Pick2Pay is a local Seattle company whose mission is to make it easier for you to maximize the rewards you earn with every purchase. I’m not normally a fan of such tools since I don’t do a lot of online shopping. But after speaking with one of the founders, I’ve realized this is a far more comprehensive tool than it appears on the surface — so much so that I agreed to host it on my site. It has a lot of potential to help save money or accumulate miles and points.
I don’t think I can cover all the features of Pick2Pay in a single post, so I’ll share a few at a time as I continue to explore. I’m also working with the team to find better ways of presenting the data as they continue to refine their product. If you have feedback, please provide it in the comments or send me an email. Pick2Pay has promised to create a customized app for my site that best reflects how you want to use it.
Accessing the Online Shopping Maximizer
You can access the Pick2Pay tool from the right sidebar on this blog, and a larger version with all the same features can be found if you click on the “Online Shopping Maximizer” button in the top navigation menu.
Pick2Pay is also available on your iPhone, but I’ll be discussing that in a future post. The iPhone app has a few features not available here.
I recommend you create an account first so you can add cards to your wallet (not the actual card information, just a list of which cards you carry and the rewards they earn). You don’t need to do this, but it makes the service more useful. Feel free to skip ahead and return later.
Create an account by clicking on “My Wallet” at the bottom of the screen, or click on the menu button at the top with three horizontal lines.
All you need is an email address and password to register. It’s super easy, and there are no annoying confirmation emails. Once you’ve registered, you can log in by clicking on that menu button again. For now, add cards to your wallet by searching with their names.
That blurry card at the bottom is a United MileagePlus Select card, which earns 3X miles plus 1 EQM per dollar on United purchases. (I have a better picture, so I should send it over to the Pick2Pay team to update their app.) Now let’s search for air travel.
Searching for an Offer
You can search for offers in two ways. First, you can click through the merchant categories like Airlines or Grocery Stores to find the best cards, in general, for that category. If you search for a specific merchant, it may suggest an even better offer.
The second option is to just search for a merchant by name from the start. (You can return to this home page at any time by clicking the “My Rewards” button at the bottom.) This is my preferred method. When I shop online, I usually know exactly whom I’m going to shop with. It’s not a question of whether one merchant offers better rewards than another. It’s a question of which card I’m going to use to pay.
In the example above, notice that when I did a search for airlines in general, the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card came out on top at 3% while the United Select card earned only 1%. Pick2Pay assumed I was making an average air travel reservation, for which Amex has the upper hand. After entering a specific airline, the results changed. Amex PRG and United Select were tied at 3%.
Adjusting Card Rankings
All of the rewards are currently displayed as a percentage, even if the reward is miles or points and not cash back. Both the Amex PRG and the United Select cards offer 3 points/miles per dollar spent at United Airlines, but I don’t value their currencies equally. To fix this, you need to create a free account and specify your own values.
Go back to “My Wallet” and click on a card. Choose the option to “Update Valuation,” and enter the number you prefer in cents per point. I assigned values of 2 cents to United miles and Ultimate Rewards points and 1.5 cents to Membership Rewards points.
I then returned to “My Rewards” and repeated my search for United Airlines. This time, the offers I was presented were more accurate. My United Select card topped the list at 6% (3 miles x 2 cents each), followed by Amex PRG at 4.55% (3 x 1.5 cents …I’m not sure where the extra 0.05 came from) and Chase Sapphire Preferred at 4% (2 x 2 cents). Obviously your results will depend on your own cards and the values you assign.
That’s it for now! I think this is enough to get you started, and I hope you find it as useful as I do. Again, please feel free to provide your feedback so that this tool can be made better. You can do that with an email to me, or by contacting the Pick2Pay team. You can also write a public comment on the blog.
P.S. — Please note that Pick2Pay can still rank competing offers when one program uses miles, another uses points, and a third offers cash back. I asked them to use percentages for everything right now. I find it easier to make comparisons this way once a value is assigned. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you like to see the kind and exact number of the currency you’re earning. Let me know.