Coronavirus Travel Restrictions, Airline & Hotel Cancellation Policies

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global travel industry, upending millions of travelers’ lives, and threatening countless livelihoods in the process.

It’s likely the pandemic will affect many travelers, either directly or indirectly. Because this is a fluid situation that changes by the day, bookmark this list to refer to frequently so you can get new information as it becomes available. The list includes:

  • A running tally of countries and regions with coronavirus travel restrictions
  • Guidelines for determining when to cancel planned travel and how to get a refund or credit if you do
  • A list of cancellation and change policies for major airlines, hotels, and cruise operators.

Countries & Regions With Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

Due to the fast-moving nature of this situation, this summary does not necessarily reflect all current restrictions. Before booking international travel, refer to your destination countries’ English-language government websites for up-to-the-minute details and check the U.S. Department of State’s list of country-specific travel advisories.

Entry Restrictions for U.S. Travelers

Many countries remain closed to U.S. citizens and nationals who don’t meet certain narrow exceptions, such as holding dual citizenship, having close family members in-country, or traveling on qualifying “essential business.”

The good news is that most countries and territories that continue to permit entry to U.S. travelers lie on this side of the Atlantic, within a few hours of the mainland United States by air. They include Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and most Caribbean island nations and territories, though some Caribbean nations impose arrival restrictions that can impede free movement. Farther-flung countries that remain totally open to U.S. travelers include Turkey, Maldives, and several Balkans nations.

The United Kingdom and Cambodia, among a few other popular tourist destinations, allow U.S. citizens to enter but generally require some combination of quarantine upon arrival, confirmed negative COVID-19 test result, ongoing health monitoring and check-ins for up to 14 days after arrival, and a sometimes hefty financial deposit to ensure compliance.

CNN has an up-to-date list of countries that allow Americans to enter and what restrictions or entry requirements, if any, American travelers face. The U.S. Department of State (State Department) maintains a more comprehensive and technical list of country-specific restrictions and requirements.

Because the situation remains fluid, neither this list nor CNN’s or the State Department’s should not be considered comprehensive. Refer to both before booking and commencing international travel but also check with local immigration authorities to determine whether you’ll even be permitted to complete your journey or required to quarantine on arrival for it renders travel impractical.

U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories

The State Department is closely watching the COVID-19 situations in other countries with an eye to keeping U.S. national travelers and expats safe abroad. Four travel advisory levels denote the relative danger of travel to each country and subcountry region:

  • Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. These are low-risk countries.
  • Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. These areas often present an elevated risk of property crime or exposure to novel illnesses not common in the U.S.
  • Level 3: Reconsider Travel. Travel to these areas is unusually risky due to political instability, widespread violence, disease outbreaks, and other dangerous conditions.
  • Level 4: Do Not Travel. The State Department does not advise travel to these areas, and U.S. persons already in Level-4 areas should leave as soon as possible. The State Department has little or no effective presence in some Level-4 countries.

On March 31, 2020, the State Department issued a global Level-4 travel advisory for the entire world outside the United States, effectively discouraging any international travel for the foreseeable future.

The State Department’s global advisory expired in early August 2020, but certain countries remain at Level-4 due to severe coronavirus outbreaks or other potential health risks. Again, because many international jurisdictions effectively prohibit entry by Americans and others require lengthy quarantines upon arrival, planning nonessential international travel remains difficult at best.

Depending on your home base, you might have trouble completing internal U.S. travel plans as well. Some states have (or had and may reimpose) strict quarantine-on-arrival or pre-arrival testing requirements. For example, New York State requires travelers from noncontiguous states and countries where COVID-19 is widespread to quarantine for up to 10 days, promptly take a COVID-19 test, or both upon arrival.

Check with your destination state’s tourism and health authorities for up-to-date information before making nonrefundable bookings.


Cancellation & Change Policies for Major Airlines & Hospitality Companies

This running list of coronavirus cancellation and change policies includes major airlines and hospitality companies, many of which are waiving change fees and dispensing credit for rebookings many months into the future. Refer to each company’s website for more details and cancellation or rebooking information specific to your destination.

Airline Cancellation Policies

All major U.S. airlines and budget carriers have coronavirus-related cancellation and change policies. Unless otherwise noted, rebooked flyers must pay the fare difference between the original and new fares, if any. If you’re flying with a smaller carrier, check their website for details.

Also, be aware of any airline-imposed hygiene requirements, as most major airlines now require passengers to wear masks or face coverings on flights and in boarding areas.

