Currently, I have 7,902 miles sitting in my United Airlines MileagePlus account. Given that generally I credit miles for my Star Alliance flights to my ANA Mileage Plan account, I was looking for a way to use the United miles so that they just don’t sit there.
Being located in Japan, one of the easiest (and fairly good) uses of the miles are domestic flights with ANA. Depending on the distance of the route flown, the domestic awards cost either 5,000 miles or 8,000 miles.
As such, I could easily go to a “5,000-mile destination.” However, that would leave me with about 3,000 miles in the account. Since I am trying to get it to zero, I tried to look for a way to earn the 98 miles missing miles and use it for a Tokyo to Okinawa ticket.
More specifically, I am thinking of using it for – given that the actual flown distance does not matter – a Tokyo to Okinawa flight via Sapporo. The reason being that I want to try the longest domestic flight in Japan from Sapporo to Okinawa.
After thinking about a couple of ways – each of which would either have involved costs too high to make it work getting the miles or would have earned more miles than necessary – my friend Yukihiro had a great suggestion.
Earning Miles for Agoda Hotel Bookings
Agoda is a hotel booking portal just like Hotels.com or Booking.com. The one notable difference is that with Agoda, you can earn airline miles for most of the stays through its PointsMAX program.
And, while the amounts are generally fairly small – in the 25 to 100 miles per night – range, that makes it perfect for situations like the one I described above. Especially if you have any upcoming hotel stays that you could book through the portal.
What makes the program even better is the amount of partners it has. United Airlines – the program that I had to get some extra miles in – is one of almost 50 partners that you can credit the miles (or points) to. Of those, more than 30 are airlines.
Below is the list of all the partner programs as of October 2017:
How to Use the Agoda PointsMAX Program
Using the program is extremely simple.
Step 1: Go to the Agoda website, and click on the PointsMAX icon in the top bar to bring out the partner selection screen.
Step 2: Pick the partner program that you want to get the miles credited to.
Step 3: Search for your desired hotel as you would on any other hotel booking site.
Step 4: Pick your favorite hotel and then the type of the room you want to book. While doing so, keep three things in mind:
- Not all hotels and room types earn miles.
- A higher price doesn’t always mean more miles.
- Even for same type of room at the same hotel, there might be a variety of different rates each earning a different amount of miles.
In either case, the maximum amount of miles you might earn is displayed next to each hotel in the initial search results.
And the accurate number of miles you will earn is displayed on each hotel’s page next to each room type and rate.
Step 5: Book – and don’t forget to include your mileage number when entering your personal information.
Step 6: Stay at the hotel and wait for the miles to credit.
Agoda PointsMAX Program Summary
I am not going to talk about whether the program is worth using in general – although, in many cases it might be.
However, without a doubt, the program is a lifesaver when it comes to earning minute amounts of miles like in my United Airlines case that I wrote about at the beginning of the post.
Have you ever used the Agoda PointsMAX program?
Do you have any other tips for earning sub-100 amounts of miles (both universal and specific to certain programs)?