While I often stay at certain hotel chains when I travel either because of familiarity, preference, or points earning/burning, like many of you I end up staying at some chains I’m not as familiar with from time to time.  Naturally I always make sure to earn points on those stays, even if I’m not sure where I will eventually use them.  This can lead to having some points scattered in various programs.  If you have points scattered all around a bunch of hotel programs that you aren’t quite as familiar with, then it can be really helpful to utilize a tool that helps identify where you can use those points.

A while back I heard about a new site called Award Mapper.  It looked really cool, but with the pace of life these days it took a little time for me to get the chance to dig a bit deeper into how it works.  I recruited my points friend, Katy, to help find out some extra details about the site.  With Award Mapper you are able to look at cities all over the world and see some of the hotel point redemption options that are out there.  As of right now the site shows Club Carlson, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Starwood hotels.  It won’t show you if a redemption is available on a certain date, but it will give you an idea of what is possible.

The founder of Award Mapper, Ryan Calme, told us he had lots of requests for Best Western, Choice, and Wyndham options to also display on the tool. He has seen how few options there are in the smaller towns with the chains Award Mapper currently supports, so he would also like to eventually get certain additions like Best Western on the map.  While some of these options may eventually display on the tool, some are not as likely to ever appear.  For example, regarding Choice Hotels he said that “not only do they (Choice hotels) not post a master list of their hotels, the number of points required at a given hotel will fluctuate throughout the year. Since my site has no option for entering dates I wouldn’t be able to reliably report the point cost for Choice hotels even if I was able to collect them.”

Awardmapper start page

Once you are on Award Mapper you start by using a sliding scale to go as low (down to 1000 points) or as high (up to 95,000 points) as you want your redemption option to be.  I don’t really recommend messing with the scale too much when just getting a broad view of what is out there since 50,000 points in one program is the value equivalent of say 20,000 points in another program.

Award mapper sliding scale

When you reach a destination, the hotel chains are displayed as color coded pins on a map, and on the right side of the screen.

Manhattan

When you click on a pin it will give you the hotel name, its category, and the points needed to redeem for one night (again, this also displays on the right side of the screen during your general search of the city).

hyatt 48 Lex NY  10-30k

I looked up some international cities that I will be traveling to next year to see what kind of options it displayed.  I used Paris as an example and it showed several of the points options with the participating chains.

Once you have selected a hotel, simply click the hotel name and it takes you right to the hotel’s website.

Paris 10 -50k

The westin - Vendome Paris

As you can see it is a very simple and quick process.  I think Award Mapper was a smart idea and it will be a helpful tool to research point redemption options.  Once they get more hotels in there it might reach a larger audience, but the chains they do offer are ones I use quite often and will be helpful to me when I am short on time and need to know my options so I can make a quick decision!

Have you used Award Mapper before?  Did it help you save time when planning for your trip?

 

Posted by mommypoints | 20 Comments

20 Responses to “Award Mapper Tool for Finding Hotels Where You Can Redeem Points”

  1. Maury says:

    I needed this. Thanks

  2. Lee says:

    I’ve been using Award Mapper for quite some time and I think it is a very nice tool. I particularly like exploring placing like the Caribbean to see what islands can be visited with points without having to search by hotel chain.

  3. Up&Away says:

    I tried to look up hotel awards in Zimbabwe (searched the country as a whole, specific cities, pulled the points scale to the extremes) and it did not display anything. I know this country is light on award redemptions, but there’s at least a Holiday Inn in Harare and another in Bulawayo that I know of, and it did not display. It’s a good tool, but I don’t want someone to give up if they don’t see a hotel listed here; there may be an award option that it’s not picking up.

  4. Autolycus says:

    Interesting tool. Thanks for sharing.
    .
    A question though: If the doesn’t allow the input of dates, how does it handle the seasonal (i.e. monthly) variations at many HHonors properties?

  5. mommypoints says:

    Maury, most welcome!
    Lee, that is a great use!
    Up&Away, very true.
    Autolycus, that’s a good question. It shows a range, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t do that for Choice, but perhaps the range is just greater than they want to display for Choice. I’m not totally sure, but they handle HHonors by showing a range.

  6. SgFm says:

    I have tried this tool and been disappointed so far. Two examples: I am looking for hotels in Macau and Bali. For Macau there were no IHG properties shown, despite there being two; and for Bali not all Marriott properties were shown, specifically The Stones Hotel did not appear in the results. I have tried this tool previously and had similar results, especially when searching outside the US. A work in progress, but once the glitches/omissions are fixed I think it could be quite useful.

  7. Laura R says:

    I’ve never heard of it, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks!

  8. Thank god! I was just hoping someone would invent something like this the other day. Seems my prayers were answered!

  9. Jordan L says:

    Summer, when are you going to paris?

  10. […] Award Mapper Tool for Finding Hotels Where You Can Redeem Points […]

  11. Bayguy says:

    I used this extensively for my Australia trip next year. This was very useful in deciding which hotel to stay, points required etc.

  12. Nick says:

    Great tool, thanks.

  13. G says:

    Just discovered a Category 2 Hyatt Place at a beach I was unaware of. Peak season price: about $300 a night.

  14. Denise says:

    I use it all the time! I am in the midst of planning 2 major around the world trips to burn USAir and United miles plus a mileage earning trip to HKG via the Island Hopper. I really just use it to get a sense of what’s available without having to check each chain’s website. I also like to use it to see what hotels might be near an airport because all these trips involve fairly short overnight layovers, where I want to stay near the airport. It’s an excellent addition to my travel planning toolkit!

  15. Vicky says:

    What a great site. This will be extremely useful for me as it tells me quickly which of my active chains are in locations I am visiting. It’s extremely helpful for the locations which have less presence of the bigger chains.

  16. Abcdefg says:

    Interesting idea, but missing too many hotels. For example, in Paris it doesn’t include the Marriott champs élysées, renaissance arc de triomphe or renaissance vendome.

  17. Miles says:

    Excellent site. It helped me find a cheap (in points) IHG property near the site of an upcoming Do.

    My only wish, other than adding additional chains, would be that the map have a graphical distance scale.

  18. SgFm says:

    It is good to see that the site is being updated. Here are two more locations that need to be updated: Taipei and Narita, both are missing the IHG properties that are within a short distance of these two airports.

  19. AwardMapper says:

    Thank you all for your feedback on the site. I believe all the problems noted in these comments have been corrected.

    I’ve also added Choice hotels to the site. Enjoy!

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