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Do you have numerous points and miles balances? Are you tired of keeping track of all of them? Then you should be using AwardWallet. We're excited about the tools we've developed for frequent fliers, road warriors, and others who enjoy earning and redeeming rewards. While the free basic service offers a great suite of features to everyone who signs up, we want to highlight the benefits that AwardWallet Plus can provide. Depending on your needs, it may be well worth the annual subscription.
We'll cover the main features of AwardWallet, outline the differences between AwardWallet Free and Plus, and provide a rundown of how you can get the most out of an AwardWallet Plus membership.
Core Features of AwardWallet
The AwardWallet service offers three primary core features:
- Track balances across 650+ loyalty programs.
- Manage your travel plans via the “Trips” feature.
- Assist you with redeeming miles for business- and first-class international fares (paid award concierge service)
The first two are the primary features most people use. AwardWallet Free provides the ability to track loyalty program balances for yourself and your family members. Your travel plans also will be automatically added to the “Trips” feature. In short, this will allow you to see all your reservations in one place. These services are provided to anyone who signs up for AwardWallet.
The last service, our award concierge service, is also available to any AwardWallet member. This is a paid service where our award concierge team helps you book business- and first-class awards using your miles — awards that may be difficult to complete on your own. If this interests you, feel free to submit a request.
Comparison of AwardWallet Free vs. Plus
While AwardWallet Free offers value to anyone who collects points and miles, AwardWallet Plus gives you more. One of the primary differences is the tracking of the expiration dates for all loyalty accounts you've linked. Being able to view the historical balances and extra account properties is also extremely valuable to many of our AwardWallet Plus members. The table below highlights the differences between AwardWallet Free and Plus.
|Feature||AwardWallet Free||AwardWallet Plus|
|Automatically track reward balances||✓||✓|
|Track rewards for your family members||✓||✓|
|Automatically track travel plans||✓||✓|
|Allow sharing travel plans or reward balances||✓||✓|
|Notify when balances expire via email and (optionally) push notifications on your phone (frequency: 90, 60, 30, and 7 days before expiration)||✓||✓|
|Access all of your data on a mobile device||✓||✓|
|Set up two-factor authentication on your account||✓||✓|
|Credit card spend analytics of day-to-day transactions to optimize points earned with each merchant||✓||✓|
|Number of times users can update a single account per 24 hours||Twice||Unlimited|
|Display expiration date of your miles or points||Up to 3 programs||Unlimited|
|Enable balance watch to continually check for account updates||✓|
|Display extra reward account properties||✓|
|Display historical account balance changes chart||✓|
|Display historical transactions for some of your loyalty accounts||✓|
|Allow exporting award balances into Excel or PDF formats||✓|
|Update accounts in parallel (up to 5X faster)||✓|
|Support AwardWallet development efforts||✓|
Key Perks of AwardWallet Plus
Historical balances and extra account properties
AwardWallet Free can track as many loyalty programs as you'd like — both for yourself and for family members. There's no limit. However, you can't see the historical account balances with the Free membership. This feature could be useful for many members, as you'll be able to see accrual and redemption activity over time.
Being able to track additional account properties is also highly valuable. Rather than just your points balance, AwardWallet Plus supports tracking of free night certificates, upgrade certificates, companion fares, credit card credits, and more. The level of detail it provides is excellent.
The historical balance feature isn't available for all loyalty accounts.
Tracking of miles and points expiration dates
This may be the best AwardWallet Plus feature. The Free membership provides tracking of three loyalty accounts. But, if you're like me, you have miles with dozens of programs. Tracking expiration dates manually with this many accounts becomes nearly impossible. This is why I rely on AwardWallet to provide me notice of expiring balances.
The best part is that AwardWallet doesn't just look at the expiration of points balances. You'll be alerted as hotel free night certificates, airline companion certificates, and other coupons near their expiration dates. This has helped me tremendously on more than one occasion.
Updating accounts and Balance Watch feature
AwardWallet Free lets you update accounts twice in 24 hours. Twice per day may seem like overkill, but there are times when this isn't sufficient. Enter the Balance Watch feature.
When this feature is needed, you really want it. Its primary use is when you are transferring miles from flexible points to an airline program and the transfer isn't instant. There are few things more crushing than finding a great award, initiating a points transfer, and then watching the award space disappear before you can book — simply because you're waiting for points to show up in your account and aren't aware of the moment they arrive. AwardWallet Plus will automatically check for you via the “Balance Watch” feature.
Rather than update your account manually over and over again (although you could certainly do that with AwardWallet Plus), you simply enable “Balance Watch” for a particular account. AwardWallet will then continually check your account for updates, alerting you as soon as there is a change in the rewards balance. For a while, this was my favorite feature when I was routinely booking awards using programs where bank points did not immediately transfer to miles.
While the unlimited account updates and Balance Watch features don't eliminate the risk of missing out on a particular award, they minimize it by alerting you as soon as the miles post to your account. Then, you can jump on the award booking immediately.
Support AwardWallet development
Ultimately, we appreciate the support AwardWallet members provide to help us continue to improve the features of AwardWallet. We've been around since 2004 and have grown to over 750,000 users over the years.
What does AwardWallet Plus cost?
AwardWallet Plus costs $30 per year. This comes out to just $2.50 per month for the additional features. For the equivalent of a cheap cup of coffee, you can enjoy everything AwardWallet Plus offers.
If you want an AwardWallet OneCard, available to both Free and Plus members, you'll pay a flat, one-time cost of $10. Shipping is free. OneCard is an easy-reference, printed card containing your account number and the phone number for each loyalty program you belong to. It can fit up to 30 different programs. Also, the card has a magnetic stripe and can be used to check in at airport kiosks.
While the Free service offers plenty of great features, the perks of AwardWallet Plus membership can easily justify the fee. Unlimited tracking of expiration dates means that you'll be guarded against expiring miles. Being able to see account histories and additional properties is helpful, as well. Given how active my miles and points accounts are, I find AwardWallet Plus to be a valuable service.
If you have miles with fewer programs — and largely in programs where points and miles don't expire — sticking with the free version may be just fine. You'll still enjoy the core features of program balance and trip reservation tracking.
Disclosure: Although I am a freelance contributor at AwardWallet, I have been an AwardWallet Plus member for several years, predating the time I began writing for the AwardWallet Blog. I truly consider the service well worth its $30 annual subscription fee. I paid for it even before I began writing for AwardWallet, because I believe it's worth it.
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