We recently reported that Rocketmiles would soon be offering the ability to earn American Express Membership Rewards points with hotel bookings. That feature is now live — and I am impressed with my first couple of searches. There are good deals to be had.
- Earn 500-10,000 Membership Rewards points per night for hotel bookings through Rocketmiles
- Direct link
- Number of miles will vary by location and rates
- Rocketmiles bookings typically do not qualify for elite benefits and credits
- Additional points available to U.S. American Express Card Members with a Card enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program (“Eligible Card Account”) only.
- Card Members must use an Eligible Card Account at checkout and complete their hotel stay to receive the additional points.
- Points will be awarded within 8 to 12 weeks after receipt by American Express of the eligible additional points information. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your booking as eligible, you will not receive the additional points.
- See additional terms on the promotion page
This morning, I posted about how I stacked the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free with a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee to get an awesome deal at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos (See: Stacking 4th Night Free + BRG for big savings), so that hotel was on my mind. I looked up a random 1 night stay later this month — August 28th to 29th, 2018. Here were the rates through Hyatt.com:
I searched the same date and location through Rocketmiles, and it came up cheaper and with 5,000 Membership Rewards points on top.
In fairness, the $324 rate isn’t for the same room type. In my many searches as of late, I’ve found that the “Master Double” that qualifies as the standard room for the purposes of using Hyatt points has not been available via Hyatt.com, but has been available via 3rd party booking engines. That’s the case here as well — though if you scroll down the list of rates, you’ll see that the Pool View Master Double (the room type shown from Hyatt above) is still cheaper through Rocketmiles at $338 per night (and yes, the rates shown here are all-in including taxes).
Booking that through Rocketmiles wouldn’t make sense if you were looking to use the Citi Prestige 4th night free or a best rate guarantee and certainly not if you were looking to stack both as I did in this morning’s post, but if you were looking for a short stay, this looks like a great return depending on how you value Membership Rewards points. According to our Reasonable Redemption Values, 5K points are worth about $91 — though truth be told, I typically value transferrable currencies at 2 cents each for easy mental accounting. Any way you slice it, that’s an excellent return on spend and well worth sacrificing Hyatt points.
To have a second point of comparison, I randomly picked the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle in Washington, DC for this Friday night, August 17th. Here are rates found through metasearch site Hotelscombined.com:
Note in the image above that neither of the only two options showing a rate of less than $159 pan out. Amoma shows a rate of $137 there, but when you click through to the hotel it says that rate is “sold out” and it shows available rates over $200. ZenHotels shows $130 in the list above, but $147 when you click through to the rates page — and that’s without going through checkout to see what additional fees they add. Suffice it to say that $159 appears to be the going rate. It’s available through Rocketmiles for the same price, with 3,000 Membership Rewards points tacked on.
Again, based on the RRV of 1.82 cents per point for Membership Rewards points, that’s like a return of more than $54 in points.
Of course, you’ll be giving up loyalty credit and benefits when booking through Rocketmiles. Perhaps prices will creep up over time to cover the cost of the points or the number of points awarded will creep down. However, as of right now, Rocketmiles looks like a very interesting option indeed for hotel free agents who value Membership Rewards points. With Chase losing Korean as a transfer partner this week, my personal value for Membership Rewards points is on the rise — I might consider this for my next single-night hotel need.
If Rocketmiles rates weren’t non-refundable (pre-paid), I would definitely use them.
I find myself booking for other people quite often, so it would be nice to get some miles out of it, but I wouldn’t want to front the bill.
[…] pay a higher room rate while bringing in your miles haul. However Nick Reyes at Frequent Miler just found that Rocketmiles is now offering rates that are the same or lower than you’ll find elsewhere […]
Good article, I usually find RocketMiles prices inflated relative to other sources but this is a good reminder for me to keep checking and every once in awhile there may be a gem.
Last line struck me as odd – why would your personal value for MR go up because the value for UR is going down (relative desirability between the two currencies might change but absolute value of MR should stay the same, unless there is something I’m missing).
I wonder about that last comment too. Valuations can be arcane based on a lot of factors, so I’d be interested to know if Nick really meant that and can explain it, or if he was really saying that at the same time that he sees UR losing some value, he sees MR picking some up. I don’t see why any loss in value for UR would actually in itself cause the value for MR to go up, though clearly the two in tandem could change the equation for which card to choose in some types of purchases. Maybe the latter is what he was really saying?
Anyway, I’ll take another look at RocketMiles, which I had pretty much ignored after noticing that its prices and range of lodgings were unattractive compared to other options.
Rocketmiles rarely has competitive rates. It’s a scam for business travelers to earn more miles but overcharge their employers.
I certainly had the impression that their rates were high – but did you read the post? Two searches is far from a comprehensive analysis, but prices were the same or better in the test searchers I did. It was a nice surprise.
I used to use Rocketmiles but found their taxes and fees added were higher than booking directly with the hotel or Hotels.com. Prices looked cheaper initially but then were higher. You might want to click further along to see the total price after taxes and fees.
As noted in the post, I did. Not sure if I just got lucky or if their prices have gotten more competitive.