What is the best tool for tracking points and miles?

How do you keep track of all of your points and miles?  For the past few years I’ve happily used AwardWallet, which is available both as a web site and a smartphone app.  But is it the best option available?

I recently stumbled upon this old Frommer’s article: 5 Best Websites for Tracking Loyalty Programs.  The author, Dennis Schaal, lists Traxo, AwardWallet, UsingMiles, PointHub, and TripIt (pro version) as the 5 best options, but doesn’t say which of those he likes best.

Reader input requested

I’ve been recommending AwardWallet all along without really knowing if it is better than other options.  Do you use any of those tools or any others?  What do you like or dislike about them? 

Disclosure 1

I was approached quite a while ago by UsingMiles who asked me to promote their service on my blog.  That’s not something I would do unless it was a service that I used myself and really believed in.  So far, though, I haven’t spent much time with the service so I can’t really recommend it one way or another.  Anyway, no compensation was offered, but they did give me a link that would give my readers free lifetime Premier membership.  That sounds pretty good.  If you’re interested, use this link to sign up:

https://www.usingmiles.com/account/signup?pc=FREQMILER

Disclosure 2

AwardWallet offered to run Frequent Miler ads on their site if I would write about their service.  In this case, I do use AwardWallet (and really like it!) so it seemed like a good deal.  That was months ago, and I’m just now getting around to writing something.  Does this post count?  It might count if this post generates many new signups.  Towards that end, if you haven’t already signed up for AwardWallet, please consider doing so with my link:

http://AwardWallet.com/?refCode=ucrcxvkowa

I won’t get any direct compensation, but if they get many new signups they might run Frequent Miler ads more often (which would be cool!). 

Also, try applying this coupon to upgrade to AwardWallet Pro for free for 6 months:

free-mykznj

If that coupon doesn’t work, check the comments section of this post.  I’ll list additional codes, if possible, or I’ll announce when they’ve run out.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Award Wallet has sucked since Delta/UA/AA won’t let them track miles any more – and the option of routing your statement emails through them doesn’t work with any reliability. Are there any services that can still auto-track miles?

    • Bill: I think that Points.com can still track miles with most major programs, but I find its interface much less user friendly than AwardWallet
      Acker: I didn’t even know you could do that!
      Scott H: Great points about the passwords. You’re right that is a huge negative.

  2. I grudgingly use Award Wallet. Why “grudgingly”?
    Award Wallet allows two options for storing your account passwords. The default is to store them on Award Wallet’s servers. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons.

    First this creates a database of a lot of accounts and passwords – a tempting target for thieves. We see this all too frequently, just recently with Evernote. If your thinking ,”why would someone bother to steal miles?”, remember that account names are often email addresses, and people often reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts. Stealing any large repository of accounts and passwords is valueable to the bad guys. The second reason is that we don’t know how Award Wallet stores passwords. It is very easy to get this wrong, and they don’t publish any info that I’ve found to make me feel comfortable they have it right.

    The alternative is to store you passwords on your computer as browser cookies. There are a number of technical security issues with this as well, and many people, myself included, clear their cookies regularly, making this method useless.

    So I do use Award Wallet for an point in time snapshot of my miles, but I have to enter all my passwords went I want to update balances – a real pain. I’d love to find a service that provides a demonstratively secure storage of passwords as well as the convenience of a single place to check account balances.

  3. I really like mileBlaster. I use the iPhone app and really like the features, especially when it reminds you that your points/miles are nearing expiration. It used to have both AA and Delta, and I miss that, but that is the way it is. It is incredibly convenient and I have gotten good support when needed.

    • Linda T: Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve never even heard of mileBlaster before.
      d: I agree that Google spreadsheets are a really good alternative. It won’t alert you when points are about to expire or when their have been account changes, but it covers the basics.
      dj, Dana: Thanks

  4. Google spreadsheet.

    I don’t just track miles, but application history, a future target list, redemption rates, and a tally of my current min spends and when they must be completed.

    Yes, my updates are manual, big deal.

  5. I think all these mainstream services are great what is not so great is the airlines that won’t let you use them. I understand their concerns but the free advertising is well worth it for the exposure. T me the security risk is no different than having weak passwords or passwords that you share with other people, etc.

    • DaninSTL: I agree! I hate that AA, Delta, SWA don’t let these services access their info.
      EggSS4: I’ll post some upgrade coupons that should work for those who have upgraded before

  6. FM/DJ/Dana – thanks all for your generosity. I tried upgrading but each says that if you’ve already upgraded before that the coupon is only valid for a first-time upgrade. Just an FYI for those below who might try.

  7. I can’t provide a full review here, but I just checked out UsingMiles, and I’d say you can pass. The UI is not intuitive, and the “award search” will only search United. Pretty much useless.

  8. I really like AwardWallet, although there are several things I wish they would improve. It used to be much better when you could track AA, UA and DL (although it is not their fault). I also wish that it could update all of the accounts at one time like Yodlee instead having to cycle through each one sequentially (which takes forever when you have as many accounts as I do). Sometimes one of the sites it is updating during “Update all” will error out and will somehow cause the next 40 sites to error out as well and then I have to start the update all over again.

    One of the best features of AwardWallet is the trip update alerts. This is usually handy when a flight changes its schedule (since airlines are usually not proactive on alerting you until much later). But it is also handy for hotel stays. Last night AwardWallet sent me an email alert which showed that a few award stays I have booked for Europe had reduced the points required per night (went from High Level to Low Level). I was able to rebook these reservations and earn back 40k SPG points. I am ecstatic.

