Web Watch – January, 08 2015

Web Watch – January, 08 2015


www.muchopoints.com (Beta version)
Rating (out of five stars): ****

Muchopoints is a new website that seeks to fill a helpful niche for members of hotel loyalty programs. In fact, the site is so new that its bears the name “Muchopoints Beta” as in “beta testing.” If you’re a points fanatic, you can send the developers your feedback via the site’s Contact Us link.

The concept for the website is fairly simple. The “How It Works” page explains that it can help those with memberships in multiple hotel programs to identify hotels where they can earn points faster or spend them more effectively. From experience, we know that booking a hotel stay can be time consuming when comparing the hotel options in each of your favorite hotel programs. Typically, the process involves opening the website for each program and searching its hotel options. Muchopoints helps consolidate details from multiple hotel brands and programs in one place.

To use the site, simply begin at the home page and enter your travel destination along with your check-in and checkout dates. Muchopoints returns a list of hotel results–like many booking sites–however, rather than sorting them only by price or distance from the destination, Muchopoints also allows sorting by something called the “muchoscore,” an algorithm that seems to calculate the score based (at least in part) on the price of the room and the number of points earned toward a free stay.

One feature that we like even better than each hotel’s muchoscore is the little link below it that shows the number of points earned by a stay. If you click the link, a pop-up window displays a breakdown of the total including not just the base points, but also any elite-tier bonus, credit card bonus and even certain promotions like an “arrival gift” of 500 points. Click the Edit Status button on the results page, and you can select your membership level or elite status in the various hotel programs so that the points amounts in the results are accurate for you.

When searching for hotels by destination and date, you can click a checkbox that says “I want to redeem my hotel points.” This returns a list of hotels sorted by the number of points required for the stay. It’s a great feature that lets you compare award stay options for each of your programs at the same time.

One function that isn’t present in the beta version, but is mentioned on the site, is a points management feature that will let users track all their hotel program points and member status in the application for free. The site developers say this will be added in a future version.

Overall, the key to the site’s usefulness seems to lie in the fact that it includes hotels from multiple programs. Currently, the beta site gives results for hotels operated by six of the largest hotel loyalty programs including: Best Western Rewards, Hilton HHonors, IHG Rewards Club, Le Club Accorhotels, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. We hope that Muchopoints will continue to add other hotel programs such as Choice Privileges, Wyndham Rewards and Club Carlson.

If the final version of the site accomplishes the goals it seems to be targeting, it could be a very popular site for many travelers. Our biggest suggestion for the future release is that the more programs they include, the greater the likelihood will be that we’ll use it for booking our hotels stays. Anything that makes the quest to maximize our points an easier and faster task is welcome.