EXPLAINED – Would I Use Kaligo?

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Surprisingly there isn’t much written about Kaligo out there in the public besides what is assumed.

Kaligo is an Online Travel Agent through-and-through with the key focus on rewarding you airline miles for hotel stays. Their approach is similar to that of PointsHound and RocketMiles and is in contrast to Hotel loyalty programs, where you earn in their program (assuming they have one) or the likes of Agoda, Booking.com or Hotels.com for that matter as they have their own rewards program.

Launched in 2014, Kaligo is Singapore based and is the brainchild of Ascenda Loyalty who has worked with the likes of El Al to promote their hotel booking platform after making a flight reservation.

The key benefit of Kaligo is the inventory. It surpasses that of PointsHound and RocketMiles combines – although that said, RocketMiles doesn’t have the best inventory to begin with.

Kaligo does not charge VAT (Value Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) in any jurisdictions and therefore we do not provide any tax invoices.

How Many Kaligo Miles Will I Earn?

While many websites in Online Travel Agent space run their own loyalty programs Expedia, Agoda and Booking.com are notable examples, offering cashback or nights off in reward, Kaligo is a bit different. Kaligo rebates you in the form of miles, therefore,  you can expect to see quite a large number of miles being rebated back to you.

However, Kaligo Miles are not tied to the property or price. As a result, there’s no way to estimate how much you’ll earn without doing a search on Kaligo. More Importantly, the miles earned differ between airlines too based on the weight airlines put on 1 redeemable mile – I only make this point as many reviews compare the same hotel between two airline loyalty programs.

The exact type of earnings that you’ll earn on a given stay are tied by the agreed commission structure between Kaligo.

Unsurprisingly, the more you spend with Kaligo the more miles you can earn.

Miles & Hotel Elite Status When Booked Through Kaligo?

Members of Kaligo have access to over 550,000 hotels worldwide, including boutique and non-chain properties across the globe. You receive a generous pile of airline miles when you book, but your stay will be treated as non-qualifying and you won’t receive hotel points or, usually, status benefits. 

In general, this rule remains true with all Online Travel Agents – usually, their agreements with hotels is that they often commit to a number of nights with a hotel or earn a commission from selling nights and therefore able to offer the nights to you or me at a slightly reduced rate.

The flipside is that the hotel loses revenue and therefore are unwilling to offer or unable to financially support the perks booked through such sites. If you’re an elite member with a give hotel program or are working toward getting elite status, you’ll probably want to book directly with that brand or use Kaligo to select a boutique property that isn’t affiliated with a program.

Does Kaligo Provide Good Value?

Kaligo says it has a “best-rate system built into the software” but I am always a bit dubious of such claims.

What’s more, prices can vary from ‘market’ to ‘noticeably higher’ so always compare before booking. Its unlikely that Kaligo will be the cheapest on the market. It doesn’t claim to be and doesn’t target the market that is looking for the cheapest deals.

Kaligo clearly targets the market that is focused on airline miles. Therefore, don’t be surprised if prices aren’t the cheapest, or in some cases even more expensive than booking direct.

You should be comparing the cost of buying miles directly from the airline as a comparator and if the difference (having shopped around) is worth it.

Other factors you should be considering is cancellation policy and if there are any other fees if you require to change your booking.

I would only consider it ‘good value’ if the final price is in a reasonable margin when tallying up the bonus points earned through Kaligo and the credit card points you’ll earn from the purchase vs. booking direct or other Online-Travel Agents.

In Summary

Kaligo provides an option for earning points, but it does come with a cost.

Would I blindingly book all my trips through Rocketmiles – probably not – it doesn’t fit the ‘good-value’ ethos I am for, but there are certain use cases for it such as the extra cost quickly getting you up to the miles you need to make a first-class redemption of instance.

But generally speaking, I would not be booking with Kaligo unless it was similar to the price I would have paid direct and provided enough miles to pay off the cost difference.

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