The 5 best tools to keep track of credit card rewards, according to a woman with 25 cards
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- Writer Caroline Lupini has 25 credit cards and has been managing rewards travel seriously since 2013. She travels six to eight months of the year, largely by using credit card rewards.
- She uses a combination of apps to keep track of her cards, rewards, and her finances in general.
- Those apps include Personal Capital to monitor her overall finances, AwardWallet to consolidate all of her rewards info, and Travel Freely to find credit card opportunities she might have missed.
If you are a frequent traveler and credit card buff, it can be challenging to keep track of all of your accounts when you are a member of multiple frequent flier programs, hotel rewards programs, or a steward of numerous credit cards. If you're not ... things might seem even more intimidating!Creating yet another account might be the last thing you think you need right now, but trust me on this: Some apps exist to simplify your award life, help you make better use of your rewards, and keep your finances in order.
I have 25 cards in total, and I've been tracking my rewards seriously since 2013. Now, I travel six to eight months of the year with a good portion of travel booked on rewards.
From managing your points balances to optimizing your rewards to monitoring your financial health, there are plenty of programs that were designed to consolidate your accounts and help you stay on top of everything.
Here are a few tools that I've been using regularly use to manage my accounts for the past six years.
If you're looking for a way to consolidate information about all of your rewards programs into one place without relying on yourself to make a custom spreadsheet, definitely check out AwardWallet.
Just sign up for an account with AwardWallet, add information about your awards programs, and AwardWallet will track your accounts for you. AwardWallet will even alert you when your balances change and when your points are about to expire so that you don't accidentally lose a bunch of points.Read more: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and benefits of 2019
If you're worried about whether or not your particular rewards program is supported, you can check the list of supported programs here; however, with nearly 700 rewards programs represented and accounted for, the list probably contains rewards programs about which you've completely forgotten and have never even heard of.
For those of us who aren't great at paying attention to credit card opportunities or just don't know how to get started, Travel Freely exists to help you keep track of the best card offers for your credit, lifestyle, and financial health.
Not all credit card offers are created equal, and not all credit card offers are right for you or your personal credit. Travel Freely helps you understand which cards are best for travel, hotel stays, airlines, cash back, or small businesses.
Where Travel Freely is unique is that it's a free service that helps you choose the right credit cards. Think of it almost as an auto-pilot for managing which credit cards you should get next to help you earn the most rewards. It's an amazing service for points and miles beginners who are looking to get started earning travel rewards. Travel Freely's CardGenie is like having a one-on-one personal consultant who can recommend the best credit cards.
Travel Freely is also a good tool for credit card enthusiasts. It offers detailed tracking of bank restrictions like Chase's 5/24 rule with no need for spreadsheets.
If you're just looking for a simple way to keep track of your financial health and plan for the future, Personal Capital is a great tool to help you do so. Personal Capital is a wealth management software that can keep track of all of your accounts, cards, and investments, track your income and expenses, and help you monitor your net worth.On top of that, Personal Capital is able to help you make a budget that aligns with your present spending habits and then plan and save for future expenses like retirement and educational funds.
Personal Capital's built-in fee analyzer is set up to uncover hidden fees in your mutual funds to protect you from losing money. This is a great way to keep track of your assets and monitor your own financial health and investment futures.
While you're signing up for new credit cards and earning more and more rewards points, it's also important to keep track of your credit score and to do that, you need a solid budget. This is where Mint comes in. Built by Intuit, the same folks who developed TurboTax, Mint is an all-in-one budget builder that keeps track of your spending habits and suggests appropriate budgets for your lifestyle.
It can also keep track of all of your bills so that you never miss a payment, and you can even check your credit score directly from Mint. Not only will you have access to your credit score, but Mint will provide personalized tips on how to improve and grow your credit one step at a time.
On top of that, you can bring Mint wherever you are with its portable and user-friendly phone and tablet apps.
While you may be playing the points and miles game to get great benefits and travel for free, it's likely that a few of you are self-employed freelancers who use your points and miles to travel and work on the go. If that's true for you, you may want to consider using QuickBooks Self-Employed.
Also developed by Intuit, QuickBooks Self-Employed keeps track of your earnings, profits and losses, bank accounts, and cards. You can invoice clients and manage contractors all in one place, and your tax information will already be available at the end of the fiscal year.
This can give you peace of mind as you travel and handle your business as well as your credit card accounts, because nobody likes to be caught off guard with a surprise fraudulent charge.
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