Queer and There

Category Archives for Queer and There.

Airbnb by the Numbers: An Update for 2016

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Back in 2014, when I rented my first Airbnb apartment, I felt like I was doing something crazy. Then, in 2015, I made an extra $60,000 from Airbnb rentalsafter taxes and expenses.

I love my new Dallas Airbnbs!

I love my new Dallas Airbnbs!

Mike from Upgrd playfully calls me a slumlord. My Airbnb posts tend to get a LOT of polarity in the comments; I’ve addressed my moral and ethical position in this post.

I get a lot of questions about why I do it and how it’s going. So here goes.

Why I still love Airbnb

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4 Useful Chrome Extensions for Travel & Shopping

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I love using Google Chrome as a browser. It’s light, powerful, and has lots of good plug-ins… er, extensions.

Some of them have elevated to near-constant use territory.

I’ve written about useful apps because I love time-saving productivity stuff like a good millennial lol.

These 4 Chrome extensions come with my highest recommendation. They’ve helped me save a lot of time, money, and clicking around.

1. Hyatt – Show Me the Points

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How Out and Out Makes Money

There’s been a lot of talk in the blog space this week about monetization, affiliate links, and the lengths bloggers will go to make revenue, including from Doctor of Credit and Rapid Travel Chai – people I hugely admire and respect. It all got me thinking.

Now feels like the right time to talk about this. Not because anyone’s ever asked. But because I want to finally put it out there so peeps can make their own informed decisions.

I make huge piles of fake cartoon money

Huge piles of fake cartoon money

Out and Out makes money in 3 ways:

  1. Credit card affiliate links through CreditCards.com
  2. Ad revenue and clicks from Amazon
  3. Advertising from BoardingArea

I’ll go into detail about each one.

1. Credit card affiliate links

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Why & How to Add Your American Airlines Number to British Airways Award Flights

I recently booked American Airlines award flights from Dallas to Albuquerque with British Airways Avios points. I booked it pretty fast and let my British Airways loyalty number auto-populate in the spot for “Membership Number.”

british airways american number

So easy to let this slide

It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” type thing and easy to overlook.

But, if you have elite status on American Airlines, or certain AAdvantage credit cards with Barclaycard or Citi, you’ll want to change it.

Why to add your American Airlines number

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Free Food! Get $20 Toward Your First Meal With UberEATS

Sharing this easy, easy win.

ubereats promo code

Easy

If you’re in a city where UberEATS participates (and there are many – full list below), you can get $20 off your first order when you use an existing user’s promo code after you download the app for iOS or Android.

It only takes a few minutes and you can seriously get a free meal out of it. I’ll show you how easy it is. Rarely are wins this effortless.

What’s UberEATS?

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Hilton Auctions: Another Way to Use Your Hilton Points

Peeps on Reddit posted about using Hilton points for “experiences” like:

  • Concerts
  • Sporting events
  • Food events
  • Culture events

It’s very similar to SPG Moments both in theory and application.

Use your Hilton points for lots of experiences via their online auction platform

Use your Hilton points for lots of experiences via their online auction platform

There are lots of events on there. They’re not extremely overpriced and might be appealing to some.

I wouldn’t say like, sign-up for a Hilton card to bid on these. But if you are flush with Hilton points, it could be worth a look to see if anything strikes your fancy.

What’s on Hilton Auctions?

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Driving NYC to Dallas: 4 Days of Ups and Downs (and Fire!)

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I set the date, said my goodbyes, and cut the ties. 

The move to Dallas has been a long time coming. I picked Memorial Day weekend to drive from Brooklyn to my new place in Dallas.

Now I’m here and it’s been about 4 weeks. Everyone kept talking about “getting settled.” Pssh, I don’t need to get settled. I’ll just pick right up.

It’s been a crazy few weeks:

  • 2 new Airbnbs
  • Buying investment property #2
  • Unpacking boxes
  • Werkin’
  • Getting acquainted with a new city
  • Visits from friends (already!)

In short, I guess, yeah, I did need time to “settle.”

The drive down took 4 days. I thought it would take 3. Here’s how it went down and why it took longer.

Day 1 – Brooklyn, NY to Winchester, VA

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Is Citi Planning Changes to the Prestige Card?

I got an email from Citi asking me to take a survey put together by ISG Research (Insight Strategy Group).

Citi's

Citi’s rather vague email

The subject was, “We want your feedback on the best credit card rewards programs.”