American Airlines

American Airlines’ policy waives change fees for passengers booked before Sept. 8, 2020, for travel between March 10, 2020, and March 31, 2021, to rebook and complete travel by Dec. 31, 2021. The policy applies to all airports served by American and allows changes to destination and connecting cities.

Separately, American Airlines now waives change and standby fees for all domestic and short-haul international flights (primarily within North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) booked after Oct. 1, 2020. This policy applies to paid and award fares in all fare classes.

United Airlines

United Airlines’ policy waived change fees for all international passengers booked before March 2, 2020, for travel between March 9 and Dec. 31, 2020. The rebooked itinerary must begin within 24 months of the original ticket date. This policy applies to all airports served by United.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, change fees may still apply to international itineraries originating and terminating in non-U.S. territories.

For domestic U.S. passengers traveling from a U.S. airport (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to any domestic or international destination, United no longer charges change fees on most new economy and premium cabin bookings. Per United, this change complements several other passenger-friendly updates to the airline’s ticketing policy. However, the policy may not apply to Basic Economy fares.

Separately, all electronic travel certificates issued for flight cancellations are now valid for 24 months from the booking date. United has not specified an end date for this policy. United also waives change fees on all new bookings for 12 months from the booking date, though this waiver will likely end at some point.

Delta Airlines

Delta has permanently eliminated change fees and award redeposit fees for most fare classes on flights from North America to anywhere in the world. This policy may not apply to Basic Economy fares.

Delta also waives change fees for all other flights booked after March 1, 2020, for travel through March 31, 2021. Affected travelers have at least until Dec. 30, 2022, to complete travel.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines’ policy waives change fees for all flights to and from all airports booked on or before Feb. 26, 2020, for travel through Dec. 31, 2020. The airline also waives change fees for all flights booked from Feb. 27, 2020, to March 31, 2021, for travel through February 28, 2022.

In both cases, rebooked travel must commence one year from the original travel dates.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest never charges change fees for rebooked travel. Under normal circumstances, travelers who cancel flights at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure receive credit equal to the fare for rebooked travel within a year of the original reservation date.

However, Southwest has made two important but temporary exceptions to this policy:

  • Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, any accumulated fare credits expire on Sept. 7, 2022.
  • Through Dec. 15, 2020, Southwest Rapid Rewards members can request to convert fare credits set to expire on Sept. 7, 2022, into Rapid Rewards points, which never expire.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue has permanently eliminated change fees on most fares, beginning on April 1, 2021. Changes to Blue Basic fares may still incur change fees as high as $100 per ticket, however.

JetBlue’s existing temporary change fee waiver continues to apply on all flights booked through March 31, 2021, for travel at any time. Rebooked travel may commence at any time (provided JetBlue has scheduled flights far enough out). Canceled flights produce a travel credit good for 24 months from the original travel date equal to the original fare.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit allows passengers who change their travel plans due to coronavirus to make one free fare modification (to change the destination city or travel dates, for instance) for travel at any point in the future.

Passengers who choose to cancel rather than change their flights receive travel credit equal to the original fare for use within six months of the original travel date or a full refund of the fare.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines’ policy waives change fees for any booking, provided the change is made at least 60 days before the first date of travel. Later itinerary changes cost up to $119 per change.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines offers fee-free changes for all flights to all markets. The waiver applies to all flight dates. Tickets purchased through Dec. 31, 2020, for travel at any time, are valid for two years from the ticket purchase date. Tickets purchased through March 31, 2021, are valid for one year from the ticket purchase date.

Check with Hawaiian health and travel authorities before booking or commencing travel, as Hawaii has had stricter arrival restrictions than most other states.

Hotel & Resort Cancellation Policies

These major hospitality operators have coronavirus-related cancellation and change policies. If you’re staying at an independent property or with a smaller chain, refer to the operator’s website for more details.

Hilton

Hilton no longer has a coronavirus cancellation or change policy in place. However, the chain has made some important modifications to its loyalty program:

  • Extended 2020 Hilton Honors members’ status through March 31, 2022
  • Extended expiration on all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards issued until Aug. 30, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021
  • Paused Hilton Honors point expiration through Dec. 31, 2021
  • Rolled over all status-eligible nights earned on stays through Dec. 31, 2020, into the 2021 calendar year, keeping them eligible for 2021-2023 tier status

Marriott

Marriott waived cancellation fees for all bookings worldwide (refundable and nonrefundable) through June 30, 2020. This policy was not extended past June 30, 2020, and it’s unclear whether it continues to apply on a case-by-case basis. Check with your destination hotel or Marriott’s customer service hotline for more information.

