It’s hard enough to keep track of your own frequent flier miles, hotel points, and various other loyalty program goodies. If you’re the family travel planner, you may also be charged with keeping track of your spouse’s and kids’ reward accounts. I’d call it a thankless task, but learning that your toddler just paid for his own seat with his frequent flier miles is a pretty good thanks. And, in this age of airlines shortening the mileage expiration time period, it’s more important than ever to keep on top of your family’s accounts.
That’s why I came up with the brilliant idea to create a website where, once you input all of your loyalty program information, you need just one log-in and password to access all of your family’s various accounts. In fact, my idea is so brilliant, it's already been executed. Several times.
Here are three options to explore for keeping track of your families frequent flier miles and hotel points:
- MilePort Mileage Manager. MilePort is a free product from frequentflier.com. Once you download the software, you can track account data from 121 different online loyalty programs.
- Miletracker. Miletracker is a free downloadable application brought to you by USA Today. It claims to track "more than 120" frequent flier and loyalty programs. So, maybe Mileport literally does it one better.
- MileageManager. Mileagemanager differs from the other products mentioned in two main ways. First, it's not free-- you pay $14.95 for an annual membership. Second, rather than downloading a program for use on your personal computer, MileManager is web-based and does not require a download. While the other sites tout the safety of your account data only being downloaded to your personal computer, MileManager sells itself as simpler (no downloads required) and more portable (because it's web-based, travelers can access their information from any comptuer).
This isn't an exhaustive list of loyalty program trackers, but these are three of the main options. I haven't spent enough time with each program to do a detailed compare/contrast, so that will be coming soon in a future post. I'll have that up just as soon as I finish work on my next great invention-- it's an oven that cooks things like ten times as fast as a regular oven, using something called "microwaves." I haven't figured out what to name it yet, but stay tuned. . .