Friday, September 21, 2007

A Quicken feature request - tracking airline points!

Wouldn't it be great if Quicken could track your promotional program points?

Imagine if you could track your airline miles, Thank You points, Elite Rewards points, etc... in Quicken and they would be updated daily? I actually might use them or even incorporate them into my planning! What a benefit. Of course tracking hotel points as well would be a huge plus.

Now that I'm a road warrior, it takes quite a bit of energy to track down how many points I have with each airline, hotel chain etc....

Actually, I think one of the online personal finance sites consolidates airling points for you.

Does anyone have a successful way to track such things in quicken? I'd love to hear.

My thoughts are that you could set up an account, but you would have to adjust the options in quicken to avoid counting it in the totals.

Thoughts? Makingourway


Dedicated said...

This can be done. The more straight forward your points system, the easier.

Create an Cash account and I would keep it in my values, because it does hold value. Call it Cash Back Points or Airline Miles or whatever tells you what it is.

Then when you enter your credit card charges and disperse the expenses to the appropriate accounts make 2 more lines:

1. Cash Back Points (debit) Positive number here from the credit card account.
2. The offset to keep your charge in balance should go to either Other Income or Cash Back Rewards on the P & L (income statement) and be entered as a credit or a negative number.

This is how I track my 1% Cash back from Visa and my variable cash back from Discover. I do not have an airline miles card, but I feel this should suffice for your purposes.

makingourway said...

Dedicated, excellent comment. I suppose you could calculate the points at a ration of $.02 or $.01 per point. $.02 was the traditional value in the 90s, however, it seems like $0.01 is the actual value.
Nonetheless, I would be skeptical about calculating an specific value as there may not be a viable market to liquidate the asset. Therefore it would have no asset value.

I like your idea about an offsetting transaction, however, I'm more attracted to the idea of excluding the account from my totals.

Since I'd be tracking miles, this makes sense. I don't want to see a 25,000 mile transaction in my expense ledger - especially if it has a nominal value of $250. However, if it were cash back I would definately think differently.

Regards, makingourway