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An important piece of the long-term travel puzzle is learning which tools help to reduce your costs. These could be Facebook groups dedicated to backpacking, websites that advertise mistake fares, or using ridesharing services like Grab Taxi and Uber; we all have cost-cutting tricks. One of my favorites is using AwardWallet for tracking frequent flyer accounts.

AwardWallet tracks points and miles across more than 650 rewards programs, automatically updating account balances and alerting you to account activity. Accounts are grouped by rewards category to keep it easy on the eye, and you can sign into stored accounts with one-click. You can see your account number, points balance, elite status, and the expiry date of your points in a single glance.

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I’ve touched on using AwardWallet to store loyalty account information before, but in this post, want to provide some examples of how rewards travel can open the door to free trips and better travel experiences, and why it’s essential to monitor rewards accounts with a service like AwardWallet.

Free Flights

The holy grail of travelers the world over is to get your bum in an airplane seat without having to pay for it, and there is no easier way to make this happen than using rewards points. There are several methods to accumulating miles for a free flight, with the simplest approach being to use a credit card that offers bonus points on travel spend, like those from Chase, Citi, and Amex. Why these programs? Flexibility.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to 11 travel partners at 1:1 ratio, each of which has multiple options for redeeming miles. For example, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Airways, and score flights on Delta from anywhere in the US to Hawaii return in economy for 25, 000 miles, roughly 40% fewer miles than if you redeemed directly through the Delta SkyMiles program.

Free Insurance

While technically a byproduct of rewards travel, select travel rewards cards from Chase, Citi, and Amex come with a bunch of ancillary benefits that can include free travel insurance, trip delay and cancellation insurance, primary rental car insurance, and lost and delayed baggage insurance. Some premium travel cards even include hundreds of dollars in travel credits and free TSA Pre ®.

Free Airport Lounge Access

Most premium travel cards also come with free airport lounge access. There is no better place to be in an airport than a luxury lounge, a place to relax with a cold drink and recharge your electronics, have a bite to eat and await the next stage of your journey.

Upgrades to Business Class

Another use for rewards points is for upgrades to business class on long haul flights. While not always the best cent-per-point value, flying in luxury and getting a decent night’s sleep on a long-haul flight is one of the best ways of redeeming your points, and as a long-term traveler, something to aspire too.

How Tracking Points in AwardWallet Can Save You Money

Just like investing, one of the keys to developing an effective rewards travel strategy is to diversify your points and miles, earning and redeeming across multiple programs. This provides flexibility and allows you to take advantage of promotions across different programs, getting better value from your points. It also comes with a higher workload. Having more accounts to monitor and ensuring your points don’t expire , which is where AwardWallet shines.

Available for free across iOS, Android, and as a web app in your favorite browser, AwardWallet is a must-have app for frequent travelers.

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