So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 3: Attracting Guests

Now that you’ve found a place and set it up, you’ll want to get it listed as quickly as possible so guests can book it. And by far the best way to attract bookings is so have a ton of photos.

airbnb hosting

You’ll want to have lots of crisp, clear photos to show your listing to guests

You’ll also want to hit a good mark with your pricing. But at first, I drop my prices as low as possible to get a few bookings.  And therefore a few positive reviews – they’re another huge opportunity to get more bookings.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

The price is right

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Blue Business Plus Amex: New Card for Plastiq Payments?

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I’ve come out of my slough of despair (kinda slash not really) following the news that Citi AT&T Access More cards won’t earn 3X on rent and mortgage payments starting July 22nd, 2017. And the Chase Sapphire Reserve trick stopped working, too – although I’ve heard you can still make payments with it for 1X (AKA it does NOT code as travel).

In the midst of all this, Amex came out with a brand new card: the Blue Business Plus. And it holds some promise for payments with Plastiq. Of course, the numbers aren’t as good as they once were. But you can earn 2X on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year on the card.

Blue Business Plus Amex

Newest card

I got the card last week. And starting next month, it will be my go-to for Plastiq payments. Because I still want the points.

Here’s a look at how it works, by the numbers.

About the Blue Business Plus Amex

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 2: Setting It Up

Next comes the most expensive – and most fun – part of listing a home on Airbnb: setting it up!

You’re probably going to be in shock at how much it costs to get set up. But in my experience, you recoup all of the costs and get to pure profit in 8 to 10 weeks. I know of very few investments that provide a 100% return in such a short span of time.

airbnb hosting

It’s crazy how much “STUFF” people need

At the beginning, you’ll have seemingly innumerable things to set up and buy. But if you plan it right, you can have it ready in 3 to 4 days.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

For best results, start with a theme

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Booking Glacier: I Used Points for Free Flights and Hotel Nights – and Still Paid $1,000

Later this week, I’m heading to Kalispell, Montana, to hike in Glacier National Park with my friend Angie. I can’t wait – it’s been 10 years since I’ve been in Montana!

glacier national park

Me in Montana – 2007

Though I’m excited, I found it admittedly difficult to cobble this trip together with points and miles – rural places are not kind to our hobby. So I paid about $1,000 out-of-pocket because I really wanted to go.

Here’s how I minimized costs as much as possible.

Flights to Glacier National Park with US Bank Altitude Reserve points

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[DEAL IS DONE] Tomorrow at Exactly 12:00 PM Eastern: $1,300 in Free Credit Card Spending, Plus $25

Update: As of 5:32 pm Eastern time, PFS Buyers Club is not letting anyone else opt-in to the offer. DEAL IS DONE.

That went fast

Congrats to those who got in on this! Sign-up for PFS Buyers Club so you don’t miss the next deal when it pops up!


Via my friend Meghan, you can purchase a Platinum coin from the US Mint tomorrow for $1,300 + $4.95 in shipping, then get paid $25 a week later. And yes, you can use a credit card.

The coins become available at exactly 12:00 pm Eastern time tomorrow, July 6th, 2017. Sometimes these deals go within minutes, so set a reminder for 11:50 am so you can be ready, if you’re interested. And be sure to opt-in (details below).

PFS buyers club

Buy this coin, get free points and cash

Then, PFS Buyers Club will send you a pre-paid label and pay you $1,330 for your effort – which yields a profit of $25. They send a check or PayPal payment within 7 business days of when you send them the coin.

Here are a couple of tips if you’re interested in this deal.

About PFS Buyers Club

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 1: Finding the Right Place

I’ve had Airbnb listings since 2014. In New York, I had 4 listings. And now that I’m in Dallas, I have 2 here.

I get asked a lot about how it all works. Peeps are interested because it’s a fairly low-maintenance source of extra income. I recently wrote I make an extra ~$18,000 a year from my Dallas listings.

While that doesn’t replace the income from full-time work, it sure is a nice boost as it rolls in throughout the year!

airbnb hosting

Finding an in-demand location is step numero uno

The first step is to find an attractive place in the right location: somewhere tourists want to stay. And as always with me, it comes down to the numbers.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

Can you even do it?

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Must-Haves of Travel: Sesame Oil

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When I was in Chicago in March, I wasn’t prepared for how cold it got. And, I’d forgotten my ultra-moisturizing coconut oil. (I also didn’t pack nearly enough layers, but that’s another story.)

