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Rocketmiles is a hotel booking site where you earn thousands of bonus airline miles for booking hotel stays at the prevailing rate online.

Today only, you can earn double miles on hotel bookings made at Rocketmiles. If you use this referral link, you and I also earn 1,000 bonus miles upon your first booking!

During this promotion, the number of miles earned are so high for hotel bookings that Rocketmiles is effectively offering 50% rebates, in the form of miles, for booking many hotels.

Thousands of miles can be earned in your United, American, US Airways, Delta, or Hawaiian loyalty accounts for booking hotels at the basically the same rate you’d get by booking at other hotel-booking sights.

For more about Rocketmiles and the promotion, keep reading:

Rocketmiles launched a few months ago and explains its business this way:

The key claim is the first one that Rocketmiles charges “the same hotel rates” as the hotels themselves and other online booking engines. If that’s true, Rocketmiles will give you thousands of miles for something you would have done anyway–AKA free miles. I tested this claim and will give my results below.

Rocketmiles estimates that the average business traveler would earn 80,000 free miles per year using Rocketmiles, and of course that’s at normal earning rates, not today’s 2x miles rate.

 The average business traveler takes 12 trips every year and stays 2.4 nights per trip. Sarah fits this description. She earns an average of 3,000 miles for each night she books on Rocketmiles. That’s 80,000 extra miles every year.

Rocketmiles prides itself on offering fewer hotel options than other hotel-booking sites, curating a list of only a “handful” of hotels in select cites:

Indeed when I searched Las Vegas in June, Rocketmiles offered seven choices, and Kayak offered 273.

Does Rocketmiles offer the same price?

This is the biggest question for me. If Rocketmiles offers the same price you can get elsewhere, it is offering free miles for booking at Rocketmiles.com out of the huge commission online hotel-booking sites earn.

If Rocketmiles doesn’t offer the same price as competitors, then booking at Rocketmiles would be conceptually equal to buying the bonus miles in exchange for paying the higher rate.

I ran a search from June 19 – 21 in Las Vegas at Rocketmiles and kayak.com, which I specifically chose because Kayak searches 15 sites for their price.

These were the top four results from the search on Rocketmiles.com.

This isn’t always the case, but all four of these hotels offered the same number of miles whether you chose American, Delta, Hawaiian, United, or US Airways.

At first glance, the Palms Place is an amazing deal at $238 + tax for two nights and earning 7,000 miles. I value 7,000 US Airways miles at $136.50, so that’s a rebate of about 50% for booking at Rocketmiles, but only if Rocketmiles is offering the best rate online. Is it?

I compared the hotels to the prices on kayak.com.

The Wynn is going for $179 on Rocketmiles and $123 elsewhere.

That means Rocketmiles users would overpay $108 on two nights and earn 8,000 miles. While I think 8,000 United, US Airways, and American miles are worth more than $108, this is still a disheartening start to the comparison.

Next up, the Palms Place is $119 per night at Rocketmiles. Kayak found the same property for $93 at Easyclicktravel.

Interestingly, though, other sites offered the property for $117 or $119. That tells me that Rocketmiles is at least in line with most sites on this property. Booking it at Rocketmiles would overpay the best price by $52 and earn 7,000 miles, which is a deal I would definitely make. But ideally Rocketmiles would have the same price as other sites. Luckily in the last two examples, it basically did.

Rocketmiles charges $132 per night to book the Encore, which is what most travel agencies are charging according to Kayak, with Travelocity charging $2 less.

Spending $4 extra to book at Rocketmiles instead of Traelocity would net 4,000 miles. Since 4,000 miles are worth close to $80, Rocketmiles is clearly the best place to book the Encore for the dates I searched.

Similarly, Rocketmiles is the best place to book Paris for $107 per night. Kayak’s best price is $104 per night.

Spending an extra $6 at Rocketmiles will earn 4,000 miles in the airline program of your choice, worth nearly $80.

Results

Rocketmiles was never the best deal in the four searches I performed, but twice it was within $3 of the best price. That extra $3 is a small price to pay for the extra miles.

The clear lesson is to search on Rocketmiles and its competitors and figure out in each case whether it makes sense to book with Rocketmiles.

Will I Earn Hotel Points and Elite Status Credit on Rocketmiles Bookings?

Rocketmiles claims you won’t earn hotel points on your stay, but you usually will earn elite status credit:

Will I earn hotel rewards points during my stay?

Generally, hotel rewards points will not be earned in addition to your Rocketmiles preferred currency. However, we are excited to be posting thousands of miles or points to your account, compared to the hundreds of miles you might be used to earning today.

Will my Rocketmiles reservation count toward elite status with my hotel’s loyalty program?

YES, typically. Although you may not earn hotel points for purchasing your hotel reservation with Rocketmiles (you earn miles instead), your stay at the hotel does count toward your status level with most hotel groups.

Not earning hotel points is a bummer, but since those would be far less than the miles earned on Rocketmiles, it’s a fair trade off. Not earning elite status credit doesn’t matter at all to me because I have elite status at several hotel chains through credit cards (Hilton, Hyatt) or free sign ups (Accor). But if an elite status credit is crucial to you, I would avoid booking at Rocketmiles.

Are Rocketmiles Bookings Refundable?

Yes. The cancellation policy depends on the hotel, but it’s right above the Confirm Booking button. Here’s the cancellation policy for the Encore.

To cancel, email [email protected]

When do the miles post to your email account?

The miles post within four weeks of check out.

Recap

Rocketmiles takes advantage of the huge commissions available to online hotel-booking sites to offer big airline miles for booking through Rocketmiles.

Sometimes Rocketmiles’ prices match its competitors, and sometimes they don’t. Double check before booking with Rocketmiles because when the prices match, Rocketmiles’ bookings are like earning free miles.

Today only–until 11:59 PM CT on June 5, 2013–you will earn double miles on all bookings! That’s double American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, and US Airways miles.

Sign up for a Rocketmiles account through my referral link, and we’ll both earn 1,000 miles upon your first booking.

Referral Link: Rocketmiles

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