You’ve signed up for the biggest and best credit card offers to earn thousands of points. You’ve earned thousands more by maximizing the points you earn on your everyday spending with those cards. Perhaps, you’re lucky enough (or some would say unlucky) to travel frequently for business and rack up points like there’s no tomorrow on all your flights and hotel stays.
And now that you have all those miles and points you’re ready to use them but you find searching for award flights with your favourite programs to be a daunting task, not to mention a very time consuming one. Whether you are a beginner or consider yourself a pro with points and miles, it can take a lot of your valuable time to find award flights. That’s where the internet has become your best friend. Over the years various online tools have come along to help ease the award search task and now you can add Roame to that list.
What is Roame
Roame is one of the latest entrants in a handful of online award search tools that have emerged over the years. At the time of writing this one of the biggest differences between Roame and some of its predecessors is that Roame is 100% free.
Which programs does Roame search?
Currently Roame will search award availability with the following 12 airlines (and show flights with their respective program partners)
- Air Canada
- Air France / KLM
- Alaska Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
How Roame works
Roame works like every other flight search engine you may be accustomed to. Simply input your departure city, destination, dates, class of travel and number of passengers and off you go!
Once you click the search button the site goes to work – the results can take a few seconds to display as they are going out and checking all the sites you would have to on your own but Roame does it much faster. Some results pop up almost immediately but it is best to wait. You’ll see progress bar above the results to let you know how far Roame has searched and when it is complete.
Here are what the results will look like, I searched Toronto to Rome (since we’re talking about Roame 😉 ) on July 20:
The site defaults to show the lowest price flights but you can select other options including departure time and shortest flight. You can also filter the results by program and/or number of stops:
How do I find Canadian transfer options
You’ll mainly want to focus on the far right result that shows which frequent flyer program the results are for. As Roame is a U.S. based company the transfer options they provide details to the left of the results are primarily for the U.S. market only.
Not that you can’t use the programs shown just to the left to your advantage though. As seen above the results do show transfer options from Marriott Bonvoy which is a program us Canadians can use. As well as American Express Membership Rewards however you may encounter some searches for Amex MR which will have their U.S. transfers partners included who are not partners with Amex Canada, so you will have to take that into account.
Also note the taxes and fees shown on the reward results are shown in US dollars.
If you do have a U.S. credit card from Chase, American Express etc. then no worries as some or all of the transfer options provided by Roame should apply to you.
Now that you have that information, as a Canadian you can still use this as a powerful award search engine for award flights but to find transfer options you’ll need to tie in other tools. I would start with Rewards Canada’s Airline & Hotel loyalty programs that you can earn miles or points in with Canadian Credit Cards to see which cards you can use to make those transfers. Open that feature of ours in a new tab so that you can switch back and forth between Roame and our list.
At the highest level these will be the Canadian credit card programs you’d be using the most:
- American Express Membership Rewards (Air Canada, Air France, British Airways*, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Etihad, KLM)
- HSBC Rewards (British Airways*, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines)
- Marriott Bonvoy (40+ airlines)
- RBC Rewards (American Airlines, British Airways*, Cathay Pacific, WestJet)
- Diners Club Club Rewards** (Alaska Airlines, American, British Airways*, Delta, El Al, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair, South African Airways, Southwest, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic)
* – You can also include Aer Lingus, Iberia and Qatar Airways with British Airways as you can transfer Avios between these programs
** – Diners Club is closed to new applicants, we have listed it for those who do hold the card
I think most Canadians will definitely find Roame a great tool for transborder or international flights and for flights that are wholly outside of Canada. The reason why is that with domestic flights you’re pretty much going to be searching Aeroplan or WestJet.
That said – it doesn’t mean you should count out Roame for domestic flights. The site will show you options with other Star Alliance airlines where the points/miles required may actually be less for Air Canada flights. Or in the case of WestJet, they’ll show you results from Delta SkyMiles.
For example here’s Toronto to Vancouver in Economy Class showing results from Aeroplan, SkyMiles and MileagePlus:
Once you do find results that work for you, make note of the program and transfer options and off you go to book. There are no direct links from Roame to the airlines and/or programs so you’ll want to open up another browser tab to visit Air Canada, United and so on to book your award flights.
When searching for Business Class flights the results do bring up mixed cabin itineraries as well. It would be nice to have a toggle option to show business class only results.
It would also be nice to see a search option for dates before and after the date you input (+/- 3 days etc.) as right now you can only search for a single date.
Finally it would be nice to have links directly to the airline displayed to just to make the step to booking flights a little easier.
Recommended: The Best Loyalty Rewards Tools and Apps
Wrapping it up
So what do we think of Roame? Is it a perfect award search site? No, but so far none of the options out there have been. I do know it has the potential to save a lot of time when searching for award flights and the fact it is free is a big win for me. Ultimately I would consider it one more tool in your toolbox of apps, websites and strategies for finding award flight availability. Using Roame in combination with other techniques you have can be a great way to find the flights that are best for you in terms of pricing, dates, routing and program(s) to utilize.
Click here to visit Roame!
(Our Roame referral link is used in this post for tracking purposes however we do not receive any type of compensation for using this link)