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AAdvantageHotels vs RocketMiles - useability, experiences, questions, data points

Old Feb 12, 2023, 11:58 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: ZenFlyer
Welcome to the Rocketmiles/AAdvantage Hotels (née BookAAHotels) Official Thread & Wiki!
reflecting July 2023 program changes

AAdvantage Hotels Customer Support phone # (844) 801-6778 and email is [email protected]

Posting times per the AA Hotels Platform FAQ: "Rewards typically post between 3-4 weeks after your stay is completed with the transaction date reflecting your check-in date. If booked through one of our suppliers that provide “Pay Later” rates (pay upon check-in), the rewards typically post within 4 – 6 weeks after your stay is completed."

Posting times per FT user experience: Varies greatly, and cyclically through the year, between several days to 6 weeks after checkout. Within 2 weeks after checkout is arguably "average" but YMMV greatly. Notwithstanding whatever wait you might have, the points will eventually post.

0. Why should I use RocketMiles over AAdvantage Hotels?
You shouldn't. There are no advantages to doing so unless you truly have no superior booking option. AAdvantage Hotels, now being on the same platform, is strictly better if your goal is AA LPs or AA RDM. (Note: RocketMiles, the engine for AAdvantage Hotels, is owned by Booking Holdings: https://about.rocketmiles.com/how-it-works who also owns Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, etc.)

1. Do base miles earned on AAdvantage Hotels count towards Loyalty Point earnings/status?
Yes - but any boost miles (miles purchased during checkout) only count as redeemable miles.

2. How can I maximize my AA earnings?

a. via AAHotels Customers who have AAdvantage elite status, and/or have any AA co-branded credit card earn significantly more LPs/RDMs per reservation. Customers who have either AA status OR an AA credit card will earn up to 5x more LPs/RDMs than the normal rate, while customers who have both AA status AND an AA credit card will earn up to 10x LPs/RDMs more than the normal rate (up to 15,000 LP max). The extra LP/RDM earnings for being an AA card holder apply whether or not you charge the reservation to your AA credit card. The total LPs/RDMs to be earned through AAHotels are reflected on your reservation and post to AA.com after your hotel stay, see questions 6 and 7 below.

b. via AA Loyalty Point Rewards Purchases made via AAHotels (and other "select partners") benefit from "Loyalty Point Reward" bonuses given to AAdvantage Members who reach certain LP thresholds (20% bonus for 6 months after achieving 60k LP; 30% for 6 months after achieving 100k LP). Further information on LP Reward bonuses here and on this FT thread. LP Reward bonuses do not generate additional RDMs. LP Reward bonuses will be added automatically to your total LP earnings when your hotel stay posts to AA.com, see questions 6 and 7 below.

c. via AA co-branded credit card You will also earn 1 LP and (generally) 1 RDM for every dollar charged to an AA credit card, as you would for any purchase. AA Hotels stays are not considered “eligible AA purchases” for purposes of increased miles earnings on AA credit cards. However, holders of the Citi AA Executive Mastercard will earn an additional 9x RDM per dollar spent on AAHotels (for a total of 10 RDM per dollar). LPs and RDMs earned by credit card spend, including the 9x bonus RDMs earned by Executive cardolders, will post to AA.com after statement closing.
2a. If I'm approved for an AA credit card, how long will it take for my "AA Cardholder" status to be updated on the Book AA Hotels website?
YMMV. Reports here have varied from 1 day to several weeks. Citi appears to be faster than Barclay's.

3. What is the max LPs for a booking?
You can earn up to 15,000 LPs max per booking. During the checkout process you will be offered an opportunity purchase additional miles (aka "boost"), but boost miles only add RDM to your earnings, not LPs.

4. What hotels earn miles?
Since July 2023, all hotels on AAdvantage Hotels earn miles. The total will be listed on the search page and you can sort results to find the highest earning hotel for your particular journey parameters.

5. Can I earn miles booking for someone else?
Since July 2023, the booking name must match the name of the AAdvantage account attached to the AAdvantage Hotel account to earn miles. This is further specified in the T&C.

