If you have been following the website long enough, you would notice that I stay in hotels quite a bit - I see it as a platform to earn more miles (since most of the payments happen online) and more importantly, it is a way to retain my loyalty status(es) each year. What a lot of people do not realise however is that most credit cards (with the exception of Citibank) in Singapore allow you to convert your points into Asia Miles (read about the program HERE!) and KrisFlyer Miles only. I have recently fallen in love with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account - you can fly on Japan Airlines' Business Class from Singapore to Tokyo, have a complimentary stopover, and then continue to somewhere else in Asia (e.g. Bangkok or Jakarta).
In fact, if you have every intention to maximise your flight time, Delhi in India is also categorised as part of Asia in this redemption, so you can actually fly 7,000 miles for just 25,000 Mileage Plan miles! If you are not familiar with how far 7,000 miles is, a direct flight from Singapore to London is only about 6,700 miles (and this will cost you 83,000 KrisFlyer Miles one-way).
The estimated cost of this flight is approximately S$12,000 or 25,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles - click HERE to find out how to do it! This article is not one to talk about the advantages of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program but instead to highlight the value of miles in programs other than KrisFlyer and Asia Miles (as well as how relevant they are to us even in this part of the world). At the time of writing, there are no credit cards in Singapore that allows you to convert from points to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles and this brings us to the main question (and probably point) of this article - how do you earn miles for these programs?
Earning 'Exotic' Miles using Kaligo/Rocketmiles from Hotel Stays
I use the term 'exotic' very loosely here - obviously miles from loyalty programs such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan are not exactly exotic in most parts of the world but they are a rare commodity in Singapore. There are various ways to obtain them - the easiest being an outright purchase from Alaska Airlines. What's more interesting however, is how you can earn them on hotel stays that you make worldwide.
Kaligo is probably the first website that comes to mind - you can earn up to 10 miles per dollar if you use a credit card from a participating bank (e.g. Citibank, UOB or DBS) but if you do select this as your program of choice, do remember that your transfer partners are limited to what the bank offers - Citibank offers up to 12 airline partners but it still does not include some 'exotic' programs like the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Kaligo does offer the opportunity to accrue miles on other loyalty programs (albeit at a much lower than 10 mile per dollar rate) and it may be useful in topping off your account to get the total balance to a redeemable amount.
As I have mentioned on multiple occasions previously, Kaligo may not offer the best room rate at any given time - it is usually on par with one of the big players (e.g. Expedia) or slightly above the average rate. With that being said, paying the premium (once again it depends on the actual situation) may be worth it if you are earning 10 miles per dollar as opposed to 4 miles per dollar. It is also worth checking out whether or not Rocketmiles offer a more lucrative rate (in terms of room rate and mile accrual rate). In the example above, Kaligo is offering at least 2,200 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for a one-night stay at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.
For the same weekend, Rocketmiles is offering a slightly lower room rate for more Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles (3,000 over 2,200). In this case, Rocketmiles seems to offer a better accrual rate. If you do wish to accrue Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, it is also a good idea to check out the accrual rate of the Virgin America's Elevate program since you can now convert points into AS miles as a 1:1.3 ratio.
After a few checks and comparisons, Kaligo wins hands down if you are thinking of accruing miles on KrisFlyer or Asia Miles via credit card reward programs but if you are thinking of a direct accrual into a loyalty program, Rocketmiles appears to come out marginally better.