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- Managing credit card rewards can be tough due to expiration dates, deadlines, and rotating bonus categories.
- There are a range of apps that can help recommend the best cards, find the best redemptions, and issue alerts if you’re missing out on opportunities.
- Many of these tools are free, but in some cases, you’ll need to pay a small fee for bigger benefits.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.
Playing the credit card game can be insanely rewarding — racking up points and miles, scoring huge sign-up bonuses, and earning outsized cash-back percentages. However, keeping up with the rules of the game can also be challenging.
Bonus categories can change every few months, and sign-up thresholds can fade to the back of your mind. If you’re struggling to keep all those numbers straight, you might be thinking about using a tool designed to do the work for you.
To help figure out what’s worth adding to your phone and handing over your personal information, start with this rundown of seven popular reward-maximizing tools to see if one is right for you.
The best apps for tracking credit card rewards
Good to Excellent
15.99% – 22.99% Variable
Good to Excellent
14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR
Good to Excellent
AwardWallet: Good if you belong to lots of loyalty programs
AwardWallet is kind of the holy grail of rewards tracking apps: This tool monitors nearly 700 loyalty programs. From the big names like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards to hotel programs you probably don’t know (ever heard of Tsogo Sun or Yelloh! Village? Me, neither.), this service covers every angle of the rewards game.
Read more: I have almost 30 credit cards — here’s how I keep track of pay dates, benefits, and rewards balances
In fact, AwardWallet even encompasses loyalty programs from retailers, dining, movies, parking, and more. If you’re thinking about using a reward tracking app, this one needs to be in your consideration set.
point.me: Good if you are focused on finding the best flight deals possible and want to save time
The newest entrant to the rewards maximization game — point.me is in beta with an official launch slated for mid-February — is all about taking to the skies. The platform comes with a higher price tag than might be attached to your credit card — standard plans are $129 per year.
However, if you’re sitting on hundreds of thousands of points, that investment can be well worth it. I took a test drive of the site, and it’s the most simple way to uncover every flight redemption opportunity available through more than 100 different airlines.
Read more: How much are credit card rewards, airline miles, and hotel points worth? See our complete valuations for 2022
Rather than going through the maze of manually comparing different transfer options for your points, this tool syncs with all of the major card programs — Chase, Amex, Capital One, and Citi — to help you easily see how you’ll be able to get the best deal. The folks behind the site told me they’re finding redemptions worth 6 to 8 cents per mile, and first- and business-class deals top out with some serious value in the neighborhood of 24 cents per mile.
As someone who has spent way too much time logging into loyalty accounts at different airlines in the Oneworld alliance, this site can reduce a lot of the hassles of comparing options and introduce you to opportunities you didn’t even know existed.
Travel Freely: Good if you want your partner to be part of the rewards game
As the name suggests, Travel Freely is all about traveling without spending any money on the actual trip. The app’s bold promise is that you can get more than $2,000 every year by using it, and the big differentiating point with this tool is the ability to track up to two users. So, if you and your significant other are both racking up points and miles to put toward big vacations each year, this is a good option.
Read more: 5 credit card strategies to help couples maximize rewards and minimize hassle
The main feature of this app is the ability to track when annual fees are approaching, when a bonus deadline is near and when you’re close to exceeding the Chase 5/24 rule (opening five new cards in 24 months). It’s a relatively simple app, and it comes with a CardGenie tool that helps recommend the next card to add to your wallet.
MaxRewards: Good if you want to track your credit — not just your rewards
While most credit card rewards tracking apps are solely geared to monitor how your points are piling up, MaxRewards sets itself apart with a running progress bar of the balance you’re carrying and your credit utilization ratio. This can be especially valuable to help avoid the temptation to focus on growing your rewards balance and not on actually paying your cards’ balances in full each month to keep your credit score healthy.
Read more: 5 ways opening a credit card and using it responsibly can boost your credit score
You’ll also benefit from the company’s auto-recommendation tool when you’re deciding what card to use at certain merchants. For example, if your card currently has a 5x bonus at grocery stores, the app will tell you when you’re ready to pay to make sure you don’t use a different — and less-rewarding — card.
MaxRewards also comes up big in one of the small, often-overlooked elements of today’s credit card landscape: opt-in offers. Programs like Chase Offers and Amex Offers typically require cardholders to manually activate a new discount opportunity, but the company will automatically activate all those savings for MaxRewards Gold members. A Gold Membership doesn’t have a set price tag. Instead, the company invites you to name your own price based on the value you think you’re receiving from it.
Uthrive: Good if you aren’t always looking to leave home
The pandemic’s travel shutdown has forced a lot of cardholders to reconsider how much they actually value all those miles. Uthrive is one of the most all-encompassing reward-tracking apps, simply because it isn’t just geared to frequent flyers.
Instead, the tool tells you which card to use anywhere you shop. From buying household supplies on Amazon to picking up new clothes at Macy’s, every spending decision you make operates through a lens that asks a simple question: What card will help you get the most for this transaction?
Read more: I have 26 credit cards — here’s how I decide which one to use
Additionally, the app offers a look back at spending decisions that didn’t optimize your rewards. So, you can thrive with this — and you can see where you’ve been missing out.
The Points Guy: Good if you want breaking news and real-time deal alerts
If you’ve been building strategies for your own points, chances are you’re familiar with The Points Guy. Brian Kelly — the actual “guy” — is arguably the leading name in the rewards landscape, and the website is one of the most comprehensive resources for those looking to spend as much time as possible on the road and in the front of the plane.
Read more: 5 real-life trips taken by credit card reward travel experts to inspire your vacation planning — especially if you have lots of points and miles to burn
The app packages all of that content into a mobile format, so you can constantly stay in the know on deal alerts and limited-time offers to make the most of your points.
CardWiz: Good if you’re a beginner
The most elementary of the tools on our list, CardWiz is a simple quiz to help you find the perfect card for your spending patterns. You’ll answer six questions — your willingness to pay an annual fee, your credit score range, your typical spending in certain categories, and a few other basics — and CardWiz delivers a set of card recommendations.
Read more: Guide to the best rewards credit cards
You’ll get a personalized yearly rewards value based on each card’s rewards structure, minus its annual fee. This is a good, no-strings-attached way to dip your toe into the rewards game. You can create an account, but it’s not necessary.