6. Are points awarded based on check-in or check-out date?
Check-in date.

7. How quickly do points post?
Expect points to post approximately 2 weeks after check-out. If points have not posted within a month, contact AAdvantage Hotels customer support.

8. I'm having an issue with my booking. Who should I contact?
If it is an issue regarding the property directly, contact the hotel you've booked with. If the issue is with points or booking, contact AAdvantage Hotels/Booking.com. If a bonus earning has not been properly applied, contact AAdvantage Customer Service. If an issue requires escalation, contact Booking.com through the following channel: [email protected].

9. Will I earn hotel points or get hotel elite benefits in my hotel loyalty program if I book thru Rocketmiles/AAdvantage Hotels?
Unlikely, but occasionally people have posted they got elite benefits or a mistaken hotel credit. Since a hotel room booked thru RM/AA hotels is a 3rd party booking, most hotel stay programs exclude giving any credits or benefit for stays booked thru methods like this. Expect to earn nothing and get no benefits. Anything extra is a nice surprise. You can ask the hotel to add your hotel membership number to your reservation at some point such as before your stay or in person once you arrive, but be prepared for a firm "No."



WARNING: ALL INFORMATION FROM THIS POINT FORWARD REFLECTS THE PROGRAM AS IT EXISTED AS OF 7/13/23. THIS INFORMATION IS HERE PURELY FOR THOSE WITH EXISTING BOOKINGS. IF YOU HAVE QUERIES ABOUT THE CURRENT PROGRAM, PLEASE SCROLL UP.

This Wiki will be built out over time. To begin, we are going to cover a list of the most frequently asked questions in this thread. Over time, we expect to add to this guide with official information from Booking and/or AA, as well as guides on how to best optimise your earning on these wonderful platforms.

1a. Do the points earned on RM/BAAH count towards my annual qualification as Loyalty Points (LPs)?
Yes - the points earned for your booking, as well as the paid multiplier points, are both referred to (and post as) "base miles". This means they count towards your annual status progression.

1b. Which hotels on RM/BAAH earn Loyalty Points?
For RocketMiles, this is easy: once you have selected AA as your frequent flyer program, all hotels that show up in the search results will earn LPs.
The BookAAHotels interface is more complicated -- some hotels that show up in the search results will not earn LPs. LP-earning hotels will have a banner in the search results saying "Earn XX,XXX Base Miles"; no banner means no LPs. Also, before checking out make sure that the "Price Summary" states how many Base Miles (LPs) will be earned after your stay. If no base mile earnings are indicated, you may have
accidentally toggled over to the regular Booking.com site, where you will not earn LPs.

2. Do points post quickly after check out?
Forum Experience: For pre-paid stays, reported posting times have varied between several days after checkout and several weeks. Post-paid stays can take up to 8 weeks to post, as their posting is dependent on communication between the hotel and Booking.com/RM/BAAH.
What BAAH and RM say: For BAAH --
"3-4 weeks". For RM -- "typically within 2 weeks after your stay is completed"" or 6-8 weeks if made through Booking.com

3. For what date will the points for a hotel stay count? If I need points by Feb 28, when should I stay at a hotel?
Forum Experience: As of February 2023, RocketMiles.com appears to post stays on AA as the date of check-out. BookAAHotels, however, appears to post stays as of the date of check-in. So if one is looking to lock in miles for February to count for the qualification period, ensure that your check-out is before the 28th of February and that your stay is pre-paid. This way you are assured of your points posting, regardless of platform, and counting towards qualification before your status drops after March ends.
Per AA.com: "Purchases made with your AAdvantage® credit card will count based on the date the activity posts to your AAdvantage® account. All other flight and partner transactions will count based on the activity date of the flight or other transaction." (emphasis added). See Aadvantage FAQs linked
here

4. I cannot check-out on RocketMiles - help!
First of all, this isn't a question. Second of all, don't fret. There are at least two class of processing problems known on the RM platform. To solve the majority of them, follow these diagnostic pathways:

0. Clear your cache, disable ....... and JS-script blocking software, and turn off your VPN.
1. Try again with the desired credit card but don’t fill out any of the optional information on the address section, only what’s required.
There is a known system with how they handle this info.
1a. Do as above but use your full zip code (this means the 5 required digits and the trailing 4 digits). You can look up your full ZIP here.
2. Push it all the way to the dev team by contacting support via phone. The agent will put you on hold while they reset part of their system.
3. Use another card and keep trying the first card on subsequent purchases until it works again.

