MileWise.com

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

  1. Spangenberg
    Original Member

    Spangenberg Gold Member

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    Anybody heard anything about this site? its currently in private beta, kind of shady about what exactly is does, but rumors say "MileWise helps consumers find the most appealing and lucrative ways to cash in on frequent flyer miles and, eventually, other types of reward programs"

    https://secured.milewise.com/

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/14/milewise-funding/

    Anybody a part of the private beta? Any Invites? It would be interesting to know at least what they are doing.
     
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  2. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    Never heard of it, can't check it out as no invite, i'd love to chec kit out if there's a member out there.
     
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  3. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    Hey guys,

    I'm actually one of the co-founders of MileWise (there are four of us). I know we've been pretty quiet for a while now, but we'd love to get your thoughts on what we've built. We're trying to make it really easy to use miles and points for travel.

    I've made you guys an signup link good for 100 uses: http://www.milewise.com/signup/MILEPOINT100

    Please let us know what you think! Good, bad, whatever =)

    Nick
    MileWise Team
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A quick few initial thoughts...
    • The point valuations are way high. Suggesting that points are worth 3.3 cents each is bonkers.
    • The add a program frame doesn't hover well on smaller resolution screens (netbook) so the bottom is invisible.
    • The pricing on the SPG booking for the one flight I clicked through on was wrong (SPG wanted more than you said) and the class of service was lower than suggested.
    • Cash/revenue booking links don't do anything.
    Concept is reasonable - quite similar to www.GoMiles.com, really - but the execution has a long way to go.
     
  5. LXofSweden
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    LXofSweden Silver Member

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    Hi Nick,

    How does MileWise differ from UsingMiles which seems to do something similar?

    Alex
     
  6. toddreg
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    toddreg Silver Member

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    Yes can you summarize what it is you are trying to do differently and better on your site?
     
  7. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    @wandering Thanks for the heads up! We fixed the booking issue, and are working on the Starwood inventory issue.

    @LXofSweden @toddreg:

    Thanks for the interest!

    Don't want to badmouth any product or service that helps with travel planning or reward complexity, so may want to try out these services for yourself =)

    As for some of our cooler features:
    • Actual bookable real-time prices and flight details for cash, miles, points, and transfer points (Starwood/Amex to their partner airlines), so you don't need to go to another site to do a search. (No one else that we're aware of can do this)
    • Support searching AA, DL, JetBlue, UA, US, Amex, Starwood inventory right now
    • Expedite and redemption fees are included in award prices, and accurate fees are applied based on your program status level
    • We're shooting for one-click booking for both fares and awards (right now DL and US aren't working, sorry about that)
    • We show earned miles per flight (calculated based on status level and cabin class)
    • We personalize reward program values based on a user's travel behavior, and then use that to rank cash and award options, including the value of any rewards earned
    • As for tracking mile and point balances, everyone does that. We support around 200+ programs, and calculate a dollar value (based on your personal reward values) and expiration date per program balance
    Hope that helps. We're working hard on fleshing out new and existing features, but we're super focused on building a product that helps you make fast decisions based on your travel history, future plans, and goals.

    We'd love any feedback (good, bad, whatever) on improving MileWise!

    Nick and The MileWise Team
     
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  8. toddreg
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    toddreg Silver Member

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    Yesterday and again today I get this message when planning a trip-

    We're pretty embarassed about it, but it looks like we ran into an error! We've notified our hard-working developers so they can fix it as soon as possible.
    For now, please go back and try again. We're so sorry for the inconvenience!
     
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  9. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    @toddreg figured out the issue -- we weren't handling certain cases where you enter a non-airport code as an origin or destination correctly.

    We'll be pushing a fix for this later today, but for now you can get around this by making sure both the origin and destination contain valid airport codes. The auto-complete should have caught this, but obviously it wasn't working correctly here.

    Thanks for the catch!

    And for what it's worth (even though you've heard it twice already), sorry for the inconvenience =)
     
  10. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    This site seems like a good idea but still is a ways from being really useful
     
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  11. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    Hi Wandering Aramean,

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts. Let me address:
    1. At first glance that 3.3 cent mile value does appear high given the popular conventions / heuristics (e.g., 1 mile is worth 1 cent). I was surprised as well J when we first started this analysis more than a year ago. But, depending on the flight characteristics, the exchange value can vary considerably. For example, it turns out that if you're flying business or first class and you compare a flight's fare to the award price, the actual exchange value ranges from about 2-6 cents (for our present data set and for a straight redemption; if you did an upgrade, the exchange value could be 10 cents+). We assess multiple variables to calculate a weighted average exchange value per program, per preference selection [preferences are currently selected / input by the link in the headers]. Admittedly, our present data input is not as comprehensive as we would like, but it is based on real prices using the following search criteria: non-stop, 35-day / 5-week advance, 1-week stay, any time of day. And actually, if you were to search with less advance booking, the exchange values appear to be even higher. Soon, our data will be much more comprehensive, and our preference selection more granular, so the program exchange values will be much more personalized.
    2. The display issue with respect to the netbooks is a bummer. We have to get better to support multiple viewing devices.
    3. Great catch on the SPG price error! Turns out we have a bit of an issue with respect to the tax calculation for a subset of intl flights to certain destinations that involve an intl stopover. We're working to fix this, but thankfully the issue should affect only a very small percentage of search results.
    4. All cash booking links should now be working.
    Thanks and hope that's helpful.

    In regards to the “similar idea”, we've outlined a few key differences in an earlier post.

    Always happy to hear more comments/feedback so we can continue to improve!

    Sanjay & The MileWise Team
     
  12. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the thoughts. If you could please elaborate on what could make it really useful, that would be really helpful to us. There's a lot of things on the roadmap, and so user suggestions can really help us prioritize.

    Best,
    Sanjay & The MileWise Team
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Hi MileWise guys, just signed up. Noticed that when you display flight details, you apparently don't take timezones into consideration when calculating flight times. SFO-NRT takes -15 hrs 38 mins and NRT-LAX a whopping 35 hrs.
     
  14. MileWise

    MileWise Z Representative

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    Hi,

    Thanks for letting us know. We are working to fix this.

    - Sanjay & MileWise Team
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Basing the value of points on "list price" airfares that the miles holder would never book anyways is a great way to make people feel like they're getting great value but it is horribly misleading. That's the "aspirational value" of the points, as one mileage guru phrases it, but it doesn't reflect the real value that a member is getting out of the points. Sure, I booked a $2200 ticket for 25K miles but there's no way I'd have paid the $2200 so I didn't really get 9cpm.
     
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