Earlier this week I got a call from Lisa and Justin at Pointhub and we discussed their new website opened in August of this year. It is a typical mileage aggregator with the additional features of searching for paid tickets and awards on the same page. In addition, they give a recommendation on paying cash or using your miles and/or points. They are still loading loyalty programs and international airlines, but the site shows promise already for those who need a place to store their points and miles account numbers and get some help with deciding the age old question:
Do I use miles or pay cash?
At present the site does not take into account extra status inventory (United 1Ks have additional award inventory) but it does factor in many variables when you’re determining if you should pay cash or use points.
I asked Lisa and Justin to give me a synopsis of their site and it follows below. Please feel free to share your opinions and suggestions with them.
- PointHub (www.pointhub.com), a free loyalty program, shopping and management destination, is the single best source for powerful point-redemption recommendations, point loss prevention, and rewards program management.
- PointHub empowers business and leisure travelers to make better use of their incentive programs, reducing the $16 billion lost annually in unused frequent flier miles and rewards points.
- Patent-pending Cash vs. PointsÒRecommendation Engine provides qualified, real-time, side-by-side comparisons between purchase price and rewards points for airlines and hotels, so travelers can determine the best value for their travel.
- The Recommendation Engine eliminates blackout periods and cross-referencing factors such as redemption fees, elite status opportunities, point expiration risk, and personal travel preferences, to provide “best value” travel recommendations that can actually be booked using cash or rewards points. Registered users simply click on the desired option and they are sent directly to the travel provider where they make their reservations without having to enter their personal information again.
- In estimating the value of points and miles, PointHub started with the reward program’s tax filings, current and upcoming terms and conditions, industry accepted values and intrinsic value surveys. But just as world currencies fluctuate, PointHub’s point values fluctuate based on our users’ decisions to use cash or points. PointHub is exploring ways to add transparency to the dozens of factors its “Cash vs. Points Recommendation Engine” computes for each flight and hotel recommendation.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95