PointsHound Extends First Time Booking Bonus Through October 11

PointsHound Lets You Earn Miles for Hotel Bookings

PointsHound and Rocketmiles are the two major websites that award you frequent flyer miles when booking hotel rooms.

In general Rocketmiles has the biggest mileage offers, but they also have the fewest hotels and are in a limited – but growing – number of cities. Booking through Rocketmiles will not entitle you to earn points and elite stay credit through a hotel loyalty program. (Some hotel chains like Marriott and Hyatt will honor elite benefits on third party bookings, while Starwood and Hilton’s policy is not to do so.)

PointsHound has more hotels in more locations, a subset of which are referred to as ‘DoubleUp’ hotels where you earn miles and can still earn hotel points and elite stay credit.

As a result I’ve found PointsHound to fit my own travel patterns better, but both sites are extremely welcome entrants into the hotel booking toolbox.

Earn 1000 Miles For Your First Booking — On Top of Regular Mileage Earning

Being referred by an existing PointsHound member gets you 1000 miles in the program of your choice with your first booking made by October 11.

Note that if you have already signed up and were referred by someone, but have not yet made your first booking, you will still get the 1000 miles — it’s a first booking bonus for anyone referred (not just for anyone referred during the promotion period) who books for the first time by October 11.

When you make the first booking, 1000 bonus miles are earned by you and by the person who referred you. PointsHound had been allowing me to give you the points I was earning, meaning your bonus was larger (and I did not receive anything). I asked whether this would mean you would get 2000 by using my referral link but unfortunately they tell me they’ve reprogrammed their systems when implementing this bonus and that won’t be possible anymore.

Booking after signing up through a referral link by October 11 gets you 1000 miles and me 1000 miles. Booking after October 11, though, will get you 500 miles (instead of their usual 250) if you use my link and I will get 500 miles also — nothing I can do about that anymore.

Still, folks already using PointsHound are welcome to put their own referral links in the comments. Everyone’s referral links are as good as mine for folks booking through October 4th. If you sign up now bu won’t book until later then my link will be better.

PointsHound’s mileage accrual partners:

My PointsHound Experiences Last Month

I’ve made four reservations with PointsHound last month. First I booked the Hilton O’Hare at a deep discount compared to Hilton’s online rates. I wound up cancelling that one when my plans changed (love third party bookings that aren’t prepaid!).

Then I booked the Renaissance Boca Raton also at about $8 less than available through Marriott (and I valued the miles more than the Marriott points, it was not a ‘double dip’ property).

I also made bookings for two different family members, earning miles for myself. That’s one of the things I like about PointsHound — I play travel agent for lots of people, who don’t themselves much care about the points, and the site allows me to be the one with the accrual.

In all four cases prices at PointsHound were the same or lower than the best rates I could find elsewhere, but this is always something I would validate because I have seen comments by some readers that they’ve found prices higher than they could get on a chain’s website too.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Booking hotel rooms through PointsHound would certainly award you frequent flyer miles, but does not entitle one to earn points & elite stay credit through a hotel loyalty program. I have 2 points of contention:

    1) The frequent flyer miles are not “FREE”, as one would be led to believe. There is a recovery/service fee of 5% to 7%, in addition to the local city/county tax, at checkout. GarY failed to mention this when recounting his PointsHound experiences.

    2) During a recent stay which was reserved though PointsHound, I discovered, rather surprising, that the hotel inventory is not provided by PointsHound itself, but through Expedia & others. Since hotel inventory is provided by others, I rather do business with them & enjoy really FREE rewards, & not having to pay any recovery/service fee to be able to earn rewards.

  2. Whether or not you earn points in the hotel’s loyalty program, as I describe, depends on whether or not you are booking a “DoubleUp” hotel. Some PointsHound bookings are eligible for points in the hotel’s loyalty program. Some are not. For those that do, it’s a pretty indisputably great strategy to use PointsHound.

    As far as taxes and fees of course you pay taxes and fees on hotel bookings, the bookings I’ve made the price has been lower than booking directly but I definitely recommend comparing pricing and not spending more to booking on PointsHound or any site.

    PointsHound uses others’ inventory, but “booking directly” doesn’t get you the mileage rebate that PointsHound does.

  3. I did this for the bonus, but don’t see myself doing this regularly. Booking the same hotels through hotels.com gives me 10% of the room rate as credit toward my free nights on Welcomerewards, and for major chains, booking direct gives the usual loyalty benefits. I did book a night at a Travelodge in Jackson, MI since I valued the 1,000 mile bonus plus 100 for the stay more than any Wyndham points I may have received. Hotels.com showed the rate with taxes at $50.90 while Pointshound priced it at $52.37. So I paid $1.47 more and got the miles, but lost the Welcomerewards credit. But for just 100-250 miles, I don’t see a lot of places where this really adds up to much. I perhaps could have saved a few bucks trying this on Priceline but was rejected at $29/night earlier in the week.

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