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I spent years hating running, until I changed my routine — here's how I learned to love it


treadmill running

  • Learning to love running is an arduous, but not impossible, task.
  • Here, author Sarah Wells details how ditching the treadmill led her to "become someone I never thought I'd be: a happy runner."


The internet has a million-and-one recommendations for how to exercise, and many of those rely on one key element: cardio. Namely, running. For much of my life the very concept of running filled me with dread, until I found a way to make it empowering instead.

A big part of my running anxiety came from the way it was introduced to me in middle and high school through the infamous mile-run test in gym class. While I had always been actively involved in sports, I was never a particularly fast runner and these tests made that abundantly clear.

In case you're unfamiliar, here's how the test works: after learning the alleged correlations between mile times and health standards (e.g. to be considered healthy, a student would have to achieve a certain benchmark depending on their age and sex), an entire middle school gym class would traipse out to the school's track and start to jog. While not meant to be a competition, it went without saying that students who finished last had "failed."

This competitive relationship with running didn't stop after the tests did, and as a college student I struggled with constructing my own exercise regimen without the sports I'd grown up with. As a freshman I was intimidated by the gym's powerful weight lifters and the graceful runners galloping on treadmills like gazelles. Choosing the lesser of two evils, I chose to start with the treadmills.

Read more: I'm convinced exercising in the morning has transformed my productivity

The treadmill, a hamster wheel

I adjusted the incline, slowly increased the speed from a walk to a jog and contemplated whether I would wipe out badly enough to need the emergency "STOP" cord attached to my t-shirt.

Within minutes, the treadmill began to feel like a hamster wheel and, having raised the speed optimistically too high, I was out of breath and already discouraged before I'd crested the one-mile mark.

As I slowed to a walk, I remember looking around at other machines and trying to sneak a glance at their speeds. My heart sank as I saw them still running with ease at speeds far higher than mine.

As semesters and years progressed, I did become faster and my endurance improved, but I could never shake the feeling of not achieving quite enough. Not only that, but the boredom that came with my hamster wheel had also continued to eat away at me.

In my opinion, a major flaw with the very concept of treadmills is that any movement you make is essentially an illusion. As opposed to the changing landscape you see when running on a track or even up-and-down a soccer field, there are few distractions on a treadmill aside from watching your mileage increase.

I tried listening to music, but eventually found even my workout playlists repetitive. I tried watching TV on my phone or tablet, or listening to podcasts, but both would inevitably run out of episodes before I ran out of gym days.

I even tried to read and highlight articles for class – which only resulted in neon-yellow slashes through many of my paragraphs.

As undergrad ended and I scrambled to find a constructive way to put my degree to use, I also found my gym routine thrown into chaos again. Starting to work more hours and living further from the gym made my treadmill habit more difficult to sustain, in addition to the fact that I'd never really enjoyed it.

Read more: I completed Kayla Itsines' viral 12-week workout — and I'm thrilled with the results

The beauty of running outdoors


In a fit of inspiration (and stress) one day after work, I found myself lacing up my running shoes and heading out the door in search of a nearby park.

Feeling the sun beating down on my shoulders and the wind in my face as a I propelled myself forward with each step, I felt a sense of exhilaration that running on a treadmill had never brought me. Unlike the gym, I had no way to keep track of my pace and no runners to compare myself against.

As I reached the park – my halfway point before returning home – I felt a stitch start to form in my side and the familiar sense of disappointment in my abilities creep back in. But before giving in to the feeling, I made my way to the apex of one of the park's bridges and looked out over the small pond it spanned. The view alone stopped my thoughts in their tracks.

It still took a while for the lesson from that run to sink in, but I came to realize that running at my own pace – and even stopping! – has no impact on whether I have a successful run.

Instead, I use different metrics: How did it feel to see the world whiz by? How beautiful was the light today?

Stepping away from expectations I'd placed on myself, and by taking in the outdoors, I've become someone I never thought I'd be: a happy runner.

SEE ALSO: Fad diets never worked for me, but a fitness app helped me lose 28 pounds in four months

Join the conversation about this story »

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I drove a $29,000 Honda Insight hybrid to see how it stacks up against the mighty Toyota Prius — here's what I discovered


Honda Insight

  • The 2019 Honda Insight is a high-MPG hybrid that looks like a normal sedan.
  • Its chief competitor is the Toyota Prius.
  • I thought the Insight more than held its own and, in the end, is a better car than the Prius.

I like hybrids. When I moved back to the New York area after a decade in Los Angeles, where I had owned a bunch of cars, I did what I had curiously never done in La-La Land and bought a used Toyota Prius.

For years now, I've enjoyed spending a meager amount of money on gas while having a versatile vehicle to handle everyday life: school drop-offs and pickups, grocery store runs, even the odd jaunt a few hundred miles here or there. True, I get to sample something like 30 vehicles every year thanks to my job at Business Insider. But for my money, the Prius has been an ideal backup mobile.

Of course, the Prius is ... peculiar. Underpowered and completely unexciting to drive. It's as reliable as the day is long, but unengaging. Well made, but hardly luxurious. It's virtuous, and that was Toyota's genius when it was introduced. If you wanted flash, this wasn't your car. If you wanted staggeringly good gas mileage, it was.

So, a great car — but could there be better? Could there be hybrids that were, you know, less hybrid-y, but achieved the same objectives?

Enter the all-new 2019 Honda Insight. The Insight started out as an oddball super-hybrid that could get massive MPGs, but that appealed to almost no one. When the Prius took off, Honda revamped the Insight, but that "Prius killer" version was also sort of a failure, despite some excellent engineering and a better price.

The latest Insight is, well, basically a normal-looking four-door with a superlative hybrid drivetrain. It's the best of its kind, in many ways. Honda let me borrow a $29,000 Touring-trim-level Insight for a week, and I put it through its paces. Here's how it went.

SEE ALSO: 21 cars that never disappoint and are worth splurging on

My test car was the top-level Touring trim in "Lunar Silver Metallic." It came in at $29,000, but that was with just an extra $1,000 destination charge — the vehicle is fully loaded for $28,000.

Unlike the original Insight — a very unusual-looking two-door — and the second generation, which was eerily similar to the Toyota Prius in shape, the 2019 version resembles a statelier Civic.

I'm not crazy about the front end, which gives us a bit too much chrome, an overly strident slotted grille, and narrow headlights.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

55 hilarious White Elephant gifts under $50 that are guaranteed to get a good laugh


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.

Etsy $22

When it comes to gift swapping games like White Elephant, Yankee Swap, or Nasty Christmas, the master gifters must first forget everything they know about holiday gifting.

Gone are the cashmere scarves, Belgian chocolates, and those porcelain baby angel figurines Aunt Sharon collects. In their place, Renaissance-style portraits of pets, life-size cardboard cut-outs of your face, and DIY books like "Crafting with Cat Hair" with a reviewer base evenly split between "this is a hilarious gag gift" and "I wish they taught you more than just finger puppets in here."