Separately, Marriott has extended 2019 elite status awards through February 1, 2022, for all Bonvoy loyalty program members, according to an October 2020 release from the company. In February 2021, Bonvoy members who earned elite status in 2020 were eligible for a one-time bonus equal to 50% of their 2020 tier’s annual Elite Night Credit requirement.

Hyatt

Hyatt is waiving change or cancellation fees for all bookings worldwide (refundable and nonrefundable) through July 31, 2021. Limited exceptions apply for certain Hyatt brands, including MGM Resorts.

Additionally, Hyatt is suspending loyalty point forfeiture through at least June 30, 2021. In other words, you won’t lose loyalty points or status due to canceled or deferred travel or because you simply didn’t travel as often as usual during the pandemic, as would normally be the case.

Other loyalty program changes include extending program members’ status tiers as of March 31, 2020, through Feb. 28, 2022, without requiring any additional stays or other qualifying activities.

InterContinental Hotels Group

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has relaxed its reservation change and cancellation policies indefinitely. IHG also instituted a new rate class (“Book Now, Pay Later”) that allows guests to change or cancel reservations up to 24 hours before arrival, with limited exceptions.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels offered fee-free cancellations to travelers booked worldwide (refundable and nonrefundable) until Sept. 30, 2020, after which local market policies resumed.

Additionally, Choice Hotels has paused points expiration for Choice Privileges members through at least Dec. 31, 2020. Further loyalty program changes may be on the horizon as well.

Airbnb

Airbnb is broadening its extenuating circumstances policy, which provides compensation when guests need to cancel for extraordinary reasons, to all markets it serves through Oct. 31, 2020. Qualifying bookings must have been made prior to March 14, 2020.

Bookings made after March 14, 2020, are subject to the host’s normal cancellation policy unless the guest or host is sick with COVID-19 on the scheduled check-in date.

Vrbo

Vrbo doesn’t have a global coronavirus cancellation policy, other than a promise to refund its Traveler Service Fee on successful cancellations. The platform encourages guests and hosts to heed travel and health warnings from the World Health Organization and work together to reach a solution when guests must cancel. Vrbo always encourages guests to purchase travel insurance.


When & How to Cancel Planned Travel for a Refund or Credit

Use these guidelines to determine whether to cancel planned travel to affected areas and how to get your money back (or credit toward future travel) if you do.

If you’re still not sure whether the pandemic impacts current travel plans or if you’re not sure you’re eligible to cancel for a credit or refund, check with your carriers, hotels, or tour operators.

When to Cancel Planned Travel Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Seriously consider canceling planned travel due to the coronavirus pandemic if you’re a member of a high-risk group, taking high-risk travel methods, or traveling to a high-risk region. Other considerations also apply.

  • You’re Planning International Travel. As the State Department’s global Level 4 warning suggests, international travel is extremely high risk and vulnerable to disruption in a pandemic environment, even when the destinations involved don’t appear to be hotspots. Moreover, the risk works both ways. Even if you’re healthy and relatively unlikely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, you could become a carrier and spread the disease to higher-risk people. Remember, due to the high incidence of COVID-19 in much of the U.S., many international markets require U.S. travelers to quarantine on arrival or prohibit them entirely.
  • You’re a Member of a High-Risk Group Who Has Not Yet Received a COVID-19 Vaccine. That includes people over age 60 and those with underlying health conditions, such as immune system disorders, diabetes, and hypertension. The risk of serious or fatal complications of COVID-19 is much higher for these groups.
  • Your Trip Includes a Cruise. If you’re booked on a cruise anytime soon, you should closely monitor developments and seriously consider rebooking at a much later date, especially if you’re a member of a high-risk group. Communicable diseases spread quickly on cruise ships and many cruise lines have yet to resume normal operations.
  • You Can Get a Refund for Any Reason. If you’re not going to be out money for canceling your planned trip, the calculus is a lot more straightforward. You can cancel altogether or rebook for a later date.
  • You Have “Cancel for Any Reason” Travel Insurance Coverage. Standard travel insurance policies don’t cover cancellations due to concerns about becoming sick. They only apply if you’re actually ill. More generous policies with “cancel for any reason” riders are a bit more expensive but allow you to cancel without penalty no matter what. If you were fortunate enough to purchase such a rider, now is the time to use it.
  • Your Destination or Transit Countries Are Considering Travel Restrictions. You don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country due to sudden travel restrictions. Check reputable local news sources in your destination and refer to English-language government websites for signs of pending restrictions.
  • Your Trip Is Not Essential. Canceling a trip abroad to visit an elderly relative you haven’t seen in years is much more difficult than canceling a destination bachelor party that’s easy to reschedule for after the wedding.

