5 Online Tools for Managing Airline Miles
Keeping track of airline miles is a headache even for so-called "points junkies" or "mileage collectors" like
He's since switched from a spreadsheet to an online tool called MileageManager.com, which he compares to Gmail. "Once you start using it, initially you don't really see what the big deal is," he says. "But you just put your information in once and it automatically keeps up with all your mileage and hotel programs."
Several websites offer mileage tracking, which could prevent you from letting miles expire or getting so frustrated you give up on mileage programs altogether. "Miles and points are worth money, so if you don't like losing money you should track them. But who really has the time to manage each one individually?" asks
Many of these mileage trackers will email you before your miles expire, but as Kelly points out, giving a third-party website access to your mileage and points programs shouldn't be taken lightly. "Really, anyone with a password to your frequent flyer account could use it to book a flight," he says. "Don't just sign up for any old site because you're actually giving up a lot of personal information."
That said, these tools do have practical applications for budget-savvy travelers. Here's a look at five mileage-tracking sites and their features.
Cost:Free for the regular account, and consumers can name their own price for AwardWallet Plus
Kelly says he uses AwardWallet because it syncs with hundreds of rewards programs (even retail stores and credit cards, in addition to travel programs) and because it's one of the oldest programs (founded in 2004, which in Internet years shows some staying power). Both the regular AwardWallet account and AwardWallet Plus track reward balances for an unlimited number of programs and track rewards for family members. The regular account sends up to three expiration notifications, but AwardWallet Plus offers unlimited notices.
Cost:Free for the first 30 days, then
Cost: Free 30-day trial,
Guillebeau uses MileManager and says he likes its simplicity. Aside from tracking miles and bonus earning opportunities and notifying users in advance of mile expiration dates for selected mileage programs, MileageManager searches for flights and hotel rooms using cash or miles, and shows which programs have award ticket availability. The site also partners with TripIt, so after booking flights or hotels, users can build their itinerary using TripIt.
Milewise tracks more than 200 rewards programs and calculates the cash value of points or miles. (For instance, this writer has a little over 14,000 miles from one airline, which Milewise estimated to be worth
Founded in 2010, this free site tracks hotel and airline rewards programs, as well as daily deal sites like Groupon and car rental programs. Users can check bonus offers to earn more miles, and its search engine capabilities show mileage redemption options.
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
- Travel with a Purpose
- Preserving the Past at Europe's Folk Museums
- South of the Border
- Need a Flight? Just Google It
- 5 Online Tools for Managing Airline Miles
- The Secrets to Successful Travel Bidding
- What You Need to Know About Travel Credit Cards
- Steep, Deep Norway: From Peaks to Port
- Volterra and San Gimignano: Two Sides of Northern Tuscany
- The Artistic Draw of France
- United/Continental Frequent Flyer Tweaks
- Google's New Airfare Search System
- The Latest Buying Gimmick: 'Google Wallet'
- Avoiding Scams in Europe
- Airline Schedule Change -- Curse or Benefit?
- Europe This Fall? Best Hotels, Best Prices
- Global Airline Profits Forecast to Rise 73 percent in 2011
- Air France - KLM Orders 50 New Planes from Airbus and Boeing
- Germany: The Castles of Mad King Ludwig II
- Taking the Kids and Eating Healthier on the Road
- Taking the Kids and Escaping Yellowstone's Crowds
- 10 Crazy Flight Experiences
- 10 Most Offensive Kinds of Restaurant Behavior
- 4 Reasons Your Brain Needs a Vacation
- How to Stay Healthy on Vacation
- Do Flight Attendants Really Hate Their Passengers?
- Can You Trust the New Trusted-Traveler Program?
- Alternative Airports: Check Always, Use Sometimes
- Shop the Flash Sites -- But Carefully
- Improved Search Systems Include European Railroads and Premium Economy
- 'Save' Money by Staying Out of Town
- Camping Goes Green
- Private Enterprise Should Lead on Air Travel Innovation, Not FAA
- Top 10 Most Annoying Types of Beachgoers
- Taking the Kids and Combating Nature Deficit
- Taking the Kids To the Land of the Arctic Polar Bear
- Taking the Kids to Maine
- Amboise, France: Charming Visitors Since Leonardo da Vinci
- Picnicking in Europe: Cheap, Memorable, and Fun
- Bargain Vacation Destinations
- Two New Airline Credit Cards
- Taking the Kids To Amelia Island
- Western Turkey: Beyond Istanbul
- Top 10 Works of Art Everyone Should See
- Should We Avoid TSA Screening -- Or Embrace It?
- All-Asia Pass: Good Deal or Not?
- Buy a Ticket; Price Drops -- Can You Recoup?
- Headed to Europe This Summer? It's Going to Be a Riot
- Europe This Summer: Go, But Carefully
- Swept Away in Rome
- Italy's Amalfi Coast: Going South -- Fast
- Cruising the Mediterranean on a Budget
- Top Ten Pieces of Travel Advice for Novice Travelers
- Taking the Kids to the World's Largest Children's Museum
- More Airline Tricks
- American Express Reward Points: Transfer or Keep?
- A Little Extra Attentiveness Can Save a Lot on Car Rental Fees
- Taking the Kids to Historic Philadelphia
- Taking the Kids to an Ultra-Deluxe Resort
- Pamplona's Running of the Bulls
- The World's Top 10 Cheese Factories
- Customers Hate Airlines -- Who Knew?