Gift swaps reward the niche, novel, and irreverent, with bonus points going to those who can check the boxes of funny and useful. So, below, we rounded up 55 gifts that are perfectly primed for this occasion, and, admittedly, perhaps no other.

Below, you'll find 55 of the best White Elephant gifts under $50 on the internet.

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

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

DON'T MISS: 25 creative and unexpected gifts for 'Star Wars' fans of all ages

A hauntingly beautiful sequin Nicolas Cage pillow

Nicolas Cage Face Sequin Pillow, available on Etsy, from $32.09

A Banksy painting went for $1.4 million before self-destructing at auction this year. This red sequin pillow from Etsy is a bargain for a slightly more lasting version of this now it's here, now it's not trend. If you're partial to the "Y tho" meme you can find one catered to you here.

A calendar of dog-shaming photos

Dog-Shaming 2019 Day-to-Day Calendar, available on Amazon, $11.53

Whether they also have a dog whose diet consists of chair legs, car keys, and their favorite pair of slippers, they'll get a kick out of this dog-shaming calendar. 

A set of 'Golden Girls' wine charms

"Golden Girls" Wine Charms, Set of 4, available on Etsy, $14

Wine time is already a highlight of many social groups. Make it even better with handmade glass wine charms that honor "The Golden Girls." Just make sure to allow 7 to 10 business days for them to arrive before your White Elephant exchange.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An executive at a luxury concierge service says they once flew In-N-Out burgers from the West Coast to New York in a private jet


private jet

An executive at a New York City-based luxury concierge service says the business once fulfilled a last-minute request to fly In-N-Out burgers from the West Coast to New York in a private jet.

"It was just their food traveling," Skie Ocasio, the vice president of operations at Luxury Attaché, told Business Insider. "This was a couple of years ago, but it was a request that our team was like, 'How are we going do to this?' and 'Shouldn't we just fly them commercially?'"

But after looking at the options, the team at Luxury Attaché decided that flying the burgers on a private jet was, in fact, the best thing to do — and the team pulled it off.

Wealthy New Yorkers are certainly willing to pay to make their lives easier, as evidenced by those who pay "dog nannies" up to $130 to take their dogs on hikes that include door-to-door service and groups tailored to each dog's personality. And some rich Manhattanites pay up to $800 a day for a nurse to teach their newborns to sleep through the night.

Ocasio, however, says the company doesn't specialize in such extreme requests as the In-N-Out private-jet delivery.

"While a lot of our competitors out there are talking about 24/7 concierge, accessing the inaccessible, giving you everything you want, you know, 'the answer's always yes,' I found that Luxury Attaché really set themselves up with offering what we could deliver," he said.

Read more:A luxury travel company says these are the 10 most extravagant requests it's had from its superrich customers

Luxury Attaché is a business-to-business concierge service provider that operates in luxury residential buildings and commercial spaces primarily in New York City but also in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Palo Alto, California; Boston; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It operates Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

"We're not working around the clock," Ocasio said. "We're not guaranteeing that at 2 o'clock in the morning, if you call us, we're going to answer the phone and get you into a club."

Instead, he says the company succeeds by managing expectations and developing authentic relationships with its business contacts so it can offer exclusive, vetted recommendations to its clients.

"We're getting people into restaurants because we know the owners," he said. "We know the people who we can reach out to during business hours to get the access. And I pride myself in the service because it is attainable, it is reachable, and it is something that we can deliver on."

SEE ALSO: Outrageous photos show what flying on private jets is really like, from private bedrooms with plush bedding to exquisitely crafted meals served with Champagne

DON'T MISS: The widest room in this New York City townhouse measures 10 feet across — and it's selling for $5 million

Join the conversation about this story »

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64 cool and unique gifts for her — for every budget


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.

corkcicle $40

The gift-giving season is upon us.

Here to help you choose the perfect gifts for everyone on your list — from your coworkers to your dad, or the person you pulled for a White Elephant gift exchange— are the editors and reporters from the Insider Picks team.

If you need some inspiration for what to get for her this holiday season (whether she's your sister, mom, daughter, wife, or otherwise), we have you covered with some truly excellent gift ideas. Though you can never go wrong with a new leather wallet or festive, holiday-themed beauty gift set, we've also included some more unique gifts, like a custom map poster and a book about everything "Friends" in our list.

Check out all 64 gifts for her, and happy shopping! 

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

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

DON'T MISS: 55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

A stylish and comfortable pair of shoes

Allbirds Wool Loungers, available at Allbirds, $95 (9 colors)

Popular shoe startup Allbirds came out with a new high-top sneaker this month, dubbed the Tree Toppers, but for the uninitiated (and honestly really anyone), the classic Wool Loungers make an excellent gift. 

The Amazon Echo Spot

Amazon Echo Spot, available at Amazon, $130 (2 colors)

The Echo Spot is the perfect addition to her nightstand. Like every other Echo, it uses Alexa to accomplish any number of tasks, from answering questions to reordering supplies on Amazon. In addition Alexa's verbal response about the day's weather forecast, the Echo Spot displays it on its 2.5-inch screen. 

A reusable bag that comes in dozens of fun prints

Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $10 (35 colors)

You can never have too many reusable bags, especially when they're as cute as the ones Baggu makes. The Standard Baggu is design to hold 50 pounds and folds into a flat 5-inch by 5-inch pouch for easy storage in her purse. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

20 indulgent food gifts to give someone with a sweet tooth


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.

sweet treat gifts 22

Food, and specifically sweet treats, is an essential part of the holiday season. If you're not spending your holidays in flannel pajamas picking out which chocolate truffle to eat next or fueling your solo performance of Christmas carols with peppermint candies and a shot of hot cocoa, you might not be doing it right. 

The greatest gift you can give a sweet tooth who enjoys indulging in the above activities is something they can eat. Candy, cocoa, cookies — as long as it's sugary and seasonal, they'll love it. 

These 20 holiday food gifts will keep them full and happy this season. 

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

A fan-favorite peppermint bark

The Original Peppermint Bark, $21.71, available at Williams-Sonoma

Gifters have been flocking to Williams-Sonoma's peppermint bark for years. It gets the proportion of dark to white chocolate just right, is topped with crunchy peppermint candy pieces, and comes in a nostalgic collectible tin. 



Grown-up gummy bears

24k Gold Rose All Day Bears, $24, available at Sugarfina

They'll savor each one of these fancy gummies, which are infused with rosé from Provence and gilded with edible 24k gold leaf. 


A huge variety of Belgian truffles

Ultimate Truffle Collection (80-piece), $175, available at Godiva

The only way to experience Godiva at its best is with this decadent collection. They can try creative flavors like Rocky Road Ice Cream Parlor alongside staples like a simple Milk Chocolate. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

L.L.Bean is having a 25% off sitewide sale that includes Bean Boots — these are the best pairs to buy


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.


