Should you lock in AwardWallet Plus for $10 per year?

Beginning February 1, AwardWallet Plus memberships are going to triple in price from $10 to $30 per year.  Fortunately, AwardWallet is letting customers lock in the old $10 per year price.  To do so, you just need to subscribe to AwardWallet Plus before the end of this month.

Background: AwardWallet is a service for keeping track of frequent flyer miles, hotel points, bank points, and more. It offers both a web site and mobile app for accessing your information. AwardWallet lets you manage both your own and your family member’s accounts. For most accounts, it will automatically update your award balances without any extra work from you.  AwardWallet is free unless you upgrade to AwardWallet Plus.

Is AwardWallet Plus worth $10 per year?

It seems almost silly to waste time asking about a mere $10, but I know that many readers are wondering whether they should pay it.  How do I know that?  My mom, who is also a reader of this blog, emailed and asked me.  That’s how.

Here’s AwardWallet’s feature chart showing both the Free and Plus benefits:

AwardWalletFreeVsPlus
In the post “I love AwardWallet, but not for the reason you think,” I listed my favorite AwardWallet features:

  1. Launch sites and automatically log in
  2. Warn me when certificates are about to expire
  3. Warn me when points and miles are about to expire
  4. Lookup member number, ID, and password
  5. Let me know when points and miles increase or decrease

I believe that all of my favorite features are currently available in the free version of AwardWallet.  Of course, that could change at any time.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all for AwardWallet to move some of the currently free features to AwardWallet Plus.

However, based on the current chart, here are the features that are available only with AwardWallet Plus, along with a bit of commentary:

  • Display extra reward account properties: I don’t know what this means in practice, so its hard to say whether this is valuable.
  • Display historical account balance changes chart: I hardly ever look at these.
  • Display historical transactions for some of your loyalty accounts: I’ve never noticed this.  I’m not sure which programs have this extra info.
  • Allow exporting award balances into Excel or PDF formats: I guess that would be nice, but it would be just as easy to use a browser plug-in that grabs the entire screen (I’ve been using FireShot, for example)
  • Update accounts in parallel (up to 5X faster): This sounds worthwhile, but honestly I’ve never paid attention to how long this takes
  • Display expiration date of your miles or points (3 expirations for the Free version, unlimited for Plus): This is a feature I rely on.

To sum up, based upon my own use of AwardWallet, I value the ability to display an unlimited number of expiration dates, and parallel account updating is a “nice to have.”  The rest of the Plus features could go away and I don’t think I’d notice.

So, back to the question…

Would I pay $10 per year to be able to see more than 3 expiration dates and for faster account updates?  Yes, absolutely. 

I mean, come on.  $10 per year is less than $1 per month.  Disclosure: I don’t earn any money from this, but if people I referred to AwardWallet pay for AwardWallet Plus, I’ll earn points that can be redeemed for airline miles.

Should you lock in $20 in savings if you’re not sure you need AwardWallet Plus?

If you’re not convinced that AwardWallet Plus is worth even $10 per year, you might still consider locking in that price, just in case, for the following reasons:

  1. We don’t know if all of AwardWallet’s currently free features will remain free.  If you depend upon the free version of AwardWallet today, you may find that you need AwardWallet Plus in the future (this is just my conjecture: I haven’t heard anything from the folks at AwardWallet to support this guess)
  2. AwardWallet may add valuable new features to AwardWallet Plus in the future.

How to lock in the $10 price

  1. If you don’t already have AwardWallet, Click here to signup for free
  2. If you’ve never upgraded to AwardWallet Plus before, apply code “FrequentMiler” to get your first 6 months of AwardWallet Plus for free.
    [Click the down arrow next to your name within AwardWallet, and click “Upgrade Using a Coupon“]
  3. Activate your $10 per year subscription.  If you upgraded with a free trial code, you won’t be charged until your free trial is over.
    [Click the down arrow next to your name within AwardWallet, and click “Extend Membership“]

awardwalletupgrade

Questions about locking in the $10 per year rate?

AwardWallet has complete details about the fee change, here.

Summary and Final Answer

Yes, mom, lock it in.  It’s only $10 per year.  See “How to lock in the $10 price”, above, for details.

