There’s no cooking cutter answer to earning points, other than that you always should be. Some travelers prefer hotel points to airline miles, or elite status benefits to savings and others think those people are bonkers. The answer: everyone is right, because whatever works for you works.
At the same time, people get far too locked into what they think is the best practice for their travel bookings and fail to consider new opportunities. For many, one opportunity that’s gone far too overlooked is the partnership between Hotels.com and Capital One Venture card (more info), which offers 7.5X airline miles per dollar spent, on top of the 10% rebate you get from Hotels.com.
Capital One Venture Earning Potential With Hotels.com
Capital One Venture (more info) is offering 10x Points on hotels booked via Hotels.com/venture. On it’s own a 10% rebate is excellent, but with the addition of the miles transfer option, that means that you can take that 10% rebate and instead turn it into 7.5 airline miles per dollar spent.
Unlike many of these stacking opportunities, you’re also able to double dip and still earn the Buy 10 Get 1 Free deal from Hotels.com, which is effectively another 10% rebate on all hotel purchases. So yes, to recap you can earn 7.5X transferrable miles with Capital One, while also earning your Buy 10 get 1 free 10% rebate from Hotels.com.
These are separate offers, but when combined they create arguably the most compelling combo for hotel booking. As of now, this combo ends January 2020, but it’s already been extended intact for a year. We don’t expect it to disappear any time soon.
What You Don’t Get With This Offer Is Important
When you book with Hotels.com, you typically will not get any hotel points for your stays. Most people value airline miles, or transferrable points such as Capital One Venture miles over any hotel points, but for some people who are hotel diehards, it’s worth noting.
Typically, you also won’t receive elite benefits or night credits. For someone who needs the nights to add up to receive stay perks, this may not be the right road, but for someone who is a free agent, or doesn’t travel frequently enough to earn top tier hotel guest benefits, the Capital One Venture offer is far more compelling.
So How Does That Rebate Stack Up?
Using math backed up by noted experts, we believe that hotel guests who book direct and earn hotel points typically receive a rebate between 4-7% as basic tier guests, and up to 20% for top tier guests, based on the bonus points and perks received. Obviously, to get those points you must book direct, which isn’t always the cheapest way.
Via the Hotels.com and Capital One Venture partnership, any hotel guest — not just the most elite guest — is effectively able to earn a 20% rebate on each stay. You also have the added perk of being able to transfer your Capital One miles to any of 15 airline partners. Many of these transfers are 2:1.5 while a couple are 2:1. And, don’t forget to take advantage of their transfer bonus promos to get even more out of these transfers.
Why should you care about Capital One’s transfer partners? Well, take a look at some of our favorite ways to use Capital One miles to find out why!
Here’s a complete list of the transfer partners and transfer ratios:
|Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia Program||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Avianca LifeMiles||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Emirates Skywards||2:1 (1,000:500)|
|Etihad Guest||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Finnair Plus||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|JetBlue True Blue||2:1 (1,000:500)|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Qatar Privilege Club||2:1.5 (1,000:750)|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||2:1 (1,000:500)|
Again, earning 7.5 miles with most of these programs for hotel spend is very compelling on its own, but adding in the ability to double dip with Hotels.com’s rewards program offering a free night stay for every 10 you book makes this a simple win for a hotel free agent.
We don’t care how you book your hotels, or which card you use, but when it comes to best practices, this is Capital One Venture partnership is an extremely compelling best practice which more than helps to justify a low annual fee card, with increasing travel benefits. But you do whatever makes you happy.
If you’re a road warrior, we understand if you love the perks you get from top-tier elite status. However, if you’re a leisure traveler who just finds a hotel to your liking and books, why pass up on the opportunity to get a massive rebate on your hotel stays? Besides, it’s kind of awesome that your hotel stays can help you book your next award ticket with the miles you earn.
I do about sixty nights a year with hotels.com and the venture combo. This is by far the best combo with a non-directly with hotel booking. It’s effectively around an 18% savings:
1. A free night after ten paid nights on hotels.com is 9.1% (not 10 percent, mind the maths!) off, but given the fact that fees are additional, this is about an 8% benefit.
2. 10 points per dollar on a capital one card is 10% off. I value this at 1 cent per point as the program is too new to peg the value at 1.4 cents per point.
3. You can book rooms for others and the benefit will go to u. This is unlike hotels’ own loyalty programs.
4. If u achieve hotels.com gold status, u will often get “VIP extras” at many properties which for me has included any of the following in the past: $40 room credit (Kimpton Canary Santa Barbra), late 2pm checkout or free breakfast (Monville, Montreal). These are modest, tho real, perks.
5. The capital one and hotels.com 10x offer only goes to January 2020. It’s not clear if it will get renewed.
6. Shop around. Agoda, hotel offers with airline tickets and hotels’ own sites sometimes have better offers. E.g., Waldorf Astoria rooms with LCM package + Hilton honors gold gets u $150 a day dining credit at some properties for the same base rate as hotels.com, surpassing the latter’s discounts.
hotels.com/capital one is a great and under-praised combo and works quite well in real life.
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