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Hotel Tools Comparison: Awardmapper Vs. Pointimize Vs. HotelHustle

If you are new to miles and points hobby, one thing I strongly recommend is getting familiar with various tools that are available to you for free. They can save you  tremendous amount of time, which you can, in turn, spend on more important things. These tools can be extremely handy when you plan on booking a hotel in an area that you are not familiar with.

However, I would like to caution you against blindly trusting the results because mistakes do happen. Occasionally, a property will switch categories and become cheaper on points, but award tool doesn’t yet have the updated information.

Also, new hotels may not show up for sometime. So, I recommend you view these tools as a starting point, but always do further research. And of course, it goes without saying that burning hotel points isn’t always the best option.

Today I want to compare Awardmapper, Pointimize and HotelHustle tools. One of my readers  actually requested that I do some digging, hence this post. I know a few of you are planning a trip to Maui. So, I’ll go ahead and use this destination as my guinea pig. Without further ado:

1)Awardmapper

You can’t search availability, but the map will show you a large area, as well as most properties bookable on points. Be aware, in the past I have found mistakes. When I put in Maui, a total of 14 properties were listed on the right:

awardmapper maui

You can zoom in and out, and also select the chain you are interested in on the left (or unselect it). I was surprised to see that Wyndham program is represented on Maui (a new discovery!)

Introducing Days Inn Maui Oceanfront  It’s not a fancy hotel and rooms bookable on points have double occupancy. Still, it looks like a solid deal for only 15,000 points.

Be aware, Awardmapper doesn’t show Fairmont properties, and Maui happens to have one: Fairmont Kea Lani All in all, I still think it’s a decent resource. Sure, it would be nice if it showed award availability, but since it’s free, I can’t really complain.

I  like the fact that when you zoom out, it shows award options on a large scale, a unique feature. Here is an example of Florida:

awardmapper zoom out

This  can come in handy if you are doing a road trip.

Pros: Shows large area and its hotel options, has a “zoom in/zoom out” feature,  displays most major chains.

Cons: No  option to search actual award availability, occasional mistakes.

2)Pointimize

This is a relatively new tool. In fact, I didn’t even know about it till the reader has mentioned it to me recently. Let’s check it out:

pointimize maui

As you can see, there is an option to check actual availability, which is a plus. However, this tool only lists 5 properties for Maui. I checked several dates, and those are the results each and every time. There are no Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Choice or Wyndham properties listed.

I’m not at all impressed with Pointimize tool when it comes to  searching  for hotel awards. My guess is that they have an agreement with certain properties and receive a commission if a reader books one of them. As you can see, there is an option to reserve rooms via paid rate.

That’s not wrong, of course, everyone has a right to monetize their site. I can only imagine how much work goes into these tools. Still, as a reader, you can definitely do MUCH better. No matter how you look at it, five out of fourteen properties  just isn’t a very good percentage.

Out of curiosity, I searched availability for Orlando and  the site listed four properties. Not good.  Maybe it’s a fluke, and  you’ll have  better success than me, but I doubt it.

Update: Reader Clint  did a search for Orlando and most chain properties were listed. I looked at it myself and he is absolutely right. This was not the case when I checked it yesterday, but perhaps it was a temporary bug.

Pros: Shows award availability.

Cons: Slim pickings when it comes to  properties’ listings, the site appears to be biased.

3) HotelHustle

This is actually my favorite tool of all. HotelHustle is Awardmapper on steroids. The tool is superb, just about perfect.  It shows results on the map, has the most extensive hotel listing, and displays real-time award availability. It also lists paid rates and CPP (cents per point) you’ll get on your award redemption.

There is even an option to set up alerts to let you know when the property becomes  available via points. There are a couple of quirks, though. When I put in “Maui” in search, here is the message I got:

hh 1

It’s not a big deal, just something to be aware of. Once I put in “Lahaina,” the results were displayed:

hh 2

There were a few hotels from neighboring islands mixed in with local results. In order to avoid this issue, just change the radius search on the left.

A neat thing about this tool is that it displays award availability, paid rate and CPP value all in one spot. You can click on property’s name, and it will take you to its respective website. Just like Awardmapper, it doesn’t show Fairmont hotels, so keep that in mind.

HotelHustle appears to be more up-to-date than Awardmapper. For example, there was a relatively new Hilton property listed via first tool: Ho’olei at Grand Wailea 

hh3

It’s crazy expensive on points, as some dates will set you back 239,000 HHonors points per night, ouch! Still, it’s nice to know that HotelHustle is trustworthy when it comes to listing new properties. I remember when I found out that there is now a Hilton hotel in Minsk (Belarus), it did show up on HotelHustle but not on Awardmapper.

There is one area, however, where Awardmapper has a slight advantage. Here is an example when you put “Orlando” in search using HotelHustle and then zoom out:

hh zooom out

See my screenshot of Awardmapper’s zoom-out feature for comparison. This isn’t a big deal because most people will only want to focus on one specific  area, but  just something to keep in mind.

My reader Clint has also added his observation:

One advantage of AwardMapper vs. HotelHustle is that AM saves your selected hotel chains while HH automatically reselects all hotel chains with EVERY SINGLE SEARCH, even a change in dates. “

Aslo, reader Uri has mentioned that HotelHustle doesn’t track Best Western, something I’ve missed in my initial analysis.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, a neat feature is the ability to set up alerts when your property becomes available on points. Drew at Travelisfree has a post on it which I recommend you read.

If you choose to sign up for alerts, you’ll get the first  5 free, and for $2.99 per month, you can get up to 30. It’s incredibly generous of Seth at Wandering Aramean blog to allow all of the fantastic features (plus 5 alerts) to be accessed for free.

