Pointimize: A New Tool to Find Available Award Night & Flight Cost Information
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It’s great when new travel tools are created to help folks with miles & points save time and avoid frustration!
There’s a new site called Pointimize, which aims to be a one-stop search tool to find available award nights across multiple hotel chains and award flights at many airlines. The site has many other features as well!
The site is really new and updates and improvements are constantly being added. But I thought I’d share my experience using the site so far, including the benefits and drawbacks.
Who Can Use Pointimize?
There are 2 parts of the Pointimize site. You can search for hotel award nights in a destination. Or you can search for round-trip award flight information.
To use the basic functions of the hotel award night search tool, you don’t need an account.
The flight search feature is currently in beta testing mode and is only available to folks with an invitation code.
There are some added features of the site that require a log-in, like linking your loyalty accounts via AwardWallet. To do this, you’ll need a Facebook or Google account.
If you’re not interested in logging in with your Facebook or Google account, Pointimize plans to launch their own account management system by September 2016.
Using Pointimize to Find Hotels
I’ve written about Hotel Hustle, a hotel award search tool that shows you available award nights across multiple hotel chains. And you can receive alerts when award nights are available.Pointimize is similar and lets you find available award nights and the cost for hotels in a city or destination based on your dates of travel. It returns results from 6 major hotel chains:
To search on Pointimize, simply enter your destination and dates of travel.
In this example, I searched for a 1-night stay in New York.
This is a quick and easy way to see how many points it costs for an award night at different hotel chains.
And you can filter the results of your search by specific hotel chains. This can be helpful if you only have points for certain award programs.
And like Hotel Hustle, you can view the value of different chains’ award points. If you don’t agree, you can set custom values. Then, compare the point values to your redemption values to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck!
You can’t filter hotels by a specific area like Times Square or Manhattan. But you can view a map of hotels in a city or neighborhood.
Unfortunately, the map shows you all hotels in a given area, even if there are no award nights available. So you might waste time clicking on the different markers to find available award nights.
If you sign-up for access and link your hotel loyalty accounts via AwardWallet, you can view your point balance to see if you have enough for a certain award night.
You’ll still need to book your award night directly through the hotel website. But it’s definitely a time saver to have information for award nights at 6 hotel chains in 1 location.
Using Pointimize to Search Flights
I mentioned the flight search tool is still in beta testing. There still seem to be a few bugs, but I’ll share my experience.
If you’d like to test the flight search feature, you can get an invitation code on this FlyerTalk thread.
The goal of the flight search tool is similar to the hotel functionality. Find the award flight cost and compare it to the cash cost of a flight.
I searched for a round-trip coach flight from New York to Los Angeles in early September.
The search results show the award flight cost in miles and the cash cost of the flight for major airlines.
From the results, you’ll see the site shows the cost of a United Airlines award flight. The site does not support JetBlue points. But if I linked my Hawaiian Airlines account, Pointimize would show how many Hawaiian Airlines miles I could use to fly on a JetBlue route.
I clicked through and selected a round-trip non-stop flight on United Airlines. The results show it would cost 25,000 United Airlines miles.
Then, I went to United Airlines Airlines to search for the exact award flight I found on Pointimize. But United Airlines shows the actual cost is 37,500 United Airlines miles.
Pointimize is not pulling in real-time award flight costs. Instead, it’s showing the lowest level cost based on the airline’s award chart.
Similar to the hotel search, the results are just a reference and you’ll still need to book directly through the airline.
At this point in time, it appears only select airline frequent flyer programs are included in the search results. The airline programs include:
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Hawaiian Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Although, I searched a round-trip flight from New York (JFK) to London and Pointimize did not show the award flight cost for an American Airlines flight. It’s possible that certain airline information is still being added to the site.
Are There Drawbacks?
The hotel search tool includes results for 6 hotel chains, which is fewer than what other hotel search tools already have. Plus, you can’t add alerts to get notified if an award night becomes available.
The flight search tool is still in testing, but there are bugs and functionality issues.
First, not all airlines are included in the search results. So there’s no telling if you might be able to save miles by flying a different airline if it’s not included in the search.
Another drawback is you can’t search one-way flights. Some folks like to book a one-way award flight and pay cash for a return flight.
And the flight search tool doesn’t appear to show taxes and fees for award flights. This can be a major factor in deciding whether or not to book an award flight.
Until the flight search tool is improved, I’d recommend using airline award charts. Because you’ll get a better idea of the actual cost of a certain flight. Then, search the airline’s website to see if an award seat is available at that price.
Bottom LinePointimize was developed to help folks have a one-stop search tool to find available award night and award flight cost information. I like that you don’t need an account to search a destination for the cheapest award night at 6 different hotel chains.
But I prefer using Hotel Hustle to search for hotel award nights because it includes more hotel chains. And you can receive alerts once award nights become available at a specific hotel.
The award flight search tool is still in testing and needs some improvements like confirming accuracy of award flight costs and adding additional airlines to the search results.
Have you used Pointimize? I’d like to hear about your experience!
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