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The pain of tracking Airline Miles and Hotel Points

a group of airplanes at an airportI don’t know about you, but for me tracking airline miles, hotel points and other earning from various loyalty programs I participate in is becoming a pain. Yeah, I know there are websites that will track it for me all in one place – I have accounts with points.com and gomilies.com, but they just don’t seem to be right or enough. For one, none of them support ALL the programs I participate in. Secondly, what they do is really just provide a single page where I can see all my current balances. That is not tracking in my book. Tracking is being able to tally individual line items in what I have earned and compare it with what I am expecting to earn. Being able to track status miles/points vs. redeemable points and so on and so forth, for every source I earn from.

I agree this is not a simple problem to solve. The numbers of parameters involved can be pretty high. Let’s look at what I mean.

Reward and Loyalty Programs:

I participate and earn in the following loyalty/miles/points programs.


  1. United Airlines
  2. Continental Airlines (till the merger finishes)
  3. US Airways
  4. American Airlines
  5. Delta Airlines
  6. ANA (just cleaned that one out)
  7. Jet Airways
  8. British Airways
  9. BMI


  1. Hilton HHonors
  2. Marriott Rewards
  3. Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, etc.)
  4. Priority Club (Holiday Inn, etc.)
  5. Starwood Preferred Guest

Car Rental:

  1. Hertz


  1. American Express Membership Rewards
  2. Amtrak Guest Rewards
  3. Starbucks Rewards (OK, I really don’t track my 15 drinks for a free one…)
  4. Panera Bread MyPanera (I don’t even know what to track for these… I do get agree bagel everyone in a while)

Sources of Earnings:

If that wasn’t a long enough list, let’s look at some of the sources I earn airline miles and hotel points from:

  1. Flying (duh…)
  2. Staying at a hotel (duh, again, but this can become complex if one earns hotel points, airline miles or hotel points AND airline miles)
  3. Credit cards
  4. eMiles.com
  5. eRewards.com
  6. MyPoints.com
  7. TopGuest
  8. Car rentals (for rental rewards or airline miles)
  9. Other sundry events that earn miles, like filling out a survey, earning miles as compensation for a customer service event, etc.

a large white airplane on a runwaySo, a pretty complex set of scenarios to track and I am in pain. The way I do it today is via a spreadsheet that I found online a few years ago. I think it was shared by someone on a FlyerTalk forum. I have hacked it over the years to suit it for my needs. But it is still painful. Right now I am tracking three events where I am supposed to get some miles or points and they have not yet posted. I am though never sure whether I caught everything or not. I am seeking simplification. Is anyone else feeling the pain too or Am I the only one? How do you all do it? Do share by leaving a comment below. If there is a spreadsheet you use, a website, an app? Please share.

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  1. Surely awardwallet.com is the answer to your prayers? No tallying (but then an online system which knows what points you’re expecting to earn would need to be psychic) but it’s the most comprehensive tracking tool I’ve come across.


  2. Agreed. Award Wallet is great. I track almost all of the same programs there, even my Starbucks. Most have direct login from AW. And there’s a mobile app for the road, so you can have all your numbers at your finger tips.

  3. @deltagoldflyer Thanks for pointing me back to awardwalet. I remember signing up for it a long time ago. I guess at that time it were not as mature, so I stayed with my spreadsheet. I guess I need to get back with it.

    @Keith In today’s world of Watson and Siri, is a psychic app too much to ask for? 😉

    What I really need is a place where I can enter the expected miles and then the app reconciles when the miles come in – just like Quicken does for checks. I will check to see if awardwallet can do that.

  4. Awardwallet, indeed. I love their service and they also react quick on questions or suggestions (e.g. how they can figure out the expiring date if their system doesn’t know it yet). Did that a few times so far.

    But they don’t track Southwestern – not because they can’t technically, but because Southwestern refused them to do it.

  5. @deltagoldflyer Thanks for the referral link. Unfortunately I had already followed your tip and signed up before you posted it.

    I have been checking out awardwallet and kayak’s site. They are definitely great sites and awardwallet wins the prize for all the programs it supports and a very well layed out site. I do however find that it, like others, lacks a basic capability I am looking for. As I outlined in my post, I am looking for a way to log all my activity (manually, of course) that I am expecting miles for and have the site then let me know when those miles post. Just like tools like Quicken do with checks and deposits. Anyone know of a site that does that or am I asking for too much?

  6. I might get into awardwallet now that it’s been around for a while, I’m leary about keeping all my account passwords and info in one place online.
    I have a book of accounts and passwords to keep track of the many accounts. I can keep up with them fairly well without a spreadsheet, but I know what you mean about tracking points earned but not applied. Many have terms that say 4-6 weeks after the promotion ends and if you do as many little surveys, promos, and special offers as I do, it can be difficult.
    My approach is to take a screenshot of the offer and leave it and any associated e-mails on my computer until I get the points posted.
    Then 3 months later when that 1500 point bonus for signing up for e-mail from ___ airlines still hasn’t hit my account, I can pop off a complaint to them. I also leave any mail offers or rebate paperwork on my desk until they are resolved (takes up a little corner) and I try to check it once or twice a month.
    I almost feel relieved when a long running promotion with lots of documentation and e-mails gets cleared off my desk and comp

  7. Wise2u, YOu and I seem to have a very similar method to track un-resolved miles earned. Pretty manual process as you point out.

    As per awardwallet, on their website, there is an option to keep the passwords stored on your computer only. I have it set up that way. The only issue with that is that I can only update my balances from my laptop. I can still see balances as per the last update from amy browser. I like this approach as it is much more secure.

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