  • Today only (December 7), you can save 25% sitewide at L.L.Bean by using the promo code "SAVEBIG" at checkout.
  • The sale isn't openly advertised so don't be alarmed if you don't see it on the homepage.
  • While apparel and gear are included in the promotion, the best items on sale right now are the iconic Bean Boots.
  • As an item that typically sells out before the height of winter, you can get your Bean Boots now at a lower price.

Winter will be here before you know it. When it comes to footwear, you should already have a nice pair of fall boots, so now is the time to shift your focus to a pair of winter boots.

The iconic L.L.Bean Boots are known for selling out every year well before the height of winter, and right now they're on sale for 25% off — along with the rest of L.L.Bean's apparel and gear.

Created in 1912 by avid fisherman and hunter Leon Leonwood Bean to keep feet warm and dry, the boots were handmade in Maine and single-handedly launched the company to success.

To this day, the L.L.Bean Boot is made in Maine by expert craftspeople, never by a machine, using the same design and manufacturing processes. With immense popularity, the demand for Bean Boots always far exceeds what the factory can produce by hand. 

While the classic 8-inch boot is still available, there are many new options for men, women, and kids. Whether you're going for a higher 10-inch boot, a warm insulated boot, a stylish moccasin, or a unique color, you can find it here.


Now through December 7, L.L.Bean is having an amazing sitewide sale that puts Bean Boots at the lowest price they've been since Black Friday last year. You can save 25% by simply using the promo code "SAVEBIG" at checkout. 

Don't wait until there's snow on the ground to order your Bean Boots. With how quickly orders pile up, you might not get a chance to wear them until next winter.

Shop all items at L.L.Bean now and save.

Check out the best L.L.Bean Boots for men, women, and kids below:

Men's L.L.Bean Original 8-Inch Boot

L.L.Bean Original 8-Inch Boot, $101.25 (Originally $135) [You save $33.75]


Men's L.L.Bean Shearling-Lined 10-Inch Boot

L.L.Bean Shearling-Lined 10-Inch Boot, $172.50 (Originally $230) [You save $57.50]

Men's L.L.Bean Limited-Edition Luxe Padded Collar 8-Inch Boot

L.L.Bean Limited-Edition Luxe Padded Collar 8-Inch Boot, $116.25 (Originally $155) [You save $38.75]

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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


The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider and The Points Guy Affiliate Network receive a commission from card issuers if you apply through these links and are approved.

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.
  • This month, there are a handful of fantastic, limited-time offers on cards from issuers like Capital One, Chase, and American Express— there's even a huge new sign-up bonus on a United Airlines credit card.
  • 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. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles (after spending $5,000 in the first three months). For a limited time only.

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 starting this month, Venture cardholders will be able to transfer miles to 12 new airline partners, significantly increasing the potential value of each mile.

Additionally, Capital One announced a new, limited-time sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. That's worth at least $750 toward travel if you choose to redeem against a travel purchase, and potentially much more when you transfer to an airline frequent flyer program.

Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the limited-time sign-up bonus, this is one of the best cards available right now.

The limited-time offer has already been around for almost a month, and we don't know how much longer it will be available, so now is the time to apply.

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.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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. Also like the Venture, the Spark Miles is offering a limited-time sign-up bonus to mark the change.

Of course, 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.

4. 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.

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 »

New data says Peloton now has more customers than rival SoulCycle. We tested workouts from both — here’s the verdict.



  • Peloton has revolutionized home fitness with its high-tech indoor bike, which enables users to stream live classes from home. The company launched in 2012 and is now valued at about $4 billion.
  • SoulCycle is an indoor cycling workout brand that launched in 2006 and now has 90 studios across the United States and Canada. It's known for inspiring a cult-like following of fans. 
  • We compared the experience of taking a class with each brand, and there was a clear winner. 

Indoor cycling is becoming the most competitive space in the fitness market. Until 2012, SoulCycle seemed to be invincible with its cult following of fans who were prepared to pay as much as $36 a class.

Then Peloton came along. The high-tech fitness company, which launched in 2012, enables users to stream live classes from anywhere, making it possible to get a SoulCycle-style experience without ever leaving your bedroom. 

And it seems to be paying off. Peloton was valued at $4 billion after it closed a $550 million financing round in August.

New data released by analytics firm Second Measure,which tracks the credit and debit purchases from a pool of four million US customers, showed that for the first time ever Peloton overtook SoulCycle with 4% more customers during the third quarter of 2018. 

A spokesperson for SoulCycle disputed the data in a statement to Business Insider. 

"The data is not only incomplete, it's wrong. SoulCycle is highly profitable. Studio revenue has increased year over year, paid rides are up, total rides are up and our active ridership has not decreased. We're also seeing an increase in the number of classes our active riders take each month," the spokesperson said.

Peloton said that its user base has doubled in the past year. 

Earlier this year, we put these two cult-favorite brands to the test to see which offered a superior experience: 

SEE ALSO: We tested the $1,500 mirror that streams exercise classes into your home and saw how it could upend the fitness world

We headed over to the Westin Hotel near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan to trial a Peloton bike, which is available for hotel guests to use.

The first thing that struck us is how much better the size of the bike is compared to its newest product, the Tread.

This bike could easily occupy a corner of your apartment without being too intrusive. 

Each bike has a touchscreen from which you can stream live and on-demand classes. It costs $39 a month to stream these classes.

Peloton has a cycling studio in Manhattan, where you can attend these classes in person if you'd like. There are between 11 and 13 classes a day, and you can also stream these classes from home.

The touchscreen was user-friendly, and at 22 inches in size, it's easy to see.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best barware, tools, and accessories you can buy


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.

best bar accessories

  • You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to get high-quality bar accessories and tools, but don't go for the bottom of the barrel, either.
  • We've rounded up the best bar accessories that you need for your home bar. 
  • Our picks include bar sets, jiggers, shakers, mixing glasses, and other tools that are as functional as they are beautiful. 

Like it or not, your bar cart will say a lot about you when entertaining, and if you’re going to be hosting guests during the evening hours, it’s important to have the best bar accessories and tools available to smooth along the evening’s events, whatever they may be.

If this sounds high-brow, it is. But keep a sloppy, disorganized bar station, and you’re sure to have confused, potentially perturbed guests. No, they might not show it, but they’ll feel it. A bar, after all, must be inviting. 

To find the best barware, accessories, and tools, I scoured the Big, booze-loving Apple for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, from the stodgiest, most bowtie-bedecked cocktail lounges to the doggiest hole-in-the-wall grills and taverns, asking what I thought was a simple question: What are your go-to, favorite barware brands?

To my surprise, I received a complex variety of answers, but conclusively sided with one bartender’s sentiment that “There are no brands.” Although the bar he works in falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, this particular worldly bartender has held court behind every kind of bar you could imagine, so he's a good source.

