Earn Miles And Pay Less For Hotel Bookings And Car Rentals!

I’m always interested in new ways to earn miles and points.  Travel is definitely not a “one size fits all” kind of business.  That’s why I was intrigued when I looked at this package.  It’s not for folks who value hotel elite status, but I see good value for “free agents”.

You may remember me talking about Club1 Hotels late last year.  They introduced a model where they charge you “wholesale” rates for your hotel bookings. Some of the discounts are staggeringly good.  The “catch” is that these are OTA (online travel agency) bookings that don’t earn elite status.  But, some of the savings, especially in big cities, are quite large.

Their plan was to start charging for membership, but I know hundreds of my readers took them up on the free 1-year offer to get started.  They’ve started charging for membership, and they’re introducing a new product.  There are a handful of details to go over.

They’ve set up a landing page with more details on the package.

There are two paths, one for existing Club1 members and another for new members:

Existing Club1 Members
  • One-time fee of $59 for existing Club1 members (this also extends your existing Club1 membership another year, until late 2018)
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on hotel bookings, car rentals, excursions like golf and other activities
  • Earn miles from Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Jet Privilege, Etihad or Phillippine Airlines
  • Free 1-year ShopRunner membership (free 2-day shipping from hundreds of name-brand retailers)
  • Free $30 LuggageFree gift card

In short, you receive another 12 months of membership with Club1 and you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar during that entire period on any bookings you make through them.

Even if you find no value in the ShopRunner or LuggageFree items, it’s pretty easy to cover the $59 fee.  Let’s say a United Airlines MileagePlus mile is worth about 2 cents.  You could argue more or less, but let’s use a round number for the moment.  You’d need to “earn” about 3,000 airline miles through the Club1 membership to break even on the $59 membership.  At 2 miles per dollar spent, that’s $1500 in hotel rooms over the course of a year.  That’s not hard to do for a frequent or semi-frequent traveler.

And, you’re still likely to save money on the hotel booking (more on that shortly).  FWIW, I do like ShopRunner, though I get it free with one of the credit cards I carry.

New Club1 Members
  • Annual fee of $129 for a 1-year membership in Club1
  • Free 1-year ShopRunner membership (free 2-day shipping from hundreds of name-brand retailers)
  • Free $30 LuggageFree gift card
  • $100 Restaurant.com gift card
  • 2 $25 Club1 Hotel booking credits (to be used on two separate reservations)

If you can use all the benefits here it’s pretty easy to get your $129 back.  And, Club1 really does have some pretty low rates.

How Does This Compare With Something Like Rocket Miles?

That was the first question I asked.  Rocket Miles is another booking engine that awards airline miles to folks for hotel bookings.  As with Club1, those bookings generally aren’t going to earn you elite hotel status or hotel points.  But, many folks don’t chase hotel status like I do.

Here’s one example of a rate comparison between the two booking engines.  I checked a 1-night stay in New York City at the Omni Berkshire Place.  For a room with 2 double beds, Club1’s “all-in” price is $276.  Rocket Miles offers the same room for $496.  They also offer 5,000 miles extra with their booking.  If we value United Airlines MileagePlus miles at 2 cents a piece, that’s worth $100.  That still makes Club1 over $100 cheaper on that room.

The Final Two Pennies

The best deals in the world of miles and points are not “one size fits all”.  I used to love Points Hound, a Rocket Miles competitor.  They had “Double Dip” rates that paid airline miles on rates that counted towards elite status.  Those went away, and I get too much value out of elite status to book at the same rate and just get airline miles.

Club1 represents an interesting value proposition with their drastically lower rates.  Add in 2 miles per dollar and this is sure to be a good fit for certain types of travelers.

The post Earn Miles And Pay Less For Hotel Bookings And Car Rentals! was published first on Pizza in Motion

1 Comment

  1. I don’t know how you are finding those good rates on Club1. In every instance that I have searched in them their rate was significantly higher that using another booking source. Especially when the rate they list isn’t what you end up paying after they add their fees.

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