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Tired of searching flight award inventory for hours on end, only to be disappointed by the results? Let a relatively new tool do all of the heavy lifting for you. Point.me searches dozens of award programs for flight award space on the route of your choosing, all at the click of a button.
I put the website to the test. Here are my thoughts below.
- What is Point.Me?
- Point.me Membership Options
- Using the Tool
- Point.Me's Fabulous Features
- Point.me Areas for Improvement
- Our Take
What is Point.Me?
Point.me bills itself as “a better way to book with points.” In many ways, this statement is spot on. The website tool takes a few key user inputs and searches for flight awards on more than 100 different airlines. And it does so via more than 30 different frequent flier programs.
Even better, most major transferable points programs are incorporated into Point.me as well. Marriott Bonvoy appears to be missing, but dozens of airline loyalty programs are included.
Point.me Membership Options
A few different membership options exist, allowing prospective users to purchase temporary access, or up to a full year at once.
- Standard Plan: $129/year or $12/month (about a 10% discount to pay by the year instead of by month). Get the Standard Plan for just $1 for your first month using promo code AWARDWALLET.
- Premium Plan: $260/year (no monthly option) — includes everything in the standard plan, plus:
- 10% off concierge services
- A personalized call regarding points strategy
- 5 annual starter passes to gift to others
- Starter Pass: $5 for 24-hour access
Point.me offers additional award travel services as well. Most of these services start at $200 per passenger. Experienced award travelers might not need such personalized services, but newcomers to the hobby — or others who are looking to outsource these tasks — might be interested.
Full-service bookings, elite status-focused mileage run designs, and points strategy consulting are all advertised services on Point.me. Additional specialized services are available, too.
Using the Tool
Before conducting a search, users have the opportunity to personalize their Point.me experience. The site offers a way to connect accounts with AwardWallet, as a way to tie together search results with the points balances that users have. Those without an AwardWallet account (it's free to sign up!), or those who wish not to sync accounts, have the option to add program balances manually, too.
Next, it's time to conduct a search. As an example, I searched the route from Boston to London in business class for a random date in 2023. This route is one of the few international routes that are flown by American, Delta, and United, plus British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, too.
Search results can be ordered in three different ways:
- Quickest Flights
- Points Low to High
- Point.me Picks
Results show up in a very clean, clear way:
Point.me warns users that searches can take as long as two minutes to conduct. However, in my experience, these searches consistently took at least two and a half minutes each.
With that said, even if searches took five minutes, Point.me searches far and wide for award space in a much more efficient manner than one individual could do alone.
Point.Me's Fabulous Features
Apart from the efficiency of Point.me, the tool offers a number of features that stand out that make it even that more appealing.
Transfer Bonuses Are Incorporated
When conducting some sample searches, American Express offered a multitude of transfer bonuses to various programs. Pleasingly, Point.me reflected these transfer bonuses in the corresponding search results. For instance, a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic existed when the below search happened:
Instead of needing to factor in the transfer bonus, users enjoy the seamless incorporation of any existing transfer bonuses into search results. This eliminates the need for users to do any math on the back end, a step with the potential to go awry.
Complete Booking Options
Not only does Point.me identify flights that are available on points, but also it identifies the long list of possible programs travelers can use to book such flights.
For example, you can book British Airways award flights between Boston and London using British Airways Avios or a long list of other programs. Selecting such an award flight result brings up a menu that lists off some of the top options, as well as a button to click to show even more.
Step-by-step Booking Instructions
Once a decision is made on the booking program of choice, Point.me still offers more guidance. Click any of the “select deal” options from above brings up step-by-step booking instructions. These instructions not only describe the process but lists each step of the process and then include screenshots of what to expect along the way.
Step-by-step instructions will help first-time award travelers immensely, but they can also be useful for seasoned veterans, too. Even the most experienced travelers might book flights through a new program, in which case a little guidance never hurts.
Note that in the bottom-left corner of the screenshot above, Point.me warns that award availability can change quickly. This is especially important to remember when planning and booking award travel. While a transfer time indicator does show on this screen, AwardWallet keeps track of transfer times too, and with more detail.
For a moment, ignore the outrageous points cost for this flight option. A big plus of what shows in the screenshot below appears in the top-left corner: a mixed cabin indicator.
Not only does Point.me identify a mixed-cabin itinerary, but also it shows the percentage of the journey spent in a premium cabin. Some frequent flier programs do not identify mixed cabin awards or do not show how much of the journey is in which class of cabin. With Point.me, prospective travelers are not left to wonder about search results.
Point.me Areas for Improvement
While many features of Point.me stand out as positives, some opportunities for improvement still exist. That's only natural for a tool as new as this, and it would be unrealistic to expect absolute perfection.
No Option to Search Multiple Days at Once
One of my biggest complaints about Point.me is the lack of multi-day search functionality. Even when searching for a specific date, every major frequent flier program returns results for multiple days. These results may not be shown all at once, but the option is there to toggle a day (or a few) in advance or in arrears.
No such functionality exists for Point.me. Adding something like this to the tool would potentially make searches take even longer, but it would still be a nice option to have. Flexibility remains a key factor for award travelers looking to score that ideal redemption. A search option that captures such a flexible schedule would be a nice feature to have.
No Ability to Search Multiple Origin/Destination Airports
When I use Google Flights to search for paid flights, I like to include multiple origin and/or destination airports. Again, flexibility only expands flight options for travelers, and that includes airports. Unfortunately, Point.me does not allow users to choose multiple airports when searching for award flights.
Depending on the airline, search results for a specific airport in a metro area with multiple airports will return flight options for all of those airports. For instance, searching from JFK to LAX returns results from a multitude of New York area and Los Angeles area airports:
While users might appreciate the fact that search results return so many additional airports, others might not. Two major airports could be part of the same metro area, but be on completely opposite sides of that metro area. Plus, while there are filters for airlines, number of stops, times, and programs, no such filter exists for the actual airport results.
Potentially Misleading Estimates of Taxes/Fees
The points cost and the taxes and fees matched between Point.me search results and search results from corresponding frequent flier programs in nearly all cases I tested.
However, this did not hold true in all cases. In particular, the estimate of taxes and fees charged via Iberia Plus for a flight on British Airways did not tie out. When originally searching the Boston to London route, Point.me results indicated Iberia Plus taxes and fees would be $150 for a direct flight on British Airways.
However, searching the same flight on Iberia's website shows the true taxes and fees for this flight: $879.80!
Admittedly, when searching this routing at a later point in time, Point.me search results showed a much more accurate estimate of taxes and fees of $880. But, the inconsistency begets some skepticism regarding search results.
In any case, a best practice would be to actually search for the award space in question with the particular program in question to replicate results, especially before making any point transfers.
Point.me is a game changer for people searching for flight award space. Particularly for those who don’t enjoy conducting searches upon searches, this can be a really useful tool and could potentially save thousands of points for award travelers.
The efficiency of the tool alone makes it a game-changer and well worth its cost. Turning a single, hour-long search for award flights into a five-minute endeavor could be worth the monthly cost of a subscription, depending on how much you value your time. Multiply that time savings by the number of different award searches you do in a month — which could be lots — and the value of Point.me becomes more and more apparent.
Still, the site is not without its faults. Limitations such as single-day searches, single airport searches, and periodic misleading estimations of award taxes and fees hamper the usefulness of this tool.
In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons; the perfect award search tool may never exist. Those new to award travel, as well as those with plenty of experience, stand to benefit from Point.me.
Will you be signing up for Point.me?
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