Double dip, triple dip, whatever you want to call it… When I stay at a hotel, I expect to earn a few hotel points. Add in my credit card points, along with any 3rd party booking portal points I generally do OK for myself. A $1,000 stay in a busy city might net me my 3,000-5,000 hotel points, plus another 2,000 for the credit card points and maybe another 1,000 through the 3rd party referral / booking site. This tiering of points is key to maximize our return.
Delta and Starwood recently introduced Crossover Rewards; whereby you earn points and get benefits in one program with elite status in the other… I’m oddly a top tier elite in both programs, so it is just the points I care about. …none of the other amenities. A few extra points are never bad. In the past week I’ve netted an extra 1,000 or so Delta SkyMiles and 400 SPG points. 1,400 extra points for doing nothing other than linking my accounts? OK, I’m game!
But what if you give up those points and the points you’d earn for your stay and instead got 2x, 3x, or 5x the points??? Now we’re talking
Enter Rocketmiles. Book through them and you can see massive increases in points and miles.
The concept: Rocketmiles has relationships with specific high quality properties; these properties are hand picked, so you’re not going to get a list of 300 properties (even in Vegas!)… but only a handful, and you know they’ll be good. Below is a quick snip of 2 options available in Vegas for a few weeks in the future:
While I personally won’t stay at the Four Seasons, my brother has and I know would go back there. He’s not a frequent traveler, but when I tell him he’ll earn almost enough frequent flier miles to get a round-trip ticket to come visit me for just booking through a different website it’d be a no-brainer. I’d more likely stay at the Palms for under $100/night and still earn 8,000 miles with United!
Rick had a chance to speak with Jay (one of Rocketmiles’ founders), here’s some of their conversation:
Where did the idea for Rocketmiles come from?
In some ways, I’ve been working on Rocketmiles my entire life. My first job after college was for a consulting firm, which had me on the road 4-5 days / week. Like many of my compatriots, I saved up miles and points to do something adventurous in my personal life. This ended up being a trip to Nepal to backpack in the Annapurna region.
Later, while leading the partnership business at Mileage Plus, I had the chance to build products that allowed people to earn extra miles for things like credit cards, shopping, dining and social media actions. Miles earned from these non-flight activities generated millions of extra vacations. In those days, we were always on the lookout for new ways for customers to enable a dream vacation. With all the innovation in travel distribution nowadays, it seemed time for the airline loyalty programs to participate.
Who are your target customers?
We are here to help any traveler who stockpiles miles or points for a dream vacation. These tend to be business travelers who look forward to well-deserved vacations. Our customers tell us that Rocketmiles is enabling them to go on reunion trips to New Zealand with their friends from college, spring break trips to Florida with their family, or anniversary trips to Prague with their partners.
Rocketmiles seeks to combine the allure of frequent flier miles with a curated approach to hotel bookings. We offer an incredibly simple shopping experience, with hand-selected hotels and about 3,000 miles for every night booked. The average customer in our beta group will earn an extra 80,000 miles over the course of the year.
In which month and year did the site start offering services?
The company was founded in November 2012. We opened up the beta to friends and family in January 2013 and opened it up to the public in March 2013
How do the nightly room rates compare to other sites?
According to our data, Rocketmiles rates are the same as those found on other online travel agents for 85% of searches. Our goal is to make this 100%, but there will occasionally be situations where consumers can find a better rate by scouring opaque channels like Hotwire or Priceline, searching multiple sites, using a promotion code or choosing a non-cancellable rate. Our vision is overwhelmingly simple: Allow consumers to earn tens of thousands of extra miles for staying at premium hotels without paying more. This accelerates customers toward their next well-deserved vacation.
If a user makes a purchase and then checks their loyalty program account a few weeks’ later and doesn’t see the points/miles credited, how will Rocketmiles help them clear up any mistakes?
To be successful in the long-term, we need to provide a premium customers service experience. We believe this is a substantial differentiator for Rocket. This means that we fulfill the transaction directly and handle all the customers service operations in-house instead of sending the transaction over to a 3rd party and collecting a commission. Miles are awarded within days of checkout. Customers can reach us via email, phone or social media with any feedback or service inquiries.
How did the beta go?
The beta couldn’t have gone better! On average, customers earned 3,000 miles per night, 7,000 miles per booking. Our repeat purchases were double what we expected, referral traffic was stellar, and we received incredible feedback for our customer service team. We couldn’t be more excited to open the site up to the public.
Jay has provided us a link where if you signup for RocketMiles you’ll also receive a bonus 1,000 miles after your first completed booking.
For me, as a business traveler I need to keep my elite status safe, so I may forgo additional points/miles in other programs to maintain status, but I’ll also earn elite credit towards status if I do stay at a property booked with Rocketmiles so I won’t lose out on that crucial need.
The other key thing for me is cancellation policy… With that being clearly spelled out, this is a big winner for me. I need flexibility; no fully prepaid!
So, while the site is new and we haven’t made any bookings, it’ll definitely be in my list of go to places when looking for a booking. They’ve got a good FAQ on the site and an actual number to call if you have questions. This won’t be the be all end all for everyone, but I have to say I love the concept and know some of my friends / family that will love this! …especially folks that are looking to pile up on airline miles anyway they can!
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by TODAY at 11:59pm ET to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49