With all of your sign up bonuses, reward points, credit card minimum spending dates…you’ll need to be organized. There are several apps out there that are very good and easy to use. Below, I’ll share information on my favorites. But, I’ll start with my free excel sheet…I know, ancient. I still keep a paper planner too…something about having some control over it!
Free very basic excel spreadsheet here. Here’s why I love it…super simple! I plugged in an example to make it easier to understand.
Credit Card Name: Credit Card Provider and Type (Like Marriott Bonvoy Visa)
Type: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa, etc.
Sign-On Bonus: How many sign on bonus points did you receive?
Minimum Spend: Amount of $ you have to spend in a short length of time.
Max Spend Due Date: The date the minimum spend has to be met by. Mark this date in more than one spot, you don’t want to lose your sign-on bonus miles.
Credit Limit: Amount you were approved for.
Annual Fee: Fee associated with credit card, in this example $95/annually.
Age: How long have you had this card?
Annual Fee Due: This is important. You’ll want to know when the annual fee is due again because you may want to cancel the card after a year, especially if you’ve used the sign on miles and no longer find value in the card. New credit card promos come out all year round and if you are travel hacking, you may want a new card next year.
Date Opened: Date the card was issued, this is important for minimum spending and the Chase 5/24 rule.
Chase 5/24 Rule. If you’ve been following Cards for Travel for a while, or have applied for more than a couple of credit cards over the last few years, you’ve most likely stumbled upon what the internet refers to as the Chase “5/24” Rule.
The 5/24 rule states this: If you have opened 5 or more new credit cards in the past 24 months (from any issuing bank), you will not be approved for a new credit card from Chase.
Whether you have loved new credit cards and the signup bonuses that come along with them for awhile, or if you’re just getting your first travel rewards credit card, here are a few things you should know about the 5/24 rule:
Award Wallet is the most popular for tracking points and miles. They’ve been around the longest too, launching their app in 2004. AwardWallet supports more than 600 programs.
Free Version. Allows you to track your balances, stores account number, usernames and passwords. You can include your spouse or other family members who are also trying to track miles. You will also receive a notification when points are going to expire.
AwardWallet Plus. With this upgrade, you’ll be able to see a history of your balances and have the ability to export into an excel spreadsheet…hint, hint…there’s the old excel spreadsheet again 🙂
Tripit Pro. is the paid version of the app at $49/year (or try it free for 30 days), but it is packed with the most features including, real time tracking, cancellations, gate changes, alerts for delays and so much more. With this version, you will be able to track your points and miles as well.
Organizing your itinerary. You’ll be able to have an organized itinerary of your flight information, restaurant reservations, driving directions, meetings, car & hotel reservations, etc.
Seat Tracker is a really cool feature as well. Tripit Pro will alert you when the desired airline seat becomes available, leaving you out of the dreaded middle seat.