If none of the above work, your problem may be related to your account/card being blocked by Booking.com.
To alleviate this, contact [email protected]

While this may not work to correct checkout issues on both sites, you should at least now be able to use RM.

5. My stays haven't posted and it has been well past one week (for pre-paids) or eight weeks (for post-paids)!
Call the phone number for RM/BAAH and ask for a manager who can change the status on your stays to “approved”. Every legitimate stay should then be caught in the next cycle. You may receive duplicate emails about previous stays which already posted; sadly, you will not get double miles but this is a positive sign that your oustanding stays have been successfully processed.

6. How many cents per mile is a good rate?
Ultimately this is up to you. However, at the moment, it appears that RM/BAAH have a floor on their miles at around 2.15 cents per mile. The general consensus on FT seems to be that if you can secure a hotel at 2.5 cents per mile, you have done well.

7. Do I need to stay at a hotel to get points?
As long as it is a pre-paid stay, you will receive the points regardless of your presence at the hotel.

8. Will I have to pay the check-in resort fee if I "no show" the stay?
We only have one report of this happening; however, it is not standard practice for RTI (Booking.com) to pass pre-paid credit card details to the stays, so as-of-now the forum is skeptical of this report without further information.

9. Do I get more miles for selecting a better room?
Unfortunately not. The miles are set on a per-location basis; the only way to get more points is to pay for the multiplier/bonus points. Any more expensive rooms will simply mean you're paying more per-mile on your stay.

10. What is the best way to contact the two sites?
E-mail is always the first line of defense. If you fail to get a response within 48 hours (unless this is extremely time sensitive - then call first) then proceed to the phone line. Do note that many of the agents are extremely new or unfamiliar with certain aspects of the program, so be judicious in utilizing your two best friends: the manager and HUACA (hang up and call again).

11. Why can't I contact AA if I have issues?
They don't run the sites. Booking.com does. If you are having a REAL issue (that is, not that your miles didn’t post 15 minutes after checkout, but a technical problem, etc.) a recommended point of contact is
[email protected].

12. How do I view only the hotels that award miles on BAAH?
You can't.

13. How do I sort hotels by most points awarded on BAAH?
You can't.

14. How can I see the total stay cost on BAAH on the search screen (as on RM)?
You can't.

15. So then why should I use BAAH?
You shouldn't.

OK, this is a bit of a lie. It is often the occasion that BAAH will offer a slightly higher mileage reward or a hotel that isn't present on RM. Most users will find their target hotel on RM and then do a final sanity check on BAAH to make sure they aren't ignoring a better deal. We certainly recommend this until the UI/UX experience on BAAH is improved.

Also (new in 2023) BAAH is a "select partner" that benefits from LP bonuses (20% for 6 months after achieving 60k LP; 30% for 6 months after achieving 100k LP). RM is not a "select partner" so no bonus LP will be awarded. Note that the bonus is LP only (no bonus RDM are awarded). Although there as some data points with members receiving LP bonuses for the actual stay that put them over the bonus level, AA's official response has been that you'll only receive the bonus LPs for stays completed after you achieve the new bonus level.

16. Can I book a room for someone else but still get the miles in my account?
Yes, if you book through RM. No, if you book through BAAH.

Also, both RM and BAAH will let you book multiple rooms under a single reservation, but the rooms will all be non-refundable. (Booking a single room shows refundable options.)

17. Which year will my LPs count for if I check in a hotel in February but check out in March?
RM stays have their posting date effective the check OUT date.
BAAH stays have their posting date effective the check IN date.
Given the LP program is new for 2022, we assume AA will treat hotel bookings from BAAH and RM the same as a flight taken on Feb 28: LPs will count effective for the date of the posting from RM or BAAH, not the date your account actually gets miles added. Will be updated in March once we have reports

18. Will I earn points in my hotel loyalty program if I book thru RM or BAAH?
Unlikely, but occasionally people have posted they got elite benefits or a mistaken hotel credit, but it's a 3rd party booking, so most hotel stay programs exclude earning for stays booked thru methods like this. Expect to earn nothing and get no benefits. Anything extra is a nice surprise.




