Friday, December 1, 2023

The Greatest Resort Reward Instrument?

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

For many 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 street, I usually want a bit extra privateness and quiet than what a hostel can present.

However 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 save cash on accommodations, I began journey hacking. Through the use of factors and hotel-branded bank cards to get free stays, I’ve saved 1000’s and 1000’s of {dollars} in lodging through the years.

Nevertheless, it may be a little bit of a ache to search out lodge award availability. Every lodge has its personal calendar of award nights (nights you could guide 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 software searches throughout lodge packages that will help you discover the perfect place to make use of to your hard-earned factors in your subsequent lodge keep.

Till 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.

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


What’s Awayz?

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

Awayz is a software particularly for reserving accommodations utilizing factors. Should you’re conversant in the points-and-miles reserving software, it’s like that, however for accommodations as a substitute of flights (when you’re not conversant in, try my assessment 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 guide with factors. It additionally reveals you a side-by-side comparability of the variety of factors wanted, alongside the money value, and provides its advice relating to which is the higher deal. It is a massively useful characteristic when you don’t wish to spend time and vitality crunching the numbers your self.

Presently, Awayz helps Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Accor, with Wyndham and Option to be added quickly. Having the ability to search throughout a number of lodge chains is one other nice characteristic, particularly when you’re attempting to make use of a transferable forex, like Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Final Rewards, which might be transferred and used at numerous lodge chains.

Listed below are among the primary options that Awayz provides:

  • Availability alerts
  • A 12-month award availability calendar
  • A map characteristic
  • A money vs. factors comparability
  • The power to enter your present 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 make use of Awayz, all it’s a must to do is put in your required particulars (location, dates, and many others.). It then brings up all of the out there accommodations you may guide with factors. You possibly can then filter your outcomes till you discover a lodge that works finest for you.

Awayz operates on a subscription mannequin. There’s a free trial, although, so you’ll be able to strive 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, apart from lodge deal alerts.

The Journey Go ($4.99) is de facto the higher choice if you wish to strive Awayz to its full potential, because it offers you the flexibility to do 50 searches in 72 hours (the 5 searches on the free trial will probably be gone earlier than it), in addition to 10 availability alerts.

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

You possibly 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

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

Setting Up Your Awayz Pockets

Earlier than you begin looking out, you’ll wish to arrange the pockets and awards part. Right here, you’ll be able to add your lodge loyalty packages, bank cards, and the variety of factors you will have in every.
That is essential for just a few causes.

First, you’ll be able to then filter by your out there factors when looking out. There’s no sense in citing accommodations you could’t guide!

Second, Awayz will take into accounts perks like free nights (a perk on a lot of the finest 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 Final Rewards).

Awayz at the moment helps the next:

  • Resort packages: Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Accor Stay Limitless
  • Transferrable currencies: American Specific Membership Rewards, Chase Final Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou factors, and Altitude Reserve factors

You don’t have so as to add any figuring out data when including your packages. It is a constructive for these involved about safety, however a destructive for individuals who need the benefit of automated syncing of their level balances.

As an alternative, 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 possibly can search accommodations with out including this data however including this data in makes it quite a bit simpler to see what your choices are with out guessing.

How one can Search and E-book Lodges with Awayz

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

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

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

The out there search filters are:

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

You can too type by distance from the middle of the vacation spot in addition to by level or money values.

Right here’s what it seems 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 data as you weigh your choices.

When you’ve filtered and appeared by way of the outcomes to discover a lodge that you just’re fascinated with, choose it to get much more particulars. You’ll see the perfect worth, money value, the value when you 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 at the moment out there.

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

On 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 “Switch Accomplice” field).

Should you’re versatile together with your dates and wish 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 at the moment looking out, however it’s also possible to scroll by way of your entire 12-month calendar to see if there are higher offers on the market. The bottom charges (in each money and factors) are highlighted in inexperienced, whereas the very best charges are highlighted in pink:

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

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

In any case that digging, let’s say you’ve determined that that is the lodge you wish to guide. Hit “guide now,” and also you’ll be dropped at the lodge’s web site. You’re by yourself from there, however even when it’s essential to switch factors, it’s typically a really simple course of.

Execs of Awayz

1. The power to look throughout many packages without delay
The obvious professional of utilizing Awayz is the flexibility to tug up all accommodations you may guide with factors in your desired dates and placement. With out this software, you’d have to look throughout all of the packages through which you will have factors (or may have factors when you 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 arduous, but it surely does take time.

2. Factors-to-cash comparability
This characteristic is one other main profit to utilizing Awayz. Once more, evaluating money and level values is a time-consuming course of, particularly once you’re new to utilizing factors for lodge stays. Awayz takes the guesswork out of this course of through the use of its personal algorithm (which is frequently up to date with the newest knowledge) to find out the perfect worth.

3. Straightforward-to-use interface with useful filters
The web site may be very simple and simple to make use of, and the filters make fast work of serving to you discover accommodations that work in your wants. The power to enter awards packages and present factors helps you slim your search down much more.

Cons of Awayz

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

Nevertheless, when you’re new to journey hacking and haven’t fairly memorized the ins and outs of every program, it’s a discount when you think about the potential financial savings in not solely cash however the time you’d spend attempting 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 routinely sync together with your loyalty packages and currencies
This is likely to be a professional to those that don’t wish to give exterior entry to their accounts, but it surely additionally provides an additional step within the course of. It’s additionally simple to overlook to replace once you do use your factors.

3. Not all manufacturers are supported (but)
Whereas Awayz helps many main chains — Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Accor — it doesn’t but help all of them. Wyndham and Selection will not be at the moment supported, although these needs to be added quickly. Nevertheless, if these are your most well-liked manufacturers, you won’t discover Awayz to be helpful to you simply but.

Who’s Awayz for?

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

However even skilled journey hackers can get a whole lot of worth out of the software. When you have a whole lot of factors in numerous currencies, you understand how time-consuming it’s to look throughout packages. Plus, the flexibility to set alerts might help you discover elusive stays with out having to consistently hold tabs on the lodge.


Awayz is a welcome addition to the rising scene of award reserving instruments. Whereas there are a selection of complete instruments for locating award flights, up to now, nothing comparable has existed for locating lodge stays you’ll be able to guide 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 — essential sources it doesn’t matter what sort of traveler you might be!

Whereas it’s a paid software, there’s a free trial out there, and even paid variations turn out to be value it after they provide help to discover an incredible free keep.

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

E-book Your Journey: Logistical Ideas and Tips

E-book Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight through the use of 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.

E-book Your Lodging
You possibly can guide your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use because it persistently returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and accommodations.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions previously. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

Wish to Journey for Free?
Journey bank cards will let you earn factors that may be redeemed without spending a dime flights and lodging — all with none further spending. Take a look at my information to selecting the correct card and my present favorites to get began and see the newest finest offers.

Able to E-book Your Journey?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of once you journey. I checklist all those I take advantage of once I journey. They’re the perfect at school and you may’t go improper utilizing them in your journey.

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