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7 ways to earn miles for your next vacation without leaving the house



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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed just about every facet of our daily lives, including how we eat, shop and travel. For many people, the extended quarantines and lockdown have also disrupted their normal points and miles-earning strategy, much of which had depended on travel or points earned from shopping in-person.

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Just because we aren’t traveling right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to pad your points and miles balances. There are several great ways to earn points from the comfort of your home, and learning a new strategy now will be helpful even when things return to normal. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to earn points and miles from home.

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Credit card sign-up bonuses

Opening a new credit card is still the fastest way to boost your points and miles balance, and thankfully you can do so from the comfort of your home! There are plenty of great offers to pick from, but if you need more inspiration, you can always check out TPG’s top cards page to see what deals are available.

When planning your applications now, you may want to stick to banks that you have an existing relationship with, as approval standards have gotten tighter during the pandemic. Despite having a near-perfect credit score, I was rejected for a Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card “for not having enough money in deposit and investment accounts” with Chase.

Issuers are taking several steps to limit their downside exposure while the economy is in a recession, so you may find it harder than usual to get approved for some cards. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re still able to spend enough to earn your welcome bonus now, especially if you’re staying home or have recently lost your job.

Related: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more

Online shopping portals

Whether you’re stocking up on household essentials or indulging in a little bit of retail therapy, there are countless ways to stack rewards when you shop online. Before making any purchase online, you should check to see if you can earn bonus miles or cash back by clicking through the right shopping portal.

You could pick the shopping portal affiliated with your favorite rewards program, or you could use an aggregator site like cashbackmonitor.com to tell you which portals are offering the highest payout.



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Many portals even offer a browser extension that will automatically pop up when you’re on a participating site, reminding you to click the button and activate your

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White House considers lifting European travel restrictions, Reuters reports

The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to lift travel restrictions.”

In a statement to Reuters, the group called the CDC guidance a step in the right direction, adding that they hoped it would be “followed by a recognition that testing can be used to safely reopen borders without

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White House considering lifting European travel restrictions, source says

The White House is strongly considering lifting sweeping restrictions on travel from the European Union and the United Kingdom, an administration official confirmed on Wednesday.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


© Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Discussions have been ongoing for several weeks now about lifting the restrictions, which ban entry to most foreigners who have been to Europe in the two weeks before their arrival in the US. Reuters first reported on the discussions.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

An administration official told CNN that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed some reservations about lifting the restrictions, but the agency is not expected to block the move.

The discussions come at a time when the US is experiencing its worst surge of coronavirus, and as many European countries also face higher levels of coronavirus cases.

President Donald Trump has yet to sign off on the move, but once he does, the restrictions are unlikely to be lifted until the US and European countries have established a protocol for safe travel.

Trump first banned most travel from the European Union and the UK in March amid an escalating pandemic. The EU soon followed suit, restricting most travel from the US and other countries.

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Exclusive: White House considers lifting European travel restrictions – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing protective face masks make a selfie inside at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, after the U.S. banned travel from Europe, as France grapples with the novel coronavirus, March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to

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Exclusive: White House Considers Lifting European Travel Restrictions – Sources | World News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to lift travel restrictions.”

In a statement to Reuters, the group called the CDC guidance a step in the right direction, adding that they hoped it would be “followed by a recognition that testing can be used to safely

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White House close to lifting Europe COVID-19 travel ban: Reuters

  • The White House is considering lifting the travel ban on non-US citizens coming from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported.
  • President Trump has not made up his mind yet, but the plan is supported by members of the White House coronavirus task force and other agencies, according to Reuters.
  • The US barred entry to travellers from Europe in March as the outbreak surged there, but the US outbreak has now spent months as the world’s worst-affected country.
  • Currently, non-US residents who have been in European nations or Brazil in the previous 14 days can’t enter the US, though some travellers are considered exceptions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is considering lifting its travel ban on inbound travel to the US from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported early Wednesday.

It comes as the US’s coronavirus outbreak continues to be the worst in the world.

Reuters cited five US and airline officials saying that an end to the ban was close.

It reported that the plan is supported by members of the White House’s coronavirus task force and other federal agencies.

But it said that President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether he supports it. There is currently no date for when an easing may take place.

The US banned travellers from Europe in March in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and added Brazil in May.

But the US outbreak has spiralled since, and the US has now spent months as the country with the highest number of virus cases and deaths in the world.

Not long after the US put its ban in place, much of Europe likewise banned entry from the US.

More than 12.5 million people in the US have now been infected by the coronavirus, and more than 259,000 people have died from it. The US is currently in the middle of a third surge, with its cases at an all-time high.

