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The latest news from Life

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    TRV   Main & Villa One Infinity Pools Evening

    • The Resort Villa in Thailand offers guests private access to a 150,0000-square-foot property that includes seven villas and a full-time staff of 60 people. 
    • The resort was recently dubbed "the world's best private villa" by the Boutique Hotel Awards.
    • The property is two hours outside of Bangkok— the biggest international tourist destination in the world — and prides itself on its privacy.

    The world's best private villa is an unlikely destination: It's a two-hour drive from the world's biggest international tourist destination.

    But you wouldn't guess it from the looks of things inside The Resort Villa, where privacy is key. Seven villas, four bars, and nine dining areas are spread out across 150,000 square feet of property.

    The resort beat out other five other candidates in the Maldives, Spain, South Africa, Fiji, and St. Barthelemy, respectively, to win the award. It also unseats Over Yonder Cay in the Bahamas and Coco Prive in the Maldives, which jointly won the award in 2017.

    Read more: The top 14 boutique hotels in the world

    Thailand has long been a tourist hotspot, largely in thanks to its stunning beaches. In fact, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, was recognized as the most popular city in the world for international tourists for three years in a row. And, earlier this year, the iconic Thai bay featured in the movie "The Beach" was permanently closed due to long-term damage caused by tourists.

    The Resort Villa, however, is located in the non-commercial area of Rayong and prides itself in offering respite from highly tourist-trafficked areas.

    Keep reading for a tour of the property:

    SEE ALSO: A luxury resort in the middle of the jungle in Bali was voted as having the world's 'most stunning views' and the view from the pool shows why

    READ MORE: A 7-bedroom Swiss cabin has been named the world's best ski chalet for 2 years in a row — and an inside tour quickly proves why

    The Private Villa is located in Rayong, Thailand, on the Gulf of Thailand. It's about a two-hour drive from the closest airport in Bangkok.

    Source: Google Maps

    The 150,000-square-foot property has seven private villas and can host up to 14 people at once.

    Source: The Resort Villa

    It's a mere five-minute walk from the beach ...

    Source: The Resort Villa

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Guccinearly doubled its sales in 2018 — and consumers under 35 accounted for 55% of those sales.
    • Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele, led the brand in a millennial and teen-friendly direction by showcasing pop culture references and fresh designs.
    • Celebrities like Lil Pump and Kylie Jenner have further popularized the brand through Instagram and music.
    • The resurgence of 90s fashion trends has made logos like Gucci's popular among younger consumers who saw the styles growing up and can now wear them.

    Narrator: Millennials love Gucci.

    Lil Pump: Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang!

    Narrator: Scroll through any fashionable millennial's social media, and chances are, you'll see Gucci's iconic double G logo, whether on belts, bags, or even capes. Gucci is pretty much everywhere these days. Kylie Jenner even made headlines for carrying her baby in a $625 Gucci baby carrier.

    In the first half of 2018, Gucci's sales nearly doubled. And 55% of those sales were made to consumers under 35. Considering how 18 to 35-year-olds contributed to an 85% growth in the luxury goods market in 2017, this is a big deal.

    Jessica Tyler: Millennials definitely matter in the luxury market. A lot of luxury brands have been partnering with streetwear brands and focusing on social media to try and reach millennials more because it's such a big market for them.

    Narrator: But why do millennials and teens love Gucci so much?

    Gucci's founder, Guccio Gucci, originally designed leather goods for the aristocratic upper classes, specializing in horseback riding gear. As Gucci grew in popularity, it became synonymous with high-class elegance and glamour. In the 1960s, Gucci was associated with people like Jackie Kennedy. One of the Gucci bags that Jackie Kennedy was photographed wearing was even renamed "The Jackie." Today in 2018, Gucci is still very much an expensive luxury brand, but it's no longer exclusively for the elite.

    DiNardo: I think that Gucci is working from the top down, to rebrand themself in a way that is very millennial-friendly, and I think that they aren't afraid to turn the tables upside down on what it means to create luxury, to sell luxury, to be a luxury company.

    Narrator: In 2015, Gucci brought on Alessandro Michele as their new creative director. Under Michele's leadership, Gucci has come to embrace streetwear and the influence of popular culture.

    DiNardo: Alessandro Michele is creating pop culture references at a time in which people are really searching for a little bit of nostalgia with something new. And it's a formula that's really working. I think also, Gucci is very honest about what they're doing, and genuine, and that they know that their designs are a little bit out there, to say the least, they're a little tongue-in-cheek, but they're in on the joke, they're a part of the game. And they love it.

    Narrator: Recently, Gucci even collaborated with Dapper Dan, a Harlem-based designer who became famous in the 80s for creating knock-off designs of luxury brands like Gucci. Gucci's logo has come to represent more than just luxury or wealth, and millennials are embracing that, especially as logos continue to take over the fashion world again.

    DiNardo: There are several reasons why brand logos are making a big comeback. One, the most obvious being that everything 90s is back. And we know that "logomania" was a huge part of 90s fashion. Another reason why logos are making such a big comeback, is that we're coming off of such a strong period of minimalism, that, where else do you go but the exact opposite, with fashion? And another reason why I think the logo is making a comeback, is that we're at a more comfortable place, in society, in culture, in our economy, in wanting reassurance in the money that we have, and the money that we spend.

    Narrator: Back in 2015, Gucci was actually considering using their logo less in designs. In the aftermath of the 2008 Recession, consumers were less interested in conspicuous consumption.

    DiNardo: So conspicuous consumption, as defined by Veblen almost 120 years ago, really is this idea of waste. It's having what you absolutely don't need, but indicates certain symbols to society of status, so, obviously, luxury items are the epitome of that, items that, you know, are not in your essential list, in order to survive. But to thrive, in certain social circles.

    Narrator: Designs emblazoned with luxury logos seemed a little too gauche at a time when so many people were struggling financially.

    DiNardo: I think now that we're at a comfortable state in the economy where people are feeling, it's okay to have a status shoe, a status bag, a status t-shirt again, and there isn't such the stigma of paying $180 for a logo t-shirt as there once was.

    Narrator: Millennials and teens also love Gucci because so many of them grew up seeing Gucci on celebrities or in magazines.

    DiNardo: A lot of the people who are embracing the trends now, just touched on the very tip of it in their youth, but now can fully expand into it, ad nauseam, as adults, with disposable income to do so.

    Narrator: So, can other luxury brands copy Gucci's success?

    DiNardo: I think what other luxury brand houses could do to continue, or try to emulate the formula of Gucci, really is to try to be authentic to themself. I think what Gucci, you know, does so well, which is really hard to imitate their formula, is that they're just natural, it's just a very natural way that they're approaching the market, and approaching attention, and it doesn't feel contrived. I think Gucci in 2018 represents excitement in fashion, again, it gives people something to look forward to, something to talk about.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    First Class Comparison

    • Despite its reputation, flyingfirst class isn't always what it's cracked up to be.
    • Advertisements for first-class accommodations — and even our own imaginations — can look vastly different from the true experience. 
    • Take a look at what the full experience of flying first-class — from check-in to the exclusive lounges to the seats and meals on the flights themselves — can really look like.  

    Flying first-class can sometimes feel like an unattainable luxury.

    And if you've ever had to pass by those lucky few first-class passengers on your way to coach, you probably recognize those feelings of curiosity and pangs of jealousy you get seeing them already seated in their wide, plush seats with extra legroom and a 15-inch TV.

    But first class isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

    Yes, first-class seats are larger than those on the rest of the airplane, but only by a few inches. And, at the end of the day, airplane food is still airplane food, and flying is still flying.

    What's more, while the first-class experience on international flights, with all of its amenities, will always hold an allure to travelers, flying domestic first class is an entirely different experience.

    Here's a look at what it's really like to fly first class.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 15 coolest things at airports around the world

    FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    You might think check-in is all smiles for people who purchase first-class tickets.

