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I have to admit that I am a bit of a slacker when it comes to miles and points. Between a busy full time job and everything else, I don’t have a lot of time to track expiration dates of frequent flier programs. However, I don’t want to accidentally let accounts expire either.
While there are some efforts in the initial setup, I’ve narrowed it down to the two steps that allow me to efficiently track my accounts and keep them active.
Step 1: Get an Awardwallet Account
Set up your accounts, and you can then sort by expiration dates.
Anyone can register for a free Awardwallet account. I use the service to keep track of frequent flier accounts. I always opt to “remember” the passwords locally. The basic account allows you to check account balances and even lets you see the expiration dates of up 3 accounts (assuming that is still the offering). I paid for the upgraded version because I want to see all the expiration dates and keep an eye out on those accounts nearing expiration.
Step 2: Keeping Your Account Active
There are ways you can keep your account active. One of which is by shopping at the program’s shopping portal. Since I know far ahead of time which accounts will expire soon, I simply keep an eye out when I shop online at some point. evrewards.com – which aggregates the current rewards by retailer – is a site I often visit before I check out on a retailer’s site. For example, if I decide to shop at macys.com, the tool presents a very handy view.
Use Ebates to Get Cashback for Online Shopping
Even if you don’t care about miles and points, one of the programs that is worth looking into is Ebates. In fact, it is one of my favorite cash-back programs for online purchases. If you were going to make a purchase online anyway, you may as well get some savings along the way.
While there are some efforts required in the initial setup, these two resources have allowed me to track expiration dates quickly, and present an easy view of online shopping opportunities that would help keep those accounts active. One thing to keep in mind: It can take a cycle for a purchase to post, so make sure you shop at least one or two months prior to the expiration dates.
I hope this helps others who might be in the same boat. So far, I’ve not run into the issue “I’ve let an account expire by accident”. I’d rather not deal with the hassle (and cost) of trying to reinstate an expired account, and I hope to keep it that way.