How to Find Award Flights with Point.me
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Figuring out how to use your points and miles can be overwhelming. Mastering one airline's award pricing methods and quirks can be difficult enough. The complexity grows quickly as you consider points transfers from bank programs and booking awards through partner airlines.
Wouldn't it be nice to have just one website that could do it all for you? That's the service Point.me aims to provide — for a cost. In this guide, we'll dive into what Point.me is, how it works, how much it costs and if it's worth the price.
What is Point.me?
Point.me is a paid service that searches for live award availability across dozens of airlines. In addition to providing award availability, Point.me search results show you all of the cheapest ways to book the available award flights using points and miles.
Simply put, using one website to search award availability across dozens of airlines is game-changing. Airlines have continually added new roadblocks to searching award availability on their websites — from requiring travelers to log into their account to search to putting time delays on award search results.
These roadblocks can make searching for awards on airline websites unnecessarily frustrating. Using Point.me lets you avoid this hassle and get a curated list of the best award pricing options for your trip.
» Learn more: Don't just redeem miles — redeem them wisely. Here's how
How to search for awards using Point.me
Once you have purchased a Point.me subscription, you can start an award search on the Point.me homepage. Choose one way or round trip, the number of passengers, economy/premium economy or business/first class, the origin and destination airport, and the departure date. Then, click "search."
Point.me will take 1-2 minutes to search the 33 programs it's currently checking for live award availability. As it searches, you can browse the search results. Just keep in mind that better options may still be found.
Search results are sorted by flight duration as a default. However, you can switch to sorting by the cheapest options or "point.me picks." In the example search results below, Point.me found 126 award flight options that could be booked with points and miles. The quickest flights are nonstop Delta Air Lines flights costing 28,500 SkyMiles.
Switching to "point.me picks" highlights ever-so-slightly longer nonstop Delta flights costing 22,000 SkyMiles each way.
But the cheapest award flights currently available on this route are one-stop Southwest Airlines award flights costing 18,869 Rapid Rewards points each way.
In addition to the sorting options, you can filter search results by airline, number of stops, and departure and arrival times.
Once you pick the flight option you want, click the "View booking options" link to see a list of the ways you can book that award flight. As you'll see, Point.me looks well beyond the airline's own award program.
For this Delta award option, Point.me recommends transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles. Alternatively, you can book using AeroMexico Club Premier points by transferring points from AmEx, Capital One, Brex or Citi ThankYou Points.
Once you select the booking option that's best for you, Point.me provides specific instructions for how to transfer points and book the award flight.
» Learn more: Best transferable points currencies and their partners
How much does Point.me cost?
Point.me offers several pricing levels depending on the subscription length and level of support. The standard plan allows unlimited self-service award searches for $12 per month or $129 per year. Or, you can buy a Starter Pass for $5 to get 24 hours of unlimited award searches.
If you don't know where to start with your points and miles, Point.me also offers a concierge award booking service for $200 per passenger.
It's possible that you may be targeted to use Point.me for free. From September 2021 to March 2022, some American Express cardmembers received an offer to use a special Point.me-powered "American Express Membership Rewards® Points Search."
While that specific trial is no longer available, select AmEx cardmembers are still targeted to receive free access via emails and AmEx Offers. So, check your inbox and AmEx Offers regularly if you’re hoping to try out the site for free.
Which credit card should you use to pay for Point.me?
In researching this article, we paid for a couple of 24-hour passes to test out how the purchase would code on different credit cards. In each case, the transaction coded as "travel agencies and tour operators."
That means you'll want to use a credit card that provides a category bonus for general travel purchases to maximize your point earnings. Here are some credit cards that should provide a category bonus on Point.me purchases:
Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 3x points on travel.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card — 3x points on travel (on up to $150,000 in combined spending in bonus categories).
Citi Premier® Card — 3x points on air travel and hotels, including travel agences.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 2x points on travel.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Is Point.me worth the price?
Value is subjective. If you're collecting points and miles to save as much money as possible on travel, it could be hard to justify paying $129 per year for a service to search award availability — searches you can do for free on airline websites.
With that said, Point.me can be valuable for travelers who don't have the time to learn transfer partners, airline alliances, the ins and outs of searching for award availability, and all of the other nuances of airline award travel. With Point.me, you have the ability to search the route and date that you want and have all of that work done for you.
Thankfully, travelers have other options besides shelling out $129 per year to get access. The $5 Starter Pass allowing 24 hours of unlimited searches is a great way to test drive the product. You also have the option of paying $12 per month for the standard plan. If you think you'll use Point.me more than two times a month, it will be more economical to buy the monthly plan rather than buying day passes.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card