    But in reality, travel is always hectic, and there's bound to be some confusion at some point.

    Before arriving at your gate, your security screening may be seamless and easy.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump chuck schumer

    • President Donald Trump wanted to use tariffs to help bring down the trade deficit with China.
    • The US-China trade deficit hit a record high in the month of October.
    • According to economists from Goldman Sachs, Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods are actually making the trade deficit worse.

    One of the President Donald Trump's biggest goals for the trade war was to reduce the US's trade deficit with China. But according to Goldman Sachs, the president is only making it worse.

    The most recent trade report from the US Census Bureau showed that the US's trade deficit with China once again hit a record for the month of October — after also hitting a record the previous month. This string of record-high deficits seems to run counter to Trump's stated mission for tariffs on roughly $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    But according to Goldman Sachs economists Blake Taylor and Alec Phillips, the ever-increasing US-China trade deficit is actually because of the tariffs.

    "The trade deficit with China stands at an all-time high," the pair wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. "Exports declined sharply on a seasonally adjusted basis, extending their decline since retaliatory tariffs started to take effect in July, and imports continued to rise further. Unsurprisingly, we find that recently imposed tariffs have played a role in these changes."

    The economists said there are two big reasons the tariffs are making the ever-growing trade deficit even worse.

    A rush of imports

    The first issue is that the US appetite for goods with China has gone unabated since the start of the trade war — in part due to the strong American economy, but also because US companies are pulling ahead purchases of Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs before the duties hit.

    Taylor and Phillips pointed out that imports jumped of items that were set to be hit with a third round of tariffs shortly before those tariffs were imposed.

    "Imports of goods subject to Round 3 tariffs rose moderately in July, August, and September as further tariffs appeared increasingly likely," the economists said. "The value of imports then declined in October after tariffs took effect."

    Read more:Trump's trade war with China is the biggest threat to the US economy in 2019, and it's making economists the most worried they've been in years»

    Exports tanking

    At the same time, exports to China have fallen off a cliff.

    "US exports to China continued their sharp decline, a trend in place since the tariffs took effect over the summer," Taylor and Phillips said. "Declining exports alongside modestly increasing imports pushed the trade deficit with China to an all-time high in October."

    Screen Shot 2018 12 13 at 4.16.58 PM

    The economists said the drop in exports was mostly the result of large drop for a handful of key items — primarily soybeans. US farmers sent just under $14 billion worth of soybeans to China in 2017. Since the tariffs went into place, Chinese purchases of soybeans have all but dried up.

    "US soybean exports are highly seasonal, with about 60% of annual exports to China occurring in Q4 and about 25% in October," Phillips and Taylor wrote. "Excluding soybeans, exports to China are only modestly lower on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis."

    Screen Shot 2018 12 13 at 4.29.18 PM

    This means Wednesday's soybean purchases by Chinese companies, which totaled somewhere between 1.5 million and 2 million metric tonnes (about the average weekly pace this time of year), could help to alleviate some of the gap.

    But despite promising signs coming out of Trump's meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, the threat of further escalation looms. On March 1, the 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods hit as part of the third round is set to be increased to 25%, a slight delay from the original January 1 deadline.

    "While we think it is a close call, we believe it is slightly more likely that negotiations will fall short of what is necessary for a further delay," Taylor and Phillips said. "In light of this uncertainty, importers might once again front-load imports in January and February ahead of the potential step up."

    SEE ALSO: Trump's trade team spent days building a strategy to deal with the Huawei CFO arrest. Then Trump blew it up in a single interview.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'

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    border patrol

    • A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died around eight hours after entering Border Patrol custody, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
    • The girl was reportedly having seizures and emergency responders measured her fever at 105.7 degrees. According to CBP, the girl had "not eaten or consumed water for several days."
    • The unnamed child was airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, where CBP said she later died.
    • Border security has been a central pillar in Trump's tough immigration agenda, most recently the president offered to shut down the government while sparring with leading Democrats over his headline border wall project.

    A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died at an El Paso hospital just eight hours after Border Patrol took her into custody, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

    The girl and her father were part of a group of 163 migrants who turned themselves in to officials in New Mexico, US Customs and Border Protection told The Post.

    The group was taken into custody in the New Mexico desert six miles south of Lordsburg, N.M. at 10 p.m. local time on December 6, according to The Post. A little more than 8 hours later, at 6:25 a.m. local time, the girl was reportedly having seizures and emergency responders measured her fever at 105.7 degrees.

    CBP told The Post, the girl "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days."

    After being airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, she went into cardiac arrest, was revived, but did not survive the ordeal.

    "[T]he child did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported," CBP said. Autopsy results will not be available for several weeks, however, "El Paso’s Providence Hospital listed the cause of death as septic shock, fever and dehydration," The Post reported. CBP said in a statement that they will investigate to make sure policies were followed.

    It's unclear if the girl received food, water or a medical examination once in Border Patrol custody.

    An email to INSIDER from the Department of Homeland Security explained that DHS has warned that traveling north to a border crossing is "extremely dangerous" and poses a significant risk.

    "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring," the department said. "Once again, we are begging parents to not put themselves or their children at risk attempting to enter illegally."

    "On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child," the statement added. "Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child's life under the most trying of circumstances."

    READ MORE:  People are roasting a bizarre government memo claiming the Trump administration is 'building wall and building wall quickly'.

    The girl's death is likely to heighten scrutiny of Border Patrol and CBP, two agencies already under the microscope following a succession of controversial White House policies targeting the US southern border and immigrant detention.

    While the greater attention has centered on the "caravan" of Central American migrants now in Tijuana, Mexico, due to heightened politicization of the migrants prior to the midterm elections, there have also been smaller groups making their way across the desert in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

    The Post says the number of family units coming across has increased, and the CBP admits it's is not adequately equipped.

    "Our border patrol stations were built decades ago to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families and children," CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday.

    Earlier this year the White House invoked a "zero tolerance" approach to these kinds of crossings, initially separating parents and children at the border, then changing sudden course in June, ahead of a court judgement reuniting separated families.

    NPR reports there are still roughly 15,000 children in Department of Health and Human Services custody, largely unaccompanied minors that made the crossing alone and now due to a more stringent vetting process for potential sponsors, are waiting to be transferred to parents or guardians who are already in the US.

    Many Central American migrants hope to secure asylum in the US far from violent homelands, while the Trump administration is determined to block anyone who does not enter the US at an official port of entry port of entry from being eligible for asylum. This week the Trump administration asked the US Supreme Court to weigh in after it was blocked in lower courts.

    All this has made the actions of border security a potential lightning rod within Trump's political agenda. Earlier this week the president publicly sparred with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over his proposed border wall, eagerly assuming responsibility for any government shutdown stemming form challenges over its funding.

    SEE ALSO: Trump offers bold new interpretation of Mexico paying for the border wall

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    blue tansy, $48Skincare had a major moment in 2018. Our collective curiosity about skincare may seem new, but it makes sense — we all want to try to be the best version of ourselves.

    With 2019 (and inevitable New Year's resolutions) on the horizon, skincare makes a great gift. Gifting skincare is a thoughtful way to show someone you care about them by giving them products that help them take better care of themselves. 

    Whether they already have a drawer that's as stocked as Sephora or a more modest collection on their countertop, we rounded up skincare products that anyone will love. Plus, they're all from Amazon so you can be sure they'll arrive just in time for the holidays. Keep scrolling for 30 great skincare gifts they'll be excited to add to their routine.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Moisturizer made from ingredients from the Dead Sea

    Ahava Dead Sea Plants Body Sorbet, $29

    The minerals in the Dead Sea have proven to be especially healing, relieving skin of irritations, acne, and even eczema and psoriasis. You don't need to go to the Dead Sea though to get the benefits of the salty water and mud. Ahava combines Dead Sea minerals with soothing aloe vera and vitamins E and B5 for a rich body cream that dry skin will soak up.  