How to Cancel Planned Travel for a Refund or Credit

To get a refund or credit toward future travel if you need to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic, you must likely rebook your flight, hotel, or tour within a period designated by its operator. Other steps could be necessary as well, including:

  • Checking the Operator’s Coronavirus Rebooking Policies. Check the list of cancellation and change policies in the preceding section and contact each operator for information specific to your booking or destination. When operators allow fee-free changes and rebookings, you could end up paying nothing out of pocket to reschedule.
  • Determining Whether You Can Cancel Without Penalty. If you prefer to cancel without rebooking, read each pertinent travel company’s cancellation policy. Unless you purchased a nonrefundable booking to get a lower rate, there’s a good chance your hotel or resort will allow you to cancel without penalty up to a week before your arrival (and sometimes even closer). If you’ve booked a short-term homestay through Airbnb or another rental platform, your host’s cancellation policy usually determines how much of your booking you can recoup, with options ranging from a full refund to total forfeiture. However, Airbnb has broadened its extenuating circumstances policy, which makes exceptions to host cancellation policies in times of crisis, for the countries hardest hit by the pandemic. Most airline bookings are nonrefundable after 24 hours, though you can pay more for a refundable fare if you’ve yet to book. Without a protection policy, which adds to the cost of the voyage, cruise fares generally aren’t refundable — but many cruise lines are making exceptions during the pandemic.
  • Buying Travel Insurance. If you booked less than three weeks ago, you could still be eligible to purchase “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance that’s valid for your trip. Policies vary by insurance carrier, but it’s worth a shot. You’ll be out the one-time insurance premium but not the full cost of your nonrefundable travel.
  • Calling Customer Service to Ask for a Refund. Expect to sit on hold for longer than usual, but the effort could be worth it. Even if your booking is nonrefundable, extenuating circumstances could curry favor with the rep you speak with (or their manager). For instance, if you’re flying with an elderly relative at high risk for COVID-19 complications, your decision to travel could literally have life-or-death implications.
  • Rebooking Within the Allotted Time Frame. If you can’t cancel your reservation for a cash refund, learn how long your rebooking credit remains in effect. Most airlines allow fee-free rebookings (less the difference in fare, if any) due to COVID-19 well into 2021, and a growing number of airlines now entirely waive change fees on most or all fares.

Final Word

The coronavirus pandemic is the most serious public health challenge caused by a communicable respiratory disease in living memory. Although the final toll is not yet known, this ordeal could well come to rival or exceed the Spanish flu crisis of 1918 to 1919 — the benchmark by which we judge all other modern pandemics — in its toll.

Until everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one, we all need to do our part to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. If that means canceling the international vacation you’ve been looking forward to for years, so be it.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Some White Borrowers May Get Refunds in a Racial Discrimination Settlement. Here’s Why.

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How are Auto Insurance Rates Determined?

  • Car Insurance

Auto insurance rates, like all insurance rates, are carefully considered calculations based on statistical probabilities and strict underwriting techniques. Insurers don’t throw random numbers at you in the hope that something sticks and, contrary to what you might think, they don’t charge as much as they think they can get away with.

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In this guide, we’ll look at all the things that go into setting your car insurance premiums, from the ones you’d expect to the ones you definitely wouldn’t.

This is how auto insurance rates are determined.

Age

Your age is one of the biggest factors in determining your auto insurance rates. Car insurance companies have a wealth of data concerning the ages you are most likely and least likely to be involved in an accident.

A 16-year-old driver is three to four times more likely to crash than a driver in their early 20s. That’s a difference of just four years, but in the eyes of the insurer, it’s the difference between a high-risk driver and a moderate-risk driver.

In fact, the risk is so disproportionately great for 16- and 17-year olds that they are nearly twice as likely to be involved in an accident than 18- and 19-year olds. They are also more likely to get speeding tickets and receive violations for racing and reckless driving.

We’ve all been there. If you weren’t that reckless kid who wanted to put the pedal to the metal and impress your friends, you knew someone who was. Thankfully, most drivers mature very quickly, the risk plummets, and insurers are able to reward them with lower rates.

Gender

Young men are more dangerous than young women behind the wheel. One of the highest risk demographics is a 16-year old male driver. By virtue of their age and their gender alone, their insurance quotes will likely be higher than at any other point in their life, even if they later make a claim for an at-fault accident or get convicted of a DUI.

