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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 (ne 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 dont fill out any of the optional information on the address section, only whats 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 didnt 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 12, 2022, 9:18 am
  #1  
formerly DreAAmliner
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 426
AAdvantageHotels vs RocketMiles - useability, experiences, questions, data points

I have a trip to Austin, TX coming up in a few weeks for work. I figured I would give either of these avenues a try.
Some things i have noticed:

1) I am finding RocketMiles to be a 100% better interface for searching hotels to maximize LPs, as you can actually sort by miles offered
2) Bookaahotels has a horrible interface and i have noticed that the same hotel will fluctuate between offering AA miles and not, simply depending on your filter criteria.
- As an example, the Van Zant hotel does NOT show AA miles offered, unless i SORT BY DISTANCE TO DOWNTOWN. Then, once i do that, a 7,000 mile offer shows up. WHAT THE HECK!

Has anyone else messed with both and have any tips/tricks? Am i missing something with Bookaahotels?

It also looks like hotels with AA miles offers are pre-paid only?
Also, the room pricing and fees are higher for the hotels with AA offers. The difference in pricing looks to still be worth it IMO if it is offering a lot of miles.
Jcmontecarlo likes this.

Last edited by Microwave; Feb 9, 2023 at 3:29 pm Reason: Merged consecutive posts for readability
ER-One is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 11:58 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,374
Originally Posted by DreAAmliner
It also looks like hotels with AA miles offers are pre-paid only?
Also, the room pricing and fees are higher for the hotels with AA offers. The difference in pricing looks to still be worth it IMO if it is offering a lot of miles.
no, as a matter of fact I booked a refundable/cancellable rate as my 1st reservation on bookaahotels last night
originally i was going to book the same hotel with rocketmiles, but just as i was checking out, the mileage offer was DRASTICALLY pulled on rocket miles, but remained on bookAAhotels for the same rate and miles, so I went with bookAAhotels and got a confirmation of the rate.
the interface on bookAAhotels is pretty poor should you need to go in and "manage" your reservations.
LovePrunes is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 12:10 pm
  #3  
formerly DreAAmliner
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 426
Originally Posted by LovePrunes
no, as a matter of fact I booked a refundable/cancellable rate as my 1st reservation on bookaahotels last night
originally i was going to book the same hotel with rocketmiles, but just as i was checking out, the mileage offer was DRASTICALLY pulled on rocket miles, but remained on bookAAhotels for the same rate and miles, so I went with bookAAhotels and got a confirmation of the rate.
the interface on bookAAhotels is pretty poor should you need to go in and "manage" your reservations.
I certainly see that there are cancellable/refundable rates, but i have not come across any rates that offer AA miles where i can pay at the hotel.
It would be great to double-dip AA miles to book a Hilton and be able to use my Hilton Aspire to pay for the hotel at checkout.... I suppose that's the trade-off for getting AA miles...
ER-One is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 1:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,374
Originally Posted by DreAAmliner
I certainly see that there are cancellable/refundable rates, but i have not come across any rates that offer AA miles where i can pay at the hotel.
It would be great to double-dip AA miles to book a Hilton and be able to use my Hilton Aspire to pay for the hotel at checkout.... I suppose that's the trade-off for getting AA miles...
yeah i dont think that's their model at all. i think you pay them so they get their commission up front; at some point the reservation becomes uncancelable, i dont think any way around that with rocket or boookaa
and no way to count for hotel elite status, too
LovePrunes is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 1:30 pm
  #5  
formerly DreAAmliner
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 426
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....
ER-One is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 2:06 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 47
I have also seen 2,000 extra for $40. Maybe it varies based on the room or stay type. Either way, seems like a good value for both the RDMs and the LPs combined. I probably wouldn't opt to do it if LPs weren't part of the value proposition. Great tool to top up status later in the year without having to get on a plane.
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Old Jan 13, 2022, 2:11 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP / LT PLT / 3MM, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 35,553
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....
Originally Posted by chitown85
I have also seen 2,000 extra for $40. Maybe it varies based on the room or stay type. Either way, seems like a good value for both the RDMs and the LPs combined. I probably wouldn't opt to do it if LPs weren't part of the value proposition. Great tool to top up status later in the year without having to get on a plane.
It has already been reported that the extra miles post as "bonus" miles, and will most likely not count as LPs. You are paying more than 2 cents for each of those miles which are purely RDMs. Not a great deal.
vasantn is online now  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 2:27 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 47
on bookAAhotels they've posted as base for me so I assume they count. The other poster mentioned on Rocketmiles specifically it being bonus.
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Old Jan 13, 2022, 4:26 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by chitown85
on bookAAhotels they've posted as base for me so I assume they count. The other poster mentioned on Rocketmiles specifically it being bonus.
Hmm, that's very interesting!
vasantn is online now  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 7:09 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SFO
Programs: AAdvantage, HHonors/Bonvoy/Hyatt/IHG
Posts: 12
I've tried this and the bonus show up as bonus for me on RM
Humberto is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2022, 8:27 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by chitown85
on bookAAhotels they've posted as base for me so I assume they count. The other poster mentioned on Rocketmiles specifically it being bonus.
Originally Posted by Humberto
I've tried this and the bonus show up as bonus for me on RM
So I think I have this figured out.

