Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why you should use AwardWallet to track your frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points

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There is only one miles and points tool that I use every day – and have done for a number of years – and that is AwardWallet.

It turns out, however, that I haven’t done a single article in 2020 which talked about AwardWallet.  With a few days of the year left, I want to remedy that.

AwardWallet allows you to store the log-in and password details for pretty much all of the loyalty programmes you are in. It isn’t just travel, either – Nectar, Boots Advantage, Tesco Clubcard, Harrods Rewards …. they cover over 700 programmes from across the world.

Across their entire membership, they are tracking over 179,000,000,000 miles and points for 661,000 users!

AwardWallet review

You can store programmes for various different people inside one AwardWallet account. When I log in, I see over over 30 different accounts across my family. A clever part of AwardWallet is the ability to sideline schemes which are dormant or rarely used.

You can sit and back and do nothing with AwardWallet if that is how you want to play it. Once a week, AwardWallet will automatically log in to each of your programmes and update your balance. It will then send you a weekly email with all of your balance changes.

For the more obsessive, like myself, you can log in to AwardWallet and simply click ‘Update’. AwardWallet goes off and updates all of your ‘active’ balances immediately (it takes 3-4 minutes to check my active ones). On a PC you can leave it running in another window.  There is also an impressive app which lets you check all your miles and points balances on the move.

If you are not already a member of AwardWallet, you can sign up for free here.

What is AwardWallet Plus?

Whilst AwardWallet is free, you can pay $30 per year to upgrade to ‘Plus’ status.  This comes with a number of extra benefits:

  • Balances update in parallel rather than one at a time (claims a 5x increase in updating speed)
  • The expiry dates of your miles are shown, based on what AW knows about the expiry rules of the programme, your status and your recent activity
  • You receive email warnings if miles are heading towards expiry
  • You can see historical transactions for some programmes and a graph of changes in your total balance for all programmes
  • You can update your balances multiple times per day (although the free version lets you do it twice per day, which is more than enough for most people!)

What is AwardWallet?

A note on security

Some people, understandably, are worried about the security of their account details. (AW is owned privately by a couple of guys in the US.) If you are, you can choose to have AwardWallet store all of your log-in and password data locally on your PC, not on their server. The only impact of this is that you are limited to checking your balances on that one device.

My personal view is that using AwardWallet improves your security.  When my Tesco Clubcard vouchers were stolen, it was AwardWallet that notified me.  If I hadn’t seen my balance change, I may not have noticed for months.  AwardWallet has been in business for 15 years now without any serious issues.

I am a big fan of AwardWallet, and if you have never used it I recommend taking a look.  It doesn’t take long to set up, and once you have all your data there it becomes quite addictive checking your balances a couple of times a day.  You can sign up here and there is no charge unless you decide to upgrade to Plus at some point.

Comments (52)

  • John says:

    Might be useful for the odd programme you use only sporadically (like A3 where I got 5k miles from the recent promo).

    But I do check my main programmes regularly anyhow. Personally, I don’t think the security risk is worth it for that tiny bit of convenience.

  • Jerry Butler says:

    I have actually started using this a couple of months ago, I have 20+ loyalty accounts, and found that many of them had similar passwords, so as an exercise in itself it was useful to change them to more secure passwords.

  • RH says:

    I have used AW for a few years and it is great. It has given me advance warning of changes to flights, for example, before the airline emails have come up though so I have jumped the queue with changes (if needed)!

  • Jack S says:

    Slightly concerned with the “save locally” option. I selected it but my password was still sent to AW in the network request. It might be that this is then sent each time by the browser when updating, and thus not permanently stored on AW’s servers but I don’t think I’ll be trusting them with any of my accounts that have serious balances.

  • RussellH says:

    Some comments on some of the above points.

    1. Now that IHG permits proper, complex passwords, the classic holdout is Iberia, where one is effectively limited to a 6 figure PIN. While you can have 6 alphanumeric characters, combine my avios only works with a purely numeric PIN.

    2. Hilton. For some reason AW normally works fine without my having to fiddle around with a captcha. Logging in directly I always have to complete a captcha – indeed, these days after successfully completing the captcha it errors out and tells me to do a captcha as if I had somehow bypassed it.

    3. Nectar. I deleted Nectar from AW after they decided to e-mail me a PIN every time I tried to log in. No warning from AW, just an error message after connection failed.

    4. Passwords. AW warns me if I am using an insecure password.

    • Rob says:

      Nectar is fine now.

      Hilton – I have disabled as AW always throws up the captcha.

      Hyatt – I also disabled this. It still works automatically but insists on opening the Hyatt website in my browser. It adds another minute or so to the scan and its a waste of time given how rarely my Hyatt balance changes.

      Emirates – I have disabled this because AW appears, occasionally, to scare EK and I have to reset my password which is a faff.

      • BuildTheWall says:

        Have a feeling that list is going to get longer.
        Cancelled my account and changed passwords for most.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Hilton the same for me, captcha every single time. Works fine though other than that.

        Qantas it occasionally throws a massive tantrum too, but other times it’s fine – despite getting bombarded with text messages, the account updates in AW fine, so I think that might be a QF issue.

  • Pangolin says:

    I prefer TripIt. The Pro version lets you track all the points programmes without the piggery I experienced with AW.

    I picked up the Pro version with a hefty Black Friday discount back in 2019. They’ve since extended it for free during the pandemic. Apart from the points tracking, there’s nothing much it offers that you couldn’t do with other apps (e.g. Kayak) but I like the simplicity of the interface for viewing hotel/flight bookings.

    • Alex Sm says:

      Given that TripIt is owned by Concur (actual travel management software), it might be a better idea!

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