There are many ways to earn points on hotel stays. You can book through a shopping portal to earn extra miles. You can also use a credit card portal like Chase or Capital One to earn a rebate or additional rewards. Finally, there’s Rocketmiles, where you earn extra points when booking through their portal.
I last used Rocketmiles so long ago that my password wasn’t stored in my vault. I needed to send an email link to unlock my account.
However, I’ve heard several people talking about Rocketmiles as a way to earn American AAdvantage Loyalty Points. I’m not trying to earn AA status, but I’m always interested in making a few extra miles. Rocketmiles was a great way to keep accounts active in the past, but now that most airline miles don’t expire, it’s a way to earn extra points on hotel stays you’d be making anyway.
I needed to book a one-night stay in Gainesville, FL, near the University of Florida. IYKYK, these hotel stays are often the most difficult to find reasonable reward rates, and cash prices can be astronomical depending on the college’s schedule.
Hotel rates weren’t crazy but every major brand was charging $200+. This means Marriott, Hilton and IHG rewards were all 40K+. Hyatt doesn’t have any properties in Gainesville, the major downfall of depending on Hyatt as your primary hotel chain.
Looking at TripAdvisor, there was one hotel in the area that consistently received good reviews. That is the Drury Inn and Suites.
Drury ranks high in customer satisfaction with JD Power in the Upper Mid-Scale hotel chain category, besting Hampton Inn by Hilton. The only Drury hotel we know is the one across the street from our local Whole Foods but in 2022 they opened a Disney Springs property on Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
The other hotels in nearby Gainesville received mediocre reviews, but almost every guest loved the Drury.
I felt that I needed to check it out and since I didn’t have any available free nights, I figured why not?
My first place to look was the Capital One Portal because I want to use my $300 annual travel credit. The least expensive room on the website costs $312 after taxes and fees.
My next stop was Hotels.com which showed a rate of $250 on TripAdvisor. When I clicked through to the website, the final price was $281 after taxes and fees. That’s $30 less than the Capital One Portal.
Since Hotels.com bookings receive a 10% rebate after 10 nights, it’s a great backup (or primary) booking engine if you’re not looking to earn hotel status.
The Drury Inn and Suites didn’t appear on the Chase Travel Portal. For the heck of it, I checked prices on Rocketmiles.
For the same price I found on Hotels’com, I can book with Rocketmiles and earn 2,000 Alaska Airlines miles.
I could also earn points with Southwest Rapid Rewards, JetBlue and American AAdvantage, to name a few. Usually, Rocketmiles bookings are more expensive than you’ll find elsewhere. In short, you’re buying points for the extra cash. That’s why I rarely look there for hotel prices.
However, I don’t have any loyalty status with Drury and booking with a third party will not impact the quality of my one-night stay,
Two thousand airline points are worth $30 to $40 to me, depending on the airline. Using Rocketmiles makes the most sense for this one-night stay. If I used Hotels.com regularly, I’d get back almost the same amount after saving 10%, but it will take me a while to stay 10 nights and redeem my free night award.
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I just booked with them for the first time. I’m about 10000 loyalty points short of Ex Platinum with AA, plus I needed a Hilton stay, so I’m knocking those both out through RocketMiles.
Been using Rocketmiles for hotels so that I can get miles on United’s Mileage Plus.