Skift Take

MileWise's Combo Fares is a remedy for sometimes-inflexible airline, hotel, and credit card rewards programs.

A partnership between MileWise and Google’s ITA Software may be the great equalizer for frequent flyers looking for flight deals.

Frequent flyers who may be a bit short in their mileage requirements for roundtrip itineraries can now search the site for Combo Fares, and pay for flights with cash, miles and/or points.

So if a last-minute Boston-San Francisco trip on US Airways this weekend might normally cost $626, “MileWise finds a Combo Fare that pairs a $314 US Airways outbound ticket with a 12,500 United MileagePlus inbound ticket, for a MileWise price of $532,” MileWise says.

But, it’s not just about miles. MileWise says users can also put their credit card points toward flights, or even combine various credit card and points programs, a MileWise spokesperson says.

The new partnership makes use of ITA Software’s QPX fare search technology, which Kayak also uses, and in an interesting twist, MileWise argues that its Combo Fares now unseat Kayak’s Hacker Fares as the gold standard of online flight search. Hacker Fares build roundtrips from two one-way fares from different airlines.

MileWise’s Combo fares not only provide flight bargains, but they enable frequent flyers to make better use of their miles and points even if they don’t necessarily have enough in their accounts to redeem flights.

It’s a partial answer to expiring miles and points, as well.

In other news, MileWise informed users October 5 that it would no longer be able to track Delta SkyMiles accounts for users as the airline continues its crackdown against mileage-tracking sites. AwardWallet and TripIt, among others, also discontinued the practice.


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Tags: ita software, loyalty

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