18 Great Jobs For Retirees for Flexibility and Extra Cash

But true personal shoppers are more likely to purchase clothing and accessories than groceries. A personal shopper often finds items and then sends photos and descriptions to the person who hired them to get approval.

A security guard who does not carry a weapon serves as a presence to discourage inappropriate behavior. While many large businesses like Target or Wal-Mart hire security personnel from a service, small employers such as charitable or service organizations are likely to hire someone who is reliable and gives the appearance of authority.
You are more likely to work on an hourly wage determined by your experience and amount of work you are required to perform. There are also job firms that provide virtual assistants; you can sign on with them and accept work as it is offered to you.
School bus drivers can earn up to per hour. They have regular hours with the opportunity to earn extra for field trips or outings. Some states require a specific license (a Commercial Drivers License, or CDL, for example) or require you to pass a test to qualify.
Hourly pay for security guards without weapons training is likely to be between and . Night-time security guards are likely to make more than daytime ones.
Plan on some up-front costs, such as a portable bar (if the host doesn’t have one) and basic bar tools. The host is expected to supply the alcohol and mixers. And to protect against possible liability you might want to consider an annual liability policy.

18 Part-time Jobs for Retirees

Many small or civic organizations cannot afford, nor do they truly need, a full-time bookkeeper or accounting service. They are not in it for the money. Often, they are charitable or non-profit organizations. But they need occasional bookkeeping, often with an eye towards tax advantages.
Recent news reports indicate there are many job openings for school bus drivers.
There are no actual nanny or babysitter licenses or certifications in the United States, but many families require that nannies be bonded, which is a guarantee of service. It is a protection against someone failing to show up for work; one such failure forfeits the bond and that area of work is no longer available to that nanny.

1. Substitute Teaching

If you can memorize lots of cocktail recipes, if you have an outgoing personality and a steady hand, and if you’re willing to cut people off if needed, this could be a fit for you. Your best bet might be starting out tending bar for people you know and then building a network of referrals.
Some high-end clothing stores offer personal shopper services as well. These positions might be a little less “personal,” as they might be a one-day relationship. But the concept is the same.
Security guards who carry weapons require special training and weapons licensing, and is an entirely different job pursuit, perhaps not as well-suited to a retirement job.
Many people reach so-called retirement age and are in no way done with being productive. Many continue in freelance jobs and part-time gigs, whether in a brick-and mortar setting, from home, or even outdoors.

2. School Support

A part-time bookkeeper job often requires simple financial recordkeeping or upkeep of other financial records. Part-time bookkeepers are usually former accountants or have experience as a bookkeeper. They may be asked to track invoices, but most companies use financial services for paychecks.
You have a good head for numbers. You are in charge of your own finances, and you perhaps worked in an accounting role at a previous job.

3. Tutoring

While “retirement income’’ or “retirement job” might seem like oxymorons, they are a more reasonable pursuit today than in years past due to advancing life expectancies and improved health among older citizens.
Depending on the particulars of the job, a commercial driver’s license might be required. Different states have different laws regarding licensing for shuttle bus drivers. A different license might be required if the bus holds a certain number of people or is a particular weight. Your state motor vehicle website will tell you what’s required in your state, and any potential employer will know, too.
Freelance bartending doesn’t require bartending school and can earn you good money working at large events or small, private parties. Hourly pay for freelance bartenders can be anywhere from to even before tips.

A senior woman drives a school bus.
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4. School Bus Driver

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for a freelance writer is a bit over , but you are often paid by assignment or by word, so the pay varies. If you have knowledge in certain topics like science and medicine, the pay can be higher.
As of this writing, Ziprecruiter showed more than 34,000 virtual assistant jobs, suggesting that a virtual assistant could make up to ,000 a year, depending on the work required.
Pay is often dependent on the age of the players and the competitive level of the organization, but officials are likely to make at least per game. At higher levels where certification is required, you can earn 0 per game.

