Posted by William Charles on January 20, 2015
Hotel Booking

Published on January 20th, 2015 | by William Charles

5

Kaligo Review – Earn Airline Miles For Hotel Bookings

Kaligo is a hotel booking website that lets you earn airline miles from a variety of programs, if you’re familiar with PointsHound or RocketMiles then you will be familiar with this concept. The downside to using a site like this is that you will usually not earn hotel points or have your paid nights count towards elite status.

kaligo how to use

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Airline miles are typically more valuable than hotel points
  • They run relatively good sign up promotions when new partners are added

Cons

  • You will not earn any hotel points on any of your stays. You’ll earn airline miles instead, which most people find more valuable but that is really a personal preference.
  • Your stays will generally not count towards elite status. 
  • Your elite status will generally not be honored for stays booked using Kaligo. For example if you have Diamond status with Hilton you’d usually be able to get complimentary in room WiFi, if you booked through Kaligo they might not recognize your status and you would not be eligible for this benefit.
  • Kaligo is not listed on any portals, this means it’s not possible to get any additional cash back, points or miles on these purchases
  • No referral program 
  • No best price guarantee, although they do try to trick consumers into thinking they do have one by using the following words “Relax with our best price engine”
  • Limited hotel selection, they have 300,000+ hotels listed on the site (booking.com has closer to 600,000 for example)
  • You cannot search for a specific hotel, you have to search for a city and then filter down to the hotel level.

Partner Airlines

At the moment Kaligo has seven partner airlines that you can earn miles with, they are:

  • AirAsia Big (recently added)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club Avios
  • Jet Airways India JetPrivilege
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus
  • U.S Airways Dividend Miles
  • Virgin Atlantic

kaligo partner airlines

They also state that they have more coming soon as well. According to their F.A.Q like they either used to offer miles on ZAP (Philippines) or plan to offer them in the future.

Referral Program

Unlike their competitors Kaligo does not currently offer any referral program.

Promotions

Whilst they do not offer a referral program, they do regularly offer sign up bonuses. These are usually offered when they add a new airline partner. These promotions are only available to new customers (unless otherwise specified) and you must sign up at the link listed to qualify. The amount of miles you earn is in addition to the normal miles you’d earn by using Kaligo. The spend requirements are cumulative during the promotion (e.g it can be made over multiple bookings) Below are a list of promotions that are currently available:

Thanks to Saverocity for letting us know about the American Airlines & United Airlines deals.

Earning Miles

Unlike other websites the amount of miles you earn varies a lot based on a number of factors, the three most important factors are:

  • Which airline loyalty program you want miles in. In general you’ll get less miles if you want Avios than if you wanted AirAsia BIG points for example.
  • How much your hotel booking is. The more expensive your booking, the more miles you’ll receive.
  • The commission that the hotel is offering. In general most hotels pay about 15-20% of the room rate to hotel booking websites in commission. This can be a lot higher (or lower) if they have a lot of excess rooms or it’s off peak season.

The only way to really find out how many miles you’ll earn is by going to the website and looking for yourself. All of that being said, there is usually a published minimum amount of points that you’ll receive per dollar spent. Here are those numbers for some of the participating airlines:

Comparisons To Other Hotel Booking Websites

Search Comparison

Whenever I use a hotel booking website for the first time I like to get a gauge for how it stacks up against other hotel booking websites that I’ve used before. To begin with I always look at a few different factors: number of properties available, cheapest property, most expensive property.

I decided to do a search in New York City on the 28th of February, 2015 and compared it to some of the bigger hotel booking websites (Agoda, Booking.com & Hotels.com). I was looking at rooms for two, here are those results:

 KaligoAgodaBooking.comHotels.com
# Of Properties?464879?
Available Properties3233545381018
Cheapest Property$76.00$40.00$70.00$67.00
Most Expensive Property$810.00$795.00$403.98$916.00


One thing I really don’t like about Kaligo is the lack of being able to filter the results, I can’t choose which area or borough I want to stay in for example. I can’t select hotels that have a pool or kitchen either. I can basically filter by price, star rating and hotel brand and that’s it.

