• Germany's news in English
Expat secrets: Travel more and spend less

Expat secrets: Travel more and spend less

The Local · 29 Sep 2015, 13:04

Published: 29 Sep 2015 10:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Sep 2015 13:04 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Reward programmes. Air miles. Avios. Plus miles. Loyalty points.

As expats and world travelers we love them as they carry the promise of a free trip home. The problem is keeping track of them. They accumulate oh-so-slowly, like the gradual gathering of dust on a book shelf - and when you have a look 16 months later, they've already expired.

“Most points just vanish after a while, and you don’t even notice you’ve lost them,” explains AwardWallet co-founder Alexi Vereschaga.

When you’re constantly travelling, snagging the best deals no matter the airline, hotel, or restaurant, it’s nearly impossible to monitor and take advantage of all the programmes. Memberships add up but remain unused – “Maybe this time it will be worth it,” you think.

Dreams of first-class seats for economy prices dance through your brain, but never materialize.

Card after card piles up, and you can’t remember the login details for any of them after a time.

Special Offer: Sign up for AwardWallet Plus

(Coupon Code: TheLocal)

There are an estimated 10 trillion unused frequent-flier miles in circulation, worth over $165 billion – so the question on every traveller’s mind is, “I’ve logged plenty of miles. Where’s my piece of the action?”

Vereschaga knows the problem all too well.

"More than 20 percent of frequent-flier miles don't ever actually get redeemed," he says. “It’s a shame, it truly is.”

Or rather, was. Vereschaga, along with fellow IT guru Todd Mera, got tired of losing their miles and created a solution.

Together the duo created AwardWallet - a free service that now supports 674 different loyalty programmes on one uncomplicated interface. Users can easily keep track of their assets and avoid losing balances, with all account numbers, passwords, and points stored in one place.

"It tracks and monitors all of your reward programmes and itineraries for you, and notifies you when balances change and before points expire," Vereschaga explains.

It’s been a game changer for people like Rolland Miller, a user who has more than 20 travel-related accounts.

"As a frequent traveller, it's impossible to remember all the details for my airline and hotel accounts," he remarks. "AwardWallet has become an indispensable tool in my travel arsenal."

By making it easy to manage reward programmes correctly, AwardWallet saves money for travellers and companies alike. And it's not just for flying.

“If you want to travel and spend very little money, you need to utilize these loyalty programmes,” Vereschaga says.

“Elite statuses give you VIP treatment; miles give you free international flights; hotel points give you free hotel stays. The trick is to use them right. People who don’t track these miles and points are really missing out long-term.”

The AwardWallet website quickly became a popular choice for travellers after it was founded in 2004, and nowadays it's growing even more thanks to ever-mobile users and their smartphones.

Free Trial: Try AwardWallet Plus for 6 months

(Coupon Code: TheLocal)

Hundreds of thousands of travelers already rely on AwardWallet, whether online or via the app, to manage their points and earn rewards that save them money and make their travel experience more enjoyable.

“I am always looking for ways to better organize the vast amount of information that is needed to keep track of the various programs to which I belong,” says Tracy Dunham, another satisfied traveller from North Carolina. “For me, AwardWallet is that solution.”

The service connects to hotels, car rental agencies, credit card companies, and everything from EuroStar to Subway restaurants to Amazon.

Getting started with AwardWallet is easy. Simply visit their website or download the app (iPhone or Android) and enter your email address.

And for a limited time, readers of The Local can qualify for a free six-month trial of AwardWallet Plus, which gives you even more tools to manage your loyalty programmes.

Simply enter TheLocal when you sign-up, and get closer to earning that free trip home.

This article was produced by The Local in partnership with AwardWallet.

Related links:

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd