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There are some great miles and points tools out there that I use to help me keep things straight. Some are tools that I use to track spending, others are useful in managing my miles and points, and still others are helpful in actually MAKING travel.
I thought it would be interesting to try and catalog my “Top 10” list of miles and points tools.
Top 10 miles and points tools
Here is my take on the top 10 miles and points tools, counting down from #10 to #1.
10. Mile Matrix
Well you knew I had to start with my own miles and points tool, right? :-D. The Mile Matrix is a site that attempts to answer the question of how many miles does it take to go from any country to any other country, on any airline.
I’m still working on adding additional airlines and their award chart, and since Delta has removed its award chart and gone to a more “make up the price they want” rules, their values may not be as valuable. Still, it’s very useful to have award charts for every airline in one convenient place
9. Finding hotel rooms on a route
Another great miles and points tool that I’ve used recently when going on a roadtrip is the ability that some brands offer on their website in order to find hotels along a route, instead of just ones in a particular city.
This is useful when you’re taking a multi-night trip and don’t have a strong preference on where you stop for the night. Unfortunately it seems like only IHG and La Quinta offer this functionality.
8. Hotel Hustle
Hotel Hustle is a miles and points tool developed by Wandering Aramean that gives you an idea of when you should use award points and when you might be better off using cash for a hotel night stay. Here’s an example for Seattle
So you can see for each of the hotels how much the cash rate is, as well as the points needed to book it. It gives you the cents per point cost as well, so you can see if it is a good deal. There are also options where you can put in your own valuations for different brands of points, which can also be helpful.
ExpertFlyer lets you see seat assignments, do searches for award availability (and set alerts for availability to open up) as well as manage routing. I know many people use this tool a TON and I would possibly have ranked it higher except there is a monthly cost (unlike all of the other tools on the list).
6. Google Flights / ITA Matrix
ITA Matrix is one of the miles and points tools that lets you find pricing for flights, and has many advanced options.
Travel Codex has a good series about how to use ITA Matrix. I’ve also included Google Flights in this because ITA Matrix is owned by Google, and the same engine powers the Google Flights application, which I’ve also found to be very useful in trying to figure out flight prices and destinations.
I covered Rome2Rio a few weeks ago – it’s basically Google Maps Transit on steroids. It’s especially helpful in cities that you’re not used to – giving you different train, bus and other public transportation options, along with their approximate cost and where you can buy tickets.
For more information about Rome2Rio, see Rome2Rio – it’s Google Maps Transit on steroids!
4. Airline Route Mapper
Airline Route Mapper is a miles and points tool that I covered last month which shows the routes that different airlines fly. You can filter by airlines, air alliances, distance of flight, or several other different filters.
The only downside is that the flight database is a year or so out of date, so it’s not 100% correct.
3. Award Mapper
Award Mapper is my go-to tool for finding hotels. For a given city, you can filter by hotel chains as well as the number of points needed for a given night.
The ability to see graphically where the hotels are is very nice. In doing this review, I realized that it has many similarities with Hotel Hustle (ranked #8), and they appear to be very similar. I guess the only reason I have this one so much higher is because it’s the one I first started using and am more familiar with. I’d be curious to hear from readers who have used both about which they prefer.
For my review, see Award Mapper – finding hotel rooms
AutoSlash is the tool I use for car rentals. It does have the ability to book your car originally in some cases, but the real value is when you submit a car rental reservation that you made with a rental company directly. Autoslash will continually search for your dates and locations at all the major companies, and if it finds a cheaper deal, it will alert you. You can see below for a $40 savings that I had on my recent car rental trip
(SEE ALSO: Why we’re a 2 (rental) car family)
Sometimes it will automatically book you right away, and other times you just have to click a few links to get your savings.
1. Award Wallet
Many of these miles and points tools are great, but definitely the one that I use the most is Award Wallet. It lets you put in your user information for every single airline, hotel, car rental and other mileage program, and automatically tracks it. Here you can see the screenshot I took for my #humblebrag of earning 1,000,000 points.
There are a few programs that don’t update automatically, due to restrictions by the program itself, but even with those, Award Wallet is a great place to keep all my account numbers in one place. The paid version also gives you information on when your points are due to expire. I do earn a small referral bonus if you sign up through my link.
Which of the miles and point tools is your favorite?
So there you have my take on things – do you disagree with any of my rankings? Is there a tool out there that I missed? You might also be interested in the Top 10 miles and points tools: honorable mentions, or let me know in the comments
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