My Favorite Travel and Points Apps - Running with Miles
Best Point Earning

My Favorite Travel and Points Apps

Written by Dustin

Here are some of my favorite apps I use for my travels and to earn points, do you use any of these?

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There are so any different apps available, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide on apps that deserve your time and the memory on your phone. There are a few that I think it would be worth it to download and use. These can help keep you organized, help you earn a little more on daily purchases, and possibly help you plan your next trip. All these apps below are ones I trust and use frequently.

Earning Rewards:

While I typically use Cashbackmonitor.com to see which portals earn the most points or cashback. These are the apps I typically use, when those cash back pay outs are highest instead of points.

Ebates

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This was actually the first portal I ever used. I still keep it around, especially since they rolled out “In-store” earnings. I’ve never had an issue using Ebates with tracking my purchases and every quarter, I receive a check from them with my cash back earned. Ebates has been the most reliable cash back portal for me, even though the payout might not be as high as others.

The app is very easy to navigate and link cards for the “In-store” purchases. Currently, only Visa and American Express cards can be linked for in-store. This could be a great way to stack some extra savings with Amex Offers, or other deals from stores, such as Bed Bath and Beyond.

Top CashBack

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This is the other cash back portal app I have on my phone. I find Top Cashback, typically has a higher cash back return than other portals (not always true for everyone, but for my shopping it does).

A while back, I did have difficulty with it keeping track of my transactions, but that seems to have improved, and I haven’t had an issue a purchase not tracking in a long time.

One advantage I like using Top CashBack over Ebates, is the fact I don’t need to wait until a check is mailed out to me to have my cash back. I can have the money direct deposited into my bank account or Paypal as soon as the transaction is payable, which I like.

Other redemption options, which can be more favorable, are a 3% bonus when redeemed for an Amazon or American Express gift card. It’s a nice little bonus for just redeeming for a gift card you can then use for more purchases. Remember, you can use Amazon gift cards, to purchase 3rd party gift cards, so the extra 3% back could add up for you!

Wallaby

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This is definitely one of my “Go-To” apps.

I have anywhere from 6 to 9 cards in my wallet at any given time, and I try to maximize my earning by using the right card to earn the most points/ cashback.

Using Wallaby really takes away the guess work in doing that. Sure everyone can remember that “X card” gives you 5% back on Amazon, but where this app really shines, is online stores you don’t usually use or independently owned.

You can set your own point values, so if you value Ultimate Reward points more than Membership Rewards, it takes into account your point values and will show you the best card for that purchase.

With your location turned on, it will also show you nearby locations and the best card to use.

If you are working on a minimum spend requirement, you can enter in the bonus you are working on, enter the time frame of the bonus window, and Wallaby will track your spending. You will need to log into your bank through the app in order to do so.

Wallaby does more than just show you which card to use, and is definitely, worth taking a look at if you don’t already use it. This app is always improving and as someone who uses multiple cards, this is definitely at the top of my list of apps I use.

While Traveling:

Tripit

We have used this for a few years now and it has been pretty fantastic. Tripit keeps all of our travel plans together and has typically been faster than airlines to notify us of changes.

Charlie has a great review of Tripit and Tripit Pro, definitely worth reading to understand how it works and why you should have this app.

I was sad to see the Barclay Arrival Plus end the free Tripit Pro membership, but since we travel a few times per year, the free version has worked well for us (even though I do miss the Pro version).

Uber/Lyft

When we aren’t walking the cities we are visiting, using Uber or Lyft is probably one of my favorite ways to get from point A to point B. I really like having it all connected to my phone and no need to exchange cash.

Over the last few years, I feel they have improved safety and improved their service.

I typically will compare prices, if both are in the area we are traveling too,we use whichever is cheapest. There can be some large differences between them, so make sure to compare the prices!

Best of all, these are all purchases with my credit card, so I am earning extra points on using these services.

Uber is also part of the the Thanks Again network, which you can use for airline/hotel points or even a gift card. Redemptions include redeeming your points for AA miles, Alaskan miles, Uber credit, Hilton points, Jetblue miles, Southwest miles, Visa Gift card, United miles, and others

Lyft just partnered with JetBlue, so you can earn Jetblue miles every time you use Lyft!

Tracking Points:

Awardwallet

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If you have points in many different programs, then this app is a must.

It tracks almost every program and you can update to see your points as frequently as you would like.

There are two levels of membership:

  • First, there is a free membership where you can load all of your accounts in, but refreshing the accounts happen one at a time. This does take a bit of time depending on the number of accounts you have.
  • The other is a paid amount ($10 per year) where it will update your accounts much faster (up to 10x the site says). It does update them faster, and is very convenient when you have many accounts
  • The way around the paid fee, is to find a upgrade coupon code. Some bloggers will put out many free coupon codes and they are first come first served. So, if you see it, jump on it.

Social Media

Twitter

I am a huge Twitter fan! It is very fast and a lot of information is shared so quickly. With many travel deals available, you’ll be able to see airfare sales, error fares, fare wars, or just find people who have information you like to read.

It is a very interactive platform, where you can get information in a timely manner.

Even companies, like Hyatt, Southwest, Jetblue, Delta, and many more are active and can be easier to deal with than calling. I much prefer sending a Tweet or a message, than wasting 45 minutes calling and talking to someone, especially if I am in a new place!

Instagram

This is a great place to see some amazing pictures and I think draw interest to a new location to somewhere you might not have thought about.

It is always fun to see someone take a picture and share it, seeing something that they are experiencing. When I see great photos of a place that looks awesome, I just add it to the list of places I need to visit :-).

Conclusion:

There are so many apps out there to help you plan, manage, and help increase your point/ cash back potential. I use these daily, some more than others, but they are definitely apps I trust to help improve my travel tracking and make sure I earn as much as I can to reduce the cost for my next trip.

Are there any apps that you use, that I did not mention? What is your “Go-To” app?

Don’t forget to Like me on Facebook, or Follow me on Twitter. If you have questions, comments or would like a topic, leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Dustin

After completing 6 years of pharmacy school, I finally had the time to travel. I started investigating ways to travel for less and when I redeemed my first award flight for my honeymoon, I knew I was hooked! Fast forward a couple of years and places I had never dreamed of visiting like Budapest, Honolulu, Bermuda and many other places where all within my reach, and for little to no money out of my pocket. Now, I have collected well over a million points and miles, and try to help people travel for less on their wallet.

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