- Private Sale Travel Websites Growing Fast
- 11 Rules for a Cheap Summer Vacation
- 10 Best Camp Sites Around the World
- Airlines: New Perk, New Fee
- TSA Makes About-Face On Child Patdowns
- KLM To Power European Flights With Used Cooking Oil
- How to Bargain at Europe's Markets
- Finding a Beach Bargain in the Caribbean and Hawaii
- Taming High Destination Costs
- 10 Best Ice Cream Shops in the World
- Housekeeping Secrets of Your Hotel Towels
- Time to Plan for Fall Vacation
- Smile! It's Summer Vacation
- Is It Any Wonder When Airline Passengers Go Berserk?
- Exploring Europe's Natural Wonders
- Taking the Kids to Baltimore
- Taking the Kids to Orlando for the First Time
- 10 Best Hostels in the World
- What Are the Best Summer Vacation Travel Tips?
- Enjoy a Summer Festival Without Paying Too Much
- Expedia Ties Up with Groupon -- More Good Deals Coming?
- The Oltrepo Pavese: Milan's Secret Tuscany Hinterland
- France's D-Day Beaches: A Powerful Memorial
- Taking the Kids On Road Trips Despite Sky-High Gas Prices
- 10 Most Unique Fountains in the World
- Should Tarmac-Delay Rules Become Law?
- Are Mobile Devices Now Travel Essentials?
- Delta Airlines Adds Semi-Premium Economy
- Croatia's Coastal Delights
- Taking the Kids and Opting For a Small Boutique Hotel
- The 10 Best Open-Air Theaters Across the Globe
- Travelers Rights in Europe
- Airline Rules Were Meant to Be Broken By Elites
- Life Among the Ruins of Budapest
- Top 10 Sensational Summer Music Festivals
- More on the 'Myth' of Unchanged Hotel Bed Sheets
- You Hate Airline Fees and Tight Seats -- Who Knew?
- Taking the Kids to San Francisco's Museums
- Taking the Kids on a Cruise to Europe
- Italy's Ravenna: Once Powerful and Still Glorious
- Top 10 Things to Do in London
- Some People Just Know How to Fly and Some Don't
- Taking the Kids On a Safe and Green Trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya
- Traveling to Europe with Kids
- The Great Passport Flap
- Top 10 Arches
- The Truth About 'Hidden' Airline Fees
- 'Rule 240' Weak, But Not Dead
- Spain's Granada: Moor Than the Sum of its Parts
- Taking the Kids to Monterey
- 10 Great American Street Painting Festivals
- Hotels Don't Always Change the Sheets Between Guests
- Summer Trip? Check Your Plastic
- Frontier Airlines Lowers Change Fees
- Taking the Kids to the Grand Canyon
- Nicaragua's Wheel of Fortune
- Top 10 Most Annoying Kinds of Travelers
- Frequent Flier Program Changes You Can Root For
- Tour Packages a Better Deal -- Really?
- Spring Break in a Day
- Sunday Morning: Vienna-Style
- The Top 'Quality' Airline
- Top 10 Architecturally Stunning Libraries
- Taking the Kids: When a Return Trip Makes You Smile at the Memories
- Airlines Fall in Love with Fuel Surcharges All Over
- How to Plan a Multifamily Vacation
- European Trains: Still a Great Way to Travel
- Renting a Car in Europe
- Taking the Kids: Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii to Try to Make Sense of Ancient History
- Don't Ignore Travel Scam Warnings
- Top Ten Flower Markets
- The Travel Industry Moves to Pre-empt Customer Complaints
- Ten Great Movie Theaters Across the Globe
- A Matter of Taste: Europeans on American Food
- When the Fuel Surcharge Costs More Than the Ticket
- When You're Really, Really Footloose
- Continental and United Airlines Closer than Ever
- Taking the Kids: Looking For Those Unique Moments in Orlando
- Slovenia Offers Up Charm Without the Crowds
- 10 Great Cities For Night Owls
- Stop Obsessing Over Airfares and Book Now
- Airport Lounges for the Rest of Us
- Athens, Greece: Offbeat Athens
- Taking the Kids: Putting on the Ritz in Ski Country
- A Few New Websites and Gimmicks
- Six Cards You Need on Your Trip
- 10 Great Places for Dogs and Dog Lovers
- Mandatory Housekeeping Fees May Be Just Around the Corner
- Taking the Kids to Atlantis
- Helsinki and Tallinn: Baltic Sisters
- Cheap Sleeps in Europe
- Indexed Airfares: Deception or Deal?
- Top 10 Easy Rules of Traveling
- Top 10 Places for Afternoon Tea in London
- US Airways Closes a Loophole But Opens a Can of Worms
- United Airlines Sticks with Economy Plus
- TSA Screenings Prompt Cries of Police-State Tactics
- Finding a Good Cruise Agent
- An Inside and Outside Look at Madrid
- Looking at Europe: Part 2
- World's Top Ten Circular Buildings and Structures
- Will This Be the Year for Passenger Rights?
- Delta Drops Mileage Expiration
- Taking the Kids: But Not on an Adult-Only Romantic Getaway
- Taking the Kids: On a Different Spring Break
- Top 5 Vehicles for Ski Week
- Taking the Kids: Learning to Scuba Dive
- World's Top 10 Scariest Places to Look Down
- Top 10 Amenities Travelers Wish Still Existed
- Blockbuster Art Exhibit? Get a Package?
- Taking the Kids To Broadway - 2011
- Discovering Oslo's Inner Tiger
- Losing It All ... and Bouncing Back
- Delta Airlines Opts for Semi-Premium Economy
- 'Easier' Frequent Flyer Seats? Yes -- and No!
(c) 2011 U.S. News & World Report
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here