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Travel tip: How to get the most awards points from your credit card on the road

Let’s say you’re in an unfamiliar city and you want to grab a bite to eat. You’re also hungry for more awards points. You carry several cards and you don’t know which to use to maximize your balances.

Enter WalletUp, an app (iOS or Android) from the folks at CreditCards.com. You simply enter the cards you have.

You do not have to enter your account numbers, but you do need to make sure that you are choosing the right card; credit cards often have very similar names, so pull out the card and match it up.

It won’t help you if you’re shopping the Amazon sale, but it can help you make smarter choices on brick-and-mortar places to spend your money, thanks to its GPS component.

From my desk in the Times building at 145 S. Spring St., it tells me that if I eat in the company cafeteria or at the Blue Cube cafe across the street, I should use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa card (the heavy blue card that doesn’t show your number on its front), which gives me “2X points on travel and dining at restaurants,” the app tells me.

If I go to the nearby 2nd Street Cigar Lounge or the Edison bar? The Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard, which will earn “two points per dollar spent,” the app says.

Would I choose a place to eat or drink based on awards points? No, but it might influence me a little. Or a lot, depending on how close I am to my desired travel goal.

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