With all our research in mind, we've rounded up the best bar accessories, tools, and barware for both big spenders and bargain hunters.

Here are the best bar accessories, tools, and drinkware:

Read on in the slides below to learn more about our top picks.

The best high-end bar set

Why you'll love it: The Graham Collection from Juliska paired with the shaker from the same line is nearly as decadent as it gets for bar sets.

I tend to shy away from recommending barware sets because, as with most kits, attention to quality is often forgone for one component or another. That being said, you can find plenty of good bar sets for reasonable prices in our buying guide. Should you want something more high-end, check out the Graham Collection from Juliska.

It's a simple but oh-so-swanky little set that offers just about everything you need. Though it’d have been nice if the company had included the shaker, a bartender's knife, and a wine key, just about everything else is there.

The set contains a strainer, a jigger, a bartender's knife, ice tongs, a mixing spoon, a bottle opener, and an elegant little stand to hold it all on display.

But, keep in mind: If you're hunting for a set anywhere between about $50 and $200, we suggest you make up your bar set piecemeal. A bit of selectivity will go a long way toward establishing a dependable set of bar tools you could pass on to your children.

Pros: High-end design, great quality, includes many essential bar accessories and tools

Cons: Expensive, missing the shaker

Buy the Juliska Graham Barware Set from Saks 5th Avenue for $198

Read our full guide to the best bar sets you can buy

The best affordable bar set

Why you'll love it: The FINEDINE Home Barware Set is an affordable little bar kit, but it has most of the essentials to get you through any party.

There is a sweet spot with buying barware sets. Spend too little, and you run the risk of buying flimsy, rust-prone junk. Spend too much, and you'll probably end up with a few good things and a few not-so-good things, which is money not terribly well spent. 

For a decent set at an affordable price, the 14-piece FINEDINE Home Barware Set is a great buy so long as you make sure to thoroughly clean and dry it after use.

The quickest way to send anything stainless steel to an early grave is to put it away dirty or wet, and that goes double for cheap stainless steel. 

The set includes 15- and 30-ounce shaker tins, a Hawthorne cocktail strainer, a 0.75- and 1.25-ounce double cocktail jigger, a 7-inch Flat bottle opener, six pour spouts, a pair of 2-ounce stainless steel shot glasses, and a red knob bar spoon.

Pros: Affordable, has almost every bar accessory you need, stainless steel

Cons: May not last forever if you're not careful

Buy the FINEDINE Home Barware Set on Amazon for $24.99 (originally $39.99)

Read our full guide to the best bar sets you can buy

The best Boston shaker

Why you'll love it: Top Shelf Bar Supply's Bost Shaker is not going to let you down when it comes time to whip up a cocktail or two or 10.

First things first: There are three "traditional" types of cocktail shakers. The three-piece, or cobbler, is the simplest of all, and fairly self-explanatory. Load it up, shake, pull off the small lid, and pour.

It's elementary in that there's less risk of splattering your walls with lime juice if you don't get a good seal, but it also doesn't enable as much force as a simple two-piece Boston shaker. It's also about half the price of a cobbler shaker of equal quality, which is important to note: You want a shaker that's functional.

Top Shelf Bar Supply's Boston Shaker is a definitive bartender favorite, but if you want to save a bit, Cocktail Kingdom's Koriko Shaker is a comparable and perfectly serviceable alternative that has a loyal following of bartenders, and I've had no complaints with mine at home.

Spend much less than $15 or $20 on a shaker, though, and you run the risk of subpar quality stainless steel that with just the least bit of neglect lends itself all too easily to rust. Cheap steel shakers can also freeze shut so tightly that you can easily find yourself mired in frustration and despair, wondering if your precious concoction will ever pass your lips before it devolves into a tepid soup. Heaven forbid.

Pros: Affordable, reliable, simple to use

Cons: Some prefer glass for a top piece, higher grade stainless steel, or both (18/10)

Buy the Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Shaker on Amazon for $16.98

Buy the Top Shelf Bar Supply Boston Shaker on Amazon for $29.93

Read our full guide to the best cocktail shakers you can buy

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The top 10 best-selling fiction books on Amazon this year — that consequently make great gifts


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.

bi graphics top ten bestselling fiction amazon

Like the Oxford Word of the Year, a year's best-selling books are a good — though incomplete — summary of one particular point in time. And while Amazon is not the only place people buy books, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular.

Below, you'll find the top 10 best-selling fiction titles of 2018, according to Amazon.

They're the books you've probably heard about at cocktail hour or been told you need to read before seeing the movie. Some made it into our list of the best books we read in 2018, and others have been frequenting home libraries since their debut over thirty years ago. 

According to Amazon, these are the 10 best-selling fiction books in 2018, starting with the most popular: 

Book descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length.

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

1. "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

Buy it here >>

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

2. "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng

Buy it here >>

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned — from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren — an enigmatic artist and single mother — who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

Note:we voted this one of the 29 best books we read in 2018.

3. "The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn

Buy it here >>

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times... and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What it's like to vacation in St. Moritz, the hidden gem in the Swiss Alps where celebrities, billionaires, and royalty go to ski


St. moritz ski destination

  • St. Moritz, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, has played home to the Winter Olympics not once, but twice.
  • With a number of five-star hotels and Michelin restaurants, St. Moritz has also become a pinnacle of luxury and a destination for the elite.
  • Celebrities, billionaires, and royalty flock to St. Moritz every winter to hit the slopes and vacation in style.

St. Moritz is many things: A holiday resort with world-class skiing, the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, twice a home to the Winter Olympics, and a hidden gem for the one percent.

It's also, as Heidi Mitchell of Town & Country wrote, "Europe's most secretive and storied ski town."

Located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz has done more than popularize modern winter sports like ice cricket and snow polo — it's also spawned a number of five-star luxury hotels and top class restaurants with gourmet chefs. 

Such a history has created a champagne and caviar lifestyle that the glitterati flock to every winter. Celebrities, royalty, and billionaires alike, from Kate Moss to the Swedish royal family, come for the glitz and the slopes.

Here's a glimpse into the lavish winter wonderland that is St. Moritz.

SEE ALSO: What a $1 million vacation looks like in Mykonos, Greece, where you'll fly in on a private jet, sleep in an ocean-view villa, and cruise the seas in a yacht

DON'T MISS: A luxury travel company says these are the 10 most extravagant requests it's had from its super-rich customers

St. Moritz is located in Switzerland's Engadin Valley, a high Alpine valley region in the Swiss Alps.

Source: Google Maps

St. Moritz's history dates back to 1864, when the first winter tourists stayed from Christmas through Easter.

Source: Free Press Journal

In 1928, it hosted the first official Winter Olympics and again in 1948. Women dressed in silk, sequins, and fur; men dressed in three-piece suits, according to Vogue. The event secured its status as a luxury winter tourism destination.

