Point.me is an excellent tool for searching award fares and helps save valuable time. Indeed, travel hacking relies on an “earn and burn” strategy, and the burn phase can be very complicated, time-consuming, and overwhelming, especially for beginners.
With generous welcome bonuses on travel credit cards, you may find yourself with a lot of points very quickly and without much effort, as they are given simply after meeting the minimum required spending. Optimizing points earned organically is also very straightforward if you use the appropriate card for the right purchase category.
Point.me - What is it?
It will span a search across over 30 different loyalty and 100 airline programs to find the best possible value for your redemption.
Here are some examples of what Point.me can cover in terms of programs:
As you can see in the Credit Card Rewards section, there are many US-based programs. In addition, there is limited support at this time for loyalty programs marked with an asterix.
Point.me - How does it work?
The process is quite simple where you input your details (origin, destination, dates, class of service, etc.) and Point.me will show you the results in real time.
On the result page, you can filter and sort them to see what applies to you; by adding and storing your card and loyalty programs details on the top bar, you can save time and browse only what you can book.
You can add your award programs manually or by syncing AwardWallet, a free point tracking tool, with one push of a button.
Indeed, some programs will be irrelevant since you either don’t have any points or miles with them or you don’t have access because you didn’t venture out with American credit card game yet.
For example, when searching for a flight from Montreal to Paris, we can see the following:
I’ve sorted the flights by the lowest number of points needed since we usually try to find the option that will cost us the least amount of points!
On this page, you can also see what you need from the airline’s loyalty program, but from the transfer partner too. This is an efficient way to compare which is the best program (Aeroplan or Flying Blue in this case) to transfer your points to, depending on what you earn, like American Express Membership Rewards.
It is important to note that the American Express Membership Rewards shown on Point.me is the United States program. Therefore, the transfer ratio is different from the Canadian Amex loyalty program.
US Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio (with occasional bonuses) to Flying Blue, while Canada’s Membership Rewards are set at 1:0,75. You must refer to this article to confirm the right ratio for your transaction.
Also, the taxes and fees displayed are in US dollars so you can use Xe.com to get the accurate exchange rate and evaluate your cheapest options.
Nonetheless, you can quickly compare the options with Point.me, and double-check with the airline’s search engine. The next two screenshots show the same flights and dates in their respective programs.
The disparity in the number of Aeroplan points shown for the flight on Point.me compared to Air Canada’s website can be explained by the preferential pricing I am entitled to by being an Aeroplan credit card holder.
In this situation, when we take into consideration Canada’s Membership Rewards transfer ratios, the cheapest way to travel from Montreal to Paris on my selected date is with Flying Blue as it would require a 20,000 MR transfer instead of 33,000 MR when going with Aeroplan.
Point.me also has a mixed-class indicator that appears in the top-left corner of affected flights and shows the percentage of the journey spent in a premium cabin, which is what we want to know!
When you’ve selected your flight, click on “View Booking Options” where you will be taken to a new page where you can review your flight details. There will be a “point.me pick” option where an algorithm narrowed down to the best redemption for this flight, and underneath, you will see the other bookable choices.
After choosing your preferred redemption, it will bring you to a page that summarizes the three main steps you must follow to book that flight.
Point.me also makes it very easy for beginners as they will walk you through each of the booking steps, with screenshots and videos, showing you where you must click.
Point.me - Concierge
If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, Point.me also offers a concierge service that can handle your booking with a personal and human touch. Their team is very experienced with award redemptions and can help build complex itineraries and find the best options for you.
The concierge service costs $200 US per passenger, but you only pay after you’re satisfied with the itinerary and flights the Point.me team has come up for you.
To use this service, you need to send in a request form with all the details necessary to make your dream redemption come true and pay a $25 US fee to get the process started (good faith search fee). This initial $25 US fee will be credited to your final bill should you complete a booking with them.
Point.me can also help you catapult yourself to an Elite Status of your choice by creating itineraries to reach your goals. This is especially useful when you are close to a tier and would like to maximize one or two trips to get there.
Like the Concierge service, the consultation fee is $200 US if you are happy with the result, and they require a $25 US good faith search fee (which can also be applied to your final bill).
Point.me - Costs
Here’s a summary of Point.me’s different service costs. There is also a free trial where you can make 3 award searches within 24 hours of signing up.
Since all prices are in US dollars, make sure you employ a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange fee! The transaction seems to code as “travel agencies and tour operators” so I would use the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® to reap 6X the points and save on the currency exchange rate.
Point.me - Self-Serve Pricing
Access to Point.me’s award search engine are as follows:
|Plan||Standard Plan||Premium Plan||Starter Pass|
Point.me - Concierge Pricing
Here are Point.me various concierge services and pricing:
|Service||Full-service booking||Earn Elite Status||Points Strategy Consulting|
|Cancellations and redeposits for concierge-booked itineraries||$100/passenger|
|Cancellations and redeposits for outside-booked itineraries||$200/passenger|
|Round-the-world and complex bookings||Custom quote|
|Honeymoon bundle (use wedding expenses to fund “free” luxury trips)||From $800/couple|
Point.me was made both with beginners and seasoned travellers in mind. Indeed, with one click, you can see and compare all the available redemption options, which saves lots of time.
When you spend hours searching each airline’s award inventory and are disappointed with the results, the cost of Point.me makes it all worth it even when you consider the areas where Point.me could improve to level up to Seats.aero on a few points, such as:
- The ability to search for multiple days at once and flexible dates
- The ability to search multiple origin and destination airports (like Google Flights Explore tool)
- The ability to search sister airports simultaneously (for example, New York’s JFK, EWR and LGA airports)
- The ability to search open jaws or multi-city destinations
- The ability to select the region corresponding to your loyalty programs, such as American Express Canada and add Canada’s missing major transfer partners.
- Taking into preferred pricing, you can have either with status or by being a credit card holder.
You can also use Point.me to get an idea of what programs you should focus on. However, you will quickly see that American Express Membership Rewards will come up often as a transfer partner. Therefore, it is considered one of the best for points earning as you will have great flexibility.
Here are all the American Express Membership Rewards credit cards available in Canada: