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Those of you that are points and miles collectors know that it can quickly become a challenge to keep track of credit cards. This is especially true for points and miles collectors who tend to have more credit cards than the average person. Keeping track of your accounts is important when trying to evaluate whether you want to keep a card with an annual fee, or when planning out which news cards to pursue.
In this video/post, I want to take a step back and share some easy and quick ways to keep track of all your credit cards. Below is a list of tools that I use to track all my credit cards.
1. Google Sheets:
When it comes to keeping track of all my credit card accounts, I use Google Sheets to log all my current and past accounts. The spreadsheet that I use includes basic information like the:
- Account status
- Card name
- Card type (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express)
- Issuer (e.g., Chase, Capital One, Citi, American Express)
I also log information like the:
- Plan/intention with the card (i.e., keep, cancel, etc.)
- Annual fee
- Account type (personal or business)
- Opening and closing dates
- Annual renewal benefits
This gives me a nice snapshot of all my accounts. Also, I can quickly calculate my total annual fees for the year and plan accordingly.
Download a FREE copy of our Credit Card Tracker on Google Sheets. It’s the same spreadsheet that I use to manage all the information listed above. If you don’t have access to Google Sheets, but need a copy in Excel or CSV format, let us know too!
2. You Need a Budget:
There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to keep track of your spending. I’ve been using You Need a Budget (YNAB) since 2009, and it’s been a great tool for me to use, especially with this hobby. The budgeting software is like a digital envelope system. It’s basically a digital version of a traditional budgeting method. This involves budgeting where you set aside money into an envelope for a specific category. For example, I might set aside $300 for groceries, and if anything is left over, it carries over to the next month. Or if I overspend, I might move money from one envelope to another. The reason this works well for the points and miles hobby is that I always know how much I am spending. Instead of worrying whether I can spend the money on a card, I am focused on whether I have money to spend in that budget. As long as there is money in the budget, I know that I’ll be able to pay my credit card bill in full.
There’s a lot more to YNAB and I will likely do a video on it in the future. Keep in mind though that I am using the old version and have not upgraded to their new version. Also, YNAB isn’t the only software out there. There are plenty of other apps and tools that you can use to keep track of your spending and accounts.
3. Credit Karma:
We did a video/post recently on how to check your Chase 5/24 status using Credit Karma. I generally check my credit score weekly, and I use Credit Karma to keep track of my credit score and health. It’s a great way of knowing whether your recent account history is accurate and whether anything needs to be corrected in your credit records.
There are a ton of free and paid reminder apps and services out there. I just happen to use Todoist for my normal work, so I use it to help manage my credit cards as well. While I’ve set-up auto-pay for my credit cards accounts, I do set-up reminders for things like:
- Signing-up quarterly bonus categories
- Evaluating and potentially canceling cards with annual fees
- Tracking due dates for meeting minimum spend requirements
With life being so busy, it’s easier to have a service remind me when I have to do something.
What tools do you use to keep track of your credit cards? I’m always looking for new tips and services, so let me know if you have one that works well for you.