The New Rocketmiles-Amex Partnership is a Back Door Way Into More Miles

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Hotel booking site Rocketmiles gives you airline frequent flyer miles (or your choice of other points currencies) for the rooms you reserve. It’s a third party booking site, you aren’t going to earn hotel points for the stays or elite status credit. But that’s still great when,

  • You’re staying at an independent chain or with a hotel brand whose program you don’t participate regularly in
  • You’re booking for someone else especially someone without status. Since you’ll earn the points instead of them.

I haven’t written about them since last summer when there was a ridiculous deal with up to 150,000 miles for a single one night stay. Sometimes though you would 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 even while earning a rebate in points. This is probably because Rocketmiles is now owned by Priceline so they can draw on the same inventory that the booking behemoth can.

As Nick points out, Rocketmiles has added American Express Membership Rewards as a points-earning partner and here’s the interesting thing that I’m seeing as a result. You have to use an American Express card enrolled in Membership Rewards to pay at checkout to use this option.

  • Rocketmiles has over 60 partners, but earning Membership Rewards gives you flexibility to decide where to put your points later.
  • Rocketmiles doesn’t have everyone as a partner. They don’t partner with Delta or ANA for instance. But if you earn Membership Rewards points you’ll be able to effectively earn Delta or ANA miles for your bookings since those programs are American Express transfer partners.
  • The earning rate is good. In fact it’s better than with some of their existing partners who transfer from Membership Rewards. You can earn more Amex points than Aeroplan points, and then transfer the Amex points to Aeroplan.

Here’s an example where Rocketmiles awards 9000 Aeroplan miles for a one night stay at the Marriott Marquis in New York.

However for the same dates, same hotel, at the same price you can earn 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. Those points would transfer to Aeroplan or to other programs.

Rocketmiles is one booking site for the toolkit where you earn your preferred currency for your hotel bookings (and frequently a lot of them) and where you can especially earn miles for reservations you make for other people. And the new Membership Rewards partnership is especially useful.

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. Found it to be a good way to supplement Mileage Plan miles when staying at properties where I don’t have a loyalty membership. For instance, I have to stay 4 days every year at an NH Hotel by Schiphol airport for a work event. I book it with Rocketmiles and use my CSR to pay. I get the Alaska points for the stay and Chase points at 3x for the purchase.

  2. If Rocketmiles rates weren’t non-refundable, I would definitely use them.
    I book for colleagues often, so it would be nice to get some miles out of it, but I wouldn’t want to front the bill.

  3. I’m not very familiar with Rocketmiles, only used a few times but I frequently book for a family member using her credit card online, are you saying I can log into my RM acct and pay using her card and I get the points? Or would I have to pay and get her to reimburse me?

  4. Rocketmiles has terrible customer service. Don’t book with them, it’s next to impossible to cancel a hotel reservation if you have a change of plans.

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