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.)
- Here’s my link for the American Airlines offer of 2000 miles minimum + 1000 miles for being referred
- Here’s my link for the United Airlines offer of 2000 miles minimum + 1000 miles for being referred
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.