It seems unfair, especially if you consider yourself to be a responsible, careful, young male driver, but insurers aren’t interested in promises. They focus purely on the statistics and for teenage boys, those statistics don’t look good.

Young female drivers are still considered to be a greater risk than older females, but they can expect to pay less than males on average.

There are a few caveats here that need to be addressed.

Firstly, while young men are charged more than young women, the same can’t be said for older drivers. In older drivers, the accident rate is higher in women than it is in men and some insurance quotes will reflect this.

Secondly, a handful of states have outlawed the practice of discriminating based on gender. These states include Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Montana, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Homeowner and Marital Status

Married drivers are safer than single drivers. It seems like a strange statement to make as there is no direct and obvious reason, and what’s even stranger is that the difference is considerable.

In one study, researchers found that single drivers were twice as likely to be involved in a car accident when all other parameters were accounted for. In other words, a 25-year-old driver with a clean driving history is twice as likely to crash than a 25-year old married driver with the same driving history.

You could pay as much as 15% less on your auto insurance premiums just because you tied the knot!

While there is no obvious reasoning behind this, it seems plausible to suggest that married drivers are safer because they have more responsibility and more to lose. Getting married also requires making a very big commitment, and such commitments are more likely to be made by people who are responsible and grounded.

Of course, that’s not to say that you’re irresponsible if you’re not married or that you’re responsible if you are. We’re talking about averages.

By the same token, homeowners can secure lower premiums than renters. Not only are they deemed a lower risk, but they are also a better prospect to the insurer, as they have more money, are more financially responsible, and can purchase a homeowners insurance policy along with their car insurance policy.

In this sense, a homeowner can save money in two ways, making homeowner status one of the biggest determining factors in acquiring cheap car insurance.

Location

Car insurance quotes differ considerably from state to state. Drivers in rural areas may pay less than those in built-up areas, but that’s not always the case.

Underwriters will look at the level of car crime (theft, vandalism) and car accidents in your area, before using this information to set your rates. Weather and animal collisions will also be considered.

Credit History

Credit scores are checked in most states and higher premiums are charged to drivers with bad credit and no credit as there is a higher chance (statistically speaking) they will make an insurance claim.

Your credit score is an essential component of your financial life, something you need to nurture carefully and check at least once a year. 

35% of your credit score is based on your payment history, and there is no quick and easy way to improve it. The same applies to the smaller parts of your score that are based on account age. The only way to improve these aspects of your score is to keep making payments, avoid too many applications and new accounts, and prioritize all debt payments.

30% of your score is based on your credit utilization ratio and this can be changed following a few simple improvements. Credit utilization looks at your total available credit (credit limits) and your total used credit (debt). By increasing your limits and paying off as much debt as possible, you can improve this aspect of your score.

Claims History

Insurance companies will check your claims history before setting your premiums and may charge you more if you have any at-fault claims in your recent history.

It’s a different story if you have comprehensive claims and accidents that weren’t your fault, but generally, the more you cost your current insurers and previous insurers, the higher your premiums will be.

Driving Record

Your driving history is one of the biggest things affecting your car insurance rates. The more moving violations you have on your record, the more likely you are to be hit with high rates.

Even a speeding ticket can increase your rates by between 15% and 30%, while DUI/DWI convictions and reckless driving/racing charges could bump your costs by as much as 70%.

Type of Vehicle

One of the biggest mistakes that young drivers make is to purchase a flash, fast car that looks great but is far from practical. No 16-year-old boy dreams of buying a used Honda; they want sports cars, luxury cars, something they can show off to their friends.

Underwriters look at the likelihood of the vehicle being stolen (based on national and local statistics) and account for anti-theft devices, safety features, and the cost of repairs. The fewer features it has and the harder it is to find affordable and suitable parts, the higher your auto insurance quotes will be.

Instead, look for a vehicle that is a few years old but has a high safety rating, lots of safety features (front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes) and is not targeted by thieves. The difference between some luxury German cars compared to cheaper Honda and Toyota cars can be over 200%.

Mileage

How much you drive isn’t as important as you would expect. The difference between a driver who does 5,000 miles a year and one who does 15,000 is often just a couple of percent. It doesn’t make much sense at first, because surely the driver who does 15,000 miles is three times as likely to be involved in an accident as one who does 5,000.

But, as always, it comes down to statistics. 

Statistically speaking, the more miles you do, the more experienced you are, and this experience pays off. People who limit their driving to just a few thousand miles may do so because they don’t like driving in the dark or refuse to drive too far from their homes or on busy roads. They may not be confident behind the wheel.

