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A Follow-Up Post on the New and Improved Pointimize Tool

Few months ago I wrote a post on hotel awards search comparison tools. One of them was Pointimize My review of this particular tool wasn’t very kind (more like scathing, actually). To my surprise, the developer stopped by to comment,  and mentioned that his company was working on a complete revamp. I told him to let me know when they re-launch it and I would do a follow-up post.

Few days ago he has reached out to tell me that the tool has undergone a complete overhaul and he wanted me to review it again. I admit, I was kind of nervous. What if it’s less than stellar? But  a promise is a promise. To my relief, it turned out to be very user-friendly and intuitive. Of course, it had a few flaws, at least in my opinion. I was not paid to do this review and have no financial stake in the company.

So, let’s get to it. In this review I will focus only on hotel programs. When you go to  Pointimize website, you will see this page:

pointimize-6

I wanted to check all the options around Disney. When I put in Lake Buena Vista, the search returned  no results, so I changed it to Orlando. Aside from bizarre combination of two languages, this is indeed the Orlando your kids have come to know and love.

It appears the results matched  those displayed on  HotelHustle, another excellent tool. Here is how they are listed on Pointimize:
pointimize-serach

You can switch between points and cash, and see only rooms that are available. You can also sort by CPP (cents per point) ratio to see which redemption will give you the best bang for your buck. I was concerned that Pointimize would focus only on high-end properties, but it doesn’t appear to be the case. When you click on “price”, they list all the options from cheapest to the most expensive:

pointimize-search-2

I really like the fact that you can view the price on hotel’s website (right under “compare”) and see cheaper options via third-party hotel aggregators. This is very useful and will save you a ton of time. Some, like “Skoosh” I’ve never heard of, but I assume they are legitimate. Do keep in mind that when you choose to click through Pointimize, you are foregoing cash back and points from shopping portals.

You can also go to “more filters” in the top right hand corner:pointimize-1

It will let you narrow down your options according to your preferences:
pointimize-filtersYou can select only the chains you are interested in or sort by amenities.  You can also click on “Map” and when you hover your mouse over a dot, it will display the name of the hotel. Click on it, and it will provide  the details on cost and availability .

pointimize-5

One of the really cool features is the fact that you can add information on hotel points you currently have or sync it with your Awardwallet account:

pointimize-4

As you can see, you don’t have to provide your account number if you are not comfortable with it. You can also add information on transferable points you currently have by clicking on “credit cards”:

pointimize-programsFor example, I put in that I have 100,000 Citi Thank You points ( though I don’t actually have them). I wanted to see if Pointimize is aware of the fact that Citi partners with Hilton. It sure is.  pointimize-search-2 pointimize-programs-2

When you click on “transferable points” next to Embassy Suites by Hilton, it shows that you can transfer 100,000 Citi Thank You points to 150,000 Hilton points. Be aware that sometimes programs have transfer bonuses which may not be reflected on Pointimize.

Last time I reviewed this tool, I  mentioned that my search in Maui only returned 5 results each and every time. This is no longer the case, and the listings appear to be accurate.

What makes Pointimize special?

1) The tool is packed with many user-friendly features that come at no cost to users (for now).

2) It shows availability for Fairmont and Best Western, chains often overlooked  by hotel points comparison tools.

3) Most (not al) listings have photos of the properties, which can be helpful.

4) Ability to add balances in loyalty programs, including transferable points.

Few minor negatives:

1) Zoom-out feature on the map isn’t as good as the one on Awardmapper tool.

2) The search results take a while to display. It’s not a super long time by any means, just something to be aware of.

3) You may have to try various city names in the area for award search to register.

4) There is no way to set an alert for when award room becomes available. This is a unique feature of HotelHustle, and one that sets it apart from competition.

5) Personally, I don’t consider “Points value” feature to be very helpful. It goes by data on Thepointsguy website. While I have nothing against that particular blog, I think the value touted there is inflated on pretty much all currencies. Once again, I’m not throwing shade because this stuff is highly subjective. But basically, my concern is that a reader will see that  CPP on a specific property is lower than what Brian from The Points Guy thinks that currency is worth, and will choose to save the points and pay cash instead.

I understand why developers at Pointimize chose to include this feature since The Points Guy is industry’s leader, I just don’t believe it’s necessary. My two cents. When I mentioned it to Adu, this was his response:

“The reason we use TPG’s valuation is simply because they cover more programs. We also welcome valuation from other bloggers! In fact we plan to allow user to choose which blogger’s valuation they want to see in the future only if the bloggers also wish to do so!”

Fair enough.

 

Should you sign up for an account at Pointimze?

Yes, I absolutely think you should. As I’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t have to add any account numbers if you are not comfortable with it. But I do believe the tool is excellent and will make your “miles and points” life easier. When you go through this link, you can get free Diamond membership through June 30th, 2017. You have to sign up by November 30th. Once again, I receive no financial incentive for recommending it. Here are various membership levels:

pointimize-3

When you sign up, you don’t have to provide your credit card number. I imagine that Silver level will remain free, while the other levels will eventually have a monthly charge. That’s perfectly reasonable considering how much time and work goes into these type of tools. I wasn’t told the specifics, plus like I said, you can get Diamond status for free till the end of next June. I haven’t tried “flights” option yet, but plan to do it once it’s out of “beta” mode.

Bottom line

The latest version of Pointimize is  a huge improvement over the previous one. While I’m sure there are bugs, it appears to be user-friendly and most importantly, accurate. I’m definitely impressed by the redesign.

Readers, take a look and let me know what you think of this tool!

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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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6 thoughts on “A Follow-Up Post on the New and Improved Pointimize Tool

  1. It’s still a little clunky but it’s a good start. The valuations are a bit inflated as stated but at least it’s a starting point to determine if the redemption is a terrible value or not.

    I think it’s promising. Looks a bit nicer than hotel hustle and at least a bit more user friendly. A real nice feature would be if the website pointed out a BRG opportunity. That could be a huge win.

    • Civicmon, thanks for stopping by! There is a bit of a learning curve, for sure. I think the tool is fairly easy to use, but maybe it’s because I’m not a miles and points novice.
      As far as stating TPG valuation, you do have a point. It’s nice to have some sort of a baseline. I just think point value is very subjective, so it could be a bit confusing to newbies. And yeah, if they add BRG feature, it would be great. But I suspect it would be a bit challenging because BRG policies change constantly. It would be time-consuming to update. Plus, a very small percentage of hobbyists actually pursue BRG opportunities.

  2. Thanks for the write up. I had an email from them asking me to take a look at their upgraded site, and I forgot to. I actually like the new format…it’s another useful tool in finding reward stays.

  3. Unfortunately, the flight Beta seems to be inaccurate. It suggested I could book a flight using Korean Air miles but when I called to make the reservation I was told there was no availability yet the site continues to say that flights are available on the days I chose.

    • @Thomas Harwood I haven’t checked the flights option since it’s still in Beta mode. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it!

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