New Stackable Hotel Booking Bonus – Earn 3000 United or American Miles Minimum

Next week hotel booking site Kaligo is offering a 5-day promo where you’ll earn a minimum of 2000 American or United miles per hotel booking (5000 miles on bookings of US$500 or more).

They’re also introducing a referral program that’s stackable. If you’re referred by an existing member your first booking will earn an additional 1000 miles. So next week you can earn a minimum of 3000 miles for a hotel booking through the site.

(Back in February they were offering View from the Wing readers an extra 1000 miles, I passed that along and there was no mileage-credit to me for referring you. That offer has since expired.)

It turns out that the offer is live early so you can book now. The key as I say, is that you’re 1000 miles better off using a referral link than not doing so. (The person who refers you also earns 1000 miles.)

When you book through third party sites you generally don’t earn points with the hotel’s own loyalty program. You usually don’t earn credit towards elite status in that program. And with Starwood and Hilton (though not with Marriott and Hyatt) you may not have your elite status recognized.

I find these sites useful for:

  • People who aren’t elites in a frequent guest program, or aren’t chasing status.
  • When I have to book outside my preferred chain, I’d rather earn miles than strand points in a hotel program I rarely use.
  • When I’m booking for other people. I can make reservations for people who don’t care about miles and points, and earn miles myself for making their reservation.

When booking through these sites it’s useful to comparison shop. My tests show you pay about the same price at Kaligo as you would on other online travel agency sites — plus you get miles. They also have access to a much larger pool of hotels than Rocketmiles. They have fewer mileage partners than the more-established sites, but they do have United as a partner, which PointsHound lost in favor of MileagePlus working with Rocketmiles (the founder of Rocketmiles is a former United loyalty executive).

My impression has long been that Rocketmiles awards the most miles, with the smallest set of hotels. Kaligo is a strong points-earner, with a broader set of hotels. PointsHound was my favorite when they were offering ‘DoubleUp’ rates that also let you earn hotel points and elite status credit, and I’m hopeful that returns.

Regardless, with a generous first-time booking promotion they’re worth checking out for your next hotel where hotel points aren’t key. And if you use my links you can earn an extra 1000 United or American miles with your first booking.

While the site rewards the most expensive rooms the most, you can even do pretty well on low-priced rooms, especially with this one week-only promotion with minimum mileage earning.

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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Comments

  1. Was just about to sign up for an IHG account for a Holiday Inn booking. This is better. Thanks.

  2. I tried Kaligo out yesterday when I first saw this. The few hotels I looked at in Sri Lanka were considerably higher on Kaligo then I found on Agoda.. One was twice as much. Extra cost did not justify the points for me.

  3. I tested the price on a couple off bookings I am making in New Zealand. Kaligo is about 20 percent higher on $100.00 rooms! Ouch

  4. Very interesting, Gary.

    As you already know, I’m sure, PointsHound and RocketMiles just take distressed inventory from hotels and instead of rendering it opaque, they mark it up and give you some of the difference as miles. It is actually a good clue as to what’s on Hotwire/Priceline. I personally prefer TravelPony and LastMinuteTravel in this regard.

    Kaligo seems to be rebating some of their OTA fee as miles. I see $100 rooms where they are giving 300 miles. For that, I’d rather do topcashback.com and stack an orbitz.com 20% off code. Or do a AAA rate at a hotel website.

    It seems to me the best use of these sites is to stick it to your employer. Book at full price and collect some of the difference as miles. Wonder if HR will catch on and ask that you use lastminutetravel.com instead, ha!

    But for the next five days these rates are almost mattress runnable… if this promotion is to be believed! Take the Quality Inn DFW… $55 USD and you get 3100 miles on the first booking! That’s 1.77 cents a mile… and you get a roof over your head! And I haven’t even started with Asia or other foreign countries.

  5. Just watch out that you don’t earn hotel points for these miles programs. I regretted using Rocketmiles for a recent Hilton stay, for which I could have earned a lot more Hilton points and the receipt also doesn’t show up as 0 and I needed to explain that for reimbursement. Not worth it.

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