This page is intended to be a repository for useful links, spreadsheets and other files that I have put together to help me make better use (and better sense) of my points and miles. You are free to download and use the files. Please let me know if you can think of ways to improve these tools. I’m always looking for better ways to evaluate my assets!
Favorite FlyerTalk Threads:
- The FlyerTalk Credit Card Master Thread is a great resource to find details about specific credit card offers.
- Since my Evel Knievel churn, meeting the minimum spend requirements is going to take some planning. The Getting Spending Up thread will help with that.
- Making Sense of Hilton Reward Options, does just that. Lots of detail about the program and how to make the most of it.
ChurnPlanningTool - This spreadsheet will help you analyze and compare some of the details of different credit cards so you can optimize your next card churn. It also includes a minimum spend tracking table. Updated 11/2011.
AirlineMilesValuation - This spreadsheet is a simple, user-friendly too that will help you assign a value to airline miles. It has been completed using sample data to approximate some of the major carriers, but you can easily edit the file to meet your needs. You will be able to see a range of values based on the class of ticket you typically purchase and your destination. Several redemption levels can be combined to produce an average point valuation. Updated 10/2011.
HotelPointsValuation - Much like the Airline Miles Valuation tool, this spreadsheet will help you assign a value to your hotel points. I have completed the file for four major hotel programs (Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, and Priority Club). The file has been completed to estimate hotel point valuations based on different redemption categories and geographic regions. The intent is to determine if there is a superior category or geography in which points should be redeemed to maximize value. This spreadsheet could obviously be made more robust by entering more data points, but that would take away from the relatively simple valuation approach. Updated 10/2011.
CreditCardTracker - This spreadsheet is very similar to one I have been using to keep track of my credit cards. I like to keep track of basic information such as numbers, login info, and other useful information. I use this as a reference when making online purchases and as a backup in case I ever lose my wallet. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this kind of information should be safeguarded pretty closely, but I will anyway: If you keep this kind of information in one file, you should password protect it and NEVER use it on a shared computer. I wouldn’t even send it to yourself via email. Updated 10/2011.
Car Rental Insurance Checklist - This is a list of questions to work out to make sure you have the right insurance coverage when you rent a car. Updated 10/2011.
Other Financial Tools:
This is where the relentless number cruncher (a/k/a finance nerd) in me takes over. The spreadsheets available below don’t relate directly to points and miles. However, if you are able to make good financial decisions, you will have more money available for travel. Let me know if you have questions or problems with any of these files.
BudgetTool - Once a year I like to sit down and take the data from my Expense Tracking Worksheet (see below) and set a budget for the following year. This is the spreadsheet I use. Some things may not seem particularly intuitive at first, but once you spend a little time in it, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. I’m happy to answer questions about the spreadsheet, but I’m not likely to make too many adjustments to it. I’ve created macros that reset or clear all the data in the spreadsheet. You’ll find that this can be extremely helpful. It also makes modifying the spreadsheet and reprogramming the macros a real pain. Updated 10/2011.
ExpenseTrackingWorksheet - I’ve been using this spreadsheet for years to keep track of my various expenses. It only takes a minute each day to enter your expenses and after a couple of months of consistent effort, you are likely to see patterns emerge that you didn’t expect. I can’t overemphasize the value of knowing where your money goes. Updated 10/2011.
MortgageComparisonTool - I created this spreadsheet a couple of years ago because I couldn’t find a calculator that allowed me to compare different mortgage options with very much accuracy. This tool will allow you to compare up to three different financing options and see the impact on: out-of-pocket costs, monthly costs, total net worth over time, etc. It takes into account tax deductions for interest and assumes that budgeted funds not spent are invested in an index of securities with a return comparable to the historical returns of the S&P 500. It can be used to model results both for new purchase financing and refinancing options. This tool seems a bit complicated at first, so please read the included instructions if it doesn’t make sense. Updated 10/2011.
I am not a financial advisor, the use of spreadsheets and other tools available on this website is for informational and illustrative purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.
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