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When you ask a credit card enthusiast how they track their points and miles, they may show you a complicated spreadsheet they use to calculate point totals for various rewards programs. While there are a few apps, like AwardWallet and MaxRewards, that allow consumers to track their points and miles, there aren't a ton of options for everyday consumers trying to make the most of their credit card rewards programs.
With this in mind, a team at The Points Guy has been working for the past two years to design the TPG App that helps users see how many rewards they've earned across all their credit cards, and then offers advice on how to maximize earning and redeeming these rewards. The app is now available for iOS in the App Store and will be available in the Google Play Store in a few months.
"Our main goal is to get people to earn more points and then, most importantly, redeem them," says Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy. "Especially with the pandemic, people are up to their gills in points. They're spending every day, but they're not traveling, so this creates a unique situation where there's just so many outstanding points, and people don't know how to use them."
Looking forward, Kelly also anticipates a future web version of the app.
There are three main features of the TPG app — learn, earn and burn — says Mitchell Stoutin, the app's head developer.
The 'Learn' feature is the homepage of the app and shows articles from the TPG website, so users can read about credit card and travel news and advice on the go.
The 'Earn' function helps users understand their credit card spending habits. Users can link their credit cards, and the app will aggregate information about each of the cards. Users can track their progress toward earning their welcome bonus, see whether their previous transactions maximized the amount of cash back or rewards they could earn, and see which card will earn the most cash back at a certain retailer. The app is location aware, so users can set it up so they get push notifications based on where they're shopping.
The 'Earn' function also allows users to look at the status of their hotel rewards programs. Users can see the expiration date on their hotel rewards, their hotel rewards loyalty status and the benefits that come with that status.
Users can also see the TPG estimated redemption values for various points and miles programs, so they can feel confident they're getting the most value when they redeem their rewards.
The 'Burn' tool is for users looking to spend their rewards. There's a trip planner that allows users to choose where they want to fly. The app populates flight options that show which flights and airline transfer partners are available to you based on your cards. If you can get a cheaper flight without using an airline transfer partner, the app will also note that. You can book your entire flight using your credit card rewards within the app.
For people who don't have enough rewards to purchase their trip yet, you can save a trip as a goal, and the app will customize card recommendations for you. For example, you might regularly use your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express since it offers rewards on your grocery shopping purchases. But the app might suggest you sign up for the Chase Freedom Flex℠, so you can take advantage of the welcome offer and transfer your rewards to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with plans to get even more bang for your buck. (Read how you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® between accounts.)
With TPG's expertise in the credit card and hotel rewards space, its new app, complete with features that show people how to earn and spend their points, has the potential to make the points-and-miles game much easier to manage and maximize for both credit card enthusiasts and amateurs alike.
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