Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2018

Use Birch to Optimize Your Travel Rewards

The best travel credit cards make it easy to earn ongoing rewards redeemable for hotel stays, airfare and more.

To make the most while travel hacking, you need to use your cards regularly, pay your balance in full and avoid paying credit card interest, as it will surely dwarf the benefits you earn.

If you want to optimize your rewards even further, a new app is here to help. With Birch—a free app created to help consumers maximize their credit card rewards—thousands of people are learning to earn more rewards just by using their cards the right way.

Once you sign up for a free account, Birch recommends specific cards in your wallet for specific purchases while also highlighting new cards that might align with your current spending habits.

Let’s say you start using Birch for your regular spending and the app picks up the fact you easily spend $5,000 per month on Facebook or Google ads for your business. In that case, the app might recommend you get the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card to earn 3x points on up to $150,000 in combined spending in special bonus categories (that just so happen to include online advertising like Facebook ads).

Or, let’s say Birch recognizes you spend a ton of cash at the grocery store and gas stations. Depending on your other spending habits, the app might recommend the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express because it offers 6 percent back on your first $6,000 spent in grocery stores each year, plus 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, and 1 percent cash-back on all other purchases.

Other services the Birch app offers include:

—Personalized reports on your shopping history & where you may have gained or missed valuable travel points

—Help deciding which cards to use and where to use them in order to reap the most rewards

—Alerts to help you decide on which card in your wallet to use while walking into a store via geolocation

READ MORE: Best Credit Cards to Use with Plastiq

The Birch app is absolutely free to use, and it’s easy to sign up for as well. Here’s how to get started:

—Create a free account at

—Log in with your bank credentials to link your accounts. You don’t have to disclose your credit card account numbers.

—Birch will create a secure connection with each bank you use in order to sync your transactions across all accounts.

—You’ll gain valuable insights into your spending and how to earn more rewards with the cards you have.

READ MORE: Travel Rewards Cards Without the Hassle

If your goal is earning more travel rewards in the new year, it never hurts to learn to get better with what you have. The Birch app could be valuable since it points out special category bonuses and helps you decide which card to use for specific purchases and stores.

If you wind up with more points and miles over the course of a year, your travel budget will thank you.

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