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Money

5 best apps to track credit card rewards

Travelers and shopaholics love their credit cards because of the many perks they come with. You can buy everyday items like groceries or gas and earn miles, cash back and even points for streaming or delivery services.

When you have great perks, it just makes sense to use your cards whenever you can. Just remember to pay them off at the end of the month so you’re not charged interest. Tap or click here for 7 reasons to use your credit card, not your debit card.

But what happens to all those rewards you rack up if you forget about them? Some expire, while others just sit there, dusty and forgotten. Luckily, there are apps to help you keep track of everything you’ve earned. Here’s one that reminds you when your points are about to expire.

1. For the shopaholic

AwardWallet is perfect for the person who has several credit cards and tons of rewards to keep track of. This app supports 700 loyalty programs and notifies you when your balances change or if your points are going to expire.

It also helps you make and confirm hotel or flight reservations. Check out this video to learn more.

AwardWallet is a free app, but AwardWallet Plus is available for $30 a year. AwardWallet Plus allows you to:

  • Display extra reward account details.
  • Display account balance changes and histories in a chart format.
  • Export award balances into Excel or PDF documents.
  • Update accounts in parallel, which is up to five times faster.
  • There is an unlimited number of times users can update a single account within 24 hours (you can only do this twice with the free version).
  • Display an unlimited number of expiration dates for miles or points, while the free version only allows up to three expirations at a time.
  • Includes support for AwardWallet development.

If you’re not sure you’ll need the Pro version, give the free version a try and go from there.

2. For the thrifty shopper

Anyone who banks with American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citi or Discover can take advantage of MaxRewards. This app is specially designed to keep track of rewards and find the best deals each card offers.

The free app doesn’t sell its users’ data and calculates your rewards. If the algorithm detects a card with an annual fee that isn’t offset with an appropriate level of returns, MaxRewards will recommend closing that card.

You may also like: 4 ways to get cash back on Amazon

The app does note the closure of a card can hurt your credit, so the decision is in your hands.

Here are MaxRewards’ features:

  • You can review all your cards in one place.
  • Search, sort and save deals across all your connected cards.
  • Monitor credit scores from every issuer.
  • Bank-level encryption and security.
  • See the best card to use to maximize rewards and savings on every purchase.
  • Analyze spending and reward activity.
  • Keep track of qualifying spending toward signup bonuses.
  • Get alerts on upcoming bills.

MaxRewards is the perfect app for the shopper who loves getting the best deals.

3. For the planner

Maybe you haven’t forgotten your rewards. Yes, they’re getting dusty all alone in the corner there, but you’ve had plans this whole time — you just haven’t had a chance to use them yet.

That’s where Personal Capital comes in.

Like the others, you can access all your accounts in one place, but Personal Capital also offers the following features:

  • Dedicated financial advisors who can be reached via phone, web conference or email.
  • Personalized investment strategy.
  • It is a fiduciary, meaning advisors are legally bound to act in your best interest.
  • Full financial picture advice.
  • Smart indexing.
  • Customizable portfolios.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Tax-loss harvesting.
  • Full financial planning.
  • Free 401K fund selection advice.

If you’re looking for an app to help you plan for future trips, Personal Capital is perfect for you. For more information, refer to its FAQ page.

4. For the (too) big spender

It’s easy to overspend, especially when you have several credit cards and they all offer great rewards. But at some point, you’ve got to start budgeting or risk hurting your credit score.

For budgeting help, turn to Mint. It can help you do everything from keeping track of your credit cards and rewards to set and help meet a personalized budget.

RELATED: 10 ways to get free Amazon gift cards

Manage loans, investments and more all from one app. Here are some of the perks to expect from Mint:

  • Consolidate bills and income into one easy-to-use app.
  • Unlimited credit score checks without hurting your credit.
  • Bill payment reminders and alerts.
  • Low fund notifications.
  • Personalized budgeting based on spending habits.
  • Secure accounts.
  • Tax assistance.
  • Track transfers, balances and transactions.

Get the financial help you need while building up rewards.

5. For the newbie

Your first credit card that offers rewards can make you feel very excited. Maybe a little too excited. When you’re eager to earn rewards, it’s easy to overspend at the grocery store or suddenly need to use your card for every little purchase — but don’t.

Instead of shopping more frequently, simply shop smarter. Here’s how Birch can help you do that:

  • Get useful insights into your spending.
  • Receive tips on how to earn more rewards with the cards you have.
  • Bank-level security.
  • Compares your spending to over 100 reward cards and recommend which are best for you.

While Birch isn’t as integrated as Personal Capital or as detailed as Mint, it does offer a great foothold into the world of credit cards and rewards. Learn from the app and don’t get another credit card until you’re ready — your credit score will thank you.

Now that you’re aware of five amazing rewards apps, each tailored to specific kinds of users, you can get the help you need to keep everything organized.

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