It’s March “Mayhem” (hey I don’t want to get sued, ya know)! Since this is one of my favorite times of the year, I thought I’d celebrate by running a bracket competition so we can determine the best miles and points tool out there.
I used the tools from those articles, along with others that have come up over the last few months. I did my best to “seed” them, and here they are – links go to the my review / description of the tool, when appropriate.
- Award Wallet
- Autoslash (SEE ALSO: my #2 miles and points tool comes through for me again)
- Google Flights / ITA Matrix
- Airline Route Mapper
- Award Mapper
- Hotel Hustle
- Flight Aware
- Check My Trip
- Expert Flyer
- The Flight Deal
- Cashback Monitor
- Boingo Wifi
How Travel Hacking March Mayhem will work
Here’s how this mini bracket contest will work – we’ll use my list of 16 different miles and points tools – the full bracket is provided below (pic generated by Challonge)
Over the next 4 days, we’ll have the 8 first round “games”. Each day will have a post with 2 sets of tools – just vote for the tool that YOU feel is the most useful for miles and points collecting, redeeming or general travel. There is no set criteria for your vote (stop over thinking this!)
- Thursday March 17th – #1 Award Wallet vs. #16 Boingo Wifi and #6 Rome2Rio vs. #11 Check My Trip
- Friday March 18th – #8 FlyerMiler vs. #9 Seatguru and #2 Autoslash vs. #15 Osmand
- Saturday March 19th – #3 Google Flights / ITA Matrix vs. #14 Cashback Monitor and #5 Award Mapper vs. #12 Expert Flyer
- Sunday March 20th – #7 Hotel Hustle vs. #10 Flight Aware and #4 Airline Route Mapper vs. #13 The Flight Deal
Each post will run at approximately noon EDT and voting for each of the first round matchups will stay open until next Monday morning (the 21st). So if you miss a day, you can use the links above to catch up on voting. Next week we’ll continue with the 8 first round winners and the rest of the bracket
So…. on to the voting!
#3 Google Flights / ITA Matrix vs. #14 Cashback Monitor
Google Flights and ITA Matrix are two related tools (ITA is owned by Google) that help you determine the costs of flights as well as what airlines fly which routes (and times). I like to use Google Flights if I want to find out what times a given flight are. For instance, when I was trying to book my round the world trip, I used Google Flights to check the different first class options between the US and Asia (I ended up on Japan Airlines first class)
I use Cashback Monitor to check on the cashback amounts at different shopping portals before I buy something online. This way I can make sure to go through the shopping portal that gives the best return. Portal cashback values change nearly every day, and there are a couple of different sites that track this information, but I personally have had good luck with Cashback Monitor.
So which will it be? #3 Google Flights / ITA Matrix or #14 Cashback Monitor? Vote below!
#5 Award Mapper vs. #12 Expert Flyer
Award Mapper is the site that I usually use when I am looking for hotels in a given area. They use a Google Maps style interface, where you can filter by different hotel chains as well as the number of points required. They support pretty much all the major chains, but the one downside with Award Mapper is that the data seems to be a bit out of date, so you can’t always count on it 100%
Expert Flyer is a site that lets you set alerts for different award space. They do not have ability to see award space for EVERY airline, but they do support a good chunk of them. You can get an alert for when award space opens up as well as . The one downside with Expert Flyer (and why I don’t have them seeded higher) is that Expert Flyer is a pay site. They do offer a 5 day free trial but after that, the basic service is $4.99 / month.
So which will it be? #5 Award Mapper vs. #12 Expert Flyer? Vote below!
Make sure and vote on our other first round games as well
- #1 Award Wallet vs. #16 Boingo Wifi
- #2 Autoslash vs. #15 Osmand
- #6 Rome2Rio vs. #11 Check My Trip
- #8 FlyerMiler vs. #9 Seatguru
A note on shenanigans – this contest is meant to be in fun and there are no prizes for winning. While I don’t mind if you encourage friends, family members and others to vote for a particular tool, please don’t try to rig the system by voting multiple times. I do reserve the right to disqualify entries and/or just arbitrarily pick a winner if I feel like it.