A few years ago I created a free tool to look up the cost of an award ticket between any two cities and compare the price on multiple award charts. I call it the Award Maximizer since the goal is the maximize the value of your award miles.
Many airlines offer competing service on the same route, so if you can reach your destination and redeem fewer miles, that’s good. But some newbies to the travel hacking game may not realize that sometimes the exact same flight, operated by the same carrier at the same times, can also be priced differently. If United Airlines is offering service from Denver to Atlanta, for example, you could book it using miles from United MileagePlus but also with miles from its partners like Singapore KrisFlyer and Air Canada’s Aeroplan.
Those partners may charge fewer miles, or they may have lower fees and more generous policies. The Award Maximizer is primarily about comparing award charts so you don’t have to visit a dozen different airline websites, but I’ve also included some links to information about how to find and book these awards. Heck, even Alaska Airlines charges a different price depending on which partner you fly with.
Keep in mind I don’t share any information about whether the award is actually available. I’m only trying to track what the price would be if the award is available. I recommend using Award Nexus to search for award space if you are inexperienced or just want something fast that can look in multiple places at once.
Over the last year or so the tool became very out of date. I knew there were some changes required, and I made updates a few months ago to ANA, Singapore, and others. But more recently I noticed glaring omissions with Alaska Airlines. Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific) switched up their distance based program. JAL and a few others had more modest changes. All of these updates should now be incorporated. If you find errors, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can fix them.
I’ve also begun efforts to add award charts for programs operated by Virgin Atlantic and EVA Airlines. Right now the only one in place is for Virgin Atlantic (and only on flights actually operated by Virgin Atlantic, not partners). Hopefully the rest should be competed soon, bringing the total number of supported programs to 16.