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AAdvantageHotels vs RocketMiles - useability, experiences, questions, data points

Old Jan 14, 2022, 4:53 pm
  #16  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Originally Posted by chitown85
I've done 'both bites at the apple' recently and it all posted as base for me. Its a good value all around.
That's even better!
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 10:26 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by golfer20
I really can't image more than 5% of AA flyers actively searching for ways to earn LPs. If you're really looking, earning lots of LPs isn't terribly difficult, but you need to know where to earn them.
I really have to agree with this. The number of people getting to, say, 125,000 miles and earning PP because they've booked dozens of RM bookings is probably pretty low. I think you'll see the average person who bothers to pay attention get some LP's off of these various pathways, but the requirements are so much higher for status levels that these opportunities will likely be offsetting how close one gets to status via flying.

The RM interface is still clunky, from room selection to filterable search results, so there are plenty of families, business folks, etc. that will simply want to use a more convenient interface such as Marriott or booking.com (even the booking.com site, which powers AA hotels, is better because you have an account where you can log in to see your bookings, more rooms are refundable, etc.). In addition, you have to account for the fact that many people actually try for status with hotels, rental cars, etc. so there is an opportunity cost to putting all of your eggs in the AA LP basket.

To me, the biggest sacrifice - other than interface - is choice. I'm in Mexico now, and there are plenty of other options in terms of Airbnb, booking.com, etc. that offer me a better selection of location and fine-tuning what I'm looking for in a particular price range. With RM and AA Hotels, I can still find stuff, but I would likely have ended up booking something different. This is entirely the point - AA (and the hotel) is buying my business my offering me LP's. I stay with their preferred vendor and they throw me some credit toward status. Isn't this what loyalty is all about? I'm completely fine with this - I'm still getting a good hotel for roughly what I would have paid for it, but you're swaying my decision to take my business to you because you're giving me something in return that's valuable to me.

All of this said, if the base miles on RM (stay and get 3,000 miles) don't actually count, and they decide to do a spend equivalent, that would be massively deceptive cause me to significantly think my loyalty. I've already got several RM and AA hotels booking given the amount of travel I have going on right now, all of which were chosen entirely because to the LP construct.
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 10:31 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by chitown85
I've done 'both bites at the apple' recently and it all posted as base for me. Its a good value all around.
Just to be on the same page here, are we talking about the "pay more to earn more" option? If so, I called AA and asked if these would qualify as LP's and was told no, although to be very clear I have very little confidence in that answer. It was a basic customer service rep who called some other help desk who was offering an interpretation of what I was seeing - it wasn't direct guidance.

Still, these could pretty easily be interpreted as bonus rather than base miles based on the offer structure, etc. I think the odds are lower that these count, although I'm still hopeful they will. Personally, I would be hesitant to put a lot of money in this strategy until March when we see how this actually plays out. I suppose my regular AA hotel bookings and RM booking could be risky as too, but less so than a scheme where I'm offered to pay more to earn more miles, which sounds like the definition of bonus miles to me. Still, that language isn't being used, and if folks are finding that those elevated points bookings are coding as base miles, that's a good sign.
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 10:48 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Okay I decided to play along and see what would happen - I had a hotel I needed to book for next week. Nowhere does it say this until the confirmation email, but the language in that email suggests the difference between "base miles" and "promotional miles" - my suspicion is that my additional 2,000 miles will not qualify as LP's.

While I'll still have the benefit of the extra 2,000 miles from an RDM perspective, I doubt I will continue to book these "promotional miles" rates unless we get confirmation they will count as LPs.


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Old Jan 15, 2022, 11:53 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by FrankMorris
Okay I decided to play along and see what would happen - I had a hotel I needed to book for next week. Nowhere does it say this until the confirmation email, but the language in that email suggests the difference between "base miles" and "promotional miles" - my suspicion is that my additional 2,000 miles will not qualify as LP's.

