How to earn Avios with hotel bookings
How about earning Avios on your next hotel stay? There are lots of different ways that you can earn Avios for hotel stays. If you’re an avid Avios points collector then make sure you’re earning while you’re sleeping.
When I book a hotel stay, I always try to see if I can earn Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles.
This is especially useful if you book your own travel for business! Make those nights away from home work for you.
Here are my recommended ways to maximise your Avios balance when you next sleep away from home.
Rocketmiles is a hotel booking website (and mobile app), which pays you for making hotel stays, in the form of frequent flyer miles. You can earn points in many airline loyalty schemes, including Avios (to your British Airways Executive Club account), Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and many others.
To make a booking, you just enter your dates on the web site or in the mobile app, select your frequent flyer programme, and then click Search. You pay and book through Rocketmiles, and the transaction is charged as ‘RTI’ on your credit card. The miles are usually credited to your account within a few days after you’ve completed your stay.
Here’s the key things I’ve learned about Rocketmiles:
- Rocketmiles is not the cheapest! It’s usually cheaper (in cash terms) to book with the hotel direct
- Once you click on a result, you’re sometimes offered the option of paying a higher rate for the same room, but with includes extra bonus miles. You can pick this if you like, but it’s rarely a good deal. You’ll need to work out how much you value an airline mile for.
- Hotel availability in the app changes often, changing even within the same day. So if you don’t see a rate you like, try again later and you often get different results (different hotel availability and prices)
- If you have issues with check-in, Rocketmiles’s “Concierge” service can be fairly useless. Make sure you’re booking with a credit card so you have some protection in case things go wrong.
- Earnings potential: 4/5
- Ease of use: 4/5
- Selection of hotels available: 2/5
- Overall: 4/5
Kaligo is a hotel booking app, similar to Rocketmiles. They have a wider range of hotels, but the rewards aren’t as great.
Just like Rocketmiles, you are offered a range of rooms and rates, which earn you different amounts of points. The more expensive the room rate, the more points you earn.
- Pros: Kaligo has a wider range of hotels and rates
- Cons: The miles earned are never as good as Rocketmiles. Some hotel information seems to be auto-scraped and is either out-of-date or just plain wrong (wrong hotel name, wrong pictures), so check thoroughly before you book.
- Earnings potential: 2/5
- Ease of use: 4/5
- Selection of hotels available: 4/5
- Overall: 4/5
Agoda is another website that offers rewards for booking a hotel through them, in the form of miles credited to your frequent flyer account.
Agoda usually has a wide range of hotels available to book. They draw you into a search result with an enticing headline “earn up to X,000 points with this stay”. But to earn this amount you usually need to be staying in the presidential suite - not for us mortals then!
The fact is, that for most stays you’ll be offered a fairly paltry rate of between 1,000-2,000 miles.
- Pros: Great range of hotels
- Cons: The headline points rates upfront are misleading - you need to be staying in the most expensive rooms to earn these points
Pointshound is another hotel booking site but it’s my least favourite of the lot, because it’s misleading – none of the headline rates on Rocketmiles include “taxes”.
Living in a country (UK) where almost all hotel booking sites show rates including taxes and fees upfront, this is a huge negative in my opinion.
You can find a decent hotel bargain in the search results, and then click through to the price breakdown and find that a huge amount in taxes has been added onto your total.
This makes finding a bargain and comparing prices really difficult, to the point where I just don’t bother.
You might have better luck than me!