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Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Credit Card Benefits & Rewards Programs?

BECU Employee

Let’s face it, credit cards can be complicated. From choosing the right card, to understanding the terms and conditions, to remembering the ins and outs of redeeming rewards, many of us struggle to keep track of these details and it’s common to confuse the terms of one credit card with another.

 

That’s why a variety of apps have been designed to help consumers manage this information. SIFT©, Earny and Reward Summit are a few of the credit card reward and price monitoring apps on the market designed to help you manage these details so you can make the most out of your credit card’s benefits.

 

How These Apps Work

 

Depending on the app you choose you can create a basic account by entering your email address or credit card type as well as information about your location and demographic bracket. 

 

Some apps then recommend which credit card you should use to maximize your rewards and cash back features, as well as make recommendations about other credit cards you can apply for that will benefit your spending style. Other apps simply monitor your purchases to take advantage of your credit card’s price protection policy.

 

Many of these apps allow you to create an advanced account and take advantage of more cool features, including being able to compare interest rates, fees, merchant surcharges, your specific offers, your balance on each card and more! Keep in mind that most of the apps that have advanced accounts require the disclosure of your personal information, including email address, mobile information, credit card details and financial history.

 

If you don’t mind sharing this information then you can reap huge benefits if your credit card is on the apps’ radar (not all are). You may already know that BECU has launched our very own rewards program, and the BECU credit card has been added to SIFT© —good news for our members!   

 

Reap the Rewards

 

Ultimately, all these apps are designed to help you save money and spend less. According to John Biggs of Tech Crunch, these apps can uncover thousands of dollars’ worth of benefits that users don’t take advantage of. Biggs notes that 85% of credit cards have unused features. Taking advantage of these rewards can have a positive impact on your overall financial health.

 

Plus, Huff Post reports that travel-related purchases are coming to some of these apps, which will soon include information about travel insurance that’s covered by your credit card, including:

 

  • Trip cancellation/flight delay benefits
  • Car rental insurance
  • Lost luggage benefits.

Extended Warranty Coverage

 

Some apps claim to extend the time available to return merchandise, provide extended warranties for your most used electronics (like laptops), and give you peace of mind on items like new cell phones with 90 days of coverage.

 

Price Drop Monitoring and Automatic Refunds

 

This is where most people see tangible savings from using credit card reward apps. Look for an app that will monitor price changes in products you’ve purchased and automatically secure refunds on the price difference if your card has a price protection policy in place.

 

This feature ensures that if the item you purchased drops within a certain period you will automatically get the refund (either in the form of a check or a refund onto your credit card). Not all apps have the same features, so it’s important to do some research before you decide which one is right for you.

 

Check out our breakdown of SIFT©, Earny and Reward Summit and the most popular benefits they say they offer:

 

Why People Love Earny

 

Testimonials about Earny show that people have received anywhere from $10 to $500 back on their purchases either directly through retailers or through their credit card’s price protection policy.

 

Here’s how. According to Earny’s website, you give the app access to your email (it currently works with email providers like Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo) so it can see copies of all your electronic receipts. The app then continuously monitors the prices of these purchases. When Earny finds a lower price, it will claim the difference on your behalf and notify you about your refund.

 

According to Earny’s website, the app lets users take advantage of price protection policies offered by major stores and credit card users. Some of the retailers that Earny says they monitor include:

  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • Costco
  • The Gap Group including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and the factory stores
  • Nike
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Home Depot.

There are a few drawbacks when it comes to Earny’s technology, however. Apparently, it does not currently sync multiple mailboxes. Instead, Earny suggests that consumers sign up with one email account and then use only this email when shopping online.

 

Another drawback is that although it’s free to sign up and use, Earny will take 25% of your refund. According to Earny’s website, it shares some of this 25% with brand advocates through a referral program, which means that you could potentially earn money when your friends use Earny. Look at Earny’s website for more details on how this referral program works.

 

Why People Love SIFT©

 

According to the Huffington Post, SIFT© is a game changer in the world of credit card reward apps.  This app claims to offer automatic claims on your purchase, which means that when you make a purchase, SIFT© will not only let you know exactly which credit card benefits you’re eligible for, it will also track the details of that purchase throughout the product’s life, including:

 

  • How much time you have left to return it
  • How to take advantage of extended warranties and protection plans (like theft/damage protection)
  • Specific company and credit card price adjustment policies.

 

Most of us don’t bother (or know how) to make a credit card claim on a purchase, but SIFT© automatically files your claims. In fact, Huffington Post reports that users found that savings from these claims averaged between 5% and 10% of their credit card purchases. That’s a lot of money!

 

Unfortunately, to offer you the very best savings and rewards, SIFT© says that they require access to your private information (including your email and Amazon accounts) to gain access to your digital receipts.  Some people may take issue with this, although it is very common with many apps of this nature.

 

Why People Love Reward Summit

 

Life Hacker suggests that Reward Summit is a simple and effective app that makes credit card reward programs easy.  The app apparently has a user-friendly interface and tracks your credit card reward programs, telling you which card will save you the most money whether you are at the grocery store, gas station or shopping online. Life Hacker also reports that Reward Summit offers a Chrome extension that syncs with the mobile app to offer recommendations automatically while you are making online purchases.

 

Like all credit card rewards apps, Reward Summit says they use your location to suggest the appropriate credit card to earn the most rewards, however, Life Hacker readers point out that the store list on this app is limited, especially in areas outside of major cities.  Life Hacker users also note that Reward Summit is ad-heavy. The ads located in the center of the page are difficult to navigate away from.

 

Have you used a credit card reward tracking app and if so, what’s your experience been like so far? 

 

Learn more about credit card reward tracking apps here:

 

Biggs, John. Sift Raises $1.5 million to Unlock Your Credit Cards. Tech Crunch. March 14, 2017. Available online: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/14/sift-raises-1-5-million-to-unlock-your-credit-cards/

 

McAllister, Shep. Reward Summit Tells You Which Card to Use for Maximum Reward Points. Life Hacker. August 31, 2013. Available online: https://lifehacker.com/reward-summit-tells-you-which-card-to-use-for-maximum-r-1225349201

 

MoneyTips.com. Sift App Unlocks Hidden Credit Card Benefits. HuffPost. May 5, 2017. Available online: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sift-app-unlocks-hidden-credit-card-benefits_us_590c72c8e4b0f71...

 

Earny.com. Learn About Earny. November 30, 2017. Available online: https://support.earny.co/hc/en-us/articles/115000599107-Learn-about-Earny

 

Disclaimer

 

BECU is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by SIFT©, Earny, Reward Summit, Tech Crunch, The Huffington Post, Life Hacker, MoneyTips, Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, The Gap Group including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and the factory stores, Nike, Staples, Target, Walmart, Home Depot nor any partnership with or any their affiliates or subsidiaries. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by BECU of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. BECU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

 

 

 

2 Comments
Sightseer

Great ideas however for me being older and  not in need of much.

Sightseer

Seattle area based Bank Yogi app also supports BECU cards.  You can register your cards, products, and travel. Both online and offline.  Work with a local company and make Seattle proud.