In my quest for moisture, I headed to a drugstore for chap stick and… something. I didn’t want to get a huge container because my trip was only 5 days. I thought maybe they’d have a travel pack of coconut oil since it’s gotten so popular recently. No luck there, but they did have… sesame body oil

sesame oil

Curious little container

Once I got it back to The Drake, I popped open the little container and took a whiff. This stuff smells amazing. And I quickly learned a dab’ll do ya.

A quarter-sized amount in the palm is all you’ll need to cover yourself in the softest, sheerest moisture. Since that trip, I’ve added it to my arsenal as a supplement for coconut oil when I don’t want as much moisture.

Why pack sesame oil?

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Allbirds: The Perfect Travel Shoe?

When I saw an article with the kinda clickbait-y title, “The Most Comfortable Shoes in the World,” I rolled my eyes a bit but definitely clicked on it. Because I like to take one pair of shoes with me when I travel: the ones on my feet. So I was curious what had been singled out as “the one.”

My go-to for the past XX years has been New Balance, which are comfy as heck. But they do have that appearance of “casual athletic” and of course the big reflective “N” logo all over them. I’ve been comfort-over-style, essentially. When I spend hours a day walking, I’d rather be comfortable and dowdy-looking than the alternative.

Enter Allbirds (what a name, eh?).

allbirds review

Hanging in my new Allbirds shoes

The idea of a comfortable and attractive shoe lured me in. They come in a limited range of basic colors, they’re $95 a pop, and the founders are super committed to design, sustainability, and high ethical standards.

“What the heck,” I thought as I placed my first order. If they last 6 months, it’ll be worth it.

They arrived this week. Here’s what I think so far.

My Allbirds research Read More

Taking Stock: The 29 Credit Cards I Currently Have – and Why

Time for a credit card inventory. Over the years, my collection of credit cards has grown. I now have 29 credit cards to my name.

(I did have 30, but closed my Citi ThankYou Premier last week. Because the Chase Sapphire Reserve is better for the same 3X categories. And Citi is changing the Prestige and AT&T Access More cards next month – which is causing me to significantly rethink my relationship with them.)

Ah, but a small sample of the 29 cards I currently hold

And, I’m paying annual fees on many of my cards. So I thought I’d put the complete list together to take stock of what I have – and what I’m getting in return. I’ll write a little snippet for each card, but will try to keep it brief. 29 cards is a lot!

Let’s jump right in.

Amex

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Update: My Credit Score Is Recovering After Disputes With All 3 Bureaus

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Well, it’s been nearly a year since a $6 charge from Dollar Shave Club on an Amex card plunged my credit score over 100 points.

At the time, my credit score was 803 – the first time I’d ever gone over 800. I know it doesn’t intrinsically “matter,” because a score over 750 is as good as it gets. But I did have some pride at earning an above-800 score.

So I was pretty horrified when one stupid error brought me down to ~700. All the work I’d done to build my credit was instantly erased. And, Amex was totally clueless, unhelpful, and actually prolonged the repair process by saying they’d corrected it on their end when in actuality they hadn’t done anything.

I dragged my feet on filing a dispute with the 3 major credit bureaus because I knew it would be a slog – and it was. No sugar-coating that ish.

 

credit score recovery

Only 13 points to go before I get to 800 again

But, as of last month, my score is now above 780 across the board!

It’s not over 800 yet – I doubt that will happen any time soon – but I am happy my score is recovering. Here’s how it went down.

The long, long dispute process

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Gasp! Citi AT&T Access More Will No Longer Earn 3X for Rent & Mortgage Payments

I am in a slough of despond. Following this morning’s depressing news that you can no longer use Visa cards for Plastiq rent and mortgage payments, I received the following email from Citi:

citi at&t access more

Crying

As of July 22nd, 2017, “rental and real estate” payments will only earn 1 point per $1 spent instead of the current 3X points. This was definitely going to be my backup for Visa cards.

And, given that Citi Prestige is getting poopier on July 23rd, 2017, I am suddenly rethinking my entire relationship with Citi cards.

If only 1X, which 1X?

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Still Available: Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card, $0 the 1st Year and 1.25 Points per $20K Spent

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I wrote back in November how you can get an Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card with a $0 annual fee the first year. The fee on all personal Amex Platinum Cards has since gone up to $550 – but this deal is surprisingly still kicking.

Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card

$0 the first year and 1.25 points on purchases

Even better, you get 5,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points for every $20,000 you spend on the card. You can earn 30,000 extra points this way – so it’s good for up to $120,000 in spending each calendar year. You also still get 5X points on airfare and travel booked through Amex.

Get the Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card while you can

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