The Best Apps for Tracking Credit Card Points and Miles
Nowadays we have apps ready for almost anything we need. Some of them are just for fun; some of them are truly helpful, becoming an essential part of our day-to-day routine. We got so used to managing our finances with the help of our phone that it’s hard to imagine that earlier if you wanted to transfer money, you had to go to the bank. The similar thing happened to tracking points and miles. Now we don’t have to remember which card gives us more points in a particular category or when the points are going to expire. Thankfully, we have apps to do that for us. And in case you’re wondering whether we really need all this points tracking (although I do hope such outrageous idea didn’t cross your mind), there are at least three reasons to do that:
• Earning more points
In the app you will see the best card for each category to earn maximum points.
• Being on the lookout for possible fraud
If you think points theft sounds like a joke, it’s not. It happens quite often. And if you care about your points, you should keep an eye on them.
• Not losing any points
Sometimes points have expiration dates which might be hard to keep up with. So let the program do that for you.
Now that we have established that a reward tracking app is a must-have in our phone, here’s the list of potential candidates for this role and their pros and cons.
The go-to app if you want to keep track of your rewards. AwardWallet can track a massive amount of programs (around 700), so even if you are a member of some particularly exclusive program, you’ll still most likely find it in the list. The categories range from the world-renowned airlines to local grocery stores.
AwardWallet also lets you manage your travel itinerary. If you forward your confirmation letters, it will create an itinerary for you. You won’t need to scroll through your emails if you forget the flight number or how long is your layover. It’s a nifty feature that absolutely enhances your travel experience.
• Able to track a wide variety of programs
• Has a bunch of great tools (such as Credit Card Spend Analysis or Merchant Lookup Tool that lets you choose the best card at a particular merchant)
• Automatically tracks your travel plans (if you choose to do that)
• Offers two-factor authentication
• Reliable and secure (has been on the market since 2004)
• The free version impose some limitations on your account (such as limited number of accounts updates per day or the expiration dates)
• If you’re new to this reward tracking game, you’ll need some time to adjust to all the available features
MaxRewards is an app specifically focused on credit cards. It introduces you to new credit cards offers, checks how much credit you use now and how much is available for you. It tells you when your bills are due and how much you owe. On the dashboard of the app there’s a special feature called ‘Bonus Trackers’ which enables you to track your progress on spending the amount of money you need to get a sign-up bonus. The app also advises you on how to pick the highest-earning credit card.
• Keeps all your cards under control to avoid any surprises
• Tracks the expenses
• Provides you with a map where you can see the stores nearby to choose the best reward option possible
• Sometimes there are problems with connecting the cards
• The choice of reward programs outside banks is limited
The Points Guy App
TPG app is a fresh release from Brian Kelly, a blogger famous for his tricks and hacks on how to accumulate and use points and miles. The app reminds a bit the blog itself offering users a collection of news and articles about travel. After you’ve linked your accounts to the app, it will show you how many points you have and what their cash value is. You’ll also get to know the expiration dates and the transfer partners for a variety of programs.
• Lets you search for flights to be purchased with points
• A lot of up-to-date content for those who are interested
• The flight search can’t give any promises, because it only accumulates historical data and introduces you to the available options
• The app is new and there might be bugs along the way