During my time as a professional travel hacker, I’ve found that the best way to stockpile points and miles is to intelligently stockpile credit cards. Over the years, I’ve collected over 30 credit cards and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of points and miles in almost every currency out there, so you can imagine that organizing my accounts has the potential to turn into a messy logistical nightmare. Fortunately for me, there are several tools out there that were designed to help people like me manage multiple accounts. Here are four of my favorite, go-to apps and tools that I use to keep myself organized.
1. Travel Freely
Travel Freely is a webapp that is dedicated to helping travelers optimize their points and miles game, which is exactly why I use them. Not only is Travel Freely great for learning the ins and outs of rewards programs, but it’s also a hugely practical tool for organizing the rewards credit cards that you already have. For me, I use it to keep track of annual fee and bonus deadlines as well as 5/24 status. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 5/24 rule, it’s specific to Chase accounts. Chase does not approve applicants for a new card if they have opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months. Travel Freely has all of my logistical credit card information stored in one place so that I don’t have to go back and individually search for deadlines or have to guess my 5/24 status.
2. QuickBooks Self Employed
As a self-employed individual, QuickBooks Self Employed (50% off your first 6 months) is one of the best tools out there to help me manage my spending trends, accounts, and annual federal and state taxes. However, this app is also ideal for managing my credit card accounts because it allows me to review transactions from all of my credit cards as they come in. Even if I wasn’t self-employed, I would use this tool or something similar; the real-time ability to monitor my credit card transactions helps me keep track of money movement, and also allows me to catch any fraudulent activity or incorrect charges as soon as possible.
AwardWallet is a well-known name among the travel hacking community because it was designed as an organizational tool for points and miles accounts. While Travel Freely keeps track of deadlines and status for my credit cards, AwardWallet takes a similar stock of my points and miles. AwardWallet has partnered with nearly 700 awards programs worldwide including credit cards, airlines, hotels, shopping, dining, and more. Unfortunately, Delta Airlines and United Airlines have not yet partnered with AwardWallet due to user privacy policies with both airlines, but I keep track of my other currencies such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, British Airways Avios, AMEX Membership Rewards Points, Capital One Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, and more. One of the best parts about AwardWallet is not only the ability to organize my points into one datasheet but the fact that AwardWallet will alert me if and when points are about to expire. This helps me keep track of due dates and avoid the disappointment of having a bunch of points expire before I’m able to use them.
So far, I’ve mentioned a tool to keep track of annual fee deadlines, a tool to manage and review transactions, and a tool to help me manage points and miles accounts. All I need now is a tool to help me remember when my bills are due, so enter Prism. I’m pretty new to Prism, and I’m not totally sold on it yet but it does have a lot of potential. Prism is a helpful app that keeps track of the majority of my bills so that I know how much is due, and when it’s due. Not only does Prism keep track of credit card bills, but if I haven’t already set up automated payments directly, I can keep track of other monthly expenses such as my Google Fi or Netflix bills. I can also use Prism as a financial monitor and weigh my bills against my income, but I mostly use it to manage and organize my payment schedules. Prism doesn’t interface with Capital One and a few other smaller banks, but for those, I simply use my own spreadsheet. It is nice not to have to do that with every account, though! I have had some slight problems with Prism making payments from my regional bank in Michigan, but I’m hoping that the issue is going to be solved quickly.
What are some of your favorite account organization tools? Let us know in the comments.