Earn bonus miles on hotel stays

The Idea

  • Milesback sites like Kaligo and Rocketmiles can help you earn bonus airline miles during hotel stays
  • Kaligo is the best deal if you have a Citibank Premiermiles card, however be sure that the extra miles you earn are worth the small premium you pay by booking through Kaligo
  • Rocketmiles has a 3,000 first booking promo + 1,000 bonus with my link (https://www.rocketmiles.com/refer/AARONWXM). Their hotel rates tend to be cheaper than Kaligo too. Citibank Premiermiles cardholders should still take advantage of the Rocketmiles first booking bonus then switch back to Kaligo. Non Premiermiles cardholders should just use Rocketmiles

The Details

Most hotels have partnerships with airlines, which allow you to earn airline miles for your stay. But these partnerships are rather anemic- arrangements vary but most hotels grant a fixed number of miles per stay (usually 500), regardless of how long you’re there for.

“Milesback” sites are a twist on cashback sites. These providers work the same way that cashback sites do (link to cashback article). However, they pay you the commission in the form of miles.

Kaligo is a new entrant to this market but offers an incredible 10 miles per S$1 for Citibank Premiermiles (AMEX or visa) cardholders.

In the example below, a one night booking at Traders Hotel will earn you 2,820 miles (I’m guessing that the quoted room rate of SGD245 increases to SGD282 after taxes, hence 1:10 gives you 2,820 miles)

milesback1

Even if you don’t have a Citibank premiermiles card, Kaligo partners with Krisflyer. The rates clearly aren’t as good as with Citibank, but remember that these miles will deposit directly to your Krisflyer account and not incur a conversion fee.

milesback2

Where Krisflyer is concerned, there is a promotion ongoing for stays booked before 31 May 2015 (actual stay can be after 31 May 2015). Spend US$500-US$999 and get 5,000 bonus miles on top of whatever you’ve already earned. Spend US$1,000 and more and get 10,000 bonus miles.

Note that Kaligo doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the lowest price on your bookings. You should still check against a meta search engine like Kayak to confirm that you’re not paying too much of a premium for the bonus miles.

Another milesback site is Rocketmiles, which also partners with Singapore airlines. Rocketmiles has a promotion where you can get 3,000 bonus Krisflyer miles with your first stay (https://www.rocketmiles.com/krisflyer-3k-bonus) . If you use my Rocketmiles link, you get a bonus 1,000 miles on top of this, as do I (https://www.rocketmiles.com/refer/AARONWXM)

Comparison of Rocketmiles and Kaligo for 1 night stay in Singapore (27-28 April, all taxes included)

  Kaligo (Citibank Premiermiles) Kaligo (Krisflyer) Rocketmiles (Krisflyer)
Concorde Hotel Singapore S$253+  2,530 miles S$253 + 700 miles S$345 + 2,000 miles
Park Royal on Beach Road S$270 + 2,700 miles S$270 + 500 miles S$250 + 500 miles
Swissotel Merchant Court S$329 + 3,290 miles S$329 + 1,200 miles S$263 + 500 miles
Oasia Hotel S$237 + 2,370 miles S$237 + 400 miles S$227 + 500 miles
Park Regis Singapore S$248 + 2,480 miles S$248 + 500 miles S$226 + 500 miles

 Miles to $ spent

  Kaligo (Citibank Premiermiles) Kaligo (Krisflyer) Rocketmiles (Krisflyer)
Concorde Hotel Singapore 10 2.8 5.8
Park Royal on Beach Road 10 1.9 2.0
Swissotel Merchant Court 10 3.6 1.9
Oasia Hotel 10 1.7 2.2
Park Regis Singapore 10 2.0 2.2

 

Observations

  • Rocketmiles has far fewer hotels than Kaligo in its inventory. For Singapore, Rocketmiles found 35 hotels with availability, versus 264 for Kaligo
  • Rocketmiles however, tends to be better value than Kaligo if you do not have a Citibank Premiermiles card. Rocketmiles room rates, in absolute terms, tend to be cheaper than Kaligo

Therefore my advice to you would be to do this

  • If you have a Citibank Premiermiles card, go for Kaligo. Make sure that the incremental miles you get are worth the slight premium you pay though (try valuing the miles between 3-5 cents each)
  • If you don’t, use Rocketmiles over Kaligo to accrue with Krisflyer. Rocketmiles has a smaller inventory but their earning rates are generally on par with Kaligo, plus their rates are lower
  • It’s not worth it to try and hit the 10,000 mile promotion with Kaligo, because that requires spending US$1,000. You’re better off getting the 3,000 bonus miles with Rocketmiles + the 1,000 bonus miles from my referral link. 4,000 miles + whatever you get from your first stay- not too bad!

9 comments

  1. Aaron, you should also take into account the card-specific miles/points earning rate when not using a Citi Premiermiles card on Kaligo (and on Rocketmiles). For example, during that 10k bonus Krisflyer miles for 1k USD spend you mentioned above, using the DBS Altitude Amex for 4.5 miles/$ + 10k bonus miles if you hit the spend + whatever miles offered for the specific hotel booking, I think it may have been more worth it to not use Premiermiles. Of course, without any bonus miles promotion, the Premiermiles way is probably the highest earning for Kaligo (even when taking into account the KF miles offered per booking + the relevant KF miles earning rate of whichever other gen spend/online travel spend card you may also have)..

    1. Hi Chris- yes you’re right. What this spend 1k get 10k miles promotion is essentially doing is extending the Citi Premiermiles type offer to everyone, provided they spend a min of 1k. If you’re intending to spend less than 1K, premiermiles is a better deal, but if you’re going to spend more than 1k anyway you should go with the DBS altitude card because you can double dip with 4.5

  2. Hi Aaron

    I did not expect such a thorough research on my question… Look forward to the rest of yor analysis!

    Do you use Kaligo for your none spg hotel stays? Think it’s a great site for accumulating lots of miles. I’ve purchased a few stays from it and watched my miles pile up. Great site!

  3. Hey Aaron, one random q: when you book the spg hotels, which credit card do you use? Read from the credit card docs, it says DBS World Woman cc won’t get 4miles/1. So wondering which cc to use? Sorry if you have talked about this else where. Thanks a lot in advance!

    1. just use your regular spend card. i think if it’s a prepaid transaction and you use hsbc advance you’ll get 4 miles, but i can’t be sure. haven’t tried it yet.

    2. Hi Vk, just monitor your points and call up DBS to claim the missing miles once the 90 days period has passed. The process is a little tedious but the good folks at DBS try and make it as painless as possible. You just need to submit your hotel confirmation and they will adjust the missing bonus points for you. I’ve done this several times and no fuss each time. Hope this helps!

  4. If we book a hotel at Kaligo for $100 and it shows we can get 1,000 DBS points/miles, is this given by Kaligo directly or via the bank? Will we get additional credit card points for the purchase?

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