In fall 2006, Travelocity is rolling out a program that will allow you to book travel using points and miles from one or more loyalty programs. Initially limited to hotel bookings, the program has the potential to be a huge deal.
“Book with Points” will allow loyalty program members access to Travelocity’s online booking engine. They will use points or miles to book and purchase the travel reward, exactly as if they were purchasing their travel with cash rather than loyalty points and miles.
My first reaction is positive: Anything that makes it easier to actually use your miles is a step in the right direction. Details of the program haven’t been made public yet, but the Travelocity program will be run by Points.com.
As I’ve posted before, Points.com is a great way to turn one dollar into 15 cents. The devaluation of points when you transfer between programs is brutal. So I am skeptical of this new joint offering with Travelocity. Hopefully Travelocity will put pressure on Points.com to give better value, but we’ll have to see. After all, the airlines and hotels have your points and won’t just give them away for free. Points.com takes a cut as the broker. And Travelocity’s roaming gnome will inevitably want a piece of the action. What’s going to be left?
(hat tip to Airfare Technology/FareCompare)