- Education of a Points Freak – Introduction
- Question 1 – Is accumulating points and miles for everyone?
- Question 2 – Won’t applying for credit cards hurt my credit?
- Question 3 – What are the pros and cons of different airlines’ mileage programs? (US Legacy Airlines)
- Question 4 – What are airline alliances and how are they useful?
- Question 5 – How can I keep track of all my account balances?
- Question 6 – What are other useful tools I can use?
- Question 7 – What are some good credit cards to start with?
Once I got pretty deep into the miles and points game, I found myself getting confused about my frequent flier numbers, my mileage balances, and most importantly, when my mileage balances would expire! I’ve found two sites that I like, so I’ve outlined them below. With over twenty account numbers to remember, I’ve found them invaluable!
Award Wallet is my go to site for keeping track of my balances. It keeps track of all my balances (except Delta, American, and Southwest who block the site), but more importantly, it tells me when all of my miles are going to expire. Award Wallet accesses a ton of programs, even beyond frequent flier programs. It can track your credit card balances and even things like Xbox Live Rewards and Groupon balances.
Award Wallet is incredibly simple to use. You sign up, and then you can immediately start adding accounts. You can also keep track of others’ accounts, whether it be spouses, family members, or friends. All you need is their online log in information. The nicest thing about Award Wallet is you can log in to each program’s website directly from Award Wallet – no more remembering all those passwords. It’s especially useful for all those obscure mileage programs you have one or two miles in.
The last thing I like about Award Wallet is its ability to keep track of itineraries for you. It automatically loads itineraries you have from your airline programs into its “Travel Plans” section. You can also load itineraries yourself. Even though it isn’t the smoothest online itinerary planner out there, it still is nice to have.
The second program I use to manage my miles is Using Miles. Even though I don’t like the interface as much, Using Miles has a lot of the same features as Award Wallet, so I won’t repeat them here. Like Award Wallet, it keeps track of a bunch of balances, and you can keep track of your friends and family as well.
The one advantage Using Miles has over Award Wallet is its travel search program. The Using Miles website has a built in travel search engine, which isn’t big news on its own, but what is great is it will search award space as well. Unfortunately, you need to be close miles wise for it to show results and it won’t tell you the actual flights available (just if there is award space). Still, it’s a good place to start when you are researching award tickets. There are more powerful award search engines out there, but at least Using Miles can search through all your programs at once.
Award Wallet and Using Miles are both great sites. Their greatest feature is that they let you know when your award balances are expiring. With all the dining programs and shopping portals that are out there, you should never allow your balances to expire – and these two sites will help you not to forget! Better yet, you can even keep track of your friends’ and families’ miles as well. Don’t leave home without them!