PointsHound, the hotel booking site that lets you earn airline miles for your hotel bookings, now has United available as a partner — again. It used to, when it launched, but lost its United relationship early on.
Competitor site Rocketmiles had obtained exclusivity in the space with United. The Rocketmiles founder had previously been an executive with MileagePlus. There were erroneous reports that United had taken a stake in Rocketmiles.
Since then however much has changed.
- Rocketmiles announced its acquisition by Priceline.
- PointsHound was acquired by Points.com
- Kaligo launched with a United relationship.
Whether it was merely the expiration of the Rocketmiles’ exclusivity, the Rocketmiles acquisition by Priceline, or relationships with United that Points.com relationship that PointsHound was able to leverage, United is back.
The game change for me, of course, would be PointsHound bringing back its ‘DoubleUp’ rates.
When you book through these channels you do not earn loyalty points from the hotel’s program and do not earn credit towards elite status (some programs like Hyatt and Marriott will generally provide elite recognition, while others aren’t supposed to).
PointsHound DoubleUp rates allowed double dipping with airline miles for bookings and earning loyalty points and status. Those disappeared because of problems with the source rate provider. They were supposed to come back but the Points.com acquisition seems to have delayed that.
Bringing that back would make it a no brainer to book through PointsHound, though of course it always pays to compare rates. I found plenty of times where PointsHound had cheaper rates than available elsewhere though of course sometimes they could be higher too.