The Best Hotel Reward Tool?

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A suitcase in a nice hotel room with the door slightly ajar
Posted: 8/14/23 | August 14th, 2023

For most of my travels, I’ve been a hostel man by way of and thru. And, whereas I nonetheless keep in hostels once I journey, since I run a enterprise from the highway, I usually want a bit extra privateness and quiet than what a hostel can present.

But accommodations can get expensive and I’m nonetheless an inexpensive backpacker at coronary heart. I hate spending cash on a room I’m solely going to be in for just a few hours a day. To lower your expenses on accommodations, I began journey hacking. By utilizing factors and hotel-branded bank cards to get free stays, I’ve saved hundreds and hundreds of {dollars} in lodging through the years.

However, it may be a little bit of a ache to search out lodge award availability. Each lodge has its personal calendar of award nights (nights you could e-book utilizing factors), and it may be time-consuming to flip by way of these digital calendars to search out the perfect deal.

That’s the place Awayz is available in.

This device searches throughout lodge packages that can assist you discover the perfect place to make use of to your hard-earned factors in your subsequent lodge keep.

Until now, there’s been nothing this complete for locating lodge award nights, so I’m tremendous excited that it lastly exists. Out of the opposite (few) lodge award instruments on the market, it’s essentially the most user-friendly, searches throughout essentially the most lodge packages, and has the perfect options and filters.

In this evaluation, I’ll present you what the positioning is all about and methods to use it to search out free lodge stays to your subsequent journey!

 

What is Awayz?

homepage of Awayz website with a search box overlaid on a spherical globe

Awayz is a device particularly for reserving accommodations utilizing factors. If you’re conversant in the points-and-miles reserving device Point.me, it’s like that, however for accommodations as a substitute of flights (if you happen to’re not conversant in level.me, take a look at my evaluation to study extra).

Like different reserving instruments, you merely put in your location and dates, and out pop a ton of choices for accommodations you could e-book with factors. It additionally reveals you a side-by-side comparability of the variety of factors wanted, alongside the money value, and offers its advice concerning which is the higher deal. This is a massively useful function if you happen to don’t need to spend time and vitality crunching the numbers your self.

Currently, Awayz helps Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Accor, with Wyndham and Choice to be added quickly. Being capable of search throughout a number of lodge chains is one other nice function, particularly if you happen to’re making an attempt to make use of a transferable foreign money, like Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, which might be transferred and used at numerous lodge chains.

Here are among the predominant options that Awayz provides:

  • Availability alerts
  • A 12-month award availability calendar
  • A map function
  • A money vs. factors comparability
  • The capacity to enter your current factors packages to tailor the outcomes
  • Free-night award availability is highlighted

 

How Awayz Works

World map next to search box on Awayz website

To use Awayz, all it’s a must to do is put in your required particulars (location, dates, and so forth.). It then brings up all of the obtainable accommodations you may e-book with factors. You can then filter your outcomes till you discover a lodge that works greatest for you.

Awayz operates on a subscription mannequin. There is a free trial, although, so you’ll be able to attempt it out earlier than signing up. With the free trial, you’ll get 5 searches and 5 lodge availability alerts, in addition to entry to all of Awayz’s options, excluding lodge deal alerts.

The Trip Pass ($4.99) is admittedly the higher possibility if you wish to attempt Awayz to its full potential, because it provides you the flexibility to do 50 searches in 72 hours (the 5 searches on the free trial might be gone earlier than it), in addition to 10 availability alerts.

If you journey and seek for accommodations repeatedly, you’ll need the premium subscription ($8.33/month when paid yearly, or $11.99 when paid month-to-month). This tier provides you 250 month-to-month searches, 10 availability alerts, and lodge deal alerts (the one tier that provides this).

You can see the total breakdown of the distinction between plans right here:

Breakdown of pricing and features for free trial, trip pass, and premium subscriptions for Awayz

If you join an annual plan utilizing the code nomadicmatt, you’ll get $10 off the annual Premium plan.

Setting Up Your Awayz Wallet

Before you begin looking, you’ll need to arrange the pockets and awards part. Here, you’ll be able to add your lodge loyalty packages, bank cards, and the variety of factors you could have in every.
This is necessary for just a few causes.

First, you’ll be able to then filter by your obtainable factors when looking. There’s no sense in mentioning accommodations you could’t e-book!

Second, Awayz will consider perks like free nights (a perk on a lot of the greatest lodge bank cards), financial institution switch bonus promotions (e.g, get 30% extra factors when transferring Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors), or currencies the place you should use factors as money (equivalent to Chase Ultimate Rewards).

Awayz presently helps the next:

  • Hotel packages: Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Accor Live Limitless
  • Transferrable currencies: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou factors, and Altitude Reserve factors

You don’t have so as to add any figuring out info when including your packages. This is a optimistic for these involved about safety, however a unfavorable for many who need the convenience of automated syncing of their level balances.

Instead, you’ll have so as to add in your present balances your self, as you’ll be able to see on this instance:

Wallet section of Awayz website, with point balances for different hotel rewards programs

You can search accommodations with out including this data however including this info in makes it loads simpler to see what your choices are with out guessing.

How to Search and Book Hotels with Awayz

For our pattern search, let’s say we need to get some summer season solar by going to Miami for a protracted weekend in January. By firing off a fast search with simply your dates and site, you’ll get the next:

Search for hotels on Awayz website, showing different colored pins of available hotels on a map of Miami, Florida

But since this fundamental search brings up extra accommodations than you’ll need to wade by way of, the next move is to filter the outcomes.

The obtainable search filters are:

  • Hotel manufacturers
  • Transferable currencies and lodge loyalty packages
  • Free-night certificates availability
  • Your current factors (the numbers you enter on the pockets and awards part)

You may also kind by distance from the middle of the vacation spot in addition to by level or money values.

