If you’re like me, you’ve likely already built up a roster of airline loyalty programs that provide the best rewards on your flights. But you might not know you can also earn airline miles when you book a hotel. A handful of brands – specifically airlines – are awarding frequent flyer miles to travelers who book a hotel through their sites.
Most of my go-to loyalty programs are the ones that offer more ways for me to earn and redeem my loyalty rewards. And I’m not alone in this thinking, as a recent study found 81 percent of consumers would be more likely to book travel (i.e. a flight or hotel) with a specific travel loyalty brand if they could earn more points and miles with that brand.
I mean, who isn’t trying to score the most rewards possible when making a booking? That is why I’m giving you with a roundup of some of the airlines and travel brands who are making it easier for you to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles when booking a hotel, so you too can boost your miles bank.
One of the world’s largest frequent flyer programs, Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue – which is used by SkyTeam airline partners including Air Europa, Kenya Airways, Aircalin, TAROM and more – provides its members the opportunity to earn and redeem airline miles on hotel bookings through its new website. Whether traveling for work or pleasure, Flying Blue members can now earn and spend their award miles at more than 150,000 hotels, chain properties, independent boutiques and all-inclusive resorts worldwide. Additionally, Flying Blue members can book hotels through the site either in full or in combination with cash, providing even more flexibility and value in their bookings.
AIR MILES Travel Hub, a new hotel booking platform for the AIR MILES rewards program, is offering its members the opportunity to earn points by booking hotel and resort stays through the site. AIR MILES is the first Canadian loyalty program to offer such a benefit to their members, and AIR MILES Collectors are reaping the benefits of interacting with the airline brand they love, while having the flexibility of not being limited to earning rewards that can be spent in just one program alone. And not only can members of this program cash in their miles, but they can also get loads of miles at competitive rates when booking a stay through the AIR MILES Travel Hub site.
Nearly a third of loyalty program members (32%) say flexibility is the most important thing they look for in a loyalty program. And that’s exactly what Hawaiian Airlines is providing its members with its new site, which allows HawaiianMiles members to spend frequent flyer miles to pay for all or part of a hotel booking. By visiting the site, members can choose to spend in their HawaiianMiles, either in full or a combination of miles and cash, to book a stay at more than 150,000 hotels and resorts around the globe.
Although not an airline brand, La Quinta is leading the pack in providing flexible loyalty and expanded opportunities for its La Quinta Returns members to redeem their loyalty program rewards on hotel stays. Through their recently expanded luxury property offerings, La Quinta Returns members can redeem their points (or points + cash) for stays not only at 880+ La Quinta Inns & Suites locations, but also by booking stays at an additional 11,000+ luxury properties not in their competitive set. That means the chance to stay at an even more luxurious property, outside the La Quinta brand, for free by using the hotel points you’ve accumulated on previous stays – sounds like a deal to me.
Travelers are beginning to realize the more ways they can earn and redeem loyalty rewards, the more valuable a loyalty program becomes. And if you’re anything like me, I am more willing to spend my money on brands that allow me to get more for my points and miles. If you’re looking for more utility when it comes to your rewards, continue to look for hotel and airline brands that remove their restrictions around the ways you can earn and redeem.