Of course, that only applies to a small percentage of them, but that’s enough to skew the statistics and to balance things out. 

Lower mileage drivers will still be quoted less, but because of these factors, the difference won’t be as impressive as you might have thought.

Driving habits are just as important, with the underwriters looking at where you do those miles, how busy the roads are, what time you drive, and how common car accidents are in that area.

Bottom Line: You Won’t Always Pay More

In all of the above cases, we looked at risk and how it can impact car insurance rates. However, you won’t always receive higher insurance rates based on some of the factors we discussed. You will certainly be deemed a higher risk, but many states don’t allow insurers to discriminate in some of these areas.

As noted above, in some states, California included, it is illegal for insurance companies to charge higher rates based on gender. Make sure you check with your local authorities and insurance providers to better understand what is and isn’t considered when determining your auto insurance rates.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Make it Stop! How to Stop Junk Credit Card Offers

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Does anyone else receive a new credit card offer in the mail on a daily basis? The safe answer here is yes, we all do, and we are all sick of it. Luckily, there are ways to put this to an end. Whether your mailbox, voicemail box, or email is overflowing with pre-screened credit card offers, there are ways to stop it, and we’ve got you covered. While there are ways to opt out of these offers, it is important to note that they aren’t full proof. You may still get an offer here and there, and if that’s the case, requests to individual credit card companies may be the solution. Either way, any relief is some relief, and eliminating as much junk mail/email as possible is a huge de-stress for everyone.

How to Opt-Out of Credit Card Offers

Luckily, there is a way to stop those offers from piling up in the mail. Thanks to Federal law, the credit bureaus legally have to allow us to opt out of receiving the countless credit card pre-screening offers. Making matters even better, it is an easy process. There are two methods: online or over the phone. Visit www.optoutpresreen.com to remove yourself from the pre-screened lists online, or call 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). By visiting the website or calling in, you have the ability to remove yourself from the pre-screened lists for as long as you wish, or indefinitely. Opting out essentially means that the credit bureaus can no longer sell your information to the various credit card companies out there. All you have to do is provide your name and address, how easy is that? If you decide you’d like to receive credit card offers again, opting back in is just as easy!

Say Goodbye to Credit Card Telemarketers

Nowadays, calls from credit card telemarketers feel just as common as the offers we receive in the mail on a daily basis. How do they get our numbers and why don’t they ever stop calling?! Whether they are calling about an unrealistic deal, credit card insurance, or interest rate reductions, the offers almost always seem too good to be true. Spoiler alert: they are too good to be true. These phone calls are typically scams, and definitely calls you shouldn’t pick up. A lot of these calls come in with numbers that appear similar to yours, and I don’t know about you, but that can be easy to fall for. By registering your phone number with www.donotcall.gov, you can avoid receiving these calls altogether.

Reduce Credit Card Offer E-Mails

They send direct mail, they call our phones, and they send e-mails too. It feels nearly impossible to get through a day without receiving a pre-approved credit card offer, doesn’t it? Putting an end to the email offers isn’t as direct as ending the direct mail and phone calls. The best way to go about filtering these offers out of your email is to continually update your spam filters. While it seems annoying at the time, marking offers as spam as they come in will pay off in the long run. Addressing them each one at a time will prevent you from needing a full day to sort through and delete the various offers you receive. Another great way to prevent an overload of offers in your email? Subscribe to www.unrollme.com. While this website isn’t specific to credit card offers, it can still help. Basically, you either unsubscribe from specific subscription emails or combine all of your subscription emails into one daily email. Maybe you like to see some of those credit card offers, but don’t want them overwhelming your inbox. That is where unrollme.com will come in handy.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

13 DC Apartments under $1500 Available to Rent Today

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DC-APARTMENTS-UNDER-1500

 You may have read recently that apartments in DC aren’t affordable.  If you’re new to DC, understanding the affordable housing options in the district can be a challenge, so we made you this handy guide. We also went on the hunt for you and found 13 apartments for under $1500 available to rent now in Washington, DC!

Apartment hunting on a budget in Washington, DC is all about what trades you are willing to make.  A less trendy neighborhood will likely result in a larger apartment or a lower rent. Is a state of the art gym a must-have amenity for you? That’s okay, just know that you’re going to be squeezing into a smaller apartment.  The good news is, there are plenty of options!  This week we bring you 13 studio or one-bedroom and even a two-bedroom apartment for under $1500 available to rent now!