Source: Vogue

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Christie's NYC sold more than $69 million of precious jewels in a single night and more than 25% of it came from one blue diamond ring


fancy vivid blue diamond ring


Christie's Auction House sold a stunning $69,225,750 worth of precious jewelry in a single night in New York City.

A huge chunk of that — about 26% — came from the sale of one rectangular blue diamond ring by Bulgari, which went for $18.3 million. The December 5 auction also included pieces by Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin, Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.

As astronomical as this sale may seem, it pales in comparison to Christie's biggest ever single-night jewel sale: $115.9 million for a collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels in December 2011. It did, however, surpass the past two years. At last year's December auction, Christie's sold $62.5 million of jewelry, and $51.2 million in 2016.

Read more: Christie's sold a 19-carat pink diamond for a record-breaking $50 million

Daphne Lingon, Head of Jewelry, Christie's Americas, said the auction house has seen some particularly exceptional sales this year.

"Over this auction season, we have witnessed the blockbuster sales of The Winston Pink Legacy in Geneva, which set a new price per carat for a pink diamond, and The Peacock Necklace in Hong Kong, which established the record for a Kashmir sapphire necklace," Lingon said. "The excitement and prices achieved in our New York sale tonight, including the exceptional price achieved for the sensational Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring by Bulgari and the world auction record realized for Suzanne Belperron, mark a perfect ending to our successful year of global jewelry auctions."

Here's a look at 10 of the most expensive jewels Christie's sold on December 5, ranked from least to most expensive.

SEE ALSO: Christie's sold a 19-carat pink diamond for a record-breaking $50 million

DON'T MISS: $90 million painting sale makes David Hockney the world's most expensive living artist

A 6.28 carat cushion-cut Belle Époque Kashmir sapphire ring of 6.28 sold for $936,500.

Source: Christie's

A rectangular-cut D color diamond ring of 18.77 carats by Carvin French also went for $936,500.

Source: Christie's

A cushion-cut fancy vivid green diamond ring of 3.01 carats sold for $972,500.

Source: Christie's

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A $68 million Miami penthouse with 2 infinity pools could shatter Florida's real estate record. Here's a look inside the sprawling apartment


Eighty Seven Park Hover Shot

  • A $68 million penthouse in Miami could shatter the state's real estate record.
  • The current real estate record in Florida was set by the sale of a $60 million penthouse in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • The penthouse at Eighty Seven Park will have more than 18,000 square feet of outdoor space, including two infinity pools.

A penthouse in Miami is set to shatter the state's real estate record.

The penthouse at Eighty Seven Park is 25,000 square feet and was designed to offer the resident 360-degree park, city, and ocean views. The building is located in North Beach and is, according to a press release, 80% sold.

Read more: An $82 million penthouse apartment in NYC's tallest residential building offers 360-degree views of Central Park and the city —but nobody wants to buy it

According to the Wall Street Journal, the current real estate record in Miami is held by a $60 million penthouse in Miami's Faena House condo, which hedge fund exec Ken Griffin purchased in 2015.

If it sells at the asking price of $68 million, the penthouse will join the ranks of other real estate listings that could set local records, including a $20 million penthouse in Brooklyn and a $45 million San Francisco complex that straddles two hillside lots.

According to the Journal, construction on the building is underway and is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2019.

Until then, here's a look at some renderings that reveal what the inside of the penthouse will look like:

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

Eighty Seven Park is in North Beach, about an hour's drive northeast of Miami.

Source: Google Maps

The building is currently under construction and, according to a WSJ report, is set to be completed by the third quarter of 2019.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The unfinished building's penthouse, which will be listed at $68 million, is already poised to shatter Florida's real estate record, which was set by the sale of a $60 million penthouse in 2015.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best convertible backpacks that turn into tote bags


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.

The best backpack/tote

  • The answer to your bag woes is a convertible backpack and tote bag that changes with the adjustment of a strap.

  • The Senreve Maestra is the best convertible backpack you can buy, because it comes in three sizes that can each be worn four ways for infinite styling possibilities.

I’ve been a purse-switcher for as long as I can remember. My bag collection, which began in earnest when I was in junior high, has never been the most practical, and thus I spend a lot of time moving my keys, wallet, and lipsticks from one cute little purse to another depending on my outfit.

After all that, I still usually need a separate canvas tote to fit my laptop, charger, and a book for the subway. I’m tired of all that schlepping — it’s time for a better system.

Convertible backpacks and totes seem like the obvious answer. Bags with adjustable straps solve a host of different problems, from commuter woes to packing struggles. When you need one bag to do everything, look for something with multi-use straps that you can customize to suit your needs. These are bags that can go from backpack to messenger bag to night-out purse with a few simple adjustments.

The options on this list are the ultimate in stylish-yet-practical totes/backpacks/satchels/crossbodys that will work for every occasion and season of your life.

Here are the best convertible backpacks you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

The best convertible backpack overall

Why you’ll love it: The Senreve Maestra is the bag you’ll never want to take off — and luckily you won’t have to, because it can be worn four different ways and goes with everything in your closet.

The infinitely photogenic Senreve Maestra is that rare unicorn — a bag that is extremely cool and extremely practical at the same time. Made of gorgeous scratch- and water-resistant Italian leather, it has a truly unique design and multiple special features that make it worth the splurge.

And a splurge it is, with the largest size costing nearly $1,000. You can choose to pay the entire cost up front or in interest-free installments. But if you’re looking to invest in a bag you’ll use daily, this is a great option. The straps can be adjusted to turn the Maestra into a backpack, satchel, crossbody, or tote.

Each size has multiple interior pockets including a padded compartment for devices. The largest fits up to a 15-inch laptop and the smallest can hold an iPad Mini.

Insider Picks editor Sally Kaplan loves her full-size Maestra, calling it, “a luxury, but it's one that you will get tons of use out of.” The bag has also been featured by Purseblog and Travel + Leisure.

Pros: Can be worn four ways, comes in three sizes, 100% Italian leather, multiple interior pockets

Cons: Expensive

Buy the standard Maestra for $895-$995

Buy the Midi Maestra for $795-$875

Buy the Mini Maestra for $695-$775

The best convertible backpack for travel

Why you'll love it: The Jet Set Convertible Travel Backpack by Timbuk2 is the answer to all your frequent-flyer prayers. It’s compact, sleek, and multipurpose.

If you’re constantly on-the-go you need a bag that moves with you, and the Timbuk2 Jet Set Convertible Travel Backpack is that bag. It’s attractive, with a slouchy silhouette and cool buckle details. Plus, it's super practical for a busy lifestyle.

The Jet Set Convertible Travel Backpack was designed in conjunction with Phoebe Dahl (yes, she’s author Roald’s granddaughter). It has backpack straps so you can wear it on your shoulders and a top strap that allows you to carry it more like a satchel.

According to the product description it can be worn eight ways total, including as a tote or shoulder bag. There’s also a detachable pouch that can be worn on its own or as a front pocket.

