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Many of you know that I’ve been working quietly behind the scenes with some talented developers for the past few months to create a new platform called “WalletFlo.” Well, the development process hasn’t been quite as easy as I thought it’d be but we’ve made some real progress and it’s finally time to give you a sneak peek!
What is WalletFlo?
WalletFlo is a digital smart wallet that helps you to maximize and manage your credit cards via smart automation.
It’s designed to replace spreadsheets with something much more functional that, at the end of the day, just makes you feel better about applying for credit cards and optimizing them in the future.
WalletFlo is for both beginners and advanced users and will be ideal for individuals or couples. It will initially exist as a web platform but will eventually be a mobile app as well.
I’ll be giving away one-year subscriptions to WalletFlo to randomly selected commenters on any UponArriving posts dated from now (Oct 22nd) until the launch this winter.
A small number of people will also be gifted a free lifetime membership to WalletFlo — and all you have to do is leave a comment (preferably a quality comment) on any post (like this one) to enter.
The more comments you leave, the better your odds (but spam-type comments won’t count).
WalletFlo’s “MVP “
This is a sneak peek for WalletFlo’s “minimum viable product” or “MVP.”
This means it’s the most basic form of the product I felt was worth presenting to the public.
There will definitely be some wrinkles left to iron out in the beginning but addressing them all now would take a very long time and it’s much better to get your product in a user’s hands early and then go from there.
Simplifying credit card eligibility
Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that credit card application rules have been getting increasingly common and complex.
As credit card rewards have exploded in popularity, we’ve seen a lot of new restrictive rules like the wall of text for Marriott credit cards below.
And then there are all the credit card application rules like: Chase 5/24, Amex 2/90, Citi 8/65, Barclays 6/24, BOAs 2/3/4 Rule (now 7/12 and 3/12 rule) — many of which aren’t even published.
I know many people (including myself) find it time-consuming and confusing to keep up with all of these rules.
I’ve even seen folks get denied for cards and hurt their credit score due to violating these rules.
So I felt there was a real need to simplify credit card eligibility and to do so via effortless automation.
Simplifying credit card management
I’ve also always wanted an optimal way to keep up with all of my credit card features and annual fees.
Yeah, I had my spreadsheet but it didn’t have the functionality I wanted. For example, it wouldn’t update quarterly categories in real time or posses other smart automation features.
So with these issues in mind, I created WalletFlo to significantly cut down the time and effort needed for optimizing your wallet.
Whether it was navigating credit card application rules, maximizing bonus categories, or managing annual fees (downgrades, travel credits, etc.), I wanted to create something that would save users (including myself) a lot of time and even money.
I also wanted WalletFlo to be innovative and not just a glorified spreadsheet.
Utilizing an interactive timeline seemed like the perfect feature.
In my lawyer days, I would regularly create timelines for cases/complex transactions, and I thought a digital smart wallet was perfectly suited for timeline functionality, so I started sketching it out in early August.
I played around with many different timeline ideas and formats but it took some time to envision exactly how it should look.
I thought using a timeline with colorful bars or “flows” (hence the name) would make it easier to view all of your cards and get an instant sense of your overall credit card portfolio, especially when it came to things like the pace of opening new cards, timing of annual fees, free night certificates, etc.
A standalone timeline wouldn’t be enough functionality, though. WalletFlo needed a place where your digital wallet could give you an efficient way to view, sort, and manage all of your cards and card features, so I added a sidebar.
WalletFlo started with the messy sketches seen above and after a few months, it’s finally coming together in a real way and I’m excited to share a sneak peek of some of its core features!
WalletFlo sneak peak
Here’s a look at the dashboard screen for the “annual fees view.”
Keep in mind it’s still a bit of a work in progress so things will look a little different and cleaned up in the future.
Further below, I’ll go into detail about some of the features.
On the left corner, you’ll see the profile tabs which show “DMG” and “BMK” — those will be your custom initials that represent your profile.
The “All” tab will allow you to view info for all profiles in your WalletFlo family. So if you had 10 cards and your spouse had 5 cards, you’d see the breakdown for all 15 cards.
Below those tabs you’ll see other sub-tabs for:
I’ll just be showing you the “Wallet” and “Apps” tab in this sneak peek.
Your wallet will show you a breakdown of all of your credit cards, organized by issuer. You’ll see how many total cards you have overall and the total within each issuer.
(When in the “all” view, you’ll see the cards everyone in your family has and each card will have an indication of who owns it by showing their initials.)
If you select a card, you can see all of its details like bonus categories, travel credits, credit limits, etc. Eventually, I hope to have more details related to things like travel insurance, purchase protection, etc. to give you the full picture of your cards.
Another nice feature is the Closed Accounts drop down where you can keep tabs of all the cards you’ve had in the past, which is very helpful for Amex and business cards (and just good practice to track).
Your cards will also be visible on the timeline where your true wallet “flow” lives.
As you can see, each card will have a color, organized by issuer. All of the major issuers like Chase, Amex, Barclays, etc. will have their own color while smaller, obscure issuers will be lumped into one color.
This view will help you get a sense of the pace at which you’re opening up new cards and an overview of how diverse your wallet is.
When we implement the community feature, this universal color scheme will also make it very easy to view and understand other timelines.
WalletFlo Annual Fees View
Managing annual fees can be tedious and time consuming, especially when searching for downgrade options. And sometimes those pesky annual fees can sneak up on you.