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The Foreland

Studio $1295 | Available Now
23 2nd  Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Everyday living is made comfortable and effortless at The Foreland. You can look forward to a convenient location, shopping, and a multitude of dining options. The units are equipped with hardwood floors and ample closet space. Multiple windows in each apartment provide ample amounts of natural lighting. The community is located directly across the street from the Supreme Court building and within walking distance of Capitol South Metro, the National Mall, Capitol Hill, and Union Station. Convenience and comfort are guaranteed at The Foreland.WC Smith embraces the belief that great customer service is our best amenity. Living at the Foreland means experiencing a higher level of service. Our service team is available 24 hours a day and you can access your resident account online any time; day or night. Discover classic charms and modern conveniences of the Foreland, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC.

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The Kenmore

1 Bedroom  $1495 | Available Now

5415 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Experience a lifestyle that is as rich in history as it is in local activities. The Kenmore’s Connecticut Avenue location is distinct and convenient. This residence offers a 24-hour concierge beautifully renovated, classic style interiors. Spacious studios, one and two bedroom apartments are equipped with expansive windows that offer exceptional views.

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Hilltop House

Studio $1450 | Available 11/29

1475 Euclid St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Hilltop House is a hidden jewel of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. This community offers studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent. Each apartment has large windows and breakfast bars; creating a cheerful, open, and bright atmosphere. To keep apartment living and budgeting easy, all utilities are included with your rent. Hilltop House faces Meridian Hill Park, where residents may take in a variety of social and cultural events. Every Sunday the park is activate with kickball leagues, yoga classes, Frisbee sessions, and drum circles. Just a couple of blocks from the Hilltop House apartment community is the Columbia Heights Metro station with access to both the green and yellow like. Hilltop House Apartments have the perfect location to take in all that Washington, DC has to offer.

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1400 Van Buren

One Bedroom $1395  | Available 11/14

1400 Van Buren NW
Washington, DC 20012

1400 Van Buren is an apartment community with one and two-bedroom apartments for rent in the Brightwood neighborhood. You will feel comfortable and at home in these apartments with their beautiful hardwood flooring, ceiling fans, central A/C, and spacious floor plans. The apartments are located in a charming brick building with controlled access, on-site maintenance, on-site management, on-site laundry facilities, and more. 1400 Van Buren’s convenient location gives residents access to everything they need on a daily basis.

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Baystate Apartments

Studio  $1495  | Available 12/4

1701 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Looking for features that look and feel like they came from a book and tell a story? The Baystate offers beautiful studio apartments for rent in a variety of floor plans. All utilities are included! No need to worry about extra bills. With the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC only two blocks from your front door, be fascinated with local culture and flavor. Having the Red Line Metro within walking distance means all of Washington, DC is yours to explore. Find touches of extraordinary in the every day.

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The Shawmut

Studio $1500 | Available 11/14

2200 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Classic style and modern amenities are the perfect combinations to make you feel right at home. This pet-friendly building in the heart of Adams Morgan, just across the street from Kalorama Park, creates a comfortable living space for all. The Shawmut’s elegant, New York-style exterior gives way to beautiful one and two-bedroom apartments featuring hardwood floors, 9′ ceilings, and updated kitchens.Step outside and you are in the heart of a vibrant, thriving community. From the bustling 18th St Corridor down to Dupont Circle, you are never far from the energy of Downtown DC. Want to get away? The L2, 42, 43, and H1 bus lines are right outside your front door with direct connections to the Green, Red, and Yellow metro lines.

rent-control-apartments-DC-Frontenanc

Studio  $1450 | Available Now

4550 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Frontenac is nestled in the heart of elegant upper-Northwest. The Frontenac boasts spacious apartments with updated kitchens and bathrooms. Its classic architectural style, evident in our grand lobby’s high ceiling and in our apartment units’, arched doorways and traditional wainscoting, attracts tours of local art history students.You can meet your neighbors or take advantage of WiFi on the Frontenac’s peaceful roof deck or in its spacious laundry room. Take a stroll to the Van Ness metro station, Giant, Whole Foods, pharmacies, dry cleaners, restaurants, shopping, and great schools for students of all ages. Our neighborhood is full of hidden gems..

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Hampton Courts

Studio  $1460  | Available 12/1

2013 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

Constructed in 1926, Hampton Courts has the elegant appeal of the early 20th-century architecture. The building is equipped with two elevators, a controlled intercom entrance, and a laundry room with a card payment system. The studio, one, and two bedroom apartments at Hampton Courts has updated appliances and spacious floor plans. All utilities are included in your rent, so no need to worry yourself about additional bills. The U Street Metro Station is three blocks away and provides access to the yellow and green lines. Zipcar and car2go vehicles, as well as Capital Bikeshare bicycles, are just a block from the building giving you endless means of transportation. The Saturday Farmer’s Market, Yes Organic Market, Trader Joes, Vida Fitness and several yoga studios are all a few blocks away from your front door. Come and explore the city living in Hampton Courts.

