How would you like to earn air miles while you sleep?
Sounds like a dream right? You CAN however earn air miles while you sleep and today I will show you exactly how you can maximise your hotel stays to earn more BA miles or other frequent flyer miles.
Whether it’s through the British Airways or AVIOS E-stores, or through Kaligo, Pointshound and RocketMiles, there are plenty of ways to ensure you turn those romantic weekends, hen nights, stag parties and business trips into more AVIOS to fund a business class flight or short-haul weekend break.
You may even earn some FREE hotel nights for your dream destination in the process.
So here are SEVEN ways to earn reward miles while you sleep.
British Airways Store
The British Airways Store provides details of a wealth of earning opportunities for thousands of hotels around the world. They include most of the big name brands such as Hilton, IHG, Carlton, Starwood, Marriott’s and many more.
Visit the site for details of each opportunity to earn air miles using the links provided in the downloadable comparison at the end of the post.
This provides details of the earnings rates, procedures and any other relevant information you might need. It’s formatted so you can print it and save it as a convenient reminder for when you make your next booking.
Kaligo is incredible for some of the deals it offers on sign up. I secured 2,100 AVIOS for my first booking of a £197 room in central London. Not only was the room the best location of any business hotel I have stayed at in London, but that works out at over 10 AVIOS per £1 of spend. Be sure to use this link to earn an additional 1,000 miles on your first booking.
I paid for the room with my Lloyds Duo credit card which bagged me a further 246 AVIOS (note I have since stopped using this card due to some issues with Lloyds crediting the AVIOS –link to credit card post)
2,346 AVIOS for £197 gives an earnings rate of just short of 12 per £1! That works out at 293 AVIOS for every hour you sleep assuming an 8 hour snooze!
What makes it more appealing is that awards are not restricted to AVIOS. If you decide that you wish to pursue an upgrade opportunity with a different airline you simply amend your preferences to one of the other featured airlines.
To book hotels with Kaligo, go directly to their site. When you do a search, Kaligo indicates the AVIOS you will earn for the booking and AVIOS are credited after the completed stay.
You can filter your search according to price and stars, but not by facilities or a specific location in a city, which I find quite annoying when I am searching for business hotels.
Unlike other sites, such as Hotels.com, there is also no ability to see all results on a convenient map so you have to view each hotel individually to determine its location.
The site only allows you to pay in advance although cancellations are free unless stated otherwise.
I have found this site a little hit and miss with the results. Sometimes the earnings rate looks highly attractive and other times it looks poor.
For instance, in Edinburgh for a search in June, I found:
- a 3 star hotel for £118 earning 2000 AVIOS – 16.9 AVIOS per £1
- a 4 Star Doubletree for £255 earning 4400 AVIOS – a whopping 17.25 AVIOS per £1 with the added bonus of the BEST COOKIE ever on arrival!!
- a 2 star Holiday Inn Express for £134 and 500 AVIOS – a paltry 3.7 AVIOS per £1
This site operates on the same basis as Kaligo whereby you book directly through the site (no need to link from the AVIOS site) and pay for rooms in advance. Rooms are fully refundable usually but check the terms when booking.
With the sign up bonuses payable on your first booking, you can earn some incredible AVIOS rewards.
I paid £92.01 for a room in January which earned me 4000 AVIOS, a staggering rate of 43.47 AVIOS per £1. It is worth using them once just for that alone!
On the downside, I find that although you get a lot of miles, there isn’t a huge selection, like there is on Hotels.com.
Hotels tend to be more expensive and the search functionality is not as user-friendly. You can show results in a list or on a map, but cannot filter by facilities. You can however filter by price and distance from the location you input.
One big plus is that Rocketmiles credit their AVIOS before you even complete the stay so I stayed in January but received the credit in December.
I use Hotels.com all the time and LOVE it!
The site is quick and easy to use. You can filter by location, price and facilities and see all the results on a map!
You earn 4 AVIOS per £1 if booked through the link from the AVIOS store, and the best bit? 10 nights booked = 1 free night. You can also make bookings with hotels.com by clicking from Top Cashback. The earnings rate is continually changing but currently pays up to 9.45% for a booking meaning that a stay costing £100 would earn you £9.45 cashback. This would then convert into 945 AVIOS.
If you haven’t already done so you can use this link to sign up to Top Cashback and start earning cashback immediately.
