MileWise Gets “Wiser” With New Combo Fares

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You probably read a lot about earning miles and points, but the other half of the equation is effectively redeeming those miles and points.  Some people really enjoy spending hours looking for the best redemption, but others want the options laid out in front of them in a more time efficient manner.  I have written before about MileWise.com since that site does some of the thinking and comparing of the various miles and points (and cash) options for you.  I really like any sites and tools that help folks earn, track, or redeem miles and points, so I am a big fan of MileWise.com.

As a brief review, MileWise supports the following programs for rewards searches:

Airlines

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • JetBlue
  • Virgin America
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways

Credit Cards

  • American Express
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank

Hotels

  • Starwood Preferred Guest

For cash fare inventory, they support all of the major domestic and international airlines, except for American and Southwest.  Since my first post on them, they lost the ability to display Delta rewards due to Delta joining American and Southwest in not allowing other websites to display their data.  So, keep in mind that without those airlines, the info you are getting from MileWise is a bit limited.  However, it is still a good starting off point for searches.

MileWise has now partnered with Google’s ITA to introduce “combo fares” which combine cash, miles, and points options simultaneously.  As an example, I searched for a ticket from Houston to Chicago and back this weekend.  The first option to come up was actually a Combo Fare.  However, to see the options you have to click on the Combo Fare.

Once you do you will see that in this case the potential best option is a combo of a Spirit Airlines fare on the outbound, and a US Airways fare on the return.  By booking two one-ways you would potentially save over $100 (though yes, one way would be on Spirit, so I know some people would avoid that at all costs).  You also are presented with a decent option of flying one-way on United miles and home on a US Airways fare.

Often the best deal from Houston to Chicago is 7,500 British Airways Avios each way on an American Airlines direct flight, but that option isn’t presented due to American not allowing their information to be used.  Thumbs down to all airlines not allowing their info to be used! 

You can read more about the new combo fare features here and here.  I would not personally rely solely on MileWise for my award searches, but I do think it is a great tool for those who want a quick overview of some available awards and cash options.  I have found myself using it for that exact purpose several times in recent weeks.  I like to see that they continue to improve their service and offerings.  If only Delta, American, and Southwest would play nicely with these types of services! 

Have you used their new “Combo Fares” option?  What do you think of this addition to MileWise?

Comments

  1. I’ve been “playing” a lot with this site lately. Agree with your every word! One note: on searches be sure to choose the flexible search option to get a nice grid that displays multiple consecutive days.

  2. MileWise helped me out big time a couple weeks ago. I had to make a last minute trip from TLH to TPA, booking only about 4 days out from my expected departure.

    I went to ITA just to search fares and the cheapest was a United non-stop for ~$600. Since I have miles with a number of different programs I wanted a simple shot of some of my options so I went to MileWise. They recommended a United award for only 20K roundtrip.

    I did have to pay the $75 close-in booking fee but getting $520 of value from 20K points was great. Maybe eventually I would have looked into that but MileWise made it quick and easy.

  3. This site seems interesting. Will definitely keep it in mind for future travels.
    I was playing around with a potential flight from Newark to Shannon and it showed the best as 100k United points for the dates I selected (late May 2013) in business class.
    From reading on the various blogs it seems like a better option would be to use British Airways Avios on Aer Lingus (but I will definitely keep options open and this site could be a big help).

  4. Thanks for the info. Too bad it does not include Delta. I just booked 6 tickets this past weekend from CAE to SLC for MLK weekend for my husband, brother, and the kids. A ski trip for the dads to bond with their boys. I was able to get everyone on the same flight. I used 2 American Express companion certificates and award miles on Delta. Free rooms with Ultimate reward points. Pretty good value, I think. I have not used ExpertFlyer or Milewise but this might make things easier?

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