    I also have free upgrade coupons, but they will only work for new users (someone who has not upgraded to Plus before): free-djmpzw

  9. Here’s the question I have about AwardWallet and American Air. Maybe you can ask AW for comment.

    I saw a post by Gary Leff that referred to American opening up their API at SXSW I thought. If American opens their API would that not allow AW to include AA once more in it’s list of vendors. Actually I’d think that is the answer to all of the airlines security concerns with AW just scraping their sites.

    http://boardingarea.com/viewfromthewing/?s=sxsw

    I’d love to get some comment by AW or AA.

  10. Best tool? Yodlee. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as far as tracking miles and points, I’d rather login to one site to see everything. Here is a sample of my daily dashboard:

    http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/7655/95235559.gif

    Note: this is the view I get when I roll back 1 version at yodlee (the newer flash based version stinks, so I only use it to add new programs, then immediately roll back to the old view). Yodlee doesn’t track AA and WN, but otherwise has decent coverage. I don’t know how reliably it is for tracking expiry, but you can set alerts for that. Much more important to me to track credit cards, bank accounts, etc.

  11. All the followings are getting ‘The number of times this coupon could be used has been exceeded by other AwardWallet members.’

    this code: Invite-56528-XULIK
    or this code: Invite-56528-YWXWX
    or this code: Invite-56528-MITBU
    or this code: Invite-56528-QFVRA

  12. I just use an excel file and update them at the end of every month. Takes around 10-15 minutes and I can manipulate the data however I want. Plus I’m not at risk if anything goes badly with these external websites.

  13. Still using AwardWallet. Tried UsingMiles, but wasn’t too impressed. Didn’t seem like any reason to switch. They don’t handle AA anymore either.

    Points.com CAN handle American. I assume they pay for the rights to do so, or the fact that American is already in bed with them for point sales or something. Anyway, you could go that way if tracking AA is critical to you.

    Personally I use the email forwarding for my monthly statements from United and that works fine. I manually update my AA miles on Award Wallet. A pain but it works.

    Still useful to me.

    As far as passwords, yes storing them all with Award Wallet should make you somewhat nervous. But if you’re using the same password for multiple websites you’re already screwed. DON’T DO THAT! Get LastPass or OnePass or do something, but don’t reuse passwords.

    As far as giving one website like Yodlee access to everything? Yikes! I use Mint and let it see my credit cards, figure it can’t do that much damage. I’d NEVER let them have access to my bank or investment accounts. That’s crazy talk.

  14. @Scott H – You can download all your AW passwords and logins to your PC for local storage and then restore them to check points balances before deleting cookies again. On the left navbar when you’re logged in just click the “Backup Local Passwords” and you’re good to go. This only works if you save credentials to a cookie.

  15. Too funny……I use Microsoft Word and elbow grease……now if things get too sophisticated or hinky I might consider moving to Excel but come on gimbroni how lazy are you if you are already on these blogs? please…………..

  16. Upgrade or get AwardWallet OneCard credits using coupon

    The number of times this coupon could be used has been exceeded by other AwardWallet members.
    Please enter a coupon code to upgrade your account to AwardWallet Plus or to get AwardWallet OneCard credits:
    Coupon Code

  17. , same thing again. hey FF, THERE ARE MANY REPORTS of USINGMILES founder and owner getting convicted of fraud, current founder is also said to be a friend of the convicted felon although he or she says they are not friend. Upgrade or get AwardWallet OneCard credits using coupon

    The number of times this coupon could be used has been exceeded by other AwardWallet members.
    Please enter a coupon code to upgrade your account to AwardWallet Plus or to get AwardWallet OneCard credits:
    Coupon Code

  18. I prefer my own Excel spreadsheet which is customized to track how many miles I need for upcoming trips. I can see at a glance which program I need to concentrate on and in which order time-wise to do it.

    • Sorta joke you go to register the first program and shazam this program is not supported………….as I commented earlier……Microsoft Word and Excel work just fine to track your miles and points………..

  19. Excel is the best. I closed my award wallet after my 3 main programs were no longer supported. Plus it solved the problem of me compulsively checking the balances too often 🙂

  20. award wallet was good but without DL,AA,UA,WN Its not worth much sure it can keep track of most of my hotel points, but even then it has problems with verification questions. It may not be their fault but when I need to manually check 4 out of 6 of my airline programs, I might as well check them all. I have a book with passwords and user ID’s and when I’m up for a award trip I check each airlines site for availability anyway, so I can look at my points then. Whenever I am due a signup bonus or purchase bonus I check to make sure it clears…the only thing I could use is a reminder for point expiration….I lost 32K Wyndham on my wifes account due to inactivity…what sucks is they sent me no less than 3 emails to let me know my points were expiring soon, but not one e-mail for her account.

  21. Thanks for the UsingMiles link! I signed up and added my accounts yesterday. In case anyone else is just starting with UsingMiles, your Chase cards won’t load. I emailed them about it and got a reply that they are working on this.

  22. Upgrade or get AwardWallet OneCard credits using coupon

    The number of times this coupon could be used has been exceeded by other AwardWallet members.
    USED:
    Coupon Code

  23. to keep the conversation Elise related to reviews I’ve personally stuck with award wallet for the past year and without the Plus features I would say it’s almost useless but I opted for the 10 dollar upgrade with the card Kingting of all of my programs. so AwardWallet plus Or bust for me.

    and if anyone still needs I have 5 Free upgrades left.

  24. Here are a few new codes. Make sure to use the entire code including the word “Invite-“. Please use only one:
    Invite-56528-BTMBH
    Invite-56528-OPRYQ
    Invite-56528-ADSAH
    Invite-56528-HLGTU
    Invite-56528-IEAZB
    Invite-56528-XUJRC
    Invite-56528-OKTGQ
    Invite-56528-PBFKZ

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