    A bunch of goodies for avocado lovers

    Tonymoly Sheet Mask and Hand Cream Set, $14

    They love avocados on toast, salads, and sandwiches, but what about on their face? These avocado sheet masks and hand creams are super hydrating, and they're a thoughtful way to show the avocado lover in your life that you get it. 

    Shampoo that gently cleanses lashes and brows

    BeautyGarde Lash & Brow Shampoo, $15

    Scrubbing off eye makeup can be very harsh on eyebrows and lashes. This is a much more gentle approach. All they have to do is wet their face then swipe this brush across their lashes and brows to whisk away makeup. Their lashes will thank you. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    white house

    • The White House Experience app lets you take a virtual tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    • You can even see rooms that most people don't get to see at the in-person tour, such as the Lincoln Bedroom.
    • We walk you through how the app works and all its features.

    The White House Historical Association, Amazon Web Services, and Cuseum launched a new "White House Experience" mobile app.

    On it, you can take virtual tours of the White House, see the holiday decorations, and even determine your presidential lookalike.

    You can download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play store. Here's a walkthrough of how it works and what you'll find.

    SEE ALSO: 27 photos show the White House all decked out for Christmas

    SEE ALSO: 16 behind-the-scenes photos show the White House being decorated for Christmas

    On the homepage of the app, you get to decide: take a tour of the White House or test out the Presidential Lookalike feature.

    You can pick from three tours: Explore the Virtual White House, White House Neighborhood Walking Tour, and the White House Companion Tour.

    But this holiday season, they have themed tours that show you what the White House looks like decorated for Christmas.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kirstjen nielsen

    • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday that the death of a seven-year-old migrant girl in Border Patrol custody was "a very sad example of the dangers of this journey."
    • The Department of Homeland Security also released a statement calling on migrant parents to not "put themselves or their children at risk attempting to enter illegally."
    • The Trump administration's response to the girl's death drew backlash on Friday from critics who said Nielsen and her department were wrongly blaming the girl's death on her family, rather than the conditions in Border Patrol facilities.
    • A Trump official conceded earlier this week that the Border Patrol facilities were not built to house families and children.

    The Department of Homeland Security and its secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, are drawing backlash after appearing to blame the death of a seven-year-old migrant girl in Border Patrol custody on the family members who brought her across the US-Mexico border.

    In an interview with "Fox & Friends" early Friday morning, Nielsen told the hosts that the girl's death "is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey" migrants take.

    The child arrived in the US on December 6 with her father, as part of a group of 163 migrants who crossed the border illegally in a remote part of the desert in New Mexico, the Washington Post reported Thursday evening.

    Read more: A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died 8 hours after entering Border Patrol custody

    border patrol facility

    Nielsen said agents gave "immediate care" to the girl and the department will review what happened during her time in custody.

    "This family chose to cross illegally," she said. "What happened here was that they were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. They came in such a large crowd that it took our Border Patrol folks a couple of times to get them all."

    According to The Post, the girl was in custody for roughly eight hours before she began having seizures. When emergency responders arrived, they found her body temperature to be 105.7 degrees and she "had not eaten or consumed water for several days."

    'A culture of cruelty'

    migrants cages mcallen texas

    A statement from the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday evening began by noting, "As we have always said, traveling north illegally is extremely dangerous."

    It went on to say parents should not "put themselves or their children at risk attempting to enter illegally," and urged them to "please present yourselves at a port of entry and seek to enter legally and safely."

    But migrants and advocacy groups have long argued that the US's increasingly fenced-off, militarized border — as well as the Trump administration's practice of turning away asylum-seekers at the ports of entry — forces migrants to cross in increasingly remote, dangerous locations in the desert.

    Critics immediately seized on both Nielsen's and DHS' statements, accusing them of unfairly blaming the girl's family for her death.

    The American Civil Liberties Union blamed the "lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP" for the child's death in a statement to The Post.

    CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan recently conceded to lawmakers that the facilities families are held in for processing were not built to house children.

    "Our Border Patrol stations were built decades ago to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families and children," he said during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'

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    TheInsider Picksteam writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.


    1. Get $30 off orders of $150 or more at Nike

    In preparation for the holidays, Nike is having a sale that late shoppers will want to take advantage of. Right now, you can save $30 on orders of $150 or more by using the promo code "GIFT30" at checkout. The sale ends today, so we recommend doing your last-minute shopping now.

    Shop the Nike sale now

    GUEST_2a622b15 27a5 433f a58c 9adb089d6eb5

    2. Save big on toys and video games at Target

    Toys are on every kid's holiday wish list — and Target has a huge selection at great prices. Right now, you can save $10 when you spend $50 or $25 when you spend $100. You can also get a free $10 gift card when you spend $50 on LEGOs and a free $50 gift card when you buy two video games.

    Shop the Target sale now.


    3. Save an extra 15% on sporting goods on eBay

    Today only, you can save 15% on sporting goods by using the coupon code "PERFECTGAME" at checkout. The coupon can be used once within a single transaction or cart and expires at 11:59 p.m. PST. Included in the sale, you'll find golf clubs, smart watches, yoga equipment, bikes, fishing and boating gear, team sports gear, and more. 

    Shop the eBay sale now

    United By Blue

    4. Save 30% on sale styles at United By Blue

    United By Blue is a new outdoors company to have on your radar. In addition to offering a huge catalog of stylish gear built for the elements, the company has long been committed to sustainability. For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from the world's oceans and waterways. Right now, you can get up to 30% off sale styles and an extra 15% off sitewide and free shipping when you use the promo code "GIFTSFORGOOD" at checkout.

    Shop the United By Blue sale now.


    5. Save 55% on an Echo Dot and TP-Link Smart Plug Mini Bundle

    Smart plugs can be one of the most useful and efficient additions to your home. With the second generation Echo Dot and TP-Link Smart Plug Mini Bundle, you can control your electronics with voice commands. Instead of having to find the power switch to your Christmas tree, simply saying "Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree" can light it up. And with the ability to set timers and schedule when your electronics and appliances turn on or off, you'll save electricity.

    Echo Dot and TP-Link Smart Plug Mini Bundle, $29.99 (Originally $66.98) [You save $36.99]

    allbirds throwback colors 25

    6. Get comfortable shoes in new colors for under $100 at Allbirds

    Footwear startup Allbirds has changed shoes for the better in many ways. The shoes are sustainably made with recycled materials, they're extremely comfortable, and with every pair priced under $100, they're affordable. Allbirds just brought back a bunch of throwback colorways from its archive, and although it may not be an actual sale, the shoes are always a good deal. With the brand's growing popularity, it's likely that the throwbacks will sell out just like they did when they were originally released, so grab them while you can.

    Shop sustainable and affordable shoes at Allbirds now.


    7. Save up to 50% off outdoor gear and apparel at REI

    REI is a one-stop shop for all outdoor camping and hiking gear, and right now is the best time to save big. Now through December 16, you can save up to 50% on select clearance items. The sale includes products from top brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, Smartwool, and more.

    Shop the REI Holiday sale now.

    5b742f1e1982d837008b5166 960 720

    8.Save up to 45% on Cuisinart Classic Enameled Cast Iron cookware

    With outstanding heat retention and distribution, Cuisinart's cast iron cookware allows home cooks to explore a variety of different cooking techniques. The top-of-the-line collection uses a porcelain enamel coating to prevent flavor absorption and to provide durability. As an Amazon Deal of the Day, you can save up to 45% on the cookware.

    Shop Cuisinart Classic Enameled Cast Iron cookware on Amazon now.


    9. Save 70% on cards orders of $40 or more at Snapfish

    The holiday season is all about capturing unforgettable moments with friends and family — and Snapfish photo gifts are a great way to share them. Today, you can save 70% on cards orders of $40 or more using the promo code "PEACECRD" at checkout. The deal ends today so make your Christmas cards now.

    Shop all photo gifts at Snapfish now.