Europe’s cases rose rapidly in the last few months after the virus was brought under control over the summer. But the continent’s cases have started falling after countries implemented lockdowns and new restrictions.

Here’s how the US’s outbreak looks:

Worldometer

The US’s new daily coronavirus cases as of November 24.

Worldometer


 

And here’s the outbreak across Europe, where cases have started falling again:

Europe infections

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EU/EEA and the UK, as of November 25.

ECDC


The lower infection rate in Europe may prompt Trump to decide against lifting the ban, Reuters reported.

Currently, non-US residents who have been in the European countries or Brazil over the last 14 days can’t enter, though there are some travellers that are considered exceptions.

Reuters reported that many officials say the ban on Europe and Brazil doesn’t make sense because travellers from other countries with similarly severe outbreaks are not banned from coming to the US.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment to

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Michigan GOP legislators appear at Trump Hotel after White House meeting

Michigan’s top GOP legislators made an appearance at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday after attending a meeting at the White House with President Trump that sparked widespread scrutiny.



a large clock mounted to the side of Union Station: Michigan GOP legislators appear at Trump Hotel after White House meeting


© Trump International Hotel D.C.
Michigan GOP legislators appear at Trump Hotel after White House meeting

Photos obtained by the Detroit Free Press show Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R) and other state GOP members gathered inside the hotel on Friday.

CNN reported that Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) both stayed Friday night at the hotel, which is located just blocks from the White House, following their meeting with Trump earlier in the day.

Images of the GOP legislators were also projected on the outside of the hotel building Friday night, along with the messages “The world is watching” and “voters decided.” It wasn’t clear who was behind the images, according to The New York Times.

Trump invited the legislators to visit the White House amid a broad effort by the president and his legal team to challenge Michigan’s election results. Biden leads Trump by about 154,000 votes in Michigan.

After the meeting, Shirley and Chatfield said in a statement that they had not been “made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan” and said “as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.”

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and stepped on the pair’s message, claiming without offering evidence that “massive voter fraud will be shown.” Both of his tweets were labeled as “disputed.”

The state lawmakers said they were joined by their colleagues at the White House and delivered a letter to Trump laying out their support for congressional aid to assist the state amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the meeting was thrust into the spotlight due to Michigan’s presidential election results

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Architectural styles for design-savvy travelers: Tiny house to floating house vacation rentals

Part of the allure of getting away is to experience a different environment and that includes the architecture of the place you’re staying. It may not be possible to live full-time in a tiny house the size of a bedspread or a floating house on the river, but it’s fun to spend a few days there.

Here’s the fourth in a series of travel stories spotlighting the architecture of vacation stays.

Portland-based Vacasa compiled a list of the most famous architectural styles and matched each to one of the 25,000 vacation rental properties it manages across the U.S.

We also looked at Airbnb, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Hotels.com and other online travel agencies to see what’s being offered.

Before you start a trip after the two-week freeze has been lifted, check govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19 for the most current travel recommendations and best practices to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Also read 10 things to consider before going back outside during the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon.

For all of Oregon, face coverings are required for everyone five and older in indoor public spaces and outdoors anywhere physical distancing isn’t possible.

Each vacation rental should state its contactless, safety and disinfecting protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

>Work from someone else’s Oregon home: Book an office getaway

>Rent an Oregon RV: Escape to nature with a roomy RV, sleek Airstream or colorful camper van

For more vacation homes in different architectural styles, check back on Fridays for places to stay that represent A-frame, Art Deco, Adobe, Cape Cod, Craftsman, Contemporary, Dome, Farmhouse, Log cabin, Lighthouse, Modern, Ranch, Treehouse, Tudor, Victorian and other styles.

The fancy floating homes we see today sprang from humble fishing shacks, anchored to river banks or plopped on tethered logs. Now, storied abodes, resting on highly engineered concrete platforms, rise to the sky.

The original shacks used by fishermen and independent thinkers were heated with an oil burner or a wood stove. They had tar-paper roofs, basic lapboard siding and wood floorboards, and no insulation.

Over time, with the introduction of moorages, dock systems and yacht clubs, houseboats evolved into floating homes, and that meant licenses, leases and personal property taxes. The modest getaways became luxury waterfront houses with spacious decks.

Don’t call a floating house, anchored to a semi-permanent location on the water, a “houseboat” unless it truly is a live-aboard vessel that has its own motor and is free to travel the waterways.

Houseboat

Tomahawk Island cozy houseboat in Portland is available on Airbnb.Airbnb

Tomahawk Island cozy houseboat in Portland: This floating tiny home, described by the owner as “a little slice of paradise,” is docked at the Tomahawk Island Marina on Hayden Island.

The simple studio has an upgraded kitchenette and the basic bathroom has a shower and toilet. The outdoor deck space overlooks the Columbia River.

