Emirates airline partners with Rocketmiles Hotels for award nights
In terms of spending Skywards Miles, there aren't many good opportunities with Emirates airline partners.
Regular readers may be aware I don't consider Emirates Skywards a great airline loyalty program. In addition to the reduced potential of discretionary upgrades and restrictive redemption rules (one-way bookings only at Flex rate?), opportunities for Emirates airlines partners are generally restricted to:-
- Book hotels with Marriott International
- Donate Miles
- Event tickets
- Car rentals
So it's good news that there's a new addition to the Emirates airlines partners list – Rocketmiles hotels.
Who are Rocketmiles hotels?
Rocketmiles hotels offer earning opportunities with airline loyalty programs on over 400,000 worldwide hotels booked through the site.
Rocketmiles hotels are often slightly more expensive than third-party hotel booking sites e.g hotels.com (or similar). Occasionally Rocketmiles hotels offer great deals to earn large amounts of miles or points.
For example, a budget hotel (less than $100) will often bring 700-1,000 miles, but spending $150 can often nab a bargain – say 2-5,000 miles. Of course, you could always massively overpay on a hotel (say $500+) and earn enough in a stay for a quality redemption flight (30,000 miles+).
From experience, I've found Rocketmiles up to 10% more expensive than other hotel booking sites than hotels.com (or similar). So, it's down to the individual to establish their own value for earning points and miles, as discussed here and here.
So why is it good that Rocketmiles hotels are Emirates airline partners?
Emirates Skywards were already an earning opportunity with Rocketmiles hotels.
Now Rocketmiles hotels allow users to book hotels and pay with Emirates Skywards Miles, or Miles and Cash.
This is beneficial for Emirates Skywards members, especially for those with relatively small (up to 20,000 Skywards Miles or so). At these levels, it's unlikely there will be decent rewards opportunities for award flights or upgrades with Emirates.
Although Marriott International are on the list of Emirates airlines partners, it's unlikely 20,000 Skywards Miles would book you any of their hotels.
Is it worth booking Rocketmiles hotels with Emirates Skywards Miles?
Let's check, shall we? – here's the link to book Rocketmiles hotels with Emirates Skywards Miles
Criteria – 1 guest, 1 night (03 April 2017) and filtered for 5-star only.
As a further comparison, I then checked what Rocketmiles hotels were charging cash only for the same criteria.
Note – this method is a little flawed, as the ‘cash cost' is imprecise as it's factoring the miles earned. Bear in mind that Rocketmiles hotels increase the booking rate to include miles, from around 10% for 700 miles or so to 100-200% for several thousand.
As you can see by searching Rocketmiles hotels, there are some good hotels available with relatively low Skywards Miles costs.
I wouldn't normally recommend cashing in airline loyalty program points or miles for hotel nights (due to poor value), such as Emirates airline partners.
However, IF you only have a relatively small number of Skywards miles, e.g around 20,ooo then spending on Rocketmiles hotels could be a viable option.
Just be sure to cross-check other hotel booking sites to ensure you're getting the best value possible for redemption. That means, if you find a hotel for 25,000 that seems great value, do a check on hotels.com (or similar) to ensure the same hotel isn't available for a knock-down cash rate.
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Have you used Rocketmiles hotels? What redemption opportunities have you planned for Skywards Miles? We'd love to hear from you, using the comments below :-)
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