    BEAR mattress

    10. Save up to $200 on a Bear Hybrid Mattress

    Bear revolutionized the way we sleep by creating a mattress that supports every body type and sleeping style. Today, you can save $100 on orders over $500 with promo code "HOL100" or save $200 on orders over $1,200 with promo code "HOL200" at checkout. Plus, you can save 20% on select accessories, like sheets, pillows, and mattress protectors.

    Shop the Bear Hybrid Mattress in Queen, King, and California King sizes now.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    holiday pop up nyc

    • I went to a holiday pop-up at a posh New York City lounge.
    • The ski lodge-themed pop-up, called Clicquot Chalet, included a life-size "snow globe," a Champagne bar, and $16 spiked hot chocolate.
    • There were also, oddly enough, mermaids
    • The experience seemed curated more for Instagram than for real life. 


    Holiday pop-ups seem to take over New York City each year starting sometime in November, from shopping events to winter wonderland-themed parties at restaurants and hotel bars.

    Mr. Purple, a hip rooftop bar and restaurant at a Manhattan hotel, recently partnered with Veuve Clicquot to create a pop-up described as "a funky après-ski lodge in the sky," complete with a life-size "snow globe" and Champagne bar serving bubbly, spiked hot chocolate, whiskey hot toddies, and cheese and chocolate fondue.

    Vinny Mauriello, managing partner and beverage director of the Gerber Group, which owns Mr. Purple, said they feel they need to make their holiday pop-ups more elaborate each year — partially because of Instagram.

    "I honestly think we have no choice but to do so," Mauriello told Business Insider. "We want to give our guests a new and exciting experience each year and of course, make sure the pop up is worthy of the 'gram!"

    He added that at Clicquot Chalet, "guests will feel like they are sitting in a snow globe in the middle of NYC."

    I visited Mr. Purple's Clicquot Chalet pop-up on a recent December evening, and while it was fun— and the mermaids were an unexpectedly flashy touch — the experience seemed curated more for Instagram than for real life. 

    Here's what it was like.

    SEE ALSO: I visited a tiny NYC nightclub that has a $150 cocktail and was designed to look like a water tower, and it didn't take long to see why it's a hotspot for models and influencers

    DON'T MISS: A private jet company is letting rich people celebrate New Year's Eve twice by flying them around the world in a Gulfstream G550 for $250,000

    Mr. Purple is a posh lounge on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood. It has a spacious terrace with views of the city skyline and a very photogenic swimming pool.

    The views from the rooftop are pretty fantastic.

    When I arrived for the holiday pop-up on a Monday evening, the main indoor bar area was relatively quiet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Target Gifting 1

    It seems like you've been brainstorming what gifts you're getting for everyone on your list for months. You've curated a Pinterest board of thoughtful products and your laptop is a mess of tabs of the gifts you need to remember to buy, but now Christmas is less than two weeks away and you haven't bought one thing.

    If you're a last-minute shopper, you're not alone.

    A recent Hilton Honors study discovered that 50% of all shoppers wait until the last month before the holidays to get their gifting done, while an even more surprising 40% wait until the last week.

    If you're a member of that 40%, don't lose hope — you can still get all of your holiday shopping done without giving up your procrastinating ways.

    Plenty of online retailers are offering free two-day shipping that guarantees you'll have your gifts by Christmas. We went through your favorite sites and found all of the important deadlines you need to know to make sure all of your gifts make it under the tree. 

    Read on for all of the shipping deadlines from some of your favorite online retailers, so you can get your gifts by Christmas:

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here


    Bed Bath & Beyond:

    Best Buy:

    • Best Buy is offering free shipping on everything, all season long. Order large home delivery items by December 19 and most other items by December 20 for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery. Shop bestbuy.com

    Crate & Barrel:

    • December 19 (4 p.m. CT) is the last day to order for guaranteed delivery, many items ship free. Shop crateandbarrel.com


    • Today only, get free shipping on all orders. Shop jcrew.com


    • For a limited time, get free same- and next-day delivery on select gifts. Only available in select New York metro zip codes, on orders of $35 or more. Shop jet.com

    Lands' End:


    • Order by December 21 (noon ET) and get free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Shop llbean.com


    • December 18 is the last day for free standard shipping (order by noon ET for pre-Christmas arrival). Shop nordstrom.com


    • Order by December 20 (noon local time) and get free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Shop sephora.com


    • Through December 22, enjoy free shipping and returns on thousands of items with no minimum purchase required. Shop target.com

    The Home Depot:

    • Get free two-day delivery on thousands of items. Shop homedepot.com


    • Free two-day shipping on millions of items, with a minimum $35 order. Shop walmart.com

    West Elm:

    • Order by December 20 (3 a.m. ET) and get free shipping on orders $29 and over. Shop westelm.com


    • Today only, get free fast shipping with the code "FRIENDS" at checkout. Otherwise, order by December 20 (3 a.m. ET)  for guaranteed December 24 delivery. Shop williams-sonoma.com

    DON'T MISS: 32 last-minute gifts that are Amazon Prime-eligible and guaranteed to arrive in time

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Amex Platinum card

    • The Platinum Card® from American Express offers up to $200 in annual airline credits.
    • Because the credits are tied to the calendar year — not your card membership year — it's possible to double-dip, or even triple-dip, the credits for your first card membership year when you open a card in December.
    • The card has plenty of other benefits to make up for its $550 annual fee, especially if you're a frequent flyer — I got more than $2,000 of value my first year.

    Among the many perks and benefits that come with the AmEx Platinum Card, one that provides the most tangible value is the $200 annual airline fee credit.

    Unlike many of the other credits offered by the Platinum Card— up to $200 annually in Uber credits, for instance — or on other cards — a $300 annual travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example — the airline credit is based on the calendar year, not the card membership year.

    What that means is that if you open a Platinum Card in December — early enough to get the card and spend on it before the month ends — you can actually earn the credit three times in your first card membership year: this month, next year, and before your second annual fee hits in January 2020.

    Technically it would be in your first 13 months, rather than your first year. However, since the annual fee doesn't post until your first monthly billing statement, that means you could technically earn it three times covered by your first billed card member year.

    When you're approved for a Platinum Card, it typically ships express and arrives within 3-5 business days, meaning there's still time to apply and use the airline credit before the year ends.

    Of course, once you have the card — or if you already have it but haven't used your credits yet — you won't have much time to use the credits. Fortunately, there are a few ways to use them up quickly.

    The credits are intended to be used on one airline — that you have to select each calendar year on your account management page — for things like checked bags, lounge day passes, change fees, onboard food or drinks, and other similar incidental expenses.

    However, users have reported that there are a number of other things that the credits will apply to. Because these are technically not supported by AmEx, there's no guarantee that they continue to work, but as of now, they seem to.

    The best "off-label" option seems to be purchasing gift cards at certain airlines, according to travel website The Points Guy (an Insider Picks affiliate partner). $50 gift card purchases at Delta seem to work (when you use the desktop website to buy them), along with Southwest and American Airlines gift cards. Flights under $100 at JetBlue and Alaska Airlines seem to count, while the best options for United and Hawaiian Airlines users may be seat upgrades for future flights.

    Try Googling your airline of choice to find tips and reports on what triggers the credit. If you play your card right, you might be able to get $600 in value from just the airline credit within your first year of card membership.

    Click here to learn more about the Platinum Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    SEE ALSO: 11 lucrative credit card deals you can get when opening a new card in December — including a 200,000-mile bonus

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    Mask Frenzy_MAIN_01

    Skincare, like the convenience of home tech or casual talk about the weather, is an interest that unites a remarkable amount of us. We all want bright, clear complexions — and holiday cocktails, cookies, and late nights out with friends in dry winter air typically work against us.

    Luckily, there's no shortage of products — and excuses to stay in watching the Yule Log in a face mask — to help with that, whether you gift them to yourself or opt to bless friends or family with a present that is simultaneously entirely practical and totally luxurious. 