But once I got into it, I realized they were asking about the Citi Prestige card.

The email even said, “Cardmember since 2015,” which was the year I got my Citi Prestige card.

In the survey, they ask the respondent to consider several mash-ups of card features and select the best option.

They throw around current Citi Prestige features like the 4th night free, annual fee, transfer partners, and ancillary benefits like the 3 free rounds of golf.

What is Citi considering?

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App-O-Rama: 4 New Cards and ~200,000 Points

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Oh man, looking back on my first AOR 3 years ago is such a stroll down memory lane.

Still the best high I've found

Still the best high I’ve found

I was still newish to points and miles, new to blogging, still finding my voice and figuring out my travel goals.

I mentioned them at the time:

My travel goals for this round of apps are Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Dublin, Seattle, Alaska, and eventually, Australia. I’d also LOVE to fit in Vienna/Prague sometime this summer.

I made it to all of those places with the exception of Prague (which I mentioned recently as a possibility with Hilton points, so it’s still on my radar):

It goes to show the power of setting a goal.

But I should take a little wisdom “Three Years Ago Harlan” because my recent round of applications were rather scattershot. After I get settled in Dallas, I’m gonna need to plan a lot of trips with all the points and miles I’ll earn from this newest AOR.

4 new cards!

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Get FoundersCard for $295 Through May 13th, 2016

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Update: This offer has been extended through May 24th, 2016. My feeling is that it will keep getting extended. You can always contact me and I’ll check for you – I’ll also try to keep this page up-to-date.

Thought I’d post this promo and how to get it as a few readers have contacted me about the specifics.

Through May 13th, 2016, you can get FoundersCard for $295 a year – for life. The rate will never go up, so you can lock it in for $100 less than the usual $395 a year.

It sounds steep, but my FoundersCard has already paid for itself this year – and I just renewed (at the higher rate) in March 2016.

There are a ton of benefits that come with the card (including Total Rewards Diamond status).

I’ll show you how to get the lower rate because it’s not as straightforward as it should be.

How to get the $295 deal

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Osaka: Bullet Train, Food, Nightlife, Aquarium, & Wanderings

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After exploring Tokyo, it was time to head to Osaka, the Japan’s second-largest city.

Bullet train

We left Tokyo via bullet train (Shinkansen) for the journey of about 500 kilometers. It took a little over 3 hours, not including getting to and from the train stations on either side. One-way tickets were ~$145 for the fare and seat reservation.

Because we departed from the Shinjuku station near where we stayed at the Hilton Tokyo, travel time was minimal (~20 minutes, if that).

We had reserved seats, though the midday train was only at about half capacity. An attendant came through every so often to offer snacks and coffee, but I noticed savvier riders unwrapping their pre-packaged meals on board.

The train was clean, the seats were comfy, and the overall experience was positive. Watching the scenery flying by was hypnotic.

On this day, the clouds gathered low to the ground. For that reason, we only got the faintest glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance. But I bet on a clear day, the views would be incredible!

From Tokyo to Osaka, you’ll see Mount Fuji from the right side of the train. It’s huge. You literally can’t miss it.

The bullet train was awesome! Calming, actually. No squealing metal and sparks of fire shooting out from the wheels *cough* New York City MTA *cough*

Eating Osaka

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My FoundersCard Membership Just Paid for Itself This Year

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Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 13th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

Peeps are curious about FoundersCard. The many posts I’ve written are amongst my most-Googled. And a good 1/3 of reader emails ask about a specific benefit.

So I thought I’d post an update, as I still have and use mine regularly.

In fact, I just used it to join the Equinox in Dallas – and got $29 knocked off my monthly rate thanks to FoundersCard.

asd

Just saved a bundle to get back into shape

Now I’m not saying “join Equinox!” Instead, I’d say FoundersCard is worth it if you have a particular benefit in mind, like:

As long as it stays good, I'm on board

As long as it stays this good, I’m on board

Any one of these benefits can make up FoundersCard’s $395 annual fee if you really maximize it. And more if you can make use of 2 or 3 (or more) of them.

For example, I save about $20 a month off my AT&T bill.

And the TripIt Pro membership I got from my Barclaycard Arrival Plus is about to expire.

Free TripIt Pro saves $49

Free TripIt Pro saves $49

I’ve grown to love the service and use the app constantly for my travel plans. Would I pay for it? Maybe. But I won’t have to think about it for another year, because the next one is free thanks to FoundersCard.

How I use FoundersCard to save

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