GoMiles vs. Awardwallet, etc.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by agape2travel, Jun 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    I have read several great threads on the various mile tracking programs. It seems that most of the MilePoint community prefers AwardWallet. I'm looking for a long-term 'freebie' if possible. Does anyone have experience with GoMiles? Advantages? Disadvantages? Any other programs out there that I should check out? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I find AwardWallet to be invaluable and worth the small change I "donate" compared to the value I get.
     
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  3. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    Stephen (and anyone else who wants to comment): How do you feel about giving out your passwords on these sites?
     
  4. We happen to like GoMiles quite a bit. ;)

    GoMiles is focused on making sure that you know what points you (and anyone else you might be managing accounts for) have, what their value is for redemption and keeping them alive as expiry dates approach. We believe we offer the best guidance in terms of expiry policies across the programs we cover and we give you specific recommendations about extending the life of the accounts.

    We're also working on improving the booking engine integration to better provide for point valuation and "buy v. redeem" decision processing in our tool.

    Oh, and it is all free.

    Yes, we store your authentication credentials for the other sites in our database. That data is encrypted to keep prying eyes out and we're not interested in stealing the points out of your accounts. Plus all data traffice between you and us is uncrypted via SSL so no one is snooping on your account info.

    Feel free to reach out directly if you've got additional questions or stop by the GoMiles forum in the Concourse Z area.
     
  5. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Lots of companies that store important important information have been hacked in recent years (think Sony, Lockheed-Martin, Epsilon or - of all places - RSA). They all probably had verbiage about "industry standard encryption" and "secure database" in their marketing material and privacy policy. And yet they all have egg on their faces and their users/customer may have lost valuable data.

    I am fairly certain that that the secure systems of the various loyalty program data aggregators could be breached if someone with the appropriate skills focussed on it. There are probably bigger/more exciting targets out there, though, which helps "protect" these systems (similar to the Mac being less of a focus of malware writers due to the significantly larger target of the Windows platform).

    I currently value my miles and points in various programs at about $40k and I don't use any program to track them (other than a spreadsheet that I occasionally update, but it has no account information). Just like I don't given any third party site access to my bank and investment accounts to aggregate that data for me. Would be convenient, yes, but not worth the risk to me. Other people obviously see it differently, and that's fine.

    (I am a software engineer with some experience in data security, and while I would by no means consider myself an expert, I have seen/identified quite a few security bugs through testing or code review)
     
  7. penumpang
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    penumpang Gold Member

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    I am one of those who is not comfortable giving my passwords to a third party. In my airline accounts, there is more than just the miles that I accumulate. Depending on the airline, I have my address, birthday, other travelers' profiles, Secure Flight info, passport information, etc stored in my profile. To me, it's too much information to share with mile-tracker websites.

    I understand that they have security measures in place, but some day in the future, I wouldn't want to receive an email saying that the database has been breached. Although it can be tedious, I myself prefer to keep track of my own and family's miles. I have nothing against any of the mile-tracker websites, it's just not for me.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    If MI6 can hack into an Al Qaeda website and replace bomb making instructions with a recipe for making cup cakes, what's going to stop someone from hacking into my account and replace my UA miles with Delta SkyPesos? :D
     
  9. UsingMiles

    UsingMiles Z Representative

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    Please check out UsingMiles.com as well! We just launched a new site and now manage 32 programs. Within 60 days we'll be at over 100. Inc. Magazine just named our site the "Best Flight Miles Management App."

    In addition to managing miles, we also help you search for cash and award travel. We firmly believe that managing your miles is only one component of the equation - using them is just as an important! We represent the world's first meta search engine for award travel and you will see many new features in the coming months.

    We definitely understand if you aren't comfortable loading your info in tracker sites, and we'll be introducing a feature to let you add info manually.

    We're also free. :)
     
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  10. No doubt, and we're not claiming to be perfect. But we're doing everything we can to keep your data safe. The fact that anyone has access outside a closed system eans there is potential for the data to be compromised. Our view, and that of many others, is that if we implement the appropriate security protocols it will be sufficiently difficult for anyone to effect such an attack relative to the value of the data acquired. Even your $40K in points isn't really worth it to most hackers to go after.
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Congratulations! (I mean it)

    That said, how many sites are there now that want to manage my accounts? I realize you're trying to differentiate yourself by offering additional unique features (so do the other guys, I presume, but I haven't really looked).

    Cool!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have any reason to believe that you don't. And I suspect you're more motivated to get things right than your average credit card processor sofware engineer/IT staff member on a 9-5 job.

    Well, that sort of was what I said above with the bigger targets being around for hackers to focus on. Still, everyone needs to make their own decisions and so far I have come to the conclusion that checking my accounts manually isn't a great burden. It helps, of course, that I focus my efforts on a small number of loyalty programs, so I don't go out and check every program every day or even week/month that I am a member of.
     
