Once you’ve been paying attention to points and miles for a while, it becomes inevitable that you’ll end up with a stack of membership cards from various programs. Airline programs. Hotel programs. Rental car programs. Credit card programs. Dining programs. You name it and I probably have a card for it. One of the services that I find invaluable to keep this all organized is AwardWallet. Here are five things AwardWallet does that’ll make your life easier:
AwardWallet offers two types of accounts. There’s a free version and the Plus version, the latter of which costs $30 a year. Here are the differences between the two:
I pay the extra for the Plus version mainly because it shows all my account expiration dates on the home page and the ability to update five accounts at a time. When you’re checking over 50 accounts, that saves a bunch of time. If you want to sign up for an account, we have a signup link for referrals (full disclosure: we get a small kickback if you use our referral link).
1) Keep Track Of Your Accounts
This is the main function of the AwardWallet website and app. You need to enter your account information and password and after that, the website will constantly update your account balances. If you’re worried about your information, you can store the passwords on your computer instead of AwardWallet’s servers and they also offer two-factor authentication for account privacy.
You can track your accounts using the free functions of the website. Having a single place where you can store your account numbers and passwords makes it so much easier when you want to log in to check or make a reservation.
2) Know When Your Points Will Expire
Programs love to tell you that you’re points will NEVER EXPIRE, but they actually don’t expire only as long as you have qualifying account activity (here are some easy ways to keep your account active). AwardWallet keeps track (the best it can) of when you need to have some account activity to keep your points alive. Leading up the date, you can set up to get email reminders (and/or push notifications to your phone) that your points are approaching the expiration date. A new feature also gives you tips on how to keep your miles active. The last thing you want is to have points expire and if you only notice a few days before, you may already be too late to save them.
3) Remember to Use Your Free Stuff
You may be earning free nights, companion fares or other perks from your credit cards or loyalty programs. It’s way too easy to forget you have these perks or lose track of when they all expire. My dad almost let an IHG free night certificate expire because he didn’t know it was in his account. As it turned out, I caught it in time and he was able to book a $400 hotel room with that certificate. Would have been a shame to let it go bad sitting in his account.
4) Track Reservations (and Reservation Changes)
If you travel frequently, you may already be using a program like TripIt to keep track of your plans. However, AwardWallet also can keep track of your travel plans. Any reservation linked to your loyalty program accounts should automatically import to the website. You can also link your email accounts to have them scanned for new reservations or forward reservation emails directly to AwardWallet.
Airlines like to change things like flight numbers, flight times or seat assignments without letting you know. Of course, they claim that they notified you, but you might not have been paying attention to a one hour time change six months before your trip. When AwardWallet notices these changes, they’ll email you. You can also keep track of your reservations on the website and reservations with changes will be highlighted in red until you click that you’ve seen the message.
5) Notice If Your Points Are Stolen
Despite your best efforts, your loyalty accounts may get hacked and find out your points were stolen. If you’re not paying attention, you may not notice this until you want to make an award reservation and there aren’t any points in your account. AwardWallet can send you a weekly recap of your accounts showing any changes. If you notice points missing, it’s best to notify the program immediately so they can investigate what happened and the sooner the better.
Final Thoughts & How To Sign Up For An Account
I’ve been using AwardWallet for years and I’m happy with the service they provide. They’ve branched out and now write a blog, offer credit card sign up links, sponsor a Facebook group and provide award booking services. While I’m sure these are helpful to some people, I want a place where I can keep all of my stuff in order and their website is the place I choose to do just that.
If you want to sign up for an account, we have a signup link for referrals. (full disclosure – if you use our referral, we may get a small commission)
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary