Travel Technology

Travel Technology: Review of TPG To Go

TPG To Go is a new phone app from The Points Guy that will help you figure out which credit cards to use to maximize bonuses. It can be downloaded for either iphone or android. There are some aspects of this app that are really sophisticated and useful, and some aspects I don’t need. Overall TPG To Go addresses a real problem for those of us who collect credit cards to maximize travel points and so I’d recommend it to anyone juggling multiple cards for bonus maximization.

I used to laugh at my dad for keeping sticky notes on his credit cards telling him which one gave the best bonus for each category of expense. But there isn’t an easy way of keeping track of this if you have a bunch of cards. And if you want to use credit cards to travel for free, you will have a bunch of cards.

I use credit cards to earn free travel, especially free flights. When I need to meet a minimum spend requirement on a new card I focus all my purchases on thaairline-cardst card. But when that’s not the case, or when I know I’ll hit the minimum spend without much effort, it’s a great idea to maximize spending by using the best card for each purchase. And who can memorize all those bonus rules: 2x points on gas, 5x points on office supplies, 3x points on restaurants the first Friday of the month. . . . it’s way more than I can keep track of.

TPG To Go really does solve this problem. The “Pay With This” features allows you to save information about which credit cards you own and then every time you want to make a purchase the app will tell you which card gives you the best bonus. This is calculated based on the TPG formulas for valuation of each points/miles program and it accounts for your personnel preferences and goals for earning. You can also customize the valuations if you disagree with the TPG assessment.

The app is integrated with a geolocated map that identifies stores and restaurants near you and suggests which card to use at each one. I don’t find the map very useful because I do very little shopping in a physical stores. However for those who like to shop, this is a nice feature.

For online purchases you can type in the store name and get results about cards to use. For instance when I type in “Macy’s” it tells me where to find a Macy’s nearby, and informs me that my Chase Freedom card has a special category bonus until December 31 offering me 5 points per dollar at this store. I never would have remembered this!

I’d love to see TPG To Go add full web functionality and a feature identifying which shopping portals I should use for online purchases. Shopping portal bonuses change day to day, and with this functionality TPG To Go would quickly become my one go-to shopping bonus tool, both at home and on the street.

The app has a few other features:

My Wallet: You can link to your credit card bank accounts to track rewards and spending. Since this is not an area where I think I need help right now, and I’m hesitant to give an app all my bank info, I haven’t tried it out.

TPG Hot Deals: A list of top credit cards recommended by TPG. It comes with a disclaimer that TPG is making money off these affiliate links and that might influence positioning of the offers. I follow TPG’s blog and prefer to read in depth reviews of cards to decide which ones to sign up for. I’m a bit distrusting of this feature though I appreciate the clear disclaimer.

TPG Now and Where’s TPG: TPG blog posts, info about where TPG is now, and ways to connect on social media.

TPG Tracker: Using your bank info you can track progress towards bonuses, and get targeted card recommendations. As mentioned above, not something I have tried.

Bottom line: download the free TPG To Go app and use it to maximize your credit card bonuses.

Check out the other travel tools I recommend.

Post updated November 13 to remove my complaint about the “alerts” on the app as this problem seems to be fixed. 

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