Plenty of people love using their credit card rewards points to take free flights around the world, but it’s not always easy to keep track of the various reward offers and spending minimums that accompany each card.
That’s where AwardMe comes in, a new iPhone and Apple Watch app designed to help you track your spending so you keep track of all the various rewards programs you’re signed up for. By telling you which card to use for each purchase, AwardMe helps you maximise the number of points you earn so you can get as many free perks as possible.
“The idea for AwardMe started really organically,” AwardMe co-founder Emmanuel Crouvisier told Business Insider. “Basically I’ve been dating a girl for about a year, and she was going back to school back in Atlanta. I started travelling every two or three weeks to go see her and I quickly realised I couldn’t really keep that up for the full year — it was about $US1,000 a month or so between hotels and flights and everything else.”
Crouvisier turned to his friend and fellow AwardMe co-founder Jonathan Chum for help, who had already been playing around with taking advantage of credit card offers to fly for free.
“Jonathan pointed out that with one or two credit cards, you could get a lot of miles to travel for free, get free hotels, and everything else,” Crouvisier said. “That definitely piqued my interest. So he recommended two credit cards, and that’s kind of how I got started back in December.”
Crouvisier quickly got hooked with travel hacking, but he quickly discovered it was a pain to try and keep track of the various spending limits and perks in his head or with a sprawling spreadsheet. The two friends realised that many people were likely in a similar situation, unaware of how to utilise credit card offers to travel on the cheap. And with most of the travel hacks existing across the fragmented travel blog space, they decided to instead create an app that did all the work for people behind the scenes, telling them which card to use for which purchase, and why.
“That’s where the idea came from to do the Apple Watch companion app, that way we got really easy access right on our wrists,” AwardMe co-founder Jonathan Chum told Business Insider. “Just choose which category or type of venue you’re at — we’ve got a Glance view that you can tap on and select “Restaurant” — and it will tell you which card to use and why. And if they support Apple Pay you just double tap the contacts button and you can pay with your Apple Watch right there.”
If you don’t have an Apple Watch, the AwardMe app offers the same features on its iPhone app, which acts as a hub of sorts for diving deeper into your credit card spending and perks.
The AwardMe home tab shows you a tidy wallet with all your credit cards, along with an overall tally of your potential points available and the amount you need to spend to unlock them. If you tap on a specific card it will expand to focus on only that card and its spending limit, points available, and how many days you have to claim the offer.
You can also find out which card to use for your particular purchase with the card selector menu, which breaks down how many points you’ll receive for using your card at a gas station, restaurant, grocery store, or any of the other various stores.
AwardMe has also integrated with 1Password through an iOS 8 app extension, which allows users an easy way to sign up for a new account and maintain a stronger password with the app.
“When a user wants to create an account or they want to link a bank account, they can just tap on the 1Password button — it says “Authenticate with 1Password” — and then they just choose which bank they’re logging in with and it automatically fills in the username and password so you don’t have to type in that ridiculously complicated password,” Chum said. “It helps encourage even more secure passwords for bank accounts.”
There’s also a section devoted to helping you choose your next credit card if you want, with details on all of the available offers.
“Right now we’re only launching on iOS, but there is a large mobile markets with Android so we’re going to quickly release to Android and then we’re definitely interested in building out new features by educating people more on redemption,” Chum told Business Insider. “Ultimately, our goal is to make travel as close to free as possible for the maximum number of users, making sure they get the best credit cards that they can to make their lives better.”
You can download AwardMe for free over at the App Store.