One caveat, Agoda had a bunch of rooms that were priced at $999. I assume this was hotels keeping space open as most of them were low end hotels or hostels, I did not include those in the maximum price calculation.

Price Comparison

It’s important to always do price comparisons when shopping for hotel rooms, it’s crazy how much the price differential can be. I decided to compare three hotels that Kaligo had in their inventory to Agoda, Booking.com & Hotels.com. I left the “best deal” filter on Kaligo and the top two results were:

  • The Surrey ($503.55USD 4,600 AA miles or 5,800 Avios)
  • Hotel Belleclaire ($266.76USD 2,800 AA miles or 3,100 Avios)

I then grabbed another hotel at random and this was:

  • Astor On The Park ($135.07 USD, 400 AA miles or 300 Avios)

I decided to only look at Avios & AA miles earned otherwise it would get too complicated. Below are two tables, one is just the base prices compared without looking at any loyalty points earned. The second table incorporates is basically the first table less any discounts/rebates I could have earned (e.g Hotels.com has a loyalty program where every 10 nights you get a free night and if you shop through Topcashback you also get 7% cash back).

Where possible we have tried to compare like to like (e.g same room type).

Table 1. Base Prices Compared

 KaligoDirectAgodaBooking.comHotels.com
The Surrey$503.55$502.00Not available$502.66$503.22
Hotel Belleclaire$266.76$128.57 (great value dates)$266.08$266.28$266.83
Astor On The Park$135.07$122.29Not available$151.53Not Available
Most Expensive Property$810.00$795.00$403.98$916.00


As you can see there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the prices when you compare them between third party sites, but there are massive discounts to be had if you book directly (especially at the Hotel Belleclaire, although that rate looks to be a limited time promo).  Kaligo was never the cheapest option and was ocassionally the most expensive option, but the differences we relatively minor (unless comparing it to booking direct).

Table 2. Prices Compared Including Discounts

We decided to give airline miles two different valuations, one a generous valuation of 1.75¢ per point and the other 1¢. The other websites have the following discounts currently (although keep in mind this changes quite a bit)

  • Agoda: 6% through topcashback
  • Booking.com: 4.25% cash back through Simply Best Coupons or $14 cash back per stay through Savings Star
  • Hotels.com: 7% through topcashback and 10% through their every ten night stays = one free night stay promotion.
 Kaligo (1.75¢ per point)DirectAgodaBooking.comHotels.comKaligo (1¢ per point)
The Surrey$402.55$502.00Not available$472.50$417.67$445.55
Hotel Belleclaire$212.51$128.57 (great value dates)$250.12$250.30$222.46$235.76
Astor On The Park$128.07$122.29Not available$137.53Not Available$131.07


Kaligo had the best price at The Surrey when the points were given a 1.75¢ valuation and the second best with a 1¢. Booking direct with Hotel Belleclaire & Astor On The Park was still the best options, but when those choices were removed Kaligo again was the best option with the higher point valuation.

Our Verdict

What I learned most from this research is how important it is to rate check to make sure you’re getting the best deal. I think Kaligo will make sense for some people that give high point valuations to airline miles, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for people that chase status or value hotel points highly.

I’ve got a few hotels to book in the next few months and will be trying to find a hotel that Kaligo makes sense for. The sign up Avios bonus is particularly interesting, I won’t be spending enough to get the full 10,000 points but an additional 3,000 points is nothing to sneeze at.

I wouldn’t recommend signing up for Kaligo until you’re sure your going to make a booking, that’s because the sign up bonuses are only available to people who haven’t signed up before. Kaligo will likely make most sense on high dollar amount bookings as the amount of miles you earn is dependent on this, whereas RocketMiles gives you at least 1,000 miles on all bookings (although I find RocketMiles to be less competitive on price to Kaligo).

Have you used Kaligo before? What were your experiences? Would you recommend it to other DoC readers? Make sure you follow me on twitter as I’ll let you know if any extra sign up bonuses become available.

