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If you’re a fan of the miles and points hobby, you’ve probably submitted your fair share of credit card applications over the months and years as part of your strategy to replenish your rewards balances.
And while applying for the best travel credit card is also a great way to periodically refresh your wallet to ensure you’re using the most rewarding card for your daily purchases, every new credit card makes it just a tad more difficult to stay organized. Personally, I’ve got 18 credit cards. And for a while I found it a challenge trying to keep track of it all! Did I have any points expiring soon? Was I using the best credit card for a particular purchase? What points did I have available to book an award flight?
I’ll share with you some tools you can use to stay organized with credit card miles and points so you can continue making the most of this hobby.
Stay organized with credit card miles and points
Having some sort of system to keep track of your credit cards can help in two major areas.
First, it helps you stay on top of which cards to use for specific purchases. Picking up some items at your local supermarket? It’ll pay to remember which of the best grocery credit cards has a bonus on it this quarter.
Secondly, keeping track of your credit card rewards helps ensure none of your hard-earned points will expire! You can keep a closer eye on your points balances to make sure your points are being properly credited to your account, and you can more quickly determine the best combination of miles and points for booking an award flight.
Old fashioned sticky notes
Cards that offer rotating rewards categories are wonderful for folks willing to take the time to stay on top of the latest bonus information. But when you’re juggling multiple credit cards, it can be easy to forget what those bonus categories are.
One simple solution? Write the bonus categories down on a piece of paper or sticky note and slap it on your credit card. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it’s a surefire way for you to make sure you’re always using the right card for every purchase. Trust me, your future self will thank you, especially once you’ve earned enough points for that next big trip of yours.
AwardWallet for tracking your trips and loyalty accounts
AwardWallet is, in my opinion, one of the best automated ways to keep track of your miles and points. It’s a central hub that connects to and monitors all of your loyalty accounts with various credit cards, airlines, and hotels. You can set it up to send you notifications when your points are set to expire, and you can also manage and track your travel plans!
The free version provides you with all of the most essential items needed. But if you’re looking for extra features, there is a paid version called AwardWallet Plus. For $30 per year, you’ll get additional functionality like the ability to track historical balance changes, credit card spend analytics, the ability to export award balances into Excel or PDF formats, and much more.
Their FAQ section outlines the differences between the free and paid version.
If you’re planning a trip and find yourself overwhelmed when it comes to keeping tabs on your travel itinerary, TripIt could be the answer to your problems.
There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to planning a trip. You have to keep tabs on your flight status, last-minute gate changes, flight delays, hotel room status, etc. — the list goes on and on.
Imagine being able to see your entire trip in one place. That’s what TripIt aims to do. It organizes all of your travel plans and creates a master itinerary so you can see everything in one spot. The free version provides useful features like the ability to show available transportation options, neighborhood safety, and dining options near your hotel.
The paid version, which comes at a cost of $49 per year, has additional functionality, including real-time fight alerts, reminders to check-in for your flight, reminders on when to leave for the airport, updates on security wait times, and much more.
If you’re juggling a handful of credit cards and are worried about how you can keep track of when your bills are due, spreadsheets are definitely worth a look. After all, you don’t want to accidentally be late on a credit card and have it wreck your credit score.
You can use Excel to list all of your credit cards and their due dates (free options, like Google Sheets, work just as well). Then, simply run through that list on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to make sure all of your credit cards are paid on time, all the time.
Keeping track of all of your travel credit cards, rewards balances, and loyalty accounts can be challenging, especially if you’re juggling more than a handful of them. But there are tons of ways to stay organized so that you can make the most of this hobby.
It can be something as simple as a sticky note slapped to your credit card so you know which one to use for a particular purchase. More tech savvy people can use programs like Excel to make sure all of their bills are paid on time. And sites like AwardWallet can simplify your life by automatically tracking your loyalty accounts and notifying you of any soon-to-expire points.
What do you think of these tools? Let us know what’s worked for you when it comes to staying organized with your miles and points. And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card tips and tricks.