    Below are 50 of the best skincare gifts you can buy on Sephora, from masks to serums to body wash. They're cult-favorites, industry gold standards, and notable newcomers. There are single products and sets that save you money. No matter what you get, rest assured they'll be excited to get home and use it. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Fresh Rose Face Mask

    Fresh Rose Face Mask, $62

    This beloved face mask from Fresh comes with real rose petals suspended in a silky gel. Once washed off, the skin looks noticeably brighter, plumper, and better hydrated.

    Tatcha Rice Polish Powder

    Tatcha Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder, $65

    The Polished Rice Enzyme Powder is a water-activated Japanese exfoliator that gently removes dead skin to create a smoother canvas for makeup application. You can also opt for versions that address specific skin concerns like dryness or oiliness. Meghan Markle has said that she loves Tatcha products, including this.

    Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio

    Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio, $35

    This trio of innovative, multi-action Trans-Foam Clay cleansers go on like a clay mask but transform into a gentle foaming cleanser.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best flower delivery service

    • A bouquet of freshly cut flowers is the perfect gift for your loved ones on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, a birthday, or any day of celebration.
    • We've tested several online flower delivery services over the years to find the best ones. 
    • The Bouqs Co. is our top pick with its farm-fresh flowers that are sustainably harvested and beautifully packaged.

    Nothing says, "I love you!" or "Happy Birthday!" quite like a bunch of flowers. Whether it's Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, the holidays, or some other special occasion, freshly cut flowers are always a hit. They're also a wonderful way to express condolences in times of sorrow.

    If you don't have the time or inclination to head over to your local florist and order a bouquet, you're in luck — online flower delivery services are positively booming.

    We've researched and tested several online flower delivery services to find the best ones for different people's needs. All of our top picks offer same-day or next-day delivery on select flower arrangements and all of them are guaranteed to deliver perfect flowers every time.

    If you want farm-fresh flowers that are sustainably harvested from well-regarded farms, The Bouqs Co. is our absolute favorite. However, if you want extras like teddy bears and chocolates, 1-800-Flowers and Florists' Transworld Delivery have the best options. These two more traditional flower delivery services also offer same-day delivery — even on holidays.

    We highly recommend ordering flower arrangements well in advance of any holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, because you will end up with slim pickings if you wait until the last minute. You might also want to grab some chocolate while you're at it.

    Here are the best online flower delivery services:

    Updated on 12/14/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Added UrbanStems, a note about holiday gift guides, and our guide to the best chocolate you can buy to go with these flowers.

    Read on in the slides below to learn all about our top picks. Still shopping for gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018.

    The best online flower delivery service overall

    Why you'll love it: Bouqs partners with eco-friendly farmers to ensure that every bouquet is made up of the best freshly cut flowers.

    If you care about sustainable farming practices, you'll love The Bouqs Co. This florist partners with eco-friendly farmers around the world to bring only the best flowers to your door. We've sent many bouquets from The Bouqs Co to friends and family, and they have always been perfect.

    If you order a Farm to Table bouquet, you can rest assured that the flowers were cut on the day you placed the order. The bouquets are also shipped directly from the farm instead of being re-routed to a middleman. You can even see a picture of the farmer, a map showing where the flowers are from, and a video of the farm. Bouqs also promises that it only cuts the flowers it sells, so there aren't any cut blooms going to waste.

    In addition to supporting small farms, Bouqs also works with talented local florists to make the Hand Crafted bouquets. These bouquets can even be delivered on the same day, with some blooms arriving just two hours after your order is placed. Of course, on busy holidays like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, these bouquets may be sold out or impossible to get.

    As with any flower delivery service, the more you plan ahead, the more likely your shipment will arrive on your loved one's doorstep on time. Bouqs makes it easy to see the earliest available ship date for its bouquets, too, so it's easier to figure out which bouquet will suit your timeframe.

    If it's your first order, you can get 10% off when you sign in using your email address. 

    Pros: Eco-friendly farmers, same-day delivery on some bouquets, local florists make many of the bouquets, gorgeous flowers, lots of options

    Cons: Some bouquets sell out on holidays

    Shop bouquets from The Bouqs Co. for $40 and up 

    The best online flower delivery service for last-minute shoppers

    Why you'll love it: You don't have to call 1-800-Flowers anymore to get gorgeous bouquets delivered to your loved ones on the same day you ordered them.

    1-800-FLOWERS may sound like a retro throwback, but the venerable flower delivery service is still transporting beautiful flower arrangements to loved ones around the country. The 40-year-old company is family owned and takes pride in delivering beautiful bouquets.

    Because it's a larger company, 1-800-Flowers has hundreds of different flower arrangements and you can also get bouquets along with teddy bears or chocolates, among other things. The flowers themselves are beautiful, of course, and you have tons of options.

    If you want farm fresh flowers, there's a special selection of bouquets to suit your needs. 1-800-Flowers is also offering a lot of classic roses and succulents. Some arrangements offer same-day delivery, but your choices may be limited.

    If you're aiming to send flowers for a special holiday like Mother's Day or Valentine's Day, it's best to order ahead. You can order online or in the company's mobile app.

    Pros: Same-day delivery on some arrangements, many choices, mobile app

    Cons: Some may sell out, not as eco-friendly as some options

    Shop bouquets at 1-800-Flowers for $30 and up

    The best classic online flower delivery service

    Why you'll love it: Florists' Transworld Delivery sends beautiful flowers anywhere in the US with same-day delivery.

    Florists' Transworld Delivery (FTD) has been delivering flowers since 1910, so the company really knows what it's doing. FTD has many different beautiful flower arrangements available, but you can also get succulents, chocolates, and other gifts delivered.

    The bouquets are handmade and the flowers are carefully selected at farms before they arrive at the FTD florist's shop. Most of the arrangements come in nice vases, and you can choose how full you want the bouquet to look.

    There's even a helpful section for bouquets that cost $50 or less, and you can choose from a selection of potted plants if you prefer to send a living plant instead of freshly cut blooms.

    FTD offers same-day delivery of some arrangements and others come from FedEx or UPS. Of course, on big shopping days like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, it's best to order early so you get the best blooms and service.

    Although we haven't tried FTD's flower delivery yet, expert reviewers from Consumer Reports and Reviews.com rate the service highly.

    Pros: Long history of quality, lots of flower arrangement options, same-day delivery

    Cons: Some may sell out, not as eco-friendly as others

    Shop bouquets from FTD for $27 and up

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    woman laptop

    • You're never too young to begin investing, and you don't have to be rich to open your first investment account.
    • Don't let your emotions rule your investment decisions. When the market turns down, smart investors wait it out.
    • Understand your investment goals. That will help you decide where to put your money.
    • Angela Moore, a certified financial planner (CFP), has some advice to get you started.


    Angela Moore's first job after college was as a finance director for a car dealership. She spent all day looking at other people's credit and, she said, "I quickly realized that there was a huge financial literacy problem in the community."

    Moore decided to go back to school so she could help people close this gap. She is now a CFP and a certified financial education instructor with her own firm.

    Whether you have a little money saved up or you just got a windfall, Moore thinks "everybody should look at opening some type of investment account." She noted that most bank accounts pay interest rates that don't keep up with inflation, so your savings lose value over time.

    Your investment account can be an IRA, 401k, or any brokerage account that hold funds made up of stocks, bonds, and other investments. Here are six things to think about before you open your first investment account.

    SEE ALSO: How to easily find a savings account that will earn you more money

    Create a rainy day fund first.

    "You don't want to take all your cash and put it in investments and then not have any cash in case of an emergency," Moore said. That could force you to withdraw money from your investment account when the market is down.

    Instead, set aside between three and 12 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, Moore suggested, noting that "the amount that you need depends on the stability of your income." Freelancers need a bigger cushion than someone with secure employment. Plan on having at least a couple months of emergency savings before you begin investing.

    Understand the costs associated with investing.

