As never before, the travel rewards space has come to be dominated by credit cards.
Need a significant boost to your mileage account's bottom line, or even a free ticket? If there are no 100,000-mile bonuses on offer, there are bound to be credit cards with 40,000- or 50,000-mile sign-up bonuses you can apply for. If you don't have them in your wallet already, that is. Because, if you're reading this, you probably already have several rewards cards.
Which card do you use for which purchases? A fill-up at the gas pump might be worth triple points on one of your cards, due to a limited-time promotion. Another card might be awarding double miles for grocery purchases. And yet another card might offer the best payout for buying airline tickets.
Keeping it all straight can begin to feel like a full-time job.
It's a job a new card, the Wallaby card, aims to make easier. According to the company:
"The Wallaby Card is an advanced cloud-based digital wallet that stores the information about each of your existing credit cards and automatically picks the best card to charge in each transaction, based on your preferences."
The card has two modes, manual and automatic.
In manual mode, the card chooses which rewards credit card gets charged for each purchase based on your criteria.
In auto mode—and here's where it gets interesting—the card directs every charge to the credit card offering the best rewards.
While the Wallaby is used to make charges, it is not itself a credit card. So when applying for the card, there's no credit check and no line of credit is issued. Using the Wallaby Card will not affect your credit score.
The Cost of Convenience
There's a price for Wallaby's convenience and value: $50 a year, with an introductory free usage period of six months. But the first 1,000 customers will receive a lifetime benefit and the first 5,000 on the waitlist will receive a free card for the first 12 months.
To Wallaby or Not to Wallaby
It's too soon to give the Wallaby a definitive thumbs-up or thumbs-down. I haven't had a chance to test the card's points-optimizer function, nor are there any reports from users to give us a sense of how the card performs. But on first glance, it's a service with a real potential benefit to consumers looking to get the most value from a variety of rewards cards.
Ideally, I'd like to have a card that shows me a list of earning options for each purchase and allows me to choose among them—a hybrid of the current auto and manual modes. But Wallaby's still in beta, and that may be in the pipeline.
Stay tuned for more.
Reader Reality Check
Will there be a Wallaby in your wallet?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.