“Keep good records is my biggest tip,” Nicole Cook, a business owner in Owatonna, Minnesota, told us in an online forum. “You don’t realize you need detailed records for the one or two cards you get when you start — because you’re new, excited and read everything. All of a sudden, you have 10 cards [and you] don’t remember which category or which one has roadside assistance, when you opened it, the cost of the annual fee, when to call to get fees waived/close accounts, etc.”
With so many different plans and myriad rules, it’s easy to lose track of each and every program you sign up for. But if you don’t stay organized, you can end up paying more in annual fees or easily miss out on when you need to take advantage of your bonuses.
Stephanie Kibler, the founder of money management site Poorer Than You, learned the hard way through personal experience. “I managed to completely miss the bonus on one hotel credit card when I was travel-hacking my way to Disney because I had written down the wrong time period for the minimum spend,” she said.
Luckily, a slew of online tools can help you keep track of your rewards programs. AwardWallet and Loyalty Wallet are just a couple among many apps and sites that can help you stay organized.