    There are two primary types of costs associated with investment accounts, according to Moore: management fees, charged by your investment manager, and fees charged by the funds you invest in.  

    Total fees are usually in the range of 1% to 2%. If you start investing at a young age, Moore said, those fees will "add up over time."

    Don't let this discourage you from investing – just understand the costs associated with your accounts and look for low-cost alternatives.

    Get investment help from a robot.

    Moore has a suggestion that can save you some management fees: "There's a lot of robo-advisors where there's a very little fee or no fee at all." A robo-advisor is AI that asks you a set of questions about your goals and your tolerance for risk then uses an algorithm to recommend investments.

    "For the average investor who's just getting started, a robo-advisor is great," Moore said. "I'm a financial advisor with a master's degree, and I use robo-advisors for myself."

    She noted that accounts associated with robo-advisors often have lower minimums than accounts managed by humans. Some have no minimums, so you can start building your portfolio with a small monthly investment.

    Nerdwallet has a list of the top robo-advisors for 2018.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    december best credit cards 4x3

    • The fastest way to earn credit card rewards and frequent flyer miles is to open a new card and get the new membership bonus.
    • For the last month of 2018, there's an excellent slate of both consumer and small business cards offering excellent, but limited-time, offers — there's even a huge new sign-up bonus on a United Airlines credit card, perfect for those looking to score an award flight on United or its partners.
    • We've also included a few of our favorite ongoing offers.
    • You can use the points from these cards to fly or stay in hotels for virtually free, or for upgrades, cash back, gift cards, and more.
    • Read on for the best offers of December 2018.

    It's easy to earn frequent flyer miles and rewards points from everyday credit card spending.

    To step up your rewards and get serious points, though, the best thing to do is open a new card and earn the bonus offered to new members.

    Credit card issuers offer huge bonuses to attract customers, and while each card may have different eligibility requirements, in most cases you can get the bonus as long as you haven't had that card before — or, in some cases, as long as you haven't had it in the past few years.

    Over the course of 2018 we've seen some incredible offers on new cards, refreshed products, and old standbys — and right now, some of the best offers we've seen are available as we get ready to close out the year.

    Even after you earn the bonus, it's easy to keep the rewards and benefits coming. All you need to do is use a card for your normal spending — and pay it off in full each month — and you'll earn tons of bonus points in categories like grocery stores, dining, and travel.

    You can read more about earning new card member bonuses and how that will affect your credit score here, or scroll down to find some of the best offers available this month.

    Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

    When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

    1. United Explorer Card

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 65,000 United miles (40,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and an additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Earlier this year, United and Chase re-launched their co-branded credit card, slightly changing the name, but more importantly, tweaking the benefits and improving how the card earns points. Previously, the card earned 2x miles on every dollar spent with United Airlines and 1x dollar on everything else. Now, the card also earns 2x points at restaurants and hotels. 

    This sign-up bonus is one of the best public offers we've ever seen on this card, but it's only available until January 8, 2019.

    The card offers a free checked bag when you use your card to purchase your tickets, priority boarding as long as you have the open card attached to your MileagePlus account, 25% off in-flight purchases, and a fee credit to cover your application to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    The United Explorer also has two benefits that are unique among US airline credit cards in the same class. First, you'll get two complimentary United Club lounge passes each year. In the lounges, you can enjoy comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, free food and drinks, and more before your flight. Normally, one-time entry to a United Club would cost $59 if you didn't have a membership.

    Second, although this is an unpublished benefit, United cardholders also get access to more saver award space than other United members — that makes it easier to find good flights when it's time to use your miles..

    The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    2. American Express® Gold Card

    amex rose gold new york 12

    Welcome offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards points (after spending $2,000 in the first three months). Until January 9: Get up 20% back at US restaurants within the first three months, up to $100 total.

    Last month, American Express launched a massive reboot of its Premier Rewards Gold card, rebranding it as the American Express Gold Card, releasing a new metal design and limited-edition rose gold version, and totally overhauling the rewards and benefits on the card. Because that wasn't quite enough, AmEx also introduced a fairly unique new welcome bonus.

    The new Gold Card earns 4x points at US restaurants and on up to $25,000 per year at US supermarkets (and 1x after that), 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else.

    Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1¢ of value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for everything food-related.

    The Gold Card keeps the old card's $100 airline fee credit each calendar year, and adds up to $120 of dining credits — split into $10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations. If you use those credits in full, that's a guaranteed $220 of value each year.

    New card members — those who haven't previously had the Premier Rewards Gold — can earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when they spend $2,000 in the first three months. Additionally, those who apply before January 9 can get 20% back on all US restaurant charges — up to $100 total — in the form of a statement credit. Keep in mind you may be able to be targeted for a higher offer.

    While it's difficult to assign a single objective value to Membership Rewards points, due to the many ways you can redeem them, travel website The Points Guy subjectively estimates each point as worth 1.9¢. That makes the welcome bonus worth $575 — $475 for the points, and up to $100 back from restaurants. Even without factoring in the annual credit benefits, that's more than enough to make up for the card's $250 annual fee.

    Click here to learn more about the AmEx Gold Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).

    The Capital One Venture has historically been a useful card, thanks to a solid earning rate of 2x miles on everything, even though the rewards program was just...fine. Unlike cards offered by competitors, miles had a fixed value of 1¢ each toward travel purchases. Generally, transferable credit card points— those that you can transfer to an airline frequent flyer program, should you choose — are more valuable, thanks to the way that booking frequent flyer award tickets works. You can read more about that here.

    However, Capital One has announced that as of December 10, Venture cardholders will be able to transfer miles to 12 new airline partners, significantly increasing the potential value of each mile.

    Capital One had a month-long promotional sign-up bonus (up to 75,000 miles) when it first made the announcement. Although the bonus has returned to its normal amount — 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months — it's still a solid value worth pursuing. 

    The Capital One Venture earns miles at a rate of 2x per dollar spent on all purchases, and an incredible 10x points per dollar spent on hotel stays when you book and pay through Hotels.com/Venture. Hotels.com has its own loyalty program that rewards you with a free night after 10 paid nights, so that equates to a staggering 20% return on hotels.

    Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the chance to earn up to 10x miles on hotels, this is one of the best cards available right now.

    The card also offers a credit to enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. 

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 200,000 miles (50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles is gaining the ability to transfer miles to 12 airline frequent flyer partners. Unlike the Venture, the Spark Miles is still offering a limited-time sign-up bonus to mark the change.

    The spending requirement to earn the full bonus — $50,000 in the first six months — is high, but it's definitely achievable for plenty of small- and medium-sized businesses — particularly those that lay out for materials, equipment, or services on behalf of a client.

    The Spark Miles is fairly similar to the Venture, aside from the fact that it's a business card rather than a personal one. It earns 2x miles on all purchases, with no limits, and has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year.

    It was already a solid card; with the ability to transfer miles to airline partners, plus the massive sign-up bonus, the Spark Miles becomes a major player.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Spark Miles from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    5. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

    Sign-up bonus: 70,000 miles (after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days), for a limited time only.

    This is the highest sign-up bonus we've ever seen for this card — an exciting development, coming near the end of a busy year for Barclaycard's flagship US product.

    Earlier this year, Barclays closed applications for one of its most popular credit cards, before relaunching the card with a new all-time highest sign-up bonus. Then, this fall, Barclays began waiving the card's $89 annual fee for the first year, a first for the card.

    The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earns double miles on every dollar spent. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each on travel purchases (applied as a statement credit to negate the cost of that purchase), or a half-cent each for cash back or gift cards. Best of all, you'll earn 5% of your miles back every time you make a redemption.

    Effectively, that means that the sign-up bonus is worth $700 toward travel, plus an extra $100 from the miles you'll earn meeting the spending requirement.

    The card comes equipped with Chip-and-PIN service, which, combined with the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fees, makes it a great option when traveling internationally.

