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Hotel booking site Kaligo is back with its bonus KrisFlyer miles offer this week, offering up to 10,000 additional miles for hotel bookings made between now and 30th June 2019, for stays up to 30th September 2019.
We make a number of hotel bookings through Kaligo ourselves each year, though there are certainly a few factors to consider first. It’s not always the cheapest method (you’re usually ‘buying’ miles, though the rate can be attractive), you will forgo any hotel loyalty points accrual for your stay, and you may even miss out on your status benefits at some hotels.
That makes Kaligo better for stays at smaller independent properties, or at chains where you don’t hold any status and aren’t chasing their loyalty points.
The number of bonus KrisFlyer miles you can achieve with this promotion is based on the total amount spent on hotel bookings through Kaligo between now and 30th June 2019, for stays completed by 30th September 2019:
- S$600+: Earn 1,500 bonus KrisFlyer miles or
- S$1,700+ : Earn 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles or
- S$3,200+: Earn 10,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles
Remember you can only qualify for one of the three bonus levels, depending on your total spend over the next two months. Importantly though, any bookings you make during the promotional period (between now and 30th June 2019) count towards your spend bonus, even if the stay itself takes place later in the year.
Bonus KrisFlyer miles from this promotion will be credited to your account within 4-6 weeks after the completion of the required hotel stays.
If you’re going to take advantage of this offer you first need to register at kaligo.com/krisflyer-offer. You’ll also find the full terms and conditions at that page.
Once your email address is entered, it will automatically recognise if you have an existing account (both new and existing Kaligo account holders are eligible for the bonus offer). You should then get an email confirmation:
It’s not always a good deal
The way Kaligo works is that it shares some of the commission it receives for each hotel booking with you in the form of miles. That effectively means a ‘middle man’ is involved, which often means paying more than the best available rate for the stay. It also means some bookings will earn you more KrisFlyer miles per dollar than others (where the commission Kaligo receives is greater).
That’s not to say it is always more expensive though, we have found hotels on Kaligo that are actually the same rate and sometimes even cheaper than booking direct.
The important thing to do is shop around first, then consider whether Kaligo is giving you a good rate for the hotel of your choice.
Example: Bad deal
A 2-night weekend stay at Establishment Hotel in Sydney in an Establishment Room on a room only basis, refundable rate (12-14 July 2019) costs:
- S$859 booked directly with the hotel
- S$990 booked through Kaligo, with 3,780 KrisFlyer miles awarded
You are paying S$131 extra in this example for 3,780 KrisFlyer miles (3.47 cents per mile), which is a very poor deal. Our upper limit to buy KrisFlyer miles is 2 cents each, and even then there would have to be a very good reason for us to pay that rate.
Example: Good deal
A 3-night stay at the Park Royal on Pickering in Singapore in an Orchid Club room including breakfast, non-refundable rate (20-23 Jun 2019) costs:
- S$1,541 booked directly with the hotel
- S$1,627 booked through Kaligo, with 8,750 KrisFlyer miles awarded
Yes the Kaligo rate is more, with an additional cost of S$86, however you are receiving 8,750 KrisFlyer miles. That’s the equivalent of ‘buying’ miles at 0.98 cents each. We would definitely buy miles at that rate.
Example: Excellent deal
A 4-night stay at the Shangri-La in Tokyo in a Deluxe Twin room on a room only basis, refundable rate (15-19 Aug 2019) costs:
- S$3,815 booked directly with the hotel
- S$3,815 booked through Kaligo, with 21,550 KrisFlyer miles awarded
This is certainly not a cheap hotel stay, top-end hotels in Japan never are, but for the same rate as you’re paying by booking direct you can book through Kaligo and earn 21,550 KrisFlyer miles (worth over S$400).
That’s a significant sum, equivalent to over 10% ‘value back’ on the stay.
Status at chain hotels
Remember if you’re booking a chain hotel you won’t get any points or status credits in the hotel loyalty scheme for your Kaligo booking. Effectively you are sacrificing those for the frequent flyer miles instead.
This makes Kaligo more useful if you’re staying at an independent property, or at a chain you don’t bother collecting points / status with.
Some hotels will still give you your status benefits during your stay though, even if you book via an OTA like Kaligo. In our experience Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels usually will honour your status perks in these examples, some Hyatts do and some don’t, ex-SPG properties and Hilton’s usually won’t.
Arguably if you have already secured the status level you desire with a particular hotel chain, Kaligo may make more sense for your booking if the miles deal works out much better than the hotel points, provided the hotel will still honour your status perks during your stay, or if you’re booking a club room anyway in which case you’ll get most of the benefits regardless.
The wildcard – credit card points
If you have read our full article on Kaligo from December 2017, you’ll recall there’s normally a better way to earn more KrisFlyer miles (or other frequent flyer points) when booking through the service by crediting your miles to your credit card, provided you hold one of the following:
When loyalty points from these cards are subsequently transferred to KrisFlyer, or another frequent flyer scheme like Asia Miles or Avios, each of them will result in a fixed 10 miles per S$1 spent at Kaligo (including taxes), often over 4 times the basic earn level compared with crediting directly to KrisFlyer instead (which works on a variable rate based on commission, as mentioned above).
Let’s take the ‘excellent deal’ above, tapping into the top 10,000 KrisFlyer mile bonus level with a 4-night stay at the Shangri-La in Tokyo this August. If you have a Citi PremierMiles card, you’ll earn a fixed 10 miles per S$1 spent on the Kaligo booking, which actually works out as significantly more miles even after the KrisFlyer bonus rate is accounted for.
As the table shows, the room will still cost S$3,815 booked through Kaligo, the same as booking directly with the hotel, however using your Citi PremierMiles card you will earn 38,140 Citi Miles which is a 1:1 equivalent to KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles, Avios, etc.
In this case you’re far better off ignoring the bonus and crediting to Citi (or DBS Altitude / UOB PRVI Miles) instead, earning 77% more miles.
In fact our searches show it is nearly impossible for the KrisFlyer bonus offer to be of great interest to anyone already holding one of the aforementioned credit cards in Singapore. The credit card options almost always award more miles.
Simple enough – if you don’t hold one of these credit cards in Singapore:
- Citi PremierMiles (review)
- Citi Prestige (review)
- Citi ULTIMA
- DBS Altitude (review)
- UOB PRVI Miles (review)
you should be able to make this KrisFlyer bonus offer work well for you at certain hotels.
If you do hold one of those cards however, this offer is unlikely to result in you earning more miles, even once the bonus is accounted for. Check your hotel rate under both schemes carefully before committing and be aware of the best available rate booking directly with the hotel or through an alternative online travel agent too.
Remember if you do want to take advantage of the offer, you don’t have to achieve the bonus spend levels in a single booking. All your bookings are combined and you’ll be awarded based on the final amount you spent on all bookings made under the offer between now and 30th June 2019.
(Cover Photo: Ibrahim Mohamed)