5. Shuttle Bus Driver

There are dozens of different types of shuttle bus driver jobs. Most hotels have shuttles to and from airports. Senior citizen homes, churches and community centers often offer shuttles to shopping areas or grocery stores. Hourly pay for shuttle bus drivers can average above per hour, and that’s not including tips from satisfied riders. Like school bus drivers, shuttle bus drivers have regular hours.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com

6. Conducting Tours

Most of the examples here require your physical presence on-site, but there are remote jobs, too, such as virtual assistant and customer service work that can be done from the comfort of your home.
Child care might be a bit of a political football these days, but rarely has it been more necessary. Single parents or two-parent families that require or want two incomes are likely to need child care, and that could take the form of a nanny or frequent babysitter.
These positions can be part- or full-time, and they pay well. So if you plan to collect Social Security benefits, make sure to check how your wage impacts your benefits.
Many seasonal jobs are defined by the weather, which is defined by the time of year and the climate where you live. Seasonal jobs are popular, never go out of style (except when the season changes), and can actually be a fun job to look forward to.
Most school districts have lenient requirements for substitute teachers, often requiring just a bachelor’s degree with no teaching experience.
Craigslist or neighborhood job sites are great ways to search for these positions, but your best bet is to work with your personal network. Let people know that you would be willing to work as a nanny or frequent babysitter, and, with the proper recommendation, you could have a very gratifying retirement job.

7. Patient Advocate

The job of a patient advocate is to assist someone who is struggling to cope with the healthcare system. A patient advocate deals with paperwork and appointments, and communicates with healthcare providers to get information on diagnosis, treatment and followup procedures.
As such, typical hourly pay is as a call center representative.
Personal shoppers who go after groceries or staples are likely to make typical hourly pay of to . Those who work for a service are likely on a wage or salary determined by the service rather than by the client.
Being a patient advocate does not require any particular educational degree, but it is possible to become certified in this role.

An elderly man babysits two girls. He plays guitar on the couch while the two of them listen to him play.
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8. Child Care Provider

The job is likely to include more than just driving, however. You may be asked to supervise students on the bus, and you may be called upon to discipline rowdy students or those who are making the trip unsafe. A tolerance for children of all ages is probably an important requirement.
If you have an advance degree, you may also qualify to be an adjunct instructor at a community college or four-year university.
Kent McDill is a veteran journalist who has specialized in personal finance topics since 2013. He is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
Virtual assistants are independent contractors who offer business services virtually. Those services can include website management, website design, marketing assistance, social media postings, blog writing, email correspondence or any number of clerical duties that can be carried out with a computer and phone. This kind of work is often well-suited to flexible hours.
For between and an hour, you can earn money pet-sitting in a home or, if the pet happens to be a dog, you can walk the animal. Pet-sitting is a good job for retirees who want to work outdoors without a lot of physical requirements other than being able to walk while pulling or being pulled.
While there are occasional situations where someone needs a one-off writing assignment, freelance writer jobs often offer consistent, if sporadic, work. A retiree who can write could have a client for years. Check out this Penny Hoarder article on 18 places hiring freelance writers.

Looking for a fun part-time side gig? Here’s how you can earn money visiting theme parks as a Disney nanny.

9. Virtual Assistant

Any task that can be done virtually via computer is likely to be requested by a virtual assistant. Firms would rather pay a freelancer than an employee to do the work.
Pet sitter/walker is also a good line of work to get into because one job can lead to another. Pet owners tend to concentrate around each other, and they will give recommendations to other pet owners about a reliable person who can watch Fido or Fluffy while they are on vacation.
Ski resorts in the winter and water parks in the summer are two great examples of places that require seasonal employees. It is not necessary to be a ski instructor or a lifeguard, either. These places require assistance in areas outside of their main purpose: security, transportation, customer service. Even the National Park Service hires seasonal temps.
Businesses, organizations and sites that host tours come in many shapes and sizes, from historical sites to museums, from outdoor walking tours to behind-the-scene workplace tours. They can be an everyday part of a business or scheduled by appointment. What they all have in common? A tour leader.

10. Bookkeeper

The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal makes the remote-job hunt easy. Our journalists scour the web for the best gigs, vet the companies and aggregate the latest listings in one place.
Nannies are likely to make an hour on average. Babysitter earnings vary widely by affluence of the neighborhood. Check out The Penny Hoarder’s tips on how to get paid up to an hour babysitting.
While high-level programs require officials to get licensed or certified, lower-level and youth group programs require just a basic knowledge of the rules. Look around your community for sports leagues in need of umpires or referees.
A babysitter sits in a home with a child or children. A nanny is responsible for getting children to day care or other activities; they are a substitute parent in many cases.