This bag is carry-on friendly and features a removable passport pocket that attaches to the crossbody handle. It comes in blue, black, and a currently sold-out metallic shade that I really hope comes back in stock because it’s super cute. Reviewers on the Timbuk2 website love the look of the bag and flexibility, but some say it doesn’t fit a ton inside, so keep that in mind.

Timbuk2’s convertible backpack has been featured by Yahoo and The Zoe Report. Insider Picks' guides editor Malarie Gokey has also tried it out and loves it. She appreciates the high-quality leather and the way it effortlessly transitions to be any kind of bag she needs during the day.

Pros: Can be worn eight ways, detachable front pouch and interior passport pocket, carry-on friendly

Cons: Doesn’t fit a ton of stuff

Buy the Jet Set Convertible Travel Backpack for $299

The best water-resistant convertible backpack

Why you'll love it: The Samsonite Encompass Convertible Tote Backpack is made of water-resistant materials to keep your electronics and paperwork safe in a downpour.

My purse always seems to get wet when it rains, whether I’ve got an umbrella or not. It doesn’t even seem to matter how wide the umbrella is, either — droplets always trickle down and hit the outside of my bag. The Samsonite Encompass Convertible Tote Backpack has a water resistant coating to protect your precious cargo.

This bag can be worn five different ways — backpack, shoulder bag, crossbody, tote, and hand-held satchel. The special features make it a dream come true for organization obsessives. They include a water bottle sleeve, key FOB, luggage loop, padded tablet and laptop pockets, an RFID data “vault” to protect you from identity theft, and a front pocket with pen sleeves.

And if you get caught in a rainstorm, you can trust it all to stay safe thanks to the protective exterior. The bag isn’t made of leather but it still looks really sleek and comes in three versatile colors: black, bordeaux, and stone.

Insider Picks' guides editor Malarie Gokey uses this bag almost every day for work. She loves how easily in transitions between a backpack and a tote bag, so she can stuff her laptop inside and pack it full to the brim without wearing it as a tote bag and killing her shoulders. It has also survived a snow storm and a spilled cup of water without getting wet inside at all.

Pros: Water-resistant, convertible in five ways, tons of pockets for electronics and small items

Cons: Not fully waterproof, not leather

Buy the Encompass Convertible Tote Backpack for $240

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

George Clooney and Rande Gerber have a third partner in their $1 billion tequila company, and he happens to be a real estate tycoon


Mike Meldman sitting on a paddleboard

  • Mike Meldman is the third partner in George Clooney's billion-dollar Casamigos tequila.
  • He also happens to be a real estate tycoon as owner of Discovery Land Company.
  • Discovery owns 23 properties that cater to "CEOs, presidents, and athletes."
  • To become a member of one of the resorts, people have to buy land on the property and build a home.
  • They boast golf courses, restaurants, bars, and other sports.

George Clooney and multimillionaire Rande Gerber shook up the drinks industry in June 2017 when they sold their tequila company, Casamigos, to Diageo for a whopping $1 billion.

However, the pair actually have a third business partner — real estate tycoon Mike Meldman, who everyone we've asked seems to call "one of the most well-connected people I know."

Meldman's road to success has been an impressive one.

Born in Milwaukee, he told Business Insider that he went to Stanford as a history major with dreams of being a lawyer but "bombed the LSATs" and didn't apply.

"I ended up dealing blackjack in Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino," he told BI — though that didn't last long.

"I met a guy who asked me if I wanted to make as much money as I wanted to and work as little as I wanted to, and he hired me [to] his startup commercial real estate company," he said.

He started as a broker selling land and leasing properties in Freemont, California, across the bridge from Palo Alto, where Stanford is.

"I had no training, but I went out and learned how to make deals," he said, adding that within a year and a half he went from a broker working weekends to make money to "selling all of Freemont."

He started taking the money he earned and buying properties to develop himself, which he said had its "ups and downs" in the 80s.

"I bought a ranch outside of Palo Alto with 300 acres and [space] for 35 houses which had every environmental constraint known to man," he said. "It took me 18 years to get 28 lots on the property, [but it] taught me how to develop property through the environment and not kill the vegetation."

See more: The incredible life of multimillionaire Rande Gerber: George Clooney's business partner, Cindy Crawford's husband, and father to 2 budding supermodels

And the experience has certainly paid off now.

"I say I got a PhD in property development," he said. "I was able to take that education and experience and move that to other places around the country."

'Everything taken care of in a casual way'

Aerial shot down fairway toward green, silos and Comfort Station_Discovery Land Company

Meldman officially founded Discovery Land Company in 1994.

His first big project was in Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale, Arizona, where he set out to develop a "massive resort" and ended up with 250 homes.

His next project was also centred around golf, but by the time he set up his third resort in Whitefish Montana, he had two kids, aged six and eight at the time, who were living a city life in San Francisco.

"I figured the golf would sell to the men, but I wanted to do something that the wife and kids would enjoy," he said.

So he started the "Outdoor Pursuits" programme, which allows members to hire local people to teach them things like paddle boarding or take them swimming with sharks. "I wanted to teach [my kids] things I never learned, [like] flyfishing, wakeboarding," he said. 

His kids also acted as "guinea pigs" for his next project in Hawaii, where he incorporated surfing and swimming.

"[We] turned it into a way of life, not only for me and my kids but for other families," he said.

Step-by-step, Discovery "exploded" and became 23 real estate projects.

Now, CEOs, presidents, and athletes are among those who own property, according to Meldman, who once called the resorts "frat houses for families."

To become a member of the Discovery resorts, people have to buy land on the property and build a home, which Meldman says "creates a trust and community where you know your neighbour."

The community is private and low-key, providing somewhere that successful people can go and "have everything taken care of in a casual way," from playing sports in the morning to eating and drinking in the afternoon and evening.

Back of Ridge House with view of surrounding landscape_Jeff Lipsky

The resorts are designed to "take the stress out of vacation planning."

Even the "comfort stations" are "styled like the inside of an editor's closet," according to Meldman.

Here's the outside of one at Silo Ridge Field Club, a private, gated, 800-acre resort 90 minutes from Manhattan which was the first to open on the east coast. 

Comfort Station_Discovery Land Company

Inside the comfort stations, Meldman says you'll find everything from frozen margaritas to ice cream sundaes and hot dogs.

Comfort Station interior and snacks display 2_Jeff Lipsky

There are also outdoor bars like this, as well as pools and a hot tub.

Outdoor bar with surrounding landscape views_Jeff Lipsky

Good food is a focus throughout at properties like Silo Ridge, which has a vegetable garden and an executive chef serving up five-star farm-to-table or dock-to-table cuisine "styled beautifully but still casual" — as well as kids' menus.

Chef Jonathan Wright preparing dish_Jeff Lipsky

Still, Meldman claims the resorts — and the golf clubs — are super casual.

"People now go to the Bahamas and even professional golfers play in bathing suits and no shirt," he said.