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6100 14th Street

1 Bedroom  $1395  | Available Now

6100 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Located in the Brightwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. There are no limitations set when living at 6100 14th street; tons of shopping and dining options nearby, a Metro bus stop right at your doorstep and only a mile to the nearest metro station. Offering spacious and affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes.

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Penn View Apartments

2 Bedroom  $1315  | Available Now

2515 R Street, SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Design cannot be defined by one component but rather the artful intersection of style and function. Located just minutes away from Capitol Hill, Penn View apartments offer affordable efficiencies, one, and two-bedroom apartment homes for rent. Penn View’s luxurious kitchens and functional floor plans are just a few of the features you’ll find at this community. Quality is always on trend.

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1401 Sheridan

Studio $1250 | Available Now

1401 Sheridan Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

1401 Sheridan boasts spacious floorplans which include separate dining rooms in each apartment. Beautiful hardwood floors, expertly landscaped grounds, and abundant closet space add to the charm and convenience of these studio and one-bedroom apartments. 1401 Sheridan is located between 14th and 16th Streets near Georgia Avenue providing easy access to Rock Creek Park, Carter Barron, and much more.

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Jetu Apartments

2 Bedroom $ 1125 | Available Now

2100 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Discover our beautifully landscaped community located in the heart of Northeast, near Langston Golf Course and National Arboretum. Jetu Apartments offers affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes for rent. Featuring gas range stoves, upgraded kitchens, frost-free refrigerators, mini-blinds, and wall to wall carpet. Each apartment offers a separate dining area with chandelier lighting. The grounds include two new playgrounds, a community room, and a community garden.

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Skyland Apartments

One-Bedroom $1029 | Available 11/16

2333 Skyland Place SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Moving to the Skyland means you have a choice of a townhouse or apartment home. Our beautifully landscaped community is impeccably maintained. Enjoy the features of your new updated kitchen including; gas ranges, frost-free refrigerators, and garbage disposals. Dishwashers are available in 3 bedroom apartments. There is also an on-site dry cleaner and a tot lot. Skyland Apartments is located near Anacostia Metro and the new Safeway. Uncovered parking is available.

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Also published on Medium.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

DC’s Most Instagrammable Apartments

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The Instagrammers Guide To DC Apartments

the-instagrammers-guide-to-washington-dc-best-apartments

One of our favorite things about Washington, DC is finding the hidden (and not so hidden) gems that are just begging to be photographed and shared all over social media.  We love bringing you the most Instagram-worthy locations throughout the District.  Since Washington, DC is where we call home, we thought it would be appropriate to continue this series with a roundup of our favorite apartments with the ultimate photo-ops that you should consider for your next home.

Ready…Set…SHOOT!

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Agora Apartments

Three words: rooftop infinity pool. The backdrop and views provided by Agora apartments make even the most amateur photographer’s photos Instagram gold.  With panoramic views of the DC’s most iconic monuments, there’s enough material to last you your entire lease. Not to mention the countless other luxury amenities like the player piano, demonstration kitchen with monthly chef demos or the woodburning pizza oven!  

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Hecht Warehouse

Ivy City is still somewhat unexplored territory for many DC dwellers but it is Instagram Heaven.  From the gorgeous architecture in Hecht Warehouse to the jaw-dropping street art around the neighborhood, not to mention delicious offerings at Ivy City Smokehouse and your choice of distilleries. Mark this neighborhood as your next must explore local!

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The Apollo DC

From the moment you set foot inside Apollo on H Street, you can tell that every piece of decor was artfully curated. There is literally eye candy everywhere you look. Don’t take our word for it. Peep all the amazing photoshoots happening in their Conservatory.

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Norwood Apartments

A departure from the other buildings on this list, instead of a bright shiny new building, the Norwood is a historic, rent-control building in Northwest D.C.  The Norwood is located on Columbia Road NW between the colorful neighborhoods of Adams Morgan and Kalorama.  The molding, columns, and beautiful bay windows throughout the apartment community make this apartment building a fabulous backdrop for an impromptu photoshoot. 

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The Apartments at City Center

So, besides being neighbors with The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and foodie bait restaurants like Momofuku, living at City Center also gives you front row access to ever-changing installations at Palmer Alley. Enough. Said.

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Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

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Source: apartment34.com

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

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Source: apartment34.com