11. Umpire and Referee

If you are going to house-sit the animal, you will likely get paid more for also keeping an eye on the property while the owner is away.
Substitute teachers have never been more valuable than today. Covid has increased the chances that a teacher might be out of the classroom either awaiting test results or recuperating. When that happens, their students need someone to teach — and that could be you.
Although freelance writers no longer provide articles — it’s called content now — freelance writing is a gig that can offer the freedom to accept the assignments you want. There are firms that will connect freelance writers to people or companies in need of blogs, resumes, cover letters, marketing content and more.
This is a good job for retirees who do not mind a bit of boredom.

A man walks a gaggle of dogs at his dog walking job.
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12. Pet Sitter and Dog Walker

If you are interested in online tutoring, there are many good paying gigs out there. Match your skills to the openings.
So let’s get to work, shall we?
To be successful, you need to be ready to deal with a room full of 20 or so children of varying ages. But it could pay off. School districts in Chicago, for example, pay as much as 0 a day for a full day of work.
This is a classic retirement job that gets you out of the house, allows you to have contact with neighbors, and lets you provide security and safety with another set of adult eyes on the children.

13. Freelance Writer

These jobs require knowledge about the subject and the ability to tell a good story — often while walking backwards.
Competitive sports programs need officials for their games. Baseball, basketball, soccer and football all have leagues at various ages that need officiating. Depending on where you live, the work can be constant. If you get certified for multiple sports, you can work all weekend long and often during the week.
Some stores hold hiring events in October to fill these positions, but they often continue searching for employees throughout the final three months of the year.
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14. Call Center Worker

Most schools are always looking for crossing guards, recess supervisors and other positions. A call to your local elementary, middle or high school could lead you to a good retirement job that would fit your schedule. Even better is searching online for jobs at your school district. This will give you a range of what’s out there.
Who even knows what “retired’’ means anymore?
This is a perfect retirement job if you have a sports background and the ability to withstand criticism.

A senior citizen bartender holds up a pint of beer.
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15. Freelance Bartender

Another idea for animal lovers is pet transporting. If you’ve got a reliable set of wheels and like to drive, getting pets from here to there from owners, maybe be the side gig for you.
Taking classes in CPR or other emergency response techniques, which offer certifications upon completion, can improve your chances of being hired.
Is it the shopping or the buying that you enjoy? If it’s the shopping, then you might consider becoming someone’s personal shopper.

16. Personal Shopper

As much as this is a remote job, it is definitely a people-person retirement job. You are likely to be talking to someone who is upset or unhappy, and you are the first line of communication for the company you are representing. You need to be capable of being friendly and helpful in the face of unpleasant conversation.
Tour guide is one of those jobs that, when you see someone doing it, you think, “Well, I could do that too!”
To be a personal grocery shopper, you probably need only have been in a grocery store from time to time. To be a high-end personal shopper, a knowledge of the fashion industry and current fashions is going to get you better clients.
Remember when you had a summer job as a teenager or a part-time job during your winter break from college? The same logic can work when you’re thinking about some extra retirement income.
The job title describes the job. You are given a shopping list and the means to make the purchase, and you chase after the items.
The responsibilities of a security guard depend on the needs of the company being guarded. There may be requirements that go beyond just being a presence, but the differences depend on the needs of the company.
As you browse these possible jobs for retirees, keep in mind one warning: If you are collecting Social Security, you can only earn a certain amount each month before your benefits are reduced.

Got what it takes to be a mystery shopper? We’ve rounded up four companies that are hiring retail sleuths. 

17. Security Guard

There are hundreds of tutoring companies in the U.S. who work with kids of all ages to enhance their school education or prepare for college entrance exams. If you sign up with one, they’ll match you with work and you won’t need to market yourself as a tutor.
You might have left the career you had in the 40-hour-a-week workforce. But now you don’t exactly want to be glued to your couch watching puppy videos. You want to be active, you want to work, and you want to make a little money to support your fun retirement plans.
Also included in seasonal work are holiday positions during the months of October-December. On-site customer service, truck unloading, shelving of new goods, and custodial services are among the positions for which big box stores are likely to need employees. For example in 2021, we tallied more than 1 million seasonal jobs at national retailers and delivery services.
The average salary for a part-time bookkeeper is around per hour.
This could be a dream job for someone who knows the topic well and likes to retell stories about history, natural science or architecture (among many other possibilities).