Clearly the earnings rate is not as good as some of the deals on Kaligo or RocketMiles, so it is always worth checking these sites, however I find Hotels.com has a wider selection of hotels, often in better locations.
The customer service is also second to none. Following every stay you receive an email asking for feedback. If you provide feedback, you receive a discount voucher for your next booking (please note that booking will not count towards your 10 nights!).
If you have a complaint about a hotel, they are again incredibly helpful. We booked a hotel in Thailand, which was named Kor Sor Hotel and Spa. Perhaps it is just me but surely it would be reasonable to assume that a hotel with such a name would have a spa?
I booked the hotel for a few days relaxation at the end of a long trip knowing it was in an isolated spot, but happy simply to have a few days of pampering. So I was pretty disappointed when I got there and discovered the spa had closed.
I contacted Hotels.com and they provided us with a $20 voucher to be used against a future booking. No qualms, no quibbles!!
The one downside is that for most major chains that have their own loyalty program you sacrifice rewards in that program if you book through hotels.com. This may not be an issue if you struggle to always use the same chain but is a consideration which needs taking into account.
Warner Leisure Hotels
Accessing the Warner Leisure Hotels website via the AVIOS E-store will allow you to earn 4 AVIOS per £1.
Unfortunately I cannot offer a view having never stayed in one, but if anyone has a personal experience they would like to share, I would love to hear from you.
They certainly look very nice!
Major hotels chains
Major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton and Intercontinental all operate branded loyalty schemes whereby your stays accumulate points in their respective programs. Many also offer a double dip option whereby you can earn a few air miles in addition to the hotel rewards.
The air miles automatically transfer to your chosen airline program which you can indicate in your account preferences.
The hotel rewards can be used to fund free hotel nights or they can also be converted into frequent flyer miles with your chosen airline.
Be sure to give them the details of your Executive Club membership on check-in so you don’t miss out on those valuable extra points. You may find you enjoy that glass of wine in the bar all the more for knowing it is contributing towards your AVIOS balance.
if you would like an idea of which hotel chain is best for you, be sure to check out this hotel loyalty programs series on TravelUpdate which gives you a hugely comprehensive overview of each.
Pointshound operates in the same way as Kaligo and Rocketmiles and pays you a pre-determined number of air miles based on the hotel selected.
Points cannot be converted to AVIOS but can be converted into many other schemes such as Etihad, American Airlines, Virgin Flying Miles and Alaskan.
This week, I can book the Royal Garden hotel in Kensington, London for £192 and earn 3,975 Virgin Flying Club miles which works out at an earnings rate of 20.7 per £1.
For an extra 500 miles on your first booking be sure to use this Pointshound referral link.
Note also that the more nights you book with PointsHound, the more points you earn. The earnings rates increase after your 6th and 20th nights.
Miles are deposited after check out and you usually make payment at the hotel. Free cancellations are usually possible providing the cancellation is made by 4pm on the arrival day. Be sure to read the terms and conditions when you make the booking so you know what the cancellation policy is.
I have yet to use this booking facility as similar to Rocketmiles I find the big bonus bookings to be scarce but if you can bag one in your chosen destination then it could be a winner.
AVIOS Special Offers
In addition to the above options, watch out for hotel bonus offers on the AVIOS site which can be very generous.
Now before you start feeling overwhelmed, getting the best deal needn’t be a struggle.
My advice would be to:
- Check Kaligo, Pointshound and RocketMiles for hotels in your price range and required area and see what AVIOS you can earn then: –
- Go to hotels.com and compare the options to see if you can improve on the rate or price.
- Make your decision which site to book through based on price, AVIOS and location.
- Make your booking and earn AVIOS while you sleep.
- By the way, if you are based in the US and want some more ideas specific to your location, be sure to check out the latest posts from the Globetrotting Teacher and Economical Excursionists.
Yes it is a little more work but if it gains you an earnings rate of 43 per £1 instead of 4 then surely it is worth it!
Remember also, if you previously took out one of the airline reward credit cards I referenced in a previous post, then you can earn from both the credit card and the hotel booking.
As promised, here is a AVIOS Comparison of the various hotel earning options, which you can download and print. Take note, however, things change very rapidly in this space, so only use it as a guideline and always check the earnings rates before booking. You can also download a handy hotels infographic here.
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