How to Organize Your Digital Loyalty Life

A young man and woman smiling and looking at their personal devices on a couch
••• Getty Images

According to Colloquy, the average household belongs to 29 loyalty programs, which can make it tough to stay on top of all your memberships. And chances are if you’ve lost track of your status and rewards, you’ve likely missed some opportunities to earn and redeem your points. It’s time to get organized.

I belong to upwards of 30 loyalty programs. As a frequent international traveler, I rack up quite a few points and miles over the span of a year and earns across a wide array of programs.

And being the fairly organized, I use a very detailed spreadsheet to keep track of my program balances. That is until I discovered how a digital loyalty wallet can bring that same organization and balance tracking online.

There are plenty of online tools to help manage the money in your pocket. Consider using online tools such as loyalty wallets to help track and manage your loyalty points as well. Here are some tips to keep your loyalty life organized.

Get Organized and Declutter

Start slimming down your wallet by taking stock of your loyalty program memberships and organizing them by the frequency of use. Odds are that you’re sitting on a few loyalty cards you’ve only used once or twice. On their own, these rewards are likely worthless but don’t throw your membership away just yet. Consider transferring rewards into your more frequented programs to help you reach your redemption goals faster.

Most loyalty programs operate with you in mind and give you the flexibility to transfer your rewards between programs.

If you’re not ready to give up program memberships just yet, consider consolidating your plastic cards and moving your loyalty activity online. For example, AwardWallet aims to make your loyalty life easier by allowing you to log and track your frequent flier miles, hotel, and credit card points online.

If you’d like to interact with your rewards, the Points Loyalty Wallet at Points.com allows you to track over 100 loyalty program and gives you the added convenience of moving your rewards between participating programs and the ability to redeem rewards for retail goods and gift cards.

A word of caution when going digital - some mobile apps display barcodes which allow you to scan for your reward points at the time of purchase, while others only track your balance and require you to have your card in hand at the time of purchase. Before ditching the plastic, be sure to do your homework to avoid losing the opportunity to grow your balances.

Opt-in, Not Out

For those loyalty programs you frequent often, go digital and register for an online account. While your inbox may already be overflowing, be sure to opt-in for monthly email updates to prevent the “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon. To reward your loyalty, most programs will extend exclusive offers based on your status. Set your preferences to receive news of upcoming loyalty incentives, bonus rewards or events and rack up those extra rewards.

Keep your rewards status and your redemptions goals top of mind.  You might be closer to that free flight to Hawaii than you realize.

There’s an App for That

For those loyalty programs near and dear to your heart – and wallet – keep them at your fingertips by downloading the app on your smartphone.

Retailers like CVS/Pharmacy allow you to track your ExtraBucks Rewards and alerts of expiring rewards on the mobile app. The My Starbucks program allows you to track and earn your Starbucks Rewards with every purchase, which you can make through the app. If you’re saving up for a free night’s stay at a hotel, the InterContinental Hotels Group app gives you access to your virtual card and allows you to track your IHG Rewards Club Points activity and balance.

Thanks to mobile wallets and other digital payments solutions, making payments is evolving beyond traditional currency. It has never been easier to make a purchase from the convenience of your mobile devices and it’s a trend that will continue to evolve.

Several mobile wallet solutions like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Suretap have incorporated loyalty capabilities into their platforms making it easier for you to collect and spend your loyalty rewards. Keep your eye out as more follow suit.