Should I Spend Extra Money to Earn Extra Points?

From now through the end of September, Rocketmiles is offering an increased promotion when you book a hotel through their website. The premise of Rocketmiles is the same as any other hotel search engine, with a twist. When you book through their site, you’re able to earn additional frequent flyer miles. It’s similar to a shopping portal, so just by using their search engine, you earn airline miles. Aeroplan, Air France, Alaska Airlines, , American Airlines, Delta, Etihad, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, Qatar, Southwest, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways, and Virgin America are all programs you can earn with.

Book your hotel through Rocketmiles.com and earn additional frequent flyer miles.

Book your hotel through Rocketmiles.com and earn frequent flyer miles.

As with any promotion though, you should do a quick bit of research into the value of the additional miles. Picking up a few thousand frequent flyer miles, for, “free” is great, but you don’t want to spend extra money to acquire them. Example: I’ll be visiting Vancouver next month so I visited Rocketmiles to see the different options of rooms. Overall the room prices were quite reasonable, and picking up an extra 2,000, 3,000 or even 5,000 miles seemed like a no-brainer.

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However just to make sure, I checked out some of the other pricing options for hotels in Vancouver, finding the lowest priced options through Hotels.com. In this case, I was able to find the exact same hotel, for a price a bit lower. Meaning I’d be spending $6 more if I went through Rocketmiles.com Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 5.06.22 PM

Sometimes it’s worth going through a special promotion or shopping portal to get additional points or miles. If the difference in price is only a few dollars, then I’d grab the extra 2,000 bonus miles through Rocketmiles without hesitating. In this case though, I could do some simple math to determine which deal was the best.

 

Even without additional taxes or charges, I’d be spending an extra $6 per night or $12 total. And in return I’d be getting 2,000 airline miles that I wouldn’t otherwise be getting. Total Extra Dollar Amount ($14) Divided by total miles earned (2,000) Equals my point valuation. (What each point/mile is “worth” or in this case what it costs me to earn.) $14 / 2,000 = $.007 Rounded to $.007 or 7/10 cents per point. I’d be┬ábe “buying” an airline miles for 7/10th of a cent. I value a point/mile at roughly one penny on both ends.

 

Meaning I don’t want to spend more than one penny to earn or buy it, and I always want to redeem it for one penny or more. That means this is a good deal! In this case I ended up not using Rocketmiles, but because of a mistake on my end.

I ended up comparing two hotels in Vancouver that I thought were the same, when they really were not. While it would have made sense to use rocket miles, I made a mistake and looked at the wrong price. Doh! My mistake.

 

Throughout any promotion or bonus deal, just make sure to do a quick bit of research and run the numbers before you book. Sometimes it may make sense to use a program like Rocket miles, though sometimes not. Just check and double check the numbers.

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2 Comments

  1. August 27, 2014 / 3:57 pm

    I would tend to agree. I usually don’t want to spend more money just to get more miles. I want to get more miles with the money that I’m already spending. Especially when airlines can devalue their programs at any time and sometimes without notice, it’s never a good idea to “buy” miles when you don’t have a specific itinerary or trip in mind.

    That being said, 1.48 cents per mile is not a bad deal and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you needed to “top off” your mileage bank to finally redeem for a trip.

    • Steve Bierfeldt
      August 28, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      Agreed!