18. Seasonal Worker

The hourly pay for these companies ranges from about to . Requirements often are limited to a bachelor’s degree, although exam-prep work might require a recent ACT or SAT test score, or might require you to retake the exam for verbal or math instruction.
Tour guides make an average base salary of per hour. Plus, they are often offered tips by tour participants.
Certainly, many people already have personal shoppers and don’t know it. When they contact a grocery store and provide an itemized list of goods they want, someone does the “shopping,” and the items are then delivered.
If this appeals to you, don’t overlook a special area of knowledge you’ve developed during all those years in the workplace. Know a lot about the manufacturing industry? Maybe you’re just the person to lead tours at a cheese factory.
Writing skills rarely diminish, but the requirements for writing change over time. A knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is going to open more doors. Many jobs that use job search websites like Indeed ask for candidates to take a writing test, but many of those are simple grammar or proofreading tests.

Pro Tip
There are plenty of ways to bring in some extra money to augment pension, social security, or other retirement funds. We’ve rounded up 18 ideas for good jobs for retirees that offer part-time opportunities, flexible hours, or both.

Just to be clear, we are talking about taking calls from customers, not making calls. A call center representative answers incoming calls from customers or potential customers and either answers questions or sends the caller to someone else who can answer.
Advocates might also be asked to work with insurance companies to understand coverage and costs. Many are asked to help a client obtain assistance with financial or legal issues. The range of duties can be as varied as the patient’s needs.

How To Get Free Stuff on Amazon: 12 Great Tips and Tricks

Use your old electronics to get credit? As good as gold.
Let’s admit it: most of us don’t have the kind of social media following that gives us influencer status.
While there are some things on Amazon anyone can get for free right away, the best way to get high-quality freebies is through helpful, informative and well-written product reviews.
If you’re expecting a new baby, sign up with Amazon Registry for a free gift with goodies for the newborn and parents, with a value of up to . The program also has a wedding registry which offers “bonus gifts” for the couple.

Robust Reviews Earn Amazon Freebies

Another helpful tip is to look for products without a lot of reviews, because yours is more likely to be read and earn “Helpful Votes.” Focus your reviews on the types items that you would like to get for free, as becoming an expert in a specific category helps achieve Top Reviewer status more quickly.

1. Become a Top Amazon Reviewer

Vine is a more transparent program because the decision-making about who reviews what products is in the hands of Amazon. Vendors have no influence over which Vine Voices review their products.
Tomoson’s business model is to connect brands with influencers — if you meet the right criteria you’ll be selected for a campaign. You don’t necessarily need to have a huge number of followers; brands care most about someone with an audience that fits the niche of their product.
If audio books are more your speed, Amazon offers a free 30-day Audible trial. This includes one credit for a free audiobook that you get to keep after the trial is over.

2. Get Invited to be a Vine Reviewer

Competition between these sellers is fierce and with just a little bit of work, you can take advantage by scoring deals and getting free stuff on Amazon.
Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the country and sells just about everything under the sun. If a product is for sale online, chances are it’s on Amazon. The retail giant doesn’t just sell its own products, it’s also a virtual marketplace for millions of vendors around the globe.
But marketing departments also see the value in micro-influencers — social media users that have smaller, intensely-dedicated followings. If you have a blog, Youtube channel or a certain number of social media followers, signing up with a company like Tomoson is one way to get free stuff from Amazon.
It’s not hard to become a Top Amazon reviewer, and we’ve laid out all of the steps you need to take to join the upper echelon. It’s important to remember that Amazon values quality reviews and the number of helpful votes you accumulate is critical, so be sure you think about the kind of information consumers would care about and craft a well-written, detailed and grammatically-correct review.

3. Use Influencer (or Micro-Influencer) Status for Freebies

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
So we’ve established that the best way to get free stuff on Amazon is with an invite into the Vine program. But how do you get invited? It does require some work on your part and the first step to getting that invite is becoming a Top Amazon reviewer. Believe it or not, the company tracks the best and most prolific reviewers, posting it all on a rankings board. 
Reviewing products is one of the prime ways to get Amazon freebies. We offer some tips and tricks to be successful.
But did you know that you don’t even need to sign up for a trial to access free songs on Amazon? Head over to the Free Songs page on Amazon Music where you can listen to and download thousands of free tracks.