Check out our review of other hotel booking websites that award airline miles:



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Sandra Spector
Sandra Spector

After using Kaligo (and Pointshound & Rocketmiles) I can not recommend Kaligo.
I had to cancel a 4 night booking & it took them over 5 weeks to refund my money after numerous emails & phone calls.
Until I saw the money refunded to my CC, I had zero confidence it would happen… after weeks & weeks went by.
I’d rather pay more than deal with their “system”.

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[…] reviewed Rocketmiles before (and their competitors, PointsHound & Kaligo and even compared the three), they are a hotel booking website that gives you airline miles rather […]

Debbie
Debbie

Kaligo Makes It Easier to Earn a 10,000 Mile Hotel Booking Bonus — for New And Existing Customers Alike
by Gary Leff on March 9, 2015

Last month I wrote about new hotel booking site Kaligo. They’re similar to Rocketmiles and PointsHound in that they kick you back airline miles when you book hotels through their system.

At the time they offered readers 1000 extra bonus miles with first booking. Plenty of readers took them up on the bonus. (For avoidance of doubt, they gave me a special booking link to provide this thousand mile bonus — I did not receive anything if you used it.)

That offer has ended. However, one of the frustrations that a few people expressed in the comments is that maxing out the standard new customer bonus of ‘up to 10,000 miles’ required making a hotel reservation worth $1000.

Kaligo changed things up and for March and April they’re offering the full 10,000 bonus miles when you spend that cumulatively across multiple reservations.

They are making this available for American Airlines miles and also with United miles.

What’s more, Kaligo tells me that this is open to both new and existing customers.

And of course this is on top of the usual miles earned for a reservation.

(Their British Airways offer is for up to 20,000 Avios after spending 1000 pounds.)

Kenneth Low
Kenneth Low

Most horrible hotel booking website ever. Will never ever use Kaligo again and I recommend all those thinking of racking miles and using Kaligo to BEWARE! After charging your credit card and debit funds, they send an e-mail to say that the hotel rooms I had supposedly booked are not available. If rooms are not available, why even charge the credit card for? Why can’t you charge only once there is a confirmed booking, so that a customer does not get shortchanged and disappointed or even worse? My Citibank credit card was charged on 24/06/2017: 24/06/2017 *KALIGO HOTELS SINGAPORE SG USD 7,499.62 SGD 10,726.84 On 26/06/2017, I see on my Citibank credit card statement online that a credit of: 26/06/2017 *KALIGO HOTELS SINGAPORE SG USD 7,499.62 SGD 10,092.04 Where did the difference of SGD 634.80 (SGD 10,726.84 – SGD 10,092.04) disappear to? The correspondence below speaks for itself. Minji Cho (Servicing Team) Jun 27, 11:37 +08 Dear Mr. Low, Thank you for your email. We have contacted with our hotel provider regarding the inventory update and now we can see the inventory has been upgraded in our site. Also, I would like to update you that we have already processed refund on our side and it might takes 5 working days to be reflected on your bank account (depend on your bank process). I have attached refund receipt for your reference. Should you require any further assistance, feel free to contact us. Kind regards, Minji Cho Attachment(s) Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 11.36.22 AM.png klow Jun 25, 09:24 +08 Please show proof that refund has been made. Thanks. From: Kenneth Low�Date: Sunday, 25 June 2017 at 4:44 AM�To: Kaligo Service Team �Subject: Re: [Servicing Team] Re: Your Pending booking for the Hotel Indigo London Kensington – Earl’s Ct on 1 July – 8 July 2017 I don’t think that your hotel suppliers have updated their latest room rates and availability in your inventories… See attached… Still shows available and at the same room rate I had initially purchased… thanks for trying to pull a fast one… klow Jun 25, 04:44 +08 I don’t think that your hotel suppliers have updated their latest room rates and availability in your inventories… See attached… Still shows available and at the same room rate I had initially purchased… thanks for trying to pull a fast one… Attachment(s) Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.43.09 AM.png Screen Shot… Read more »

Grace
Grace

I can’t speak for Kaligo but the difference in the refund for Kenneth is due to the difference in forex rates plus bank fees for foreign currency.

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