Details

  • Accommodates two guests
  • Studio
  • One bathroom
  • Around $81 a night on average, depending on travel dates

A wide range of dwellings can be called a tiny house.

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Mint House takes over 70 Pine hotel in NYC, plans design changes for pandemic era

“We are offering as many services as we can for guests who don’t want to leave their suite,” said Alex Herrity, chief product officer for Mint House.

 

The company is also promoting its cleaning procedures, which were designed with help from Ron Klain, the Ebola czar for President Barack Obama and newly-named chief of staff for President-elect Joseph Biden. Klain is vice president at venture capital firm Revolution, one of Mint House’s investors. 

 

Travel shakeup

 

The U.S. Travel Association projects spending on business travel will drop 55% this year, and still be at least 10% below 2019 levels by the year 2024. Amid that shakeup, analysts expect hotels to increasingly adopt technology to limit interaction between workers and guests. Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham have all pledged in recent months to expand contactless check-in and entry options. 

 

“These types of technologies have gone from a convenience to a necessity,” said Emily Weiss, leader of the global travel industry practice for the consulting firm Accenture. 

 

Hotels are also turning their attention away from providing lobbies, gyms and other social gathering places. 

 

“Hotels are facing a new trend I am calling hyper-solo, where business travelers want to be alone or with only their colleague or group,” said Chekitan Dev, a professor in the hospitality school at Cornell University.  

 

Those changes could sound alarms for workers in the industry, which has already faced mass layoffs in recent months. Automation could accelerate the long-term loss of those jobs, though Weiss said new opportunities could open through providing services to guests outside of traditional check-ins. 

 

70 Pine

 

Mint House will employ 12 people to watch over the 70 Pine hotel’s 132 suites. The suites range from 500 and 1,200 square feet, on three floors of the 67-story tower, which otherwise houses apartments but was once the headquarters for Citgo and then AIG.

 

Mint House did not disclose the terms of its deal to take over the hotel’s management. Lyric, the previous operator, is shifting its focus to hospitality software.

 

Mint House was founded in 2017 and has raised about $15 million from investors. The firm manages about 500 hotel rooms in Denver, Nashville, Miami and Minneapolis and hopes to grow to as many as 2,000 rooms by the end of 2021, including with more New York locations. 

 

The company has been advertising in recent months to traveling nurses and government workers, as well as white-collar employees seeking a workspace away from home. After hotel occupancy plummeted in March and early April, levels recovered to about 80% over the summer and have hovered there since, Herrity said.

 

While Zoom will likely eliminate some types of business travel, Mint House is betting remote work will create demand for hotels to host far-flung workers for visits to the office.  

 

That type of traveler will stay longer, “want more space and would rather use DoorDash than hotel room service,” Herrity said. “We think we are getting ahead of that trend.” 

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Historic Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa falls into hand of liquidators

Historic Aberdeen hotel to close with loss of 68 jobs

The Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa in Blairs – three miles outside of Aberdeen city – is being placed into creditors voluntary liquidation after being hit by the oil industry downturn and restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 19th century Scottish baronial style mansion, set in 18 acres of parkland, suffered from the downturn in the local economy due to the collapse of the oil price and its knock-on effect on related businesses. A statement said the onset of the coronavirus lockdown earlier in the year added to cash flow pressures and the business proved unable to recover its normal levels of trading.

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Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire aren currently under level 2 restrictions set out by the Scottish Government.

Ardoe House Hotel has plunged into liquidation
Ardoe House Hotel has plunged into liquidation

The business, which had 120 rooms as well as restaurants, bars and a spa, employed a total of 68 staff. All have been made redundant.

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Read more: Old Course Hotel in St Andrews to close from today

Ken Pattullo, spokesman for business advisory firm Begbies Traynor, said: “Unfortunately, the hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic with the forced closure last spring having devastating consequences for the Ardoe House Hotel. With Aberdeen currently in Level 2 and coronavirus restrictions continuing, the directors felt the hotel was no longer viable and had no choice but to put the business into liquidation.

“In the face of ongoing uncertainty due to the health measures implemented to help combat the global pandemic, there was no way of saving the business and the jobs it supported; it is sad to see the closure of such a popular hotel.”

A Scotsman travel review of the hotel praised its “warm hospitality” and “spacious, restful and extremely comfortable” rooms. The hotel was built in 1878 for eminent surgeon Alexander Ogston and his family and incorporated many design features inspired by nearby Balmoral Castle. It was converted into an hotel in 1947.

Other luxury Scottish hotels have recently closed their doors, citing increased coronavirus restrictions.

The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews shut this week, while the Gleneagles Resort closed last week, with plans to remain shuttered until the end of January.

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