The pain of tracking Airline Miles and Hotel Points
I 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.
- United Airlines
- Continental Airlines (till the merger finishes)
- US Airways
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- ANA (just cleaned that one out)
- Jet Airways
- British Airways
- Hilton HHonors
- Marriott Rewards
- Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, etc.)
- Priority Club (Holiday Inn, etc.)
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Amtrak Guest Rewards
- Starbucks Rewards (OK, I really don’t track my 15 drinks for a free one…)
- 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:
- Flying (duh…)
- Staying at a hotel (duh, again, but this can become complex if one earns hotel points, airline miles or hotel points AND airline miles)
- Credit cards
- Car rentals (for rental rewards or airline miles)
- Other sundry events that earn miles, like filling out a survey, earning miles as compensation for a customer service event, etc.
So, 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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