On RocketMiles, you have only one opportunity to buy extra miles, after you have selected your room. This is unrelated to the cost of the room. So the room miles post as base miles and the extra miles post as bonus miles.

On BookAAHotels, you get two extra bites at the apple. You can choose to pay more for your room (and forfeit the free breakfast which IMO is a bit cheesy) and get extra miles and since they are related to the cost of the room, they will all post as base miles and LPs. Then you have the opportunity to buy "boost" miles at the bottom of the form. I'm fairly confident that these will post as bonus miles.

So BookAAHotels is definitely better for buying extra LPs. RocketMiles is far better in terms of the interface and their customer service has been exceptional, but you can't buy extra LPs. I have not had an occasion to use the BookAAHotels customer service yet but since it's an offshoot of booking.com, I'm betting that it's not extraordinary.
vasantn is online now  
Old Jan 14, 2022, 4:24 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: SNA and BNA depending on work and time of year
Programs: UA Silver/ AA EXP/Hyatt Globalist/Marriott Lifetime Titanium/Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,189
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....
Someone on another thread said his additional miles were posted as a bonus, and the original offer posted as base. Obviously, YMMV, but there is one data point at least. I believe it's in the Loyalty Points thread.
chicaloca453 is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2022, 8:38 am
  #13  
formerly DreAAmliner
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 426
Originally Posted by vasantn
So I think I have this figured out.

On RocketMiles, you have only one opportunity to buy extra miles, after you have selected your room. This is unrelated to the cost of the room. So the room miles post as base miles and the extra miles post as bonus miles.

On BookAAHotels, you get two extra bites at the apple. You can choose to pay more for your room (and forfeit the free breakfast which IMO is a bit cheesy) and get extra miles and since they are related to the cost of the room, they will all post as base miles and LPs. Then you have the opportunity to buy "boost" miles at the bottom of the form. I'm fairly confident that these will post as bonus miles.

So BookAAHotels is definitely better for buying extra LPs. RocketMiles is far better in terms of the interface and their customer service has been exceptional, but you can't buy extra LPs. I have not had an occasion to use the BookAAHotels customer service yet but since it's an offshoot of booking.com, I'm betting that it's not extraordinary.
Exactly this. Much better worded than my post...
However, for the searches i have been doing so far for some know travel for later this year, RM is showing hotel options with considerably more miles than BAAH.

ps/side bar - this thread is very clearly predicting what i believe will be a gigantic increase in low-level elites under the new scheme. Obviously, if those elites fly only a few times a year then who cares, but it is interesting to me nonetheless and who knows what the second/third/fourth order effects of that many elites are.
ER-One is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2022, 10:04 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by vasantn

On BookAAHotels, you get two extra bites at the apple. You can choose to pay more for your room (and forfeit the free breakfast which IMO is a bit cheesy) and get extra miles and since they are related to the cost of the room, they will all post as base miles and LPs. Then you have the opportunity to buy "boost" miles at the bottom of the form. I'm fairly confident that these will post as bonus miles.

So BookAAHotels is definitely better for buying extra LPs.
I've done 'both bites at the apple' recently and it all posted as base for me. Its a good value all around.
chitown85 is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2022, 12:23 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Programs: AA
Posts: 362
Originally Posted by DreAAmliner
ps/side bar - this thread is very clearly predicting what i believe will be a gigantic increase in low-level elites under the new scheme. Obviously, if those elites fly only a few times a year then who cares, but it is interesting to me nonetheless and who knows what the second/third/fourth order effects of that many elites are.
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.
golfer20 is offline  

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