Now, let’s say you have read my previous master post on how / why / when to get rewards credit cards and have applied for a couple cards, but aren’t exactly sure how or where the promised signup bonus and regular spend bonus miles will show up. With this post, I hope to show how easy it is to see when miles post to accounts, as well as a great tool to keep track of all account balances.
The very large majority of time miles or points will post when your credit card statement is available, usually 2-3 days after the statement closes. For me, it takes 33 days – 30 days for the statement period and 3 days for Chase / Citi / AmEx to get their mallards in a row.
Chase British Airways Visa:
For example, below is the points portion of my most recent Chase British Airways Visa, which I was able to look at on March 1. It’s located about halfway down on the first page of the statement that comes in the mail. (Most credit card companies will give you the option to receive paperless billing statements only, but I like to have the paper version just to review in case I have some issue with points posting.)
I don’t use this card anymore, since I gave up after hitting the $20,000 in spend necessary to unlock the signup bonus and didn’t want to hit $30,000 – which would have given me a British Airways Travel Together ticket valid on award or revenue flights, effectively doubling my miles. However, the fuel surcharges are over $800 per person on some flights, which means instead of getting a free flight, I am paying at least $800 for myself and my companion plus miles!! I’d rather use the $1600 to pay rent and use other miles to fly for free!
When I applied for the card, I was given the option of putting in my British Airways (BA) account number on the application form, so, when the statement closes, the Avios miles post directly into my BA account.
I only spent $2.50 on this card, which translated into 4 Avios at 1.25 Avios per dollar spent (Avios is BA’s miles currency).The 5,000 points are from when I called Chase and semi-threatened to close the account due to the annual fee being due “soon.” The fee isn’t due until April or May and I called in February, but I had read online that banks sometimes offer bonuses not to close the cards and it’s best to start calling for these bonuses in the 8th month of the first year of card membership. The CSR said that it would take 2-3 billing statements for the Avios to post, but that was false, since they posted when the statement closed. I will definitely be calling again in April and trying to get another bonus!
Chase Sapphire Preferred:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is excellent, as it offers 2x points on travel and dining – which in New York is where the money goes – as well a 7% annual spend on all points earned. The best part of the card for me is, honestly, the customer service – I am connected to a human not a drone within seconds of calling the customer service number on the back of the card. The first year of the card is free and every year after that costs $95, which is mitigated by the 7% annual bonus.
As you can see, my 7% bonus posted and I earned almost 8,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points, worth either $80 as a statement credit, $100 towards travel purchase, or 8,000 United miles or Hyatt Gold Passport points. This would imply that I earned over 114,000 UR points (8,000 ÷ .07) – which isn’t true. When I applied for the card, the signup bonus was 50,000 UR points and it counted towards the 7% annual bonus; the bonus now is 40,000 UR points and it no longer counts towards the 7%.
That left me with 64,000 UR points (114,000 – 50,000) and at a maximum of 2 points per dollar spent, would imply that I spent $32,000. The CSR confirmed that I actually spent around $19,000. Even with bonuses from the Ultimate Rewards online mall, the total just didn’t add up, but it was clearly in my favor and I thank Chase for being generous!
Chase is also very clear with the bonuses for Dining, Travel and the Ultimate Rewards Mall. I earned over 11,000 UR points this statement, which is more than double with I usually achieve, but I used 9,500 of those points to pay for the $95 annual fee, so the card, free the first year, will also be free the second year. After 2 years, the initial inquiry will fall off my credit report, and I will make a decision then on whether to keep the card or downgrade to the always free Chase Sapphire credit card.
AwardWallet: The Easy Way to Keep Track of My Miles
is a fantastic, free site that is the equivalent of an Excel spreadsheet that can think for itself. For example, you can list all your frequent flier numbers in an Excel document and each month, manually update your balances by going to the website of each program, reviewing the balance and entering it into your document. This is a waste of time.
Instead, you can go to Awardwallet and sign up for a free account with them. After you have created an account and signed it, look for the big red arrow in the picture below, which is pointing to “Add a New Program Tab.” Click this tab!
After clicking, you are led to the page below, where you can see a long list of frequent flier / hotel programs. In the text box, type in the name of your program and then enter your username and password for that particular account.
Once entered, Awardwallet stores your account and you don’t have to go to that site anymore to check your balance, as Awardwallet will update daily for you, meaning that once you have all of your programs stored, Awardwallet is the only site necessary to view if you wish to check you account balances and status levels!
Awardwallet can keep track of airline, hotel, credit card and even rental car accounts.
|My Credit Card Accounts
|My Airline Accounts
|My Hotel Accounts
As you can see, this is beyond helpful and I really love this site. I also have 10 memberships to give out to Awardwallet Plus, so leave a comment below with your email and I will send you a free membership code!
The only current problem with Awardwallet is that United, Delta and American will not let Awardwallet, or any other third-party website, access your account information, which, to me, is pointless. I feel that seeing your balance everyday keeps you more connected to the specific program, but these airlines feel differently. Almost all other programs feel the same way I do, so Awardwallet hopefully will continue to be a useful resource for everyone that needs help keeping track of accounts and miles.
Thanks for reading and I hope it was helpful. Any comments or question post below or find me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or @WindowSuite on the Twitter!