Helping travel reward programs and consumers make the most of unredeemed points could be easy pickings, noting that $30 billion in rewards go unused each year — signaling a need for the mechanics of loyalty to evolve.
Earning miles and points is easy for consumers who sign up for credit cards or special rewards programs. But knowing where and how to use those points to make their travel dreams come true has proven much more challenging – an estimated $30 billion in loyalty points go unredeemed each year.
That’s according to Point.Me, a metasearch platform that has just raised $10 million in Series A funding. It plans to use the money to enhance its subscription-based platform that helps consumers find available travel options specific to their travel preferences and loyalty program.
Thayer Ventures led the round with support from PAR Capital Ventures, RiverPark Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, and MoreThanCapital. The company confirmed that prior investors, including Gaingels, David Baggett and Carl de Marcken – Co-Founders of ITA Software (now known as Google Flights) –also returned.
The company raised $2 million in seed funding last year, in a round led by PAR Capital Ventures. WndrCo Holdings also invested in the seed round, with participation from former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dropbox Business Founder Sujay Jaswa. Other key investors included a syndicate of executives from Meta and DoorDash.
Point.Me founder Tiffany Funk said unused loyalty points essentially shows a “program isn’t working and erodes brand affinity.”
“These points should be getting redeemed, and they’re not. Part of the reason why is there’s no mechanism for these financial institutions and the airlines to enable the full spectrum of points redemption possibilities,” said Funk.
She highlighted that “Delta miles can be used on Delta.com. And you’re set. But if you have American Express points, they can tell you, okay, you can transfer your points to these airlines, but then you’re on your own.”
The platform currently integrates with various credit card loyalty programs, such as American Express, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, as well as 150+ airlines. It runs specific searches according to the dates and destinations across 30 dedicated programs, including direct GDS feeds to find relevant inventory available for credit card holders who would otherwise need to visit multiple sites to book a trip with their rewards or loyalty points.
Funk said Point.Me is “the mechanism to connect all pieces to provide consumer education and transparency into the travel rewards space.”
Funk further described Point.Me as a travel advisor walking the consumer through the entire process from transfer to booking, detailing how bookings with British Airways and Avios points on the platform would take consumers past a trudge of administration pages directly to bookable options, adding guidance for non-U.S. programs a consumer might not be familiar with.
Funk also emphasized the benefits of the subscription model: “Almost everything in the travel search space is affiliate or commission-based. So with Point.Me, we are very transparent on the consumer’s side. That’s where we get our money. The consumers are actually the customers, which is a little unusual right now.”
Subscription services range from single day searches from $5 to complete concierge bookings at $200 per passenger. There are currently 220,000 active subscribers on Point.Me, with less than 20% of revenue generated from its concierge service, Funk said.