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

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Comments

  1. I respect the author’ opinion, but if it’s not worth paying st $10, it’s not worth paying for at $1/year early. I plan to early retire and such trivial decisions add up to big money, when invested over time 🙂

  2. Do you know if I can lock in the price and pay for more than one year at $10? I already paid for my one year subscription at $10 but would like to extend it at that price. I went through the process of submitting a payment in award wallet but it did not show me that I was going to get an additional 12 months after my current subscription expires. Thanks.

  3. If the free version provides email notification 90 days in advance of points expiring, then what is the practical benefit of the paid version’s ability to display all expiration dates? If I have the free version, am I only going to get notices on the 3 accounts whose expirations are being displayed, or would I still be getting that for all accounts?

    • I wondered the same thing. I think that the free version sends emails for all accounts, but I’m not 100% sure.

      For planning purposes I like to be able to see those expiration dates when I log in. Here’s an example: If I’m about to make a purchase through an airline portal and I see that my wife’s miles are closer to expiration than mine, I may choose to log into the portal with her account in order to reset the expiration.

      • AW is invaluable for keeping track of the points expiries on the 45 accounts SO and I have. A bit of a pain to set up initially but well worth the effort.

        Had to laugh at the guy who’s retiring early yet $10 is too rich for his blood. Oh my.

        • That’s because you don’t understand compounding. If you applied your logic to every “small” purchase and tracked it, you’d be surprised how much money has disappeared at the end of every month, because you made that same “it’s only X dollars” argument every time. You could say, “It’s only $1000” – same argument. Basically, not wasting money just because you have it is how you retire early.

          I personally loathe AW’s awful update to tiny gray on gray font and don’t login much anymore. If AwardWallet decides to remove usefulness from the free version, then I’ll probably stop using it altogether, not pony up. And yes, they do email you about expirations that are not part of the arbitrary 3.

  4. totally unrelated – Did you see that Pres. Obama and family went on vacation at Necker Island? I thought you’d get a kick at out of that.

  5. @Greg

    Why does no blogger let users know that they cannot keep track of complicated logic where points expire no matter what after x years. Is that not important piece of information?

    Imagine one day to find your whole balance 0 and AW as per their terms and conditions have no liability.

  6. It’s not really worth the risk of your information getting hacked. Travel reward programs have such low security and requirements for booking (only your name and account number and they allow you to book for others) that once AW is hacked you’re in a world of trouble.

    • You have 2 choices – check your balances occasionally yourself or use AW once or twice a day to check for movements.

      I know which gives me more confidence I would spot a hacked account and halt any fraudulent booking.

      • Except once AW gets hacked, ALL your accounts are compromised at once and likely forever since there’s no way for most programs to give you a new number.

        If any accounts were hacked without AW, it would most likely be a breach at the airline/hotel and they would then most likely have a system to deal with it.

  7. I already extended my subscription to lock in the $10, but they wouldn’t charge my card until my current free AW + period ends, which is next year.

    The thing is, what if the credit card I used is not active next year? We are in this hobby, and we don’t keep all the cards forever.

    Are they going to tell me, hey we tried to charge you, but it didn’t go through. So now you have to pay $30 instead of $10?? I wanted to clarify this, but they customer service hasn’t been helpful at all.

    • I asked AwardWallet your question. Short answer, you’ll still only have to pay $10. Here’s the answer from AwardWallet:

      They can always update the payment type from their profile and just give us a different card. If we fail to charge the card we will also send an email telling them about it and they will still be able at that time to go and provide us with a new credit card and get the upgrade for $10.

  8. My AW Plus acct is pd thru 11/17 and it will not let me lock in future $10/price.
    What’s the best way to contact them?

    Thx

  9. I have tried AwardWallet and my frequent flyer. I have not shared any account info with anyone. but ironically around the same time I signed up, my frequent flyer accounts were hacked, and someone had booked a reservation under my hilton honors account using my credit card on file with Hilton Honors. I called Hilton Honors and also filed a police report. When I confronted AwardWallet about the security breach, they were defensive, and did not offer to help. I closed my awardwallet account immediately after that incident. I might be one of the outliers, but I’m going to stick to managing my own award miles and points. It’s not worth the headache.

  10. You are at the mercy of the 3rd party vendor that has access to all of your logins and passwords in the case of a breach. By making a payment of $10 or $30, it does not guarantee your information will be protected. I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s not worth the risk.

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