"A golf club can be very intimidating, but because I wasn't a golfer from a country snob background, I made it a little more casual."

Despite the fact the company claims to have some of the best golf courses in the world, there are "no rules — you don't have to wear a collared shirt, you can golf barefoot, it's fun.

"You're not sitting at a pool like you are at a Four Seasons with people snapping videos with their phones, you're comfortable being yourself." 

'George was always entertaining'

It was thanks to this friendly, chilled atmosphere that Meldman met Clooney and Gerber — and with them embarked on the Casamigos journey, now his side project.

"George has a pretty tight-knit group of guys, and every year they go on his birthday golf trip," Meldman said. "A long time ago, they started going to my projects, and I ended up hanging out with them and we all became friends."

"They built their houses in my project in El Dorado... Their houses were two beautiful homes next to eachother that they called Casamigos. George was always entertaining and had his friends around, and we a generous and gracious host, and we were drinking a lot of tequila, and decided to make our own."


"We didn't ever really make it to sell it, [we just thought] my projects and Rande's bars and [it being] what George drank would be enough to make it successful."

However, without even realising, the trio were bringing in about 1,000 bottles, and were told by their distiller that they needed to get licensed.

Once they did, the brand "immediately took off" due to word of mouth and started winning awards.

"There weren't roles that were drawn up, but Rande had a creative role and ran things," Meldman said. George, we just put a shirt on. [He thought] "if paparazzi is going to chase me I might as well sell my tequila."

Meanwhile, Meldman was the one with the connections. "For almost every major [restaurant or grocery] chain in the country, either the money behind it or the CEO was a member of one of my projects," he said.

"I don't use the membership for anything because it's a private club, but I was able to at least make a call and ask for favours. Everyone was really nice to us about it, we were able to get into a lot of places faster than we would if we didn't [have those connections.]"

See more:The $1 billion sale of George Clooney's tequila company just made him 2018's highest-paid actor — here's the story of how the brand was set up by accident

'We have money to do things we couldn't do before'

Now, he added: "We are wholly owned subsidiary of Diageo so nothing has really changed that much other than that we have a lot more money. They're trying to open up the rest of the world for us but we're still running the US.

"We have money to do things we couldn't do before... Since we sold to Diageo we doubled our sales."

Gerber also confirmed to Business Insider that the involvement of the trio has remained the same.

"Absolutely nothing has changed... It's business as usual," he said. "George, Mike, and I are passionate about Casamigos and everything we do."

Meldman added: "Casamigos is probably the fastest-growing spirit of all time, and we did it all in four years. It's successful because it's a good product. There are going to be a lot of people who are going to imitate it and try to do it, but it was a lot of work from all three of us — we underestimated the amount of work. If we knew how much effort and work it took I don't know if we actually would have done it.

"For me, it became part of my everyday life but it was a lot of work to get the brand out there, to get distribution."

There's some fun that comes along with being involved with Casamigos, though.

Meldman got to attend the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank, Casamigos' European Brand Manager, back in October.

See more:Jack Brooksbank says he's in charge of drinks for his royal wedding to Princess Eugenie — and there'll be plenty of George Clooney's tequila on offer

The company also continues to throw its annual star-studded Halloween parties each year.

'Successful people rewarding themselves for their success'

Mike Meldman holding a coconutHowever, Discovery, which claims to have consistently sold $1 billion in real estate a year, remains the main focus for Meldman, who now lives in Arizona, where the company's corporate HQ is based.

Discovery launched onto the east cost for the first time last year with its Silo Ridge property and also opened Dune Deck Beach Club in Westhampton, New York.

"We have a lot going on," Meldman said, adding that the company is launching a project called "Driftwood" in Austin, "Troubador" in Nashville, and "Barbuda Ocean Club" in Barbuda, which will start as a hurricane relief effort re-building schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.

Philanthropy has become a big part of the business, and Meldman founded the Discovery Land Foundation in 2007 to support the places and people (particularly children) around the resorts.

The charity claims to put "hundreds of millions a year into the community," contributing funds from Discovery and hosting events and tournaments and the resorts.

See more:Inside George Clooney and multimillionaire Rande Gerber's star-studded Halloween parties, hosted in both LA and Vegas

Now with three sons, aged five, 28, and 30, allowing successful people an opportunity to connect with their families is a clear focus for Meldman.

"The demographic is really just successful people rewarding themselves for their success, and also investing in their family," he said.

"One of the only regrets a lot of successful people have is not spending enough time with their families, and the clubs are places families want to go."

SEE ALSO: Inside George Clooney and multimillionaire Rande Gerber's star-studded Halloween parties, hosted in both LA and Vegas

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Tim Cook's estimated net worth is $625 million — here's how he makes and spends his money

We drove a $32,000 Subaru Forester and a $35,000 Mazda CX-5 to see which one is the better compact SUV. Here's the verdict


Subaru Forester 2019

  • The Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5 are two of the most the capable crossover SUVs in the US. 
  • The Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, and Nissan Rogue lead the sales chart, but the CX-5 and Forester remain two highly popular alternatives.
  • The 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,150, while the top-spec all-wheel-drive Grand Touring model starts at $30,945.
  • The base 2019 Subaru Forester starts at $24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795.
  • The Forester's good infotainment system, standard all-wheel-drive, and an impressive suite of standard safety tech won out over the CX-5's stylish design and strong driving dynamics.

Compact crossovers are the hottest thing going these days. According to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book, compact crossovers and SUVs account for roughly one in every five cars sold this year. 

The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue lead the way in sales and account for more than 35% of the segment. Over the first 11 months of 2018, the trio accounted for roughly one million cars sold just in the US. 

Not far behind is the second tier of contenders led by industry heavyweights likes the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5.

Read more: We drove a $40,000 Jeep Cherokee SUV to see if the American icon is still one of the best in the business — here's the verdict.

The second-generation Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year and has been popular with both critics and customers. In fact, CX-5 sales through November are up more than 20% over 2017.

Subaru is back with a new fifth-generation Forester for the 2019 model year. During its first full month on the market in October, the 2019 model pushed Forester sales up 19% over the previous year.

This year, Business Insider had the chance to experience a 2018 Mazda CX-5 in top-spec Grand Touring trim and a 2019 Subaru Forester in mid-grade Sport trim. 

Recently, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 beat out the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan in a comparison. But how will the Mazda stack up against the Subaru Forester? 

Let's take a closer look.

SEE ALSO: The glorious history of the Ford F-Series truck, America's best selling vehicle for 36 years

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

First up is the Mazda CX-5.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 comes in three flavors: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.

The base front-wheel-drive CX-5 Sport starts at $24,150, while the mid-grade Touring model starts at $26,215. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring starts at $29,645. All-wheel-drive is available on all three trim levels as a $1,300 option.

Our 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Tour AWD started at $30,945. With options and fees, our CX-5 carried an as-tested-price of $34,685.

