).
If I were to book the Grand Hyatt directly through Hyatt.com, it would have cost $309 for the night so I’d earn 1545 Hyatt Gold Passport points and 500 miles with any of those partners.
On Priceline, that Grand Hyatt room was also $309, and no miles or Hyatt points.
So in this instance with Hyatt, I’d be paying a $50 premium to earn 4,500 more miles than I’d be earning by booking directly with Hyatt, meaning I’d be paying about 1.1 cents per mile. I value United miles at about 2 cents apiece – which is one of the reasons I love Ultimate Rewards points so much – so in my estimation I’m coming out ahead in this instance.
From what I can tell, the pricing of the hotel room isn’t tied to the number of miles you earn. For instance, though it costs $450 that same night, you only earn 2,500 miles, so it must depend on the rate that Rocketmiles has negotiated with brands or individual properties.
What’s also interesting is that longer bookings have diminishing returns. There’s a 1,000-mile booking bonus right now when you book your first stay by March 21 for stays through June 14, so that accounts for some of it. That bonus was targeted, but it may be open to new members, so you should try signing up and seeing what bonus you get.
However, take the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, for example. One night, as we saw, earns you 5,000 miles. Two nights goes up to 2,500 miles – so already you’re at 50% the second night.
And then three nights only gets you 8,000 miles, meaning you’re only earning 500 miles for that third night.
Where this might make sense is if you’ve already worked your way to elite status for the year, or if you are staying somewhere where your hotel program or property of choice is not available for your nights, you can use Rocketmiles to earn thousands of airline miles instead at a property that doesn’t normally offer points rather than booking a hotel with another search engine like Orbitz or Priceline where you won’t get points or miles.
That said, always do the math and make sure the pricing and cost-per-mile makes sense for you and your needs. I think paying 1.1 cents per mile isn’t a bad deal at all, especially if you just need a few thousand miles to top up your account, but just be sure the premium is worth it to you.
If you’re looking to earn hotel points and status, you can’t usually do so when booking at a site like this – you have to book directly through the hotel, but people report earning points and status by adding their membership number to a reservation after booking it or at check-in, so it might still be possible. Has anyone used Rocketmiles? What was your experience? Did you earn points or status on the booking? And how long did your bonus miles take to post?