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As you have probably noticed, I write about miles & points quite a bit and, despite the fact that I have a large number of credit cards and loyalty program accounts (31 at the last count), I like to think that I’m good at keeping on top of my accounts, tracking spending and earnings and generally knowing where I stand at any given moment in time.
As far as my credit card spending goes I have spreadsheets that track every cent I spend and, just in case one of my loyalty accounts gets hacked (and emptied) I use Award Wallet to keep an eye on my miles and points.
For those of you who haven’t come across Award Wallet before, Award Wallet is an app (and website) that allows users to track their miles and points balances across an impressive number of loyalty programs including most airline, hotel and credit cards programs.
It’s a very useful tool for tracking your miles and points balances and the free version of Award Wallet is more than good enough for most people’s needs.
One of my favorite features of Award Wallet is one that comes with the free account and is the feature that will email users 90, 60, 30 and 7 days before a miles and points balance is about to expire or go dormant – I’ve saved Joanna’s IHG balance on at least 2 occasions thanks to an Award Wallet alert.
As good as that feature is it was a feature that I hadn’t really paid much attention to that saved me just before the end of last year.
I have my Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou credit cards all linked up to Award Wallet and the website and app show my balances as well as any travel credits I have left on the cards….
…and, in the case of the Amex credit that I get for holding the Platinum Card, they also show what airline I have associated with the credit.
I happen to hold three credit cards that offer a travel credit (the Platinum Card from American Express, the Citi Prestige card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card) and I normally don’t give these travel credits a second thought.
I book travel so often that I’m used to having all my travel credits for the year used up by the end of January so, come December, they’re one of the furthest things from my mind (I’m usually using up all my spare thinking capacity trying to work out what to get Joanna for Christmas!)
However, 2018 was different to other years as my Citi Prestige card spent more time in my bedside drawer than it did in my wallet.
I concentrated my airfare spending on my Platinum Card (to earn 5 points/dollar) and the rest of my travel spending and my restaurant spending on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (3 points/dollar in each category) – my Citi Prestige was a bystander for most of 2018.
Come December I just assumed that I had used up all my travel credits months ago (as I normally do) so, had it not been for a very timely email from Award Wallet, I wouldn’t have realised that I was days away from missing out on my Citi Prestige $250 airfare credit.
Fortunately I almost always have a flight I need to book so, a few days before the credit was about to run out, I used my Prestige card to book an airfare for one of my upcoming trips and, a few days later, the $250 credit hit my Prestige account when my billing cycle closed.
That was close!
Thank you Award Wallet, you saved me big time!
Missing out on the $250 credit would have hurt quite a bit but the embarrassment of being a miles and points blogger who couldn’t even remember to use up a credit he discusses on a reasonably frequent basis would have hurt almost as much – oh the ignominy! 🙂