Let me also refer you to several posts on HotelHustle written by the founder himself:

HotelHustle: Consolidated Award Search

HotelHustle: Got Points?

I also wanted to point out that when I started writing this article, HotelHustle tool was down. I reached out to Seth via Twitter and let him know about it. He responded within minutes and started working on fixing it right away. The tool was once again functional within 30 minutes. So, I recommend if you have an issue with it, simply reach out via Twitter or contact him via email.

Pros: Shows award availability, most up-to-date tool, lists all major chains except Fairmont, hands-on approach from Seth.

Cons: Covers smaller area compared to Awardmapper, insists on using city names/ airport codes.

Bottom line

At this point, HotelHustle tool is the winner, hands down. AwardMapper simply pales in comparison, but can still be helpful at times. Pointimize has a long way to go before it becomes a viable competitor in this space. Still, I do recommend you always do your own research because no tool is 100% perfect. They are like miles and points bloggers in this respect.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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13 thoughts on “Hotel Tools Comparison: Awardmapper Vs. Pointimize Vs. HotelHustle

  1. I agree with your assessment overall, but wanted to add a few things:

    1. Pointimize is a new tool, so it’s possible they are still working on adding more hotel partners and functionality…cut them a break!

    2. One advantage of AwardMapper vs. HotelHustle is that AM saves your selected hotel chains while HH automatically reselects all hotel chains with EVERY SINGLE SEARCH, even a change in dates. But yes I agree HH more than makes up from that shortcoming.

    • Clint, thank you so much for your feedback! I will add your point to the post. Very helpful! As far as Pointimize tool goes, I assure you, I’m not picking on them. I didn’t want my assessment to come off as harsh, I was simply being honest.
      I don’t think the tool is ready for primetime. If it said “beta,” I would definitely cut them some slack. But it’s presented as a 100% functional tool, which will supposedly show you all (or most) of your available hotel options. It’s not even close. Displaying four properties in Orlando area, a place that’s crawling with chain hotel options?
      I’m certain the founders did their research ahead of time and knew that chains like Hilton, Choice and others exist. It’s totally possible that the tool will be improved, and I’ll be happy to write a follow-up. I don’t have any skin in the game, and Seth most certainly doesn’t give me any kickback for mentioning HotelHustle. I’m too small of a fry anyway! 🙂
      Either way, I appreciate the feedback. My goal, as always, it to be fair but honest.

      • Hi MFF,

        I did a search for my hometown, DFW, on Pointimize and saw all the same options as HH. Then I did one for Orlando and saw hundreds of options there too.

        Are you sure you entered the destination correctly? I tried typing in MCO, but that didn’t work, so I just did MCO.

        Thanks!

        Clint

    • @Clint You are absolutely right! I checked it, and Orlando seems to show quite a few options. However, it was NOT the case when I looked at it yesterday, and I wish I would have saved a screenshot. That said, it looks like it was a fluke. I actually had a hard time getting Pointimize tool to load today because its server was down. Maybe they are still working out the kinks in the system.

      If you do a search for Maui, though, it does still display only 5 properties out of 14. Pointimize doesn’t show Best Western, Choice, and for some reason doesn’t have all the properties available in chains it claims to track. I will update the post and will mention what you said about Orlando. I’m not here to slander anyone or undermine their hard work. I’ll definitely keep an eye on this tool, and will be more than happy to eat my words someday.

      Right now I can’t figure out what Pointimize offers that isn’t already available via HotelHustle and Awardmapper. Well, aside from ability to book paid rates. Of course, I would never tell someone that their work is pointless. That’s not my place and market will determine if Pointimize has a point (pun intended). Maybe the developers have a long-term vision for it, but I haven’t been able to figure it out.

      • Hi MFF,

        No problem didn’t feel you were unfair – the Orlando thing sounded fishy so I checked it out for myself.

        Thanks!

    • Clint, don’t ever hesitate to call me out if you disagree on something! I promise, my ego can take it. I really appreciate you looking up Orlando on Pointimize. I definitely don’t want to exaggerate the flaws, but rather present the facts. Unfortunately, my time is limited, and I don’t always do research as thoroughly is I should.

  2. I think Hotehustle, while clearly my favorite does not show Best Western awards, while Awardmapper does, so for those who have such points, or have to get rid of Aeroplan miles somehow, it is worth remembering.

    • @Uri Good point! You know, I could have sworn HH tracks Best Western, but now I see that it doesn’t! Thanks for pointing it out. Best Western is not one of those programs that can be easily “hacked,” but it’s nice to have it listed for comparison.

  3. Hi MFF,

    My name is Adu and I’m a co-founder at Pointmize. I really appreciate your honest review, which is exactly what we need to improve this new tool!

    You have pointed out an issue that the numbers of properties at certain locations are far less than it should be. This is actually a serious problem of mapping algorithm within our system. It should have shown a full list of properties from the 6 hotel chains we support. Our team is currently working on fixing this issue, and hopefully we can get it done in the next week or two.

    We want to build Pointimize as an easy tool for travelers to compare both money options and points options for hotels and flights. We’d very much like to make the info presented as complete and as accurate as possible. While we’re going to bring more supported hotel chains and airlines’ frequent flyer programs, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts, suggestions and advises with me!

    Thanks again!
    Adu

    • @Adu Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m very sorry I could not give a better review at this time. But like I told you via Twitter, I’ll be happy to do a follow-up in the future, so keep in touch. I can only imagine how much work goes into these type of tools, and wish you best of luck. Oh, and I agree, having paid rates for comparison is definitely helpful.

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