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How do you keep track of your reward cards?

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Super Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

@sdsoccerdad wrote:

@red259 wrote:

@sdsoccerdad wrote:

Spreadsheet also.  I track date of account was open, closed, credit limit, credit increase, statement cut off date, msr requirement, sub if applicable, reward categories etc.  I have to so I make sure I'm getting the most value when using my cards.

This is probably obviously but I am drawing a blank. What is MSR requirement?

Minimum spend requirement.  Typically for when you are going for the sign up bonus you have to meet a minimum spend before earning the signup bonus. 

I know what it is I was thrown off by the word requirement following MSR. ROFL

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Message 11 of 26
Senior Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I have everything in Quicken. I would be lost without it. I am a cash back person, and let things accumulate for that "big vacation" that hasn't come yet. Over 2K sitting in various rewards now.


Quicken reminders make it easy to project cash flow, and every dime coming and going is input into it manually everyday and reconciled to my bank accounts. 

Message 12 of 26
Regular Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I used to just put everything on my BofA Cash Rewards card...but now I use it primarily for utilization cushion. When I had my Disco at 5% rotating cat, I used excel but it was a ton of work. I enjoyed micromanaging during my early years of credit building but it got redundant. 


Now my primary usage is done through my Chase Trifecta. Everything is spent on my CFU if it doesn't fit into my Freedom 5% Cat...everything travel related go to my CSP. No need to keep track. All my other cards are pretty much SD'd. If I'm making a big purchase then I use my Amex since it's 2% APR for 8 months.

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Message 13 of 26
Moderator Emeritus

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I don't really.  Maybe my financial life is less complicated than some but I basically get everything I need from just Personal Capital expense tracking.


MSR: we're throwing everything at it anyway when chasing a SUB. hit the balance level and move on.


Open date: only for FICO scoring purposes, namely AAOA calculation which unless you're zealously tracking scores /shrug.


LImits: why?  Can get that off Credit Karma or other free data services when you need it, ultimately spend less than you make anyway and revolving utilization isn't a concern TBH when you can just cut a check before you make an application; important thing is just not paying any interest on CC's except where there's no choice (floating a large purchase for a few months or whatever).


Payment due dates: autopay is everyone's friend, or just pick a day (1st of the month) to kick money to outstanding balances.


AF's just get dumped into the spending trendline, yeah maybe a big AF landing unexpectedly could be awkward but we get an average of what, 45 days to come up with the cash before paying interest?  


Points get updated every so often, not really worried but I run a points surplus currently though that will be changing soon.  Similarly can get it at year end just with easy math on annual summaries.


Finally if you're really spending a bunch of time checking individual accounts, use an aggregator: Mint, Personal Capital, etc ad naseum, plenty out there.  I use Personal Capital since I needed to aggregate a bunch of investment accounts too, but their budget and cashflow analysis actually has been really good too for optimizing some expenses out.


My theory anyway, most of this stuff for me I don't really consider important enough to worry about, if my basic finances are good, all the above is gravy.  Admittedly when I'm unemployed for extended periods I do track some things (expenses) far more rigidly.  

Message 14 of 26
Mega Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I agree with Rev,  a lot of people here do much more micro-tracking than I do (and perhaps for good reasons, in other cases maybe just because!)


For reward cards, most of the "big" things need to be checked very rarely:

1) When can I get another SUB for this family (and also for PC)

2) If planning to cancel, when is AF due

3) Am I getting sufficient value from this card (probably need a year to accurately assess)


Now smaller things might need more checking, e.g. did I get the right reward points for this transaction, but probably not every transaction, every time!

Message 15 of 26
Frequent Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

@red259 wrote:

Just curious what methods people use to keep track of their reward cards. For example, excel, third party programs, just from memory? What information do you keep track of e.g. AF dates, payment due dates, benefits, year to date earnings, etc. Does anyone also keep track of miles in various loyalty programs in the same program? For me I just do stuff from memory. Really not the best way to do it and I probably burn too much time checking all each my accounts.  


I usually just do it by memory as far as what card to use for which charge. Since they are all cashback, I don't have to worry about loyalty programs. I have been logging cashback since the first of the year in a spreadsheet, but that is more of a curiosity thing for my own sake than any sort of actual record keeping.


Payment due dates are easy.....I moved them all to the same day of the month.

Message 16 of 26
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

Generally, I have an excel sheet that I track things by, current rewards (2%, 3%, 4% 5% CBs, miles, etc.), open date, CL, any current offers (like BoA Cash Deals, Chase offers, etc.) any offer that sparks my interest or I actually shop there, I'll add it to my spreadsheet, due dates, and a few other things. I generally update it once a week and check it every so often. Most of my spending is pretty consistent so I know what card to use where. Besides that, for any spending I don't do often, I usually take a quick glance and see what works best.

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Message 17 of 26
Senior Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

Spreadsheet. Tho' I have the due dates (if they're static) memorized.

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Message 18 of 26
Established Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I do have a spreadsheet to keep track of the bonus categories, AF’s, Effective AF, benefits, etc. Mint, CK, and other budgeting apps like Honeydue and Claritymoney. Lots of overlap, but better safe than sorry.

Message 19 of 26
Frequent Contributor

Re: How do you keep track of your reward cards?

I use Mint to auto-aggregate the financial data of my accounts, including transactions on all my CC's.  I agree with Rev on the rest of it, I pay each CC account in full to $0 every 2 weeks manually while I review the numbers, it makes everything really else really easy, always lots of headway on time to pay and don't really worry about due dates.  Unless you are micro-managing a lot of cards or opening a bunch at once it is not hard to track the current SUB and the rest of the data isn't really that important.


You can always mine the data from Mint to answer any questions you have about historical transactions or trends, totals, rewards back, etc...  it's all there and you can use their own tools or export it to whatever you want.

Message 20 of 26
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