Points have come a long way, but many of the best ways to get from one place to another remain cryptic.
Like — why would someone hoping to fly from the US to Japan in comfort ever think of transferring their credit card points to a British airline, to book flights on their Japanese partner airline, because that combo will provide the best comfort for the least amount of points? You just wouldn’t, unless you’re a regular forum or blog reader.
In response, many tools were invented over the years to make finding seats easier for those with that nerdy level of knowledge and intrigue, but that still left about 99% of consumers who didn’t know which seats or airlines to search in the dark.
Finally, a tool has been invented for the other 99% and also that 1% too, which takes all the work out of maximizing points. It’s truly revolutionary, kinda like Google Flights for points and even better, we have a free trial for you.
Well, at least the first 2,000 of you.
The Launch Of point.me
point.me is the new tool from industry veterans and co-founders Tiffany Funk and Adam Morvitz. The two have worked behind the scenes booking awards flights using points for decades, and the wealth of experience created a unique ability to highlight pain points in the points and miles process.
And yes, there have been many of them. Most people never even bother to link their loyalty programs with credit card programs because of the historical challenges. That is undoubtedly set to change.
Thanks to Point.me, GSTP would argue many of these booking woes no longer exist. Investors including former Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dropbox founder Sujay Jaswa, as well as others like Carl de Marcken and David Baggett the co-founders of ITA Matrix, of which Google Flights is built off of, tend to agree.
From knowing the “hacks”, like which points offer the best value on certain flights, or the painful lengths people must go for finding availability, and even when you’ve found both — how hard it can be to actually get a flight booking done, the team have created what’s basically a one search tool that unlocks decades of oft clandestine knowledge.
For the first time ever, finding the best possible way to fly from one place to another using points is as simple as one search.
You enter city pairs and all the best live availability options are right there. Another differentiator is that super detailed, step-by-step instructions for actually booking are there too. They even account for the nuances of each program, which can raise hairs.
Over time, multi day flight searches and drop in bookings, where all the information is already filled out and ready to book with a click are expected to become a part of the experience. In other words, it might get even easier.
Big Business For Airlines, Banks And Users
Many teams have tried to create apps like this, but many *cough, the TPG app* have failed in their approach. That’s largely because greed or arrogance ignored why this can work for all, and why it matters: it’s a discovery tool.
Airlines people never would’ve considered moving their points to – can majorly benefit from new audiences discovering the power of their loyalty currency. Credit card issuers can also benefit from improved experience in cardholders feeling the value from their rewards, rather than frustration.
The “there’s no availability” motif is harder to play when all possibilities are exhausted for you in a seamless single search. Quite often there is availability — it’s just in places no ordinary user would ever think to look.
Transfers of credit card points into airline miles generate real revenue at a time when airlines are eager to attract new customers, and if their points prices are fare, or their availability is good, smaller airlines can compete to earn a better share of credit card points transfers.
If the app grows to a large enough scale, legacy airlines might even adjust or tweak pricing to appear at the top of searches, much like they do for cash bookings. Many airlines with great loyalty programs, but without the name visibility in North America will compete on an even playing field, even if the flights booked are for travel on other airlines.
All The Permutations Of Your Points
The point.me search returns results from all possible airlines, based on the points you have to play with. They know the partners of the credit card partners and all the many combos that can create.
So, if you say you have Amex Points, the tool will search for all the many hundreds of possibilities, based on all the potential transfer partners Amex has, and many of which most people will never have considered.
Like, transferring Amex Points to leading Australian airline Qantas, to get from the US to Europe. Or like the example we started with, of transferring points to Virgin Atlantic, to fly on their partner ANA between the US or Europe and Japan. Crazy, right?
Qantas is an Amex partner, and has access to flights on partners who do fly between the US and Europe at fantastic points rates. No one should be expected to know that, but point.me provides that knowledge in simple search results, with live availability.
A handy guide then tells you exactly what you need to do to complete the booking, with a granular level of detail which should enable even the most timid of points users to book with confidence.
All you need to know is where you’d like to go, and what points you have. The search tool provides you with the best results, for the least points and cash to get you where you want to go.
Free Trial For GSTP Readers
We get nothing from this. I tried the tool not long ago and was absolutely blown away by how game-changing it will be for people. No one will ever need to read points blogs for the booking hacks again!
Simply head to point.me and enter code: GSTP for a free 24 hour trial. The trial starts when you enter it, so be sure to use it in that time. point.me was kind enough to offer these codes to help people get familiar with the service and we hope you enjoy.
It is not clear from the website how to sign up using this code
Go to sign up and then “I have a code”. The service has been used as a credit card benefit for a major bank recently, so watch this space for more access!
Question Gilbert – transfer partners for Amex are not global. Meaning that if you have a Canadian vs. UK vs. USA Amex, the options available to you differ. Does the tool take that into account?
I think that’s one for them. One could take the availability it turns up and see whether they can make the transfers either way, based on their available partners.
We show most of the non-US frequent flyer programs as individual redemption options, regardless of who their card partners are. So if you have a UK Membership Rewards card, for example, we support nearly all of their transfer partners (SAS and Finnair are not 100% yet, but we have all the others).
When it comes, to showing where you can transfer your credit card points specifically, right now our graphics and instructions only show the steps for the US credit card programs. But I think it could still be useful for you to see the space available, you’d just have to keep a mental note of which programs are applicable to your country for now.
You wrote, “For the first time ever, finding the best possible way to fly from one place to another using points is as simple as one search.” Juicy Miles the precursor to Point.me did exactly that. The engine was fantastic. The difference as far as I can see is an expanded list of partners in the search. But the JM engine was one search and easy to use. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Hi Paul… this is the team behind Juicy Miles largely. That tool was never meant to be used in wide public scale, so for the consumer side, this really is the first time. Hope that adds some clarity.
This is good stuff
I have a flight on CX for June 1 which is likely to cancel due to HK transit suspension. Return on Finnair which will probably cancel too due to Russian airspace. I will need alternatives for sure.
Major Challenge #1: no relative date searching offered.
Major Challenge #2: no filtering unless you’re willing to fork over your credentials to AwardWallet (a separate service) and then link the two.
This pretty much kills the value of paying for the point.me service. Let folks filter. If I purchase your service, let me set up preferences for the awards programs and credit cards I want without a second thought.
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