@AwardWallet and @ExpertFlyer – Making Life Easier

There are two websites that all frequent fliers should be familiar with: AwardWallet and ExpertFlyer. The former helps you track your various frequent traveler information (car, hotel, and airline), the number of miles you have, expiry date, and so on. ExpertFlyer lets you search for award fare, which is particularly important when trying to book award tickets or look for routing to use Global Upgrade Certificates from Delta (or Systemwide Upgrade Certificates from American Airlines).


There are two different types of AwardWallet accounts: Free or Plus, and a brief difference between the two can be found below. The biggest perks are that having a Plus account is that you will be able to refresh accounts in parallel and that you will be able to see expiry dates of miles/points. This means you can plan any necessary purchases/trips to make sure your account stays active and your points stay safe. If you sign up with this invitation link [affiliate link], I would appreciate it!

Free vs. Plus

As you can see, AwardWallet Plus also shows special codes attached to accounts: the companion fare for my Alaska Airlines credit card, for example. It also shows my Hyatt Suite Upgrades and Starwood Suite Night Upgrades, and when they expire. Plus only costs $5 every 6 months, which is very reasonable for what you get.

Account Overview
Trip Details


On the other side of things we have ExpertFlyer, which lets us find find particular equipment (for example, those of us who have a fascination for 747-400s ;)), route selections that allow for use of System Wide Upgrade certificates (more on that below), and other information that isn’t as easily viewed at other locations. I opted for Basic as I don’t need to search too often, and while flexible searches would be nice, I can live without it.

Pricing Options
Pricing Options

To search for routes that would allow me to use my Global Upgrade Certificates, for example, it is as simple as clicking a checkbox! Note that each search will use two queries: one for the departure and one for the return.

Searching for Global Upgrade Seats

The Seats column identifies how many eligible seats are available for the particular code (Z, in this case), and the aircraft type is also shown. ExpertFlyer doesn’t allow direct booking with this information, though, so you will have to find the same fares on the respective airline website to do that. I usually call Delta as it allows application of the upgrade certificate at the time of booking.

Dreamliner Available Seats!
Nothing for Return

Increased Signup on @Barclaycard Arrival+

Application Link [not an affiliate link]: Here

For the longest time, the signup bonus for the Arrival+ was 40,000 points for $3,000 spend, but today it was increased to 50,000 points. This can be redeemed for $500 of statement credit for travel purchases. The nice thing about the Arrival+ card is that it gives you 5% back when you redeem your points in this manner, so you actually get $525 (ish).

Though there is an annual fee of $89, it is waived for the first year. You incur no foreign transaction fees and have access to the MasterCard network for purchases, so your card will be accepted in most places.

First increase I can remember!
First increase I can remember!

My favorite thing about this card is that it is a Chip+PIN card, not just Chip+Signature. There are many automated systems across the world that require use of a PIN, that you wouldn’t be able to use with a Chip+Signature card. Most cards offered to US are Chip+Signature, so if you are planning international travel, it might be worth looking into!

Tip of the hat to DoctorOfCredit!

On Track for @spg Ambassador Status! #spglife #spg100

Thanks to some upcoming travel over the next few weeks, I am on track for attaining Ambassador Status with the Starwood Preferred Guest program. The SPG website describes what this offers for you:

The more your ambassador gets to know you over time, the more he or she can provide the personal touches that make each trip special. Whether it’s an early arrival, shopping, a meeting venue or a restaurant for a client dinner, your ambassador will scope out the local scene to find the best your destination has to offer.


I’m really looking forward to this – having a single point-person for all my bookings would make things a lot more interesting! This takes the idea of a concierge to a whole new level, and I am thoroughly impressed. I hope this isn’t lost when the Starwood-Marriott merger goes through.

Ambassadors in action