Feedback on Startup to Quickly Churn Rewards Programs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by PointsFlyer2012, Jan 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

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Would you like a site that asks where you're going and outputs the cards you'll need to get there?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    25.8%
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
    67.7%
  3. Unsure or Confused (if you can, reply into the thread with a comment)

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. Hello everybody,

    We are building a site to churn through the conflicting and confusing Airline and Hotel rewards programs and we would like your feedback.

    Our site will ask you where you want to go and will then tell you which cards offer the most free points to get you there-- for free. If anyone has feedback on things they want the site to do, please let me know.

    Right now it will rank-order the cards to push the highest-points cards with waived first-year fee to the top, and then proceed in order of "value" downwards. It will only offer you the cards which you will need to get you exactly where you want to go, and will provide ample details about these cards.

    Fast feedback would be great as we are building this over a weekend for a competition (but plan to continue building it out afterwards).

    To be kept apprised of developments, head over to signup.pointsflyer.com and enter your email.

    Thanks!
    Mike and the Team @ PointsFlyer
     
  2. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Unfortunately I think you are taking a very simplistic view of getting miles via CC and CC spending. There are many, many nuances in getting free award tickets and getting the miles / points via credit cards - none of which you even hint at in your list of items you will include on your web.
     
  3. Thanks for the feedback deant, but we are taking into account the various requirements and triggering mechanisms for bonus points. We have several algorithms that are able to rank-order the cards in terms of criteria such as how many bonus points on sign-up, how many points after X amount of dollars spent within Y time, how many points after a balance transfer, etc.

    You are correct though that there are a lot of nuances-- but that's why there's a market for the site. My question mainly centered on generating feedback from potential customers about features they would like to have.

    Thanks!
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Very true. Lots of factors to consider that would require gathering a lot of information. The easiest-to-earn miles aren't necessarily the ones that get you to a destination.

    But I guess it's a good way to earn credit card sign-up referral fees ;)
     
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  5. @HaveMilesWillTravel,

    I agree it is complicated but we are busy gathering a ton of information and putting it all together. We are also taking into account miles exchanges and such.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Are you taking into account availability of award tickets? Different levels of miles? More and less preferable routings?
     
  7. We are taking different levels of miles into account. Our algorithm will just determine if a route is possible-- we are not building a rewards-miles booking engine.

    Thanks!
     
  8. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Are you looking at the probability of being declined a card and how many pulls you can have before such a rejection? Also which CB the pulls are from? Also some programs are much more difficult to get seat "saver" seats on and thus the value of the points are much less than other programs (i.e. skypesos vs UA).

    It is not just about the "numbers".
     
  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    possible is irrelevant if there is no chance of actually getting the seats.
     
  10. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This sounds like a student project that they're hoping to turn into a profitable business. Does anyone on your team travel often?
     
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  11. Yes, we are taking into account the hypothetical maximum amount of cards for which you can apply in any one go. Any one bank will likely not allow you to apply and receive more than 2 cards at one time, but we plan to allow users to tweak these settings.

    With respect to credit bureaus, we will build out links to the credit database, but this is not planned in the version 1.0 release.

    On some programs it is definitely hard to get rewards seats for a certain rewards levels. For DL specifically, low seats are almost impossible to obtain, so the medium availability will be our default, but we will let users tweak that setting.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    signup.pointsflyer.com
     
  12. Yes, and there are two international people here. It is a Startup Weekend project.

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Given the amount of money the credit card companies pay for application referrals, the "profitable" part shouldn't be too hard compared to, say, relying on pure advertisement revenue.
     
  14. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Very true. You can get almost any route IF you have enough points. Problem is that most people do not want to spend the points for an "anytime" award. This would be especially true of a person who is on such a learning curve that he / she would need this kind of help.
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Hey, what's wrong with selling them enough credit cards to cover the cost of an anytime award? :D

    Alright, I'll stop now... I am just too cynical about credit card referral fees corrupting advice.
     
  16. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    In your title you used the word "churn", to many of us, this probably has a completely different meaning than how you are using it. Are you building in the ability to reapply for the same card numerous times and what the time between applications is? Or how often you can apply for any card from a specific bank (i.e. bank A will only allow X applications over Y months)? Or bank B will only allow X numbers of hard pulls over Y months?
     
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  17. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I for one will wait until it's out and then make up my mind. I appreciate anyone trying to build a better mousetrap. Sometimes it's just a step that you have to use with another tool, but still a step forward.

    If OP has questions, shoot em at us. Otherwise, as I said, I'll hold off comment until I see it,
     
  18. James Elkins

    James Elkins Member

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    I'm also helping to build the site - you're right, when we said "churn" in the original description we did not mean "the act of re-applying to cards" but "the act of applying to many unique credit cards at one time". Ideally, we'd like to track which credit cards a user has applied to (given their consent, of course!) and tell them when they can cancel/reapply. However, this is difficult because that information is usually anecdotal - plus the credit card companies would never tell us whether or not a card was churnable :p.

    We do want to provide a rough heuristic for how often you can apply for any card from a specific bank. Based on what I've learned (from long-time lurking on flyertalk and milepoint) I think that 2 cards from any one bank during a mass application is a soft limit. More than that, and you'll definitely have to call the reconsideration line.

    Keep the comments coming! Let us know if we've missed anything. What are the different variables that you want to tweak?
     
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  19. James Elkins

    James Elkins Member

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    Yes - you'd definitely have to use our tool with another site like ExpertFlyer, AwardNexus, or the ANA tool. Searching for award availability is hard and those guys do it much better than we could.
     
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  20. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    Interesting idea. In addition to waived first year fee, you also might want to consider somehow allowing the person to rank the cards by minimum spend or lack thereof. That's always an important factor when looking at what card(s) you want to get at one time.
     
  21. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    And remember, we already have milez.biz that can compare the various programs and how many miles we need to get from point A to point B. It's easy to figure we can use that airlines credit cards to gain miles. And most of us already know about cards like AMEX and Chase that let you transfer miles.
     
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  22. kyunbit
    Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I think you are asking a wrong crowd. Most here at MP won't need such a site for the info. However, plenty of newbies would.
     
  23. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I agree, it's a waste of my time and energy.

    DTWBOB
     
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  24. fewtreezy

    fewtreezy Active Member

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    Will it have a diverse multi-destination ability? Say I want to go to Rome and Florence, obviously the cards to get for those two cities is very different because of Florence's lack of chains. So, for Florence you would be better off booking through Ultimate Rewards or any other bank brand points but in Rome you could book through Hilton or another available brand.
     
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  25. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I agree with others that I will wait to see the final product. Somehow I don't think it is going to be useful as there are just too many nuances to consider, which are either card depend, user depended or the value of utility dependent (the most difficult to capture). Plus it seems it is only going to be a one time thing - if I apply to the card to get me to my dream trip to Rome, I could not do it again for my dream trip to Tokyo (just examples).

    We are of course the wrong crowd to test it on - we already know the answers and have all the cards we need. I find it hard to believe there will be a generic web-site that could tell me when and what credit card I should apply for.
     

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