4. Tread Carefully with Facebook Groups and Third Party Review Sites

These reviews or mentions will be posted on your social media so you don’t need to worry about violating Amazon’s terms by receiving a free item for review — though FTC laws require you to disclose your relationship with the brand you’re posting about.
If you’re an Amazon customer, you can get access to free cloud storage. Every customer has access to 5GB of cloud storage for photos, videos and other files through Amazon Drive. These files can be accessed on your desktop, tablet and mobile phone.

Free Stuff Anyone Can Get

Like everyone, you probably have a ton of old electronics laying around the house. Instead of sending them off to the e-waste collection, why not turn obsolete devices into Amazon credit? Amazon Trade-In is a program that gives customers the chance to exchange their unused electronics into gift cards. Thousands of items are eligible for the program and don’t necessarily need to be Amazon Devices.

5. Free 30-Day Trial of Amazon Prime

The early days of Amazon reviewing was like the Wild West – companies sent out free products or other compensation in exchange for positive reviews, despite the actual quality of the item. Unsurprisingly, this led to companies manipulating reviews and “earning” inflated scores for subpar products. Amazon responded in 2016 by prohibiting incentivized reviews, with the exception being those facilitated through Amazon Vine.

6. Amazon Music Free

In 2016 the company changed its review policy and now the only way to get free products through reviews is the Vine program. While you won’t be able to reach out to a struggling retailer and offer reviews in exchange for merchandise, there are still ways for reviewers to get free stuff.

Who doesn’t love free cash? As an incentive for new customers, if you add in Amazon Cash to your account, you’ll get a credit towards your first purchase.

7. Free Kindle Books

If you’ve never had a subscription to Amazon Prime or it’s been a year since your last subscription expired, you are entitled to a free 30-Day trial of Amazon Prime. This membership gives you access to ad-free Amazon Music, Prime Video, Prime Reading and Amazon Photo, plus free shipping on items ordered through Amazon.

8. Audible Audiobooks

There are a couple ways to get free Kindle books on Amazon. If you’re already a Prime Member, the First Reads program entitles you to one free Kindle book a month. Even if you don’t have Prime, you can use First Reads to pay just .99 for one book a month. Plus, you have access to thousands of free Kindle books in the company’s library.

9. Free Cloud Storage

Like most streaming services, Amazon Music Unlimited has a free three-month trial for new subscribers, giving you unlimited, on-demand, ad-free music and podcasts. Of course, you’ll need to remember to end the subscription before your three months are up or you’ll be charged for a month (.99). Signing up for a free 30–day trial of Prime also gives you unlimited access to the service’s deep library.

10. Free Baby Box with Amazon Registry

Vine membership is by invite-only; you can’t apply to join the program. Amazon watches out for customers who post reviews frequently, are considered the most helpful by customers, and write about the types of items that are typically featured in the program.

11. Get a $10 Gift Card for Signing Up with Amazon Cash

Many sellers on these Facebook groups and review sites aren’t reputable and are violating Amazon’s incentivized reviews policy or soliciting fake paid reviews. This is most risky for them but could result in your Amazon account being suspended. Additionally, most of the products on these sites and groups aren’t name brands and appear to be low-quality.

Not Free Stuff, But Free Cash Back

There are ways to get free things without much effort. Here are some.

12. Get Gift Cards with Amazon Trade-In

In this program, companies send Amazon products which they distribute to trusted reviewers for free. Then, Vine identifies the most helpful and trusted reviewers (Vine Voices) and invites them to give their opinions on new and pre-release products. Voices aren’t under any pressure to post positive reviews, and sometimes aren’t even required to write one.
Matt Matasci is a Southern California freelance writer who writes on technology and business, plus travel and lifestyle topics.
When searching for Amazon freebies, Facebook groups and third party review sites are a popular recommendation. It’s true these groups can provide vouchers or gift cards for items you’ve purchased on Amazon — usually, in exchange for a positive review — but you need to be careful.

What Is the Metaverse (And How Can I Invest In