    Depending on your spending habits, it is easy to get more value from the card than what you pay for the annual fee, thanks to the 2x earning rate on all purchases. Of course, the sign-up bonus alone will cover the annual fee for more than eight years.

    Click here to learn more about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

    6. Platinum Card® from American Express

    amex business

    Welcome Offer: 60,000 points (after spending $5,000 in the first three months)

    The American Express Platinum card has one of the highest annual fees of any consumer credit or charge card — $550 — but as AmEx's flagship product, this premium credit card offers a tremendous amount of value to offset that fee. For example, I got more than $2,000 worth of value in my first year with the card.

    The card earns Membership Rewards points, the currency in AmEx's loyalty program, which can be exchanged for statement credits or cash back, used to book travel through AmEx's travel website, or, to get the most value, transferred to any of 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners (transferable points are among the best). Travel website The Points Guy lists a valuation of 1.9¢ per Membership Rewards point; based on that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,140.

    Because $5,000 is one of the steepest spending requirements of any consumer credit card, this is an ideal time to open it — with holiday spending going on, you can take advantage of those planned expenses to meet a higher minimum required spend than you would normally be able to.

    Plus, you can take advantage of the card's airport lounge access to make holiday travel a little bit less hectic.

    The Platinum Card earns an incredible 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline, and offers a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, and up to $200 in Uber credits each card member year. It also grants the cardholder access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including Delta Sky Clubs and AmEx's own Centurion Lounges. Other benefits include automatic gold elite status at Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton hotels, a statement credit to cover enrollment in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, concierge service, and much more.

    If you're an active military servicemember, you can get the AmEx Platinum Card's fee waived.

    You can read our complete review of the card here.

    Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    7. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

    capital one savor

    Sign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    If dining and cooking are your thing, and cash back is what you're after, the Capital One Savor is sure to please.

    The card earns unlimited 4% cash back on all dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. Plus, the card offers a whopping $500 sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

    The Savor carries a lower annual fee than the AmEx Gold — $95, waived the first year. The earning rate will make up for the fee in many cases, based on normal spending, but if that's too high for you, there's an alternative: the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

    The SavorOne card has no annual fee, and offers a slightly lower — but still valuable — earning rate of 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. It offers a lower sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One SavorOne card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Read more: The Capital One Savor offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment — here's how much the average American saves each year with the card

    8. Chase Sapphire Preferred

    Card Group — Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve_21 1

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular all-around rewards credit cards, and it's easy to see why. This card earns 2x points per dollar spent on just about all travel and dining purchases, and 1x point on everything else. It also comes with a ton of travel and purchase protections, such as rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, and extended warranty.

    The sign-up bonus — 50,000 UR points — is worth, at the very least, $500 as cash back or gift cards. However, if you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use points to pay, you'll get a 25% bonus, making points worth 1.25 cents each. That means that the sign-up bonus would be worth $625.

    Even more lucrative — the Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you transfer your UR points to a few different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. This comes in handy because, in many cases, it costs fewer points to book a trip if you go through one of those programs, as opposed to using the points as cash. You can read more about why transferring points to frequent flyer programs gets you more value here.

    This all comes for a fairly standard annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    9. Chase Sapphire Reserve

    Chase card

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Reserve is basically a beefier version of the Preferred. While the card comes with the same sign-up bonus, it earns points on everyday spending faster, nabbing a higher 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on everything else. It also offers similar, though in many cases, enhanced travel and purchase protections.

    Unlike the Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you and any travel companions free access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

    You can use points from the Reserve the same ways as with the Preferred, except that you'll get a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase, making your points worth 1.5¢ each.

    The card carries a higher annual fee than the Preferred: $450. However, it also comes with a $300 travel credit each card member year. Each year, you'll get statement credits for the first $300 in travel-related purchases you make, including things like subway fare, taxis, parking, and tolls, as well as airfare and hotels. When you subtract this credit from the annual fee, the card is effectively only $150 each year.

    If you're not sure whether the Preferred or Reserve is the better card for you, take a look at this breakdown. Also keep in mind that you can typically only earn the sign-up bonus for one Sapphire-branded card every two years.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    10. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Welcome offer: 150,000 Hilton Honors points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months

    The premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card has a hefty $450 annual fee, but it comes with so many perks, benefits, and rebates that it's more than worth paying for Hilton loyalists — or even brand-agnostic hotel guests.

    In addition to a $250 airline fee credit per calendar year and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit each card member year, the Aspire also offers a $100 Hilton on-property credit every time you book a stay of two nights or longer at a Hilton property — you just need to book through a specific website for cardholders.

    The card also offers a free weekend night reward each year — regardless of how much you spend — and a second if you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. It also comes with complimentary Diamond status.

    The Aspire earns a tremendous 14x points per dollar spent with Hilton, 7x points on flights booked with the airline, car rentals, and at US restaurants, and 3x points on everything else.

    Click here to learn more about the Hilton Honors Aspire card from Insider Picks' partner The Points Guy.

    11. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

    https_%2F%2Fblogs images.forbes.com%2Fthepointsguy%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F07%2FNY City Cards wells fargo propel 8 1200x800

    Welcome offer: 30,000 Go Far points (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    This new card from Wells Fargo has one of the more attractive rewards offerings you'll find from a no-annual-fee card. The new Propel card is actually a re-launch of an old product — Wells Fargo stopped accepting applications for the old card back in February, before announcing the new product and reopening applications this summer.

    The card earns 3x points on all travel, dining, and select streaming services (and 1x point on everything else). If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost the same as the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    There are some key differences between the cards. The Propel lets you redeem points for 1¢ each toward cash back, merchandise, travel, or more, while the Sapphire Reserve offers a range of more valuable redemption options — it's easy to get at least 50% more value for Chase points. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve offers a number of premium perks that the Propel doesn't, like airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit travel delay insurance, and more.

    Of course, the Sapphire Reserve also comes with a $450 annual fee, while the Wells Fargo Propel doesn't have a fee. Between the new member offer, and the solid earning rate on popular spend categories, the Propel makes a decent option for those who don't travel often, or who aren't comfortable floating a large annual fee.

    We named the Propel the best no-fee card of 2018.

    Click here to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    SEE ALSO: I pay $1,000 in annual fees for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum — and as far as I’m concerned, the math checks out

    DON'T MISS: The AmEx Platinum is available to active duty servicemembers at no annual fee — but even with the fee, the credit card is a great value

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    luxury home house mansion

    • Luxury developers are building expansive and extravagant underground spaces in multimillion-dollar homes. 
    • This is often a way to get around strict zoning laws in Los Angeles meant to limit the construction of large mansions.
    • These lavish lower levels include luxurious spas, sports facilities, "living" plant walls, wine cellars, art galleries, and in one case, even a ballroom.


    Developers are taking luxury homes in an unexpected direction: Underground.

    Rochelle Maize, a Los Angeles luxury real estate agent, said she's seeing more and more "extravagant basements" or lower levels being built into homes.

    "While this square footage isn't considered as valuable as above grade, it still allows for a higher selling price and return on investment," Maize told Business Insider.

    But these spaces are nothing like the dingy, unfinished space you might picture when you think of a typical basement. 

    "The other big trend that I am seeing in the basement level build-outs is interesting details that are being installed by landscape architects," Maize said. "They are creating gorgeous 'living-walls' on the concrete wall areas below ground. This is actually making them more inviting than some of the above-ground areas!"

    Some of these lavish subterranean spaces include spas, wine cellars, art galleries, tennis courts, and other sports facilities.

    Read more: Super rich people are paying up to $500,000 for luxe panic rooms, and as gun violence picks up, they're more popular than ever

    In Los Angeles, these spaces are often a way for developers to get around "red tape" that restricts the size of new construction single family homes, known as anti-mansionization laws, Maize said.