While I'll still have the benefit of the extra 2,000 miles from an RDM perspective, I doubt I will continue to book these "promotional miles" rates unless we get confirmation they will count as LPs.
Which portal did you use?

[Edited to add:] It looks like it was RocketMiles. It has already been reported upthread that the promo miles have posted as bonus miles, FWIW.

It has also been reported upthread that all miles post as base miles through BookAAHotels.
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 12:29 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by vasantn
Which portal did you use?

[Edited to add:] It looks like it was RocketMiles. It has already been reported upthread that the promo miles have posted as bonus miles, FWIW.

It has also been reported upthread that all miles post as base miles through BookAAHotels.
No. I used bookaahotels - I’m very much hoping those experiences above are accurate.
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 1:02 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by FrankMorris
No. I used bookaahotels - I’m very much hoping those experiences above are accurate.
Cool, keep us posted. I'm quite happy to pay 2¢/LP. Not so happy to pay 2¢/RDM.

Interestingly, the graphic that you posted looks exactly the same as the one I got from RocketMiles.




Not sure why RM and BAAH would post differently.

Did you take the additional boost that BAAH offers, or just pay extra for the room?

Last edited by vasantn; Jan 15, 2022 at 1:09 pm
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 1:19 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by vasantn
Cool, keep us posted. I'm quite happy to pay 2¢/LP. Not so happy to pay 2¢/RDM.

Interestingly, the graphic that you posted looks exactly the same as the one I got from RocketMiles.




Not sure why RM and BAAH would post differently.

Did you take the additional boost that BAAH offers, or just pay extra for the room?
Will definitely keep you posted. As someone else mentioned earlier, there are two stages to essentially pay extra. First, you have the option to “pay more to earn more“ which seems to be about double. Then, after selecting that room, you have the option to buy even more points on the checkout page. My guess is that the purchase of extra points on the checkout page would certainly not count as base points. Now, it also looks to me like the pay extra points will not count either.
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 1:21 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by FrankMorris
First, you have the option to “pay more to earn more“ which seems to be about double. Then, after selecting that room, you have the option to buy even more points on the checkout page.
My question was: Did you do both?
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Old Jan 15, 2022, 1:25 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by vasantn
My question was: Did you do both?
Ah, sorry. No, I did not do both only the first option of pay more earn more.
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Old Jan 19, 2022, 8:48 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by DreAAmliner
I just booked a hotel and selected the room that was $25 more to get 1,000 more miles.
then on the checkout screen, they let me buy an additional 1,000 miles for $25.

I will report back if they all code as base or not. Seems like RocketMiles was able to figure that out....
What date was this for? I am also debating whether I should pay the extra $25 ($50) for these points and whether they would classify as LP.
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Old Jan 22, 2022, 6:33 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by FrankMorris
Okay I decided to play along and see what would happen - I had a hotel I needed to book for next week. Nowhere does it say this until the confirmation email, but the language in that email suggests the difference between "base miles" and "promotional miles" - my suspicion is that my additional 2,000 miles will not qualify as LP's.

While I'll still have the benefit of the extra 2,000 miles from an RDM perspective, I doubt I will continue to book these "promotional miles" rates unless we get confirmation they will count as LPs.


Have the miles posted yet? How did they post?
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Old Jan 22, 2022, 7:56 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Originally Posted by vasantn
Have the miles posted yet? How did they post?
Nothing yet. Will keep you posted.
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Old Jan 26, 2022, 11:41 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Programs: American Executive Platinum
Posts: 368
Wanted to update everyone that my miles posted from bookaahotels.com - all as base miles. Again, to clarify - I selected the option of pay more earn more - as in, a higher rate on the rate/room selection page - NOT the final checkout page with the last option of buying additional points. Interestingly, there were 2 separate posts, but both are listed under "base miles." As I've otherwise posted, I'll certainly be taking screenshots of how these post. I wouldn't be surprised to see these reclassified at some point.


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Old Jan 27, 2022, 11:34 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AVL
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I'm probably being stupid, but is there a way to filter on AAhotels(booking.com) so it shows me properties that offer AA miles only?
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