Americans love to earn credit card rewards, but not everyone is good at keeping track of them. And when you don't know where your credit card rewards are, and how much you have, you can miss out on opportunities to use them. In the worst case scenario, you could even lose your rewards when they expire or when you close your account.
Tools to Keep Track of Credit Card Rewards
In response to our concern for keeping track of our credit card rewards, several companies now offer online and mobile solutions to track this information. For example, AwardWallet is a free online tool and mobile app that has allowed users to track their points and miles since 2004. Their program supports over 650 loyalty programs, including not just those operated by banks, but also those offered by airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and more. It claims that there are an estimated 10 trillion unused frequent flyer miles out there that are worth over $165 billion, and that at least 20 percent of all frequent flyer miles are never redeemed.
Walla.by is another company that offers online and mobile apps for keeping track of credit card rewards. Unlike AwardWallet, it's less focused on loyalty programs offered by travel and shopping companies, and designed more for helping users to earn the most points, miles and cash back from their credit cards. It's products include the Wallet Boost mobile app as well as a browser extension designed to remind users which credit card will offer the best bonus for different types of online purchases.
Finally, a company called Birch Finance recently entered this space by creating a website that helps users manage their credit card rewards programs by analyzing their spending habits. The idea is that users can vary their spending with the goal of earning a particular type of rewards. In the future, Birch hopes to include a means to redeem points and miles directly for travel reservations.
Do You Need an App for That?
While there are multiple options available for managing your credit card rewards, many people aren't even sure that they need such a service. If you're merely using one or two reward credit cards, then you should be able to manage your points, miles or cash back directly with the issuing bank. Those who take their credit card use to the next level by having three or more cards could probably benefit from having some type of reward tracking system.
Then, there's the issue of keeping track of rewards from other loyalty programs, such as those for travel and shopping. If you travel regularly, then you might belong to dozens of airline, hotel and rental car company's loyalty programs, which makes tracking all of your points and miles extremely difficult. Using a program like AwardWallet allows you to easily organize of this loyalty program information, to which you can also add your credit card rewards.
By taking steps to keep track of your credit card rewards, you can exercise the same care to manage your points and miles that you do with your dollars.