(from Andy) As you know, I’m all about hotel and airline miles & points. As fun as accumulating these points is though, what is more fun obviously it redeeming those points for free travel! It can be a huge hassle, though, sifting through at least three different search programs, for the three different alliances, and that doesn’t even include outliers like Southwest or Jetblue. It can also be tricky internationally, because there is no search engine that shows all flight options within that certain alliance (well ok, maybe ANA does, but it’s search engine is pretty clunky).
Also, for hotel searches, awardmapper is a great option, but I wish at the same time it’d show availability and compare it to cash costs, to find out what your best option is. Why can’t there be a website that can compile all this information at once?
Enter Pointimize, a new-ish travel search engine that has been around for a little while offering hotel options, comparing points vs cash, and has recently introduced a beta version of flight searches as well. It’s very customisable, with the ability to import your awardwallet information, and to also set your own valuations of how much you think each hotel or airline mile is worth per cent. (of note, not all programs work with awardwallet, like United, so you might have to put those miles in manually). When you log in, you’re given the options to search for hotels or flights, with a pretty clean, simple landing page:
I did a hypothetical search for a hotel for 3 nights in Las Vegas in September, and this is what the search looks like:
It goes over the major US-based hotel loyalty programs, like Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Club Carlson, IHG, and SPG. For airlines, the new flight feature uses the 9 most-used loyalty programs in North America, as follows:
American Airlines (AAdvantage)
United Airlines (MileagePlus)
Alaska Air (Mileage Plan)
Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianMiles)
Air Canada (Aeroplan)
British Airways (Executive Club)
Iberia Airlines (Iberia Plus)
ANA (ANA Mileage Club)
Virgin Atlantic (Flying Club)
Very cool and very powerful. For the flight feature, I put in a hypothetical flight search from Osaka (KIX) to LAX, and here were the results:
Very cool, it gives out the flights with both points and cash options available, to see if a possible super-low cash fare would be a better value to you than using points would be. I will definitely be using this going forward! Of note, you cannot book directly through the website; for awards it directs to that chain or airlines website, and for cash it’ll direct you to an OTA.
There were a couple glitches I noted – there’s no tab to change your search within the results page, or at least any I could find; you have to go back to the homepage. Also, when clicking on the Pointimize logo at the top left of the page, to go back to the homepage, it errors out to a 404 error page. Also, I wish you could filter out which alliances you want to show or not, similar to what google flights does; for instance, I searched for Las Vegas to Okinawa, and the first couple hundred results were all Star Alliance, and I couldn’t filter out if I just wanted Oneworld options. A couple bugs, but again, the flight search is still in beta.
One of the founders of Pointimize, Adu Wu, has given us four complimentary invite codes so y’all can start using the flight search option. The first four people to comment on this post will be emailed an invite code within a week.