One of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways of earning American Airlines AAdvantage Loyalty Points is to book hotel stays with either Rocketmiles or BookAAHotels. But which one is better? That depends…
Don’t know what Loyalty Points are? – click here for details
Pros of BookAAHotels
20-30% Loyalty Point Bonus
AAdvantage recently added “Loyalty Point Rewards” to the program – click here for details.
One of those rewards kicks in at 60,000 Loyalty Points – a 20% LP bonus on BookAAHotels earning. (and a few other partners) Another reward kicks in at 100,000 Loyalty Points – a 30% LP bonus on BookAAHotels earning.
For 6 months after crossing those thresholds, you receive 20/30% more Loyalty Points. The bonus should also apply to the transaction that pushes you over the threshold. (i.e. a hotel stay that takes you from 40,000 LPs to 65,000 LPs would earn the 20% bonus on the entire 25,000 LPs earned) It is worth highlighting that you do NOT receive any additional redeemable miles.
In any event, you receive the bonus Loyalty Points when you book with BookAAHotels but NOT when you book with Rocketmiles.
When booking hotels with Rocketmiles or BookAAHotels, you are allowed to pay more to earn more. This is often called “boosting”. The price of these boosted miles can change from time to time – at the moment they are costing $65 for 3,000 miles –> 2.16 cents per mile. Most importantly, these additional miles also count as Loyalty Points.
With Rocketmiles, you are typically allowed one boost of 3,000 miles per night. With BookAAHotels you are allowed two – one at the initial room selection stage and another at the confirmation stage. Because boosted miles are relatively cheap, the more you can “boost” per hotel stay, the better…
Note that you will need to prepay both BookAAHotels and Rocketmiles to be eligible for the boosting option. It also means that your miles will post much quicker; the “pay at hotel” option requires communication between the hotel and Booking.com to ensure that you actually paid and stayed.
Pros of Rocketmiles
More Hotels Available
With BookAAHotels, only a relatively small number of hotels allow you to earn AA miles. Frustratingly, this can change from search to search, even in the same location for the same dates.
With Rocketmiles, EVERY hotel shown will earn you some miles. Some more. Some less. But you will definitely have more hotels to choose from. This is especially relevant internationally, where you might want to stay at a small boutique hotel instead of a major chain hotel.
Book for Someone Else
Sometimes a family member or friend asks for your help to find a hotel room. They don’t really care about miles or points – anything they earn might end up orphaned and expire unused.
With Rocketmiles, you can make hotel bookings on behalf of others, and receive the AA miles in your own account.
Better Booking Experience
Rocketmiles is generally considered to have a better website experience. You can sort your search based on miles earned, total cost, etc.
Of course, that doesn´’t stop you from searching on Rocketmiles and then cross-checking against BookAAHotels before confirming your booking.
Rocketmiles stays post to your AAdvantage account based on the check-out date. BookAAHotels post to your AAdvantage account based on the check-in date.
This quirk will be most relevant in late February / early March, if you are attempting to squeeze in a few more Loyalty Points before a new qualification period begins. (or want to get a head start on the next year)
With both BookAAHotels and Rocketmiles, you will NOT receive points or elite stay credit, as you are making a third party booking. You might occasionally convince the hotel to provide certain elite benefits. Ultimately, however, you are choosing to earn AA miles and elite status credit instead of hotel points / elite status credit.
There are pros and cons to using BookAAHotels and Rocketmiles. Make your choice based on the differences outlined above…
What do you think about BookAAHotels and Rocketmiles? Let us know in the comments section…