For 2019, Mazda will add Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims levels to the top end of the CX-5 lineup. 

The CX-5 features Mazda's signature Kodo design language, which aims to deliver a timelessly elegant look while conveying the spirit of Japanese craftsmanship. The result is a CX-5 that is both striking and memorable without being over the top.

The rounded rear end is decidedly in contrast to the angular headlights and front grille.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

33 gifts anyone who just moved into a new apartment will appreciate not having to buy themselves


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.


The best part of moving in to your first apartment or home is getting to create a space that's all yours. Finding the perfect decor and picking out furniture is the exciting part, but after that comes all the expenses no recent grad or young professional wants to bare. A laundry hamper, pots and pans, bedding — these are just some of the distinctly un-fun, adult purchases they'll reluctantly need to make.

Though you might be tempted to buy them some new decor for the walls, we recommend getting them some combination of the necessities they wish they didn't have to spend their own money on, and the little luxuries that can make life infinitely better. Read on to see our picks for what they'll really want this holiday season.

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

SEE ALSO: 25 tactful gifts for your in-laws that'll make a great impression during the holidays

DON'T MISS: 34 cool stocking stuffers you can get on Amazon for under $20

A gift card to buy the best set of sheets they’ve ever slept on

Brooklinen Gift Card, from $50

Our senior editor calls Brooklinen's sheets one of the best purchases she's ever made, and many of us at Insider Picks feel the same way. They'll be able to choose from quite a few weaves/materials as well as a huge selection of fun prints and colors. A basic full set costs around $130, for reference.

A personalized trinket tray for all their odds and ends

McLaughlin Glazeware Initial Tray, available at Nordstrom, $39

Catch-all trays are the kind of gift that may seem underwhelming until they realize how useful they are. That was certainly the case when I was gifted one after college. Now I have a few of them around my apartment — one for keys and sunglasses by the door, one for my rings and jewelry by the bed, and another in the living room for lip balm, candle matches, and other small items. 

A robot vacuum that makes quick work of chores

Eufy RoboVac 11S, available on Amazon, $169

Vacuuming is one of the great time-sucks in life — literally. Give them back their Sunday afternoons with the gift of a robot vacuum that'll take the work out of cleaning the house. On a personal note, I can't recommend this one enough. You can read a more thorough review of it here.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

US companies forked over a record amount of tariffs in October ($6.2 billion!) because of Trump's trade war


donald trump

  • US companies are paying more than ever before in tariff duties: $6.2 billion in October.
  • The October tariff collections represented a 104% jump from October 2017.
  • The sudden spike came due to President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese goods.
  • US companies paid $2.2 billion more to import goods subject to Trump's tariffs in October.
  • The costs are causing major disruptions for American firms, including investment delays and layoffs.

The cost of President Donald Trump's trade war is starting to pile up.

Trump has cheered billions "pouring into the coffers of the USA," but new data shows companies' costs starting to reach new records:

  • In October, US companies paid $6.2 billion in tariffs, up from $4.4 billion in September and just $3.1 billion in October 2017.
  • That's a 104% year-over-year increase, despite just a 13% jump in the value of imports, according to data compiled by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a pro-free trade group, and research firm The Trade Partnership.

The total payments in October is the largest monthly tariff collection amount in history, according to the groups.

Read more:Trump is losing the trade war with China based on his favorite report card, and it's probably going to keep getting worse»

Tariff rates have been higher in the past, especially when duties were the primary source of government funds before the income tax was created in 1913. But inflation means the nominal value of the tariff collections today is much higher.

total tariffs paid by us companies chart

Trump's tariffs on steel, aluminum, and nearly $250 billion worth of Chinese goods are clearly having an effect, the data showed:

  • Tariff collections on steel hit $446 million in October, and aluminum tariffs collected $134 million, according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.
  • Since the steel and aluminum tariffs kicked off in May, US firms have paid $3.1 billion to import the metals.

October also marked the first month that Trump's 10% tariff on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect, adding onto 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods that were imposed back in July. The new round caused a marked jump in tariff collections on those goods.

  • Prior to the tariffs being imposed, companies paid $0.4 billion a month to import the same goods, which jumped to $2.6 billion in October.
  • That means Trump's tariffs cost US firms $2.2 billion in additional costs in October alone and $4 billion more since China tariffs were first imposed in July.
  • In sum, US companies paid $7.4 billion more in tariffs due to Trump's trade war since the first tariffs went into place in May, and the amount is steadily increasing.

tariffs paid on goods hit by trump's trade war chart

For his part, Trump has cheered the amount of money coming into the Treasury, tweeting about the collections as part of a trade tirade on Tuesday.

"We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN," he said.

Read more:We just got a new sign that the pain from Trump's trade war is getting worse, and it's spreading to even more businesses like restaurants»

But despite the president's proclamations, most economists warn that these costs are mostly being borne by American companies. In turn, a growing number of firms are reporting a delay in investments, slower pace of hiring, and even cost cuts like layoffs. If cost increases continue, US companies have warned, consumer prices could also start to rise.

If that were to happen or if Trump were to go through with threats to place tariffs on imported cars or more Chinese goods, the costs could eventually become a drag on US GDP growth. 

SEE ALSO: Trump's 'Tariff Man' tweet was an homage one of his favorite presidents who ran on a platform of tariffs

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions

22 work-appropriate yet thoughtful gifts for your boss — all under $50


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.

hydro flask $29.95

You spend the majority of your day with your coworkers, and if you like them enough, you might even plan on getting them a gift as a thank-you for all the good times in and out of the office. 

Another person you're probably thinking about gifting is your boss. Though not always easy to come by, a good boss makes a big difference for how you approach daily work activities and grow professionally. 

Since they're your manager, it's important that your gift maintains professionalism — but still gets the message across that you appreciate their hard work. 

These 22 affordable gifts for your boss do just that. 

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

SEE ALSO: 31 clever stocking stuffers they’ll actually use — all under $10

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

READ MORE: 55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

A fun desk toy

Speks Blocks, $24.95, available at Amazon

The makers of our favorite magnetic desk toy have a new way to reduce stress and keep your boss entertained. With these colorful magnetic blocks (which also come with a travel bag), they can take a mental break or use the opportunity to refocus their mind as they build creative sculptures. 

A gift card to a popular women's workwear shop

Gift Card, $50, available at MM.LaFleur

Popular women's workwear brand MM.LaFleur makes excellent pants and blazers that are definitely an investment, but worth the price. Its Bento Box contains these stylish and comfortable wardrobe staples to take the headache out of getting dressed in the morning. 

A set of cool memo books

Field Notes Coastal: East Special Edition Grid Memo Books, 3-Pack, $28.95, available at Amazon

These small books are the perfect size for jotting down quick notes and the coast lines on the cover are embossed in a pretty holographic foil. West Coast fans, Field Notes didn't leave you out

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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