I don’t sign up for loyalty or rewards programs anymore. Why, you ask? Because it’s too damn hard to stay on top of them all, and then I feel like a frugal failure. There was a while there where I was actually flying a lot, so I signed up for JetBlue rewards, and then I felt like I had an obligation to fly JetBlue all the time, which was a problem when other airlines offered way cheaper flights. But then I figured I'll just spend the extra money now and enjoy extra leg room and free headphones and get the miles back later--which then made me question why I was bothering at all, if I was just going to end up spending more money in the long-run.
For people who don’t overthink their cheapness, there are rewards management sites like UsingMiles, which helps you stay on top of all of your different loyalty points programs. But what do you do when you actually want to be proactive about your points—particularly your frequent flyer miles? To that end, UsingMiles announced Wednesday its new in-house travel search engine, which will help you earn more points by incorporating the information from your loyalty programs directly into your search.
“The engine works like Kayak, in that we scour hundreds of airline sites to find the best fares and send our users directly to the supplier to complete their booking,” UsingMiles founder Krista Paul told me. “Our loyalty dashboard, which manages over 200 loyalty programs in travel, finance, retail, etc., is the ‘brain’ of our technology. We are able to present customized, personalized search results to our users with bonus deals embedded in the results that take into account your loyalty portfolio, where you are going and when.”
For example, if you need to book a flight, you simply enter your destination and dates into UsingMiles’s search engine and the results page will turn up information on flights as well as how many miles you need to earn a free flight, when your miles expire, loyalty points you may have with restaurants in the area, and loyalty points you may have with rental car services.
Right now, the engine just focuses on travel, but in the future, it will expand to other commerce areas, such as retail, restaurants, daily deals, and more.
Paul tells me that the average UsingMiles member has six loaded programs and is managing some $5,000 worth of miles and points. “We plan on growing the programs managed to 14, as we load new programs and make it easier to add them in bulk,” she said.
Additionally, while the search engine is embedded in the website, the company has an Android app and will soon have an iOS app.
The site makes it easy enough to sign up. With over 200 loyalty programs managed on the site, you simply create your account and begin adding the brands that you have accounts with. The site offers a free basic plan and a premier membership for $29.99 a year, which offers all of the management and points-tracking features of the basic plan, with the added bonus of getting alerts when your miles or points are about to expire, as well as the ability to see instantly if you have enough points to redeem for free stuff.
For a limited time, Vator readers can sign up for a free lifetime premier membership plan by following this link.