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

Old Feb 12, 23, 11:58 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: wutlol
Welcome to the Rocketmiles/BookAAHotels Official Thread & Wiki!
WARNING: NONE OF WHAT IS DISCUSSED HERE COMES FROM BOOKING.COM OR AA. THESE ARE HOW THE PROGRAMMES FUNCTION AS BEST UNDERSTOOD BY THIS FORUM. PROCEED AT YOUR CAUTION.


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.

1. 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.

2. Do points post quickly after check out?
Forum Experience: If the stay is a pre-paid stay, one can typically expect points to post within a week, barring any extraneous issues with the platforms. 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)

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.

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

Old Jan 12, 22, 9:18 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 338
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, 23 at 3:29 pm Reason: Merged consecutive posts for readability
DreAAmliner is offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 11:58 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,951
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, 22, 12:10 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 338
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...
DreAAmliner is offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 1:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,951
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, 22, 1:30 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 338
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....
DreAAmliner is offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 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.
chitown85 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 2:11 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP / LT PLT / 3MM, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 34,319
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 offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 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.
chitown85 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 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 offline  
Old Jan 13, 22, 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, 22, 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.
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vasantn is offline  
Old Jan 14, 22, 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: 2,184
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, 22, 8:38 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 338
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.
DreAAmliner is offline  
Old Jan 14, 22, 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, 22, 12:23 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Programs: AA
Posts: 265
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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