Day: August 16, 2018

Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation

Family vacation costs can add up quickly, especially when the number of mouths to feed seem to grow with each big trip. Sooner than you realize, the cost of a big family trip can seem like a vacation experience straight from the movies. With that, you have to know how you can start planning a family vacation on a budget.

Whether your family is big or small, saving up for vacation and saving while on vacation can help bear the financial burden of your next big trip while maximizing fun for the whole family. Here are some tips you can use.

Saving Up For Vacation

saving up for vacation

Cashing In On Cash Back

A great way to save for your family’s next vacation is by squirreling away all that cash back earned on everyday purchases. If you don’t own a cash back card already, you may want to consider opening one. Your savings can only be accomplished if you pay off your balance before the close of each billing cycle though.

The best cash back cards to look for are those in which the cash back doesn’t expire, ones that have the highest cashback rates, and those that don’t limit cash back to certain categories.

Also, be on the lookout for special incentives, like bonuses if a certain amount is spent in a certain period of time. For example, Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is offering a $200 credit if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Let Your Work Travel Pay For Your Vacation Travel

If you find yourself traveling more and more for work and you’re booking much of the travel yourself, you might as well use a travel rewards card that allows you to rack up miles. Since vacation destinations for your family may require a different airline than what you use for your work destinations, a sure bet is to use a card that will give you universal rewards points redeemable for most airlines, such as Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture cards.

Many cards will give you double the points for a variety of travel-related purchases in addition to 1:1 points on regular purchases. Plus, if you don’t already have a travel rewards card, you can take advantage of bonus incentives by opening a new one.

Saving While On Vacation

saving while on vacation

Making The Choice

While you may not want to have one card for cash back, one for airline miles, one for hotels, and one for resorts; by choosing the best cards for your family, you’ll be giving yourself more opportunity to save up for vacation and continue the savings while on vacation. Take your time, look at your current cards, and decide which points or miles card is right for you.

Hotel Rewards Cards

Another option worth considering is a hotel rewards card, especially if you’ve grown a preference for one particular hotel brand chain accommodations and decor over others. If you’re already a loyal customer to Hilton brand hotels for example, then you may be able to rack up some free stays quickly with the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

You can earn 50,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $1,000 in the first three months, and 7x the points with every dollar spent at a Hilton brand accommodation. If you’re more of a Marriott kind of family, take a look at the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card. They’ll give you 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 of purchases within the first three months (which isn’t hard to do for a big family on vacation).

Resort Rewards

One of the most popular resort destinations for families is Disney. Whether it be Disney theme parks such as Disney World, Disneyland, or a Disney Cruise, if your family is seriously Disney, then you may want to consider opening a Disney Premier Visa Card.

Not only will you be able to receive extra savings at these attractions, you can earn rewards points to use at Disney movies and on any Disney merchandise.

International Travel

If you’re planning on taking off to see the world with family in tow, don’t forget to consider which rewards card you’ll be using. Some card companies actually charge a 3% fee for any international transaction. This includes any transaction outside of the U.S. even though you may be making the purchase from your living room couch.

The best rewards card companies, like Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture, will give you rewards for spending money on your international vacation. Consider them when planning a family vacation on a budget.

The post Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Crypto firm Pantera Capital is looking to raise up to $175 million for a new venture fund

Pantera Capital, which has made its mark in recent years by investing early and often in a wide variety of digital assets, is looking to raise up to $175 million for its third venture fund — an enormous jump from the $25 million it deployed for its second venture fund and its $13 million debut venture fund, which it closed in 2013.

Firm partner Paul Veradittakit says the target amount is a “function of how fast the space is moving, the talent coming in, the opportunities, and the sizing of rounds. With more interesting later-stage investments [on our radar], too, we want to be flexible and able to move with the market.”

Whether the firm closes with $175 million or another number is an open question. A newly processed SEC filing shows it has so far rounded up more than $71 million in capital commitments from 90 investors, an amount that Veradittakit calls a “first close.”

Certainly, Pantera is accustomed to managing meaningful sums of money. In addition to its venture funds, which are structured like most traditional venture funds — they feature a 10-year investing period, similar economics, and involve good old-fashioned checks to startups in exchange for some amount of equity — the firm is also juggling three other strategies.

As we reported last year, one of its newest funds is a hedge fund that’s focused exclusively on initial coin offerings. As firm founder Dan Morehead told us at the time, Pantera buys pre-sale ICOs, “basically getting a discount to the ICO price by getting in early, when it’s just a team and a white paper.” Meanwhile, Morehead had added, “We help provide the right connections, whether in terms of marketing or recruiting or business development.

The vehicle is evergreen, says Veradittakit, meaning it has an indefinite fund life that lets investors come and go.

The other two other funds that Pantera currently oversees are also structured like hedge funds. One is a Bitcoin fund that has attracted plenty of investors over the years, and returned a lot to them, too, according to the calculations of Morehead. In fact, he wrote two weeks ago that the fund, launched five years ago, has enjoyed a lifetime return of 10,136.15 percent net of fees and expenses.

The very last fund invests in cryptocurrencies that are already trading on exchanges — an approach that includes machine learning to algorithmically invest in crypotcurrencies, as well as allows for some discretionary input by Pantera’s top brass, which includes Morehead, Veradittakit, and Joey Krug, who joined Pantera last year after cofounding the market forecasting startup Augur. (It went on to orchestrate the first ICO on the ethereum network.)

Explains Veradittakit of this last pool, it’s for “if you are’t sure that Bitcoin will remain the dominant cryptocurrency, or you’re interested in other use cases that may arise, or you just want to build a diversified portfolio of assets that have asymmetrical returns as bitcoin, or maybe return even more because they feature lower valuations.”

In some ways, the venture efforts of Pantera —   which employs 38 people altogether in San Francisco and Menlo Park, Ca. —  may be its most challenging given the nature of VC. Investors in the asset class are typically willing to wait a handful of years for a firm to produce returns; in Pantera’s case, because it is betting exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech, digital currency, and crypto assets, some of those returns could potentially take even longer.

Veradittakit doesn’t sound concerned. Rattling off some of Pantera’s venture investments to date, including in BitStamp, Xapo, Ripple, and Circle, not to mention more recent investments in Chain, Abra, Veem Polychain, and Z Cash, he sounds more like a proud parent. Pantera has invested in “lots of wallets and exchanges focused around the world, in Coinbases of different geographies, in enterprise-related blockchain companies. More recently, we’ve funded everything from big data to decentralized application platforms.”

It’s still very early days, he acknowledges. But “in terms of returns, there will be companies that create something completely disruptive. There will be M&A [opportunities] more often and that [come together] more quickly than other companies.”

If everything goes as planned, Pantera will be there when they do, and it will have more resources to deploy than ever.

Disney won’t change its mind on James Gunn and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: report

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James Gunn will not be coming back to Guardians of the Galaxy.

As first reported by Variety, Disney and Marvel will not reinstate Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, despite significant pressure from stars of the film and the public.

The decision reportedly came following a meeting between Gunn and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. Sources told Variety the meeting was “civil and professional,” but Horn stood by his decision despite the push for Gunn to be given a second chance by him and his agency. Read more…

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