New Hotel Booking Site Kaligo Offering First-Time Booking Bonus of 11,000 Miles

Kaligo – 1000 Extra Bonus American Miles With Your First Booking
Kaligo – 1000 Extra Bonus United Miles With Your First Booking

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with PointsHound and Rocketmiles. These are hotel booking sites that reward you with miles for your reservation. Basically they’re rebating commission to you in the form of points with your favorite program.

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.

The newest entrant into this space is Kaligo.

These sites usually offer some kind of referral credit for getting new members to sign up and book. As is my customary practice, I’ll ask if it’s possible to give readers the credit instead of taking it myself. Kaligo has agreed, and created two links to use.

This is on top of the standard first-time booking bonus of up to 10,000 miles.

The first-time booking bonus with American and with United is:

  • 10,000 miles if you spend $1000 or more
  • 5000 miles if you spend $500 but less than $1000
  • 1000 miles if you spend under $500.

(There’s also a promotion for up to 20,000 British Airways points.)

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 (for avoidance of doubt, I do not receive anything if you do this).

While the site rewards the most expensive rooms the most, you can even do pretty well on low-priced rooms. It’s not lucrative enough to be booking hotels just for the miles, but it’s lucrative enough to be earning miles when you do need a booking.

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, 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. Your subject line should be “…up to 11,000 miles.”

    Otherwise, it’s just misleading since it requires $1000 to earn that amount of bonus miles.

  2. Oh, it’s a first booking bonus all right, as long as you book a stay of at least $1,000. Perfect for both of Gary’s readers who have no hotel status, and aren’t looking to ever have any, despite spending big bucks on hotel stays. You two know who you are….

    Just another in a long string of misleading post titles. Needed of course to get people to read them, since the posts themselves are so Meh…

    I’m such a long time reader here, I can remember when this blog was interesting to read.

  3. Gary, you’re better than this. there is SO MUCH click baiting on BA now it’s disgusting. You’re a smart guy- i’m sure you know that leaving out “up to” is a click bait tactic. i refused to even click on posts by most BA bloggers because 95% of the time it’s a misleading title. I gave you the benefit of the doubt- and was wrong.

    even FM has become a pathetic click baiter. be better than the rest. you’re not some 20 year old blogger wanna be clinging to/fishing for affiliate links like 90% of BA now. so don’t act like them by showing some respect for your readers…

  4. I agree that it is helpful to use a booking portal when hotel points/status don’t matter. I booked with Kaligo for an AirAsia bonus of 5,000 points, regardless of booking amount, but my experience is different from your observation that you pay the same on Kaligo as on other booking sites. I had to to search for numerous dates and cities to find a hotel that had a price close to, in 9 out of 10 cases Kaligo was much more expensive than After taking the 10% discount of welcome rewards and the 7% from topcashback portal into account, the benefit of the Kaligo bonus is minimal…

  5. Gary-I know IHG won’t award points for an OTA reservation but do they recognize their meager elite benefits?

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