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  12. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Me too. I give $5. Seems a fair sum.
     
  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I do it. I'm not overly worried. Not been burned yet online...but I guess it could happen any day.

    My homeowners policy has identify theft coverage, which includes people hacking my various online accounts (including if someone were to hack into here and post a libelous message), for up to $100k per annum. While it would be an interesting debate to determine the value of the miles, presumably I'd see the award tickets debited as soon as they're issued...so could probably raise flags before they were actually used.

    Again, I'm not overly worried.
     
  14. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    Thanks for the input so far....I have a lot to think about. Happy travels to all! Hope to see you in Chicago in October!
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's actually a fair and good point to consider: while the use of these tools to a certain degree (size of which is debatable) increase the risk of having one's account credentials stolen, they on the other hand also increase the chances of this getting noticed in a timely fashion as account changes/deductions would presumably be discovered by the rightful owner is a more timely fashion.
     
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  16. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    While we can debate the degree of incremental risk, we can probably agree the incremental risk accepted is >0.

    For me, entirely determined based on a combination of 15 years of largely trouble-free online dealing and a gut feeling, I accept whatever incremental risk there may be.

    The first time we hear of someone getting hacked on their FF account and the slightest whiff of it being from one of these aggregation sites, I'd change my underlying passwords quickly and stop using the aggregator. (I guess I could be the initial hackee, too - but I'd tell everyone else then at least!)
     
  17. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. It is an absolute pleasure to have constructive dialogues like this on MP. I'm sure we both would have been subject to plently of flames on another leading message board just in this brief dialogue. We're coming at this from different points of view...and seem able to have a mutually respectful conversation.

    This is really great.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Indeed -- for some reason it's quite easy to have an intelligent discussion here and exchange ideas without a lot of sarcasm, flames or grand-standing.

    Heck, I might even give one of these programs a try (with my wife's accounts :D) now that I have convinced myself that there are benefits in addition to risks.
     
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  19. Raffles
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    Raffles Silver Member

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    The genius of AwardWallet is that it covers EVERY loyalty card you own. And if they don't cover one, ask them and they will add it. So I don't just have all my travel cards covered, but all my UK supermarket / shopping loyalty cards as well.
     
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  20. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    OK...you talked me into it. I'm checking out AW. Thanks for the info!
     
  21. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    i am a big fan of awardwallet... have tried usingmiles and it is good too.
     
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  22. Points.com

    Points.com Z Representative

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    There's always Points.com!

    It's free to join and track your balances, and we also have lots of other features, like the ability to exchange between your programs, trade with other users and redeem for gift cards or into PayPal. We cover over 100 programs and we're working to add new ones all the time. If there's a program you'd like us to add, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know!

    You can check out the programs we currently support here: https://www.points.com/pdccontent/supportedprograms.html.

    We've been focused on keeping our users' data safe for almost ten years now. We use 128-bit, SSL, government-grade encryption, and we're TRUSTe and Verisign certified.
     
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  23. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I'm all about AwardWallet.

    I've tried UsingMiles a few times because I like the concept, but I can't find anything, ever with their booking engine. I don't mean bad options - literally nothing. Ever. When I know flights are available on the airlines I've input into their system (since deleted). They could earn trust from me if the system actually generated results, and if they let me search for award tickets without linking my FF accounts. I'm not sure why they need that info to show me results.

    Points.com? Please. Wasted WAY too much time on that broken system over the years. As bad as it was, their 2010 upgrade made it virtually impossible. I'm still surprised so many airlines and hotel chains use them to sell points. There's an area that's ripe for a good competitor.

    It's funny - I chose the one that costs money. I guess you get what you pay for.
     
  24. UsingMiles

    UsingMiles Z Representative

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    Hi Schnitzel,
    Thanks for the great feedback on UsingMiles.com. We have a lot of changes coming down the pike in search and I think you will be pleased with where we are going. The reason we need your information to execute an award search is because the award seats and hotel rooms that you qualify for is entirely dependent on your mile/point balances in each given program. Does that make sense?

    Please hang tight and your experience will improve in the coming months. We are working hard to earn your trust and to provide a search experience that is useful and easy...and accurate.
     
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  25. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I very firmly disagree with this logic for two reasons:

    1 - I have a ton of miles and points all over the place. Having to input every account is just too burdensome. If you want to compete with the other sites, give me an easy entry point.

    2 - I have American Express Membership Rewards points as well as Starwood Preferred Guest points (lots of both), and between the two, I can (currently) get points just about anywhere I need them. So if I see where they'll be best used, I can just transfer them over.
     
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