    Hacienda de la Paz, a 51,000-square-foot home in Los Angeles county, was built to be mostly underground in order to comply with such zoning requirements, according to the Los Angeles Times. Only one of its floors is above ground, and the other five levels are underground and include a 10,000-square-foot Turkish spa, a 15,000-square-foot tennis court, a ballroom, a yoga room, and a wine cellar.

    Just Sold at $22.4 million - Hacienda de la Paz (1 Buggy Whip Dr.) - Represented buyer and seller.

    A post shared by Jason Oppenheim (@jasonoppenheim) on Oct 31, 2018 at 7:19pm PDT on

    It sold at auction in October for $22.4 million, the Times reported.

    Then there's the most expensive home for sale in San Francisco, an ultra-modern complex listed for $45 million, which has a two-story underground art gallery, as Business Insider's Lina Batarags previously reported.

    These over-the-top basements are not just a West Coast trend. Jeffrey Collé, a custom home builder in the wealthy Hamptons community of New York, told the New York Times about a house he built with a 5,000-square-foot underground space that included a bedroom, a wine cellar, a home theater, a gym, a sauna, and a steam room.

    "You don’t have a feeling like you're underground," Collé told the Times. "These are open, airy spaces."

    The super-wealthy of London have also been building downwards, Business Insider previously reported, sometimes adding up to five levels underground in some of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

    DON'T MISS: This $245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US — and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You've probably been cooking your turkey all wrong — here's how to do it in 90 minutes flat

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    Holland Tunnel

    • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received criticism — and laughter — this week for its placement of holiday decorations on the letters above the Holland Tunnel's entrance.
    • As cars enter the Holland Tunnel's New Jersey tollbooth plaza, travelers can see wreaths over the letters "O" and "U" and a Christmas tree design covering the letter "N" in the word "Holland." 
    • According to The New York Times, one commuter was so put off by the design that he started a petition on Change.org, asking for the Christmas tree to be moved over the letter "A." The petition had more than 2,600 signatures by Friday afternoon. 
    • The Port Authority even created a survey to allow people a chance to vote on which revamped design they would like best.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received criticism — and laughter — this week for its placement of holiday decorations on the letters above the Holland Tunnel's entrance. 

    As cars enter the Holland Tunnel's New Jersey tollbooth plaza, travelers will see wreaths over the letters "O" and "U" and a Christmas tree design covering the letter "N" in the word "Holland." 

    The Holland Tunnel connects traffic between New York and New Jersey via an underground passage that runs beneath the Hudson River and is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  

    The Associated Press reported that on Thursday, the day that the Port Authority approved an $8.5 million budget and announced record traffic numbers for 2018, most of the talk at its monthly board meeting was about the decorations hung at the tunnel's entrance. 

    holland tunnel

    Read more:One of NYC's most important landmarks is set for a five-year, $364 million repair project — here's how it forever changed the city's traffic patterns

    According to The New York Times, one commuter was so put off by the design that he launched a petition on Change.org, asking for the Christmas tree to be moved over the letter "A." The petition had more than 2,600 signatures by Friday afternoon. 

    The Port Authority even created a survey to allow people a chance to vote on which revamped design they would like best. Voters can choose from four configurations, photos of which are on the Port Authority's website. The survey is open until Sunday, and thousands of people have already placed a vote, according to the Associated Press. 

    Social-media users and media outlets joked on Twitter about the Holland Tunnel's decorations.

    Budweiser even joined in on the fun by posting a photo of its own signage at its Newark brewery.



    SEE ALSO: New York City's secret subway line with antique cars is back in service — here's what it's like to ride it

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Rolls-Royce feature might be the world's fanciest way to tailgate

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    woman resume job application

    • When looking for a new job, you'll have to give significant time and effort to many facets of the search.
    • Here, author Myelle Lansat details the six most productive things she did when looking for a new position


    A lot of behind the scenes work goes into landing a job interview, and it takes more than tweaking a resume or cover letter to stand out in an applicant pool.

    It's not easy to look for a new job opportunity, especially as a recent college graduate. To help guide my search, I reflected on the work I did in school and in past internships to motivate my job search.

    I recently graduated with a B.S. in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and I previously wrote for the Your Money section at Business Insider.

    Here are the six smartest things I did when looking for new job opportunities.

    SEE ALSO: I've been successfully self-employed for a year — here are 9 things I wish I'd known before starting

    1. Reach out to existing networks

    When I sat down to think about my existing network, I started with my alumni association. I studied at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University and immediately reached out to students in my field. I also reached out to the career center and checked out our alumni jobs portal. This not only opened up several doors, it also made me realize how strong an alumni network really is. Don't be afraid to use it.

    I also tapped on previous internship colleagues and people I've met professionally — just to catch up and chat about the job market today. I wanted to have a full view of what was going on in my field and how the hiring cycle works at this time of year, which in my case was the holiday season and new year.

    2. Check job sites daily

    I've found that job listings mostly come in waves and it's best to apply to a job within a week of its posting.  A majority of companies have a careers portal on their webpage under their main menu or at the bottom of the site. But when I want to search a job by field, I typically start with LinkedIn and specialize my search under the "jobs" tab by category and location.

    There are also a slew of targeted job sites, Facebook groups, and Twitter feeds for certain fields that may have opportunities not listed on larger sites, like LinkedIn.

    3. Connect with people on LinkedIn

    Once I thoroughly searched LinkedIn and picked out job opportunities that I qualified for, I researched current employees and look for any potential connections. I kept an eye out for anyone who went to Syracuse, lived in my hometown or worked at the same companies I did. I drafted a short introduction and asked to take them out for coffee and chat about their career path.

    In my experience, this opens the door to an in-person conversation and a chance to hear about a company and gauge if it's a good match for me. I've found that people are more inclined to help and vouch for you after making a personal connection or having a shared experience. Plus, knowing a current employee at a company you're applying to can give you a leg up in the applicant pool.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.


    • From bitters to bath salts, CBD is being infused and incorporated into just about anything you might consume.
    • Touted as a wellness supplement and purported cure for almost all that ails us, CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.
    • For those not in the know, here's what CBD is, how it's made, and what all the fuss is about.
    • CBD may offer an option for dealing with different types of chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety, but we do not yet have sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies to pinpoint its effectiveness. It is important for you to check your local laws before buying anything containing CBD.

    Regardless of whether they've been naughty or nice, everyone could stand to hang a little looser around the holidays. Pain, insomnia, anxiety, or just, like, a relaxing night in, cannabidiol may be the penultimate antidote for bad vibes, man.

    CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants that's associated with many of the general wellness and medicinal qualities of marijuana, sans the high from THC (a psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis sativa).

    Now that Congress has passed a bill to legalize the production of hemp, which is high in CBD and almost vacant of THC, we're likely to start seeing a whole lot more of it. And, whether or not you buy into all (or any) of it, someone on your list is bound to be looking for the latest and greatest in CBD innovation.

    The wondrous, seemingly endless list of things into which we can pack, infuse, or otherwise incorporate CBD extract — now a billion-dollar industry itself — may be daunting, but we're here to help. Some of our favorites for this season: CBD-infused honey, watermelon shrubs, and a bath soak. But there's plenty more from the great, wide, often curious world of CBD below.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: 50 of the best skin-care gifts you can get at Sephora — from cult-favorite newcomers to beauty industry icons

    DON'T MISS: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    A restorative CBD bath soak

    Restore Cypress & Cannabidiol Bath Soak, available at Nordstrom, $33

    Add a whole new layer of chill to their bath time.

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil with CBD

    Planet People CBD Olive Oil, available at Uncommon Goods, $34

    Because who doesn't love a buttery EVOO from California? Add in a full-spectrum, single-origin Coloradan CBD infusion, and you've got nothing less than a bottle full of very nice dreams.

    A peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and CBD roll-on for headaches

    Sagely Relief & Recovery Headache CBD Roll-On, available at Thrive Market, $29.99

    Forget aspirin and ibuprofen, this is all they need to recover from all of the forthcoming holiday festivities.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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