Here’s what it appears to be like like (grayed-out packages are ones you haven’t entered level values for):

Search filters on Awayz website, shown as checkboxes

When it brings up the search outcomes, Awayz makes use of its personal algorithm to additionally spotlight whether or not it thinks utilizing factors or money is a greater worth, which is tremendous helpful info as you weigh your choices.

Once you’ve filtered and appeared by way of the outcomes to discover a lodge that you simply’re considering, choose it to get much more particulars. You’ll see the perfect worth, money value, the value if you happen to use factors as money, and buttons to see your entire award availability calendar or to set an availability alert in case your most well-liked dates aren’t presently obtainable.

Screenshot on the Awayz website of a potential booking for a Hyatt hotel in Miami, Florida, showing the breakdown of points vs cash needed for that stay

In this case, the perfect deal is utilizing Hyatt Rewards factors, which you’ll be able to switch from Bilt or Chase (as indicated within the backside right-hand “Transfer Partner” field).

If you’re versatile along with your dates and need to see your entire award availability calendar for this lodge, merely hit that black button and up it pops. It’ll spotlight the dates you’re presently looking, however you can even scroll by way of your entire 12-month calendar to see if there are higher offers on the market. The lowest charges (in each money and factors) are highlighted in inexperienced, whereas the best charges are highlighted in crimson:

Calendar on Awayz website showing the cost in points and cash for each night in a Hyatt hotel in Miami, Florida

In this case, you’ll be able to see that if you happen to might shift your lengthy weekend journey again by simply two weeks, you may save 9,000 factors.

After all that digging, let’s say you’ve determined that that is the lodge you need to e-book. Hit “book now,” and also you’ll be delivered to the lodge’s web site. You’re by yourself from there, however even when it’s worthwhile to switch factors, it’s typically a really simple course of.

Pros of Awayz

1. The capacity to look throughout many packages without delay
The most blatant professional of utilizing Awayz is the flexibility to drag up all accommodations you may e-book with factors to your desired dates and site. Without this device, you’d have to look throughout all of the packages during which you could have factors (or might have factors if you happen to transferred them there). That includes logging into every web site, discovering the award charts, factoring in any charges, and evaluating throughout all packages. It’s not that onerous, but it surely does take time.

2. Points-to-cash comparability
This function is one other main profit to utilizing Awayz. Again, evaluating money and level values is a time-consuming course of, particularly whenever you’re new to utilizing factors for lodge stays. Awayz takes the guesswork out of this course of by utilizing its personal algorithm (which is regularly up to date with the newest information) to find out the perfect worth.

3. Easy-to-use interface with useful filters
The web site may be very simple and straightforward to make use of, and the filters make fast work of serving to you discover accommodations that work to your wants. The capacity to enter awards packages and current factors helps you slender your search down much more.

Cons of Awayz

1. It’s a paid device
Awayz does have a restricted free trial, however if you wish to get essentially the most out of this device, you’ll should pay: both $4.99 for a 72-hour Trip Pass, or $8.33/11.99 (annual billing vs. month-to-month billing) for Premium.

However, if you happen to’re new to journey hacking and haven’t fairly memorized the ins and outs of every program, it’s a cut price when you think about the potential financial savings in not solely cash however the time you’d spend making an attempt to determine and search throughout packages.

And, as a Nomadic Matt reader, you will get $10 off an annual subscription with the code nomadicmatt.

2. It doesn’t robotically sync along with your loyalty packages and currencies
This may be a professional to those that don’t need to give exterior entry to their accounts, but it surely additionally provides an additional step within the course of. It’s additionally simple to neglect to replace whenever you do use your factors.

3. Not all manufacturers are supported (but)
While Awayz helps many main chains — Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Accor — it doesn’t but assist all of them. Wyndham and Choice aren’t presently supported, although these needs to be added quickly. However, if these are your most well-liked manufacturers, you may not discover Awayz to be helpful to you simply but.

Who is Awayz for?

Awayz is very nice for vacationers which might be newer to redeeming factors for award nights. Using Awayz saves you time (and cash) within the lodge award search and reserving course of, which is very helpful whenever you’re first beginning out studying methods to get free stays. The cash-to-points comparability function is very key for this.

But even skilled journey hackers can get a variety of worth out of the device. If you could have a variety of factors in several currencies, you understand how time-consuming it’s to look throughout packages. Plus, the flexibility to set alerts can assist you discover elusive stays with out having to continuously hold tabs on the lodge.

***

Awayz is a welcome addition to the rising scene of award reserving instruments. While there are a selection of complete instruments for locating award flights, to date, nothing comparable has existed for locating lodge stays you’ll be able to e-book with factors. With a rising suite of filters and options, in addition to side-by-side comparability of factors vs. money pricing, Awayz helps you save each money and time — necessary sources it doesn’t matter what sort of traveler you’re!

While it’s a paid device, there’s a free trial obtainable, and even paid variations change into value it once they make it easier to discover an incredible free keep.

And keep in mind to make use of code nomadicmatt to get $10 off!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by utilizing Skyscanner. It’s my favourite search engine as a result of it searches web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you need to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because it constantly returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and accommodations.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage is one factor you WILL need to purchase. It’s there if you happen to get sick, robbed, delayed, or a visit cancelled. I by no means go on a visit with out it since you by no means know what might occur. Don’t skip it. I’ve seen too many vacationers remorse doing so. My favourite firms are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel bank cards assist you to earn factors that may be redeemed at no cost flights and lodging — all with none additional spending. Check out my information to choosing the right card to get began. For US residents, right here’s how one can get factors on lease too.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of whenever you journey. I record all those I exploit once I journey. They are the perfect in school and you may’t go fallacious utilizing them in your journey.

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