One thing I love about WalletFlo is it will break down all of your annual fees over the course of a year.
To view your annual fees on the timeline, you’ll simply click on the annual fee “$” icon and your timeline will go to “annual fee view.”
Annual fee breakdown
Each annual fee is placed on the timeline where your account anniversary takes place, so you’ll know when it’s due.
Upgrade and downgrade options
When you select an annual fee on your timeline, you’ll see the upgrade and downgrade options (if available) allowing you to avoid annual fees or find an upgrade to a better card.
The MVP will only give one option for upgrade/downgrade but future versions will have more (interactive) options and perhaps ways to provide you guidance based on your spend. I’d also like for it to notify you about valuable retention offers, allowing you to get more fees waived.
In addition to the individual fees listed on your timeline, you’ll also see a helpful bar graph that breaks down your annual fees based on the total fees each month. Couples will be able to view all of the annual fees between the two of them, which will I think will be very helpful to keep fees in check.
You’ll be able to see more info related to annual fees such as annual credits on the “Fees” tab but I’ll talk about that later.
WalletFlo Cheat Sheet
The Cheat Sheet will auto-populate top earning cards in different categories along with their bonus multiplier and value of points earned viewed in percentage form.
So if your #1 dining card is the Amex Gold Card, you’ll see “4X (6.8%),” which means you’re earning 4X Membership Rewards and getting the equivalent of 6.8% cash back based on a valuation of Membership Rewards.
Valuations will be based on an average of different sources though I hope to eventually give users the ability to input their own valuations since these are subjective at the end of the day.
The Cheat Sheet is perfect for a few situations.
Finding top earners
If you’ve got lots of great cards it can be difficult to keep tabs on your top earners and that will be automatically done for you.
What’s more, many newbies struggle to realize the difference in value of a card that earns rewards in a weak currency (e.g., Hilton) versus a strong currency (e.g., Amex MR). Showing the percentage returns will show you which options return the most value.
Also, if you have quarterly categories, it can get really confusing as to which quarterly categories are active (especially if you have multiple 5% back cards). WalletFlo will automatically update each quarter when those 5% categories change.
The Cheat Sheet will help couples where one member is leading the charge and the other constantly wondering which card to use for gas, groceries, etc.
Mobile App & Voice
Eventually, I hope to have the Cheat Sheet in the mobile App for easy use and possibly compatible with voice. Instead of your partner texting or calling you to ask about which card to use, they could simply ask Siri, “Which card should I use for groceries?”
I’d also like for users to eventually be able to customize the Cheat Sheet, perhaps based on their earning goals. For example, if you wanted to just focus on earning Ultimate Rewards or United miles, you could select that option and then your Cheat Sheet would prioritize cards that earn those type of points.
Or you could just set your own custom preferred options.
WalletFlo Apps Tab
WalletFlo will save you tons of time when it comes to your credit card applications by automating all of the credit card application rule calculations for you.
You’ll simply add a new application and then select your desired card and you’ll instantly see every potential rule that applies to that card and how your individual wallet complies with those rules.
That will save you from finding the latest rules, interpreting them, and applying them to all of your accounts. It will also help people avoid wasted hard inquiries that bring down credit scores.
This will be extremely helpful for beginners and still convenient for advanced users who want to check things like their 5/24 status and keep tabs on long-term bonus eligibility.
How does it work?
After selecting a card, you’ll see a breakdown of various rules that apply.
If you’re compliant, you’ll see green text verifying you’re good.
If you’re not compliant, you’ll see red text alerting you and showing what date you need to wait for until you will be compliant or what action you’d need to take (e.g., cancel a card).
Also, sometimes you’ll just receive a yellow “caution message” when things are a little iffy and you need to proceed with caution.
If you don’t know what the rules mean, you can click on the info circle and view a quick explanation of the rule. In many cases there are exceptions to the rules, so you’ll be able to easily click on a link to an UponArriving article which will explain the rule in detail to you.
To make things easy on you, you’ll also be able to sign-up to receive notifications whenever you become compliant.
Whether it’s one month or one year, you’ll be notified (and that notification will be updated in real time).
I truly believe that long-term strategies are becoming more important as issuers crack down on applicants and so WalletFlo will help you put your long-term credit card strategy more on “auto pilot” with the help of reminders.
You’ll also be able to save your apps so that you can check back on them and keep tabs on all of the applications you’re interested in.
These are only some of the WalletFlo MVP features to be included and there are others (Points tab, Fees tab, Notification feature, etc.).
Each of those will offer something to make your life easier like breaking down annual credits and reminding you to put spend on dormant cards every 6 months. But I’ll talk more about those later.
The next feature will probably be a “Perks” feature that focuses on displaying perks like free nights, elite status, travel insurance, etc., and I’ll share more on that later.
The price is looking to be around ~$22 per year but I might offer a chance to pre-order WalletFlo for a discount at something like, I don’t know… $15.24.
(If you pre-ordered and were randomly selected for a free year of WalletFlo or free lifetime membership, you’d obviously be refunded for your pre-order.)
Let me know if you’d be interested in pre-ordering and I can get on it! I’m hoping to launch WalletFlo’s beta version in December and have the full launch in January but we’ll see how it goes!
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
H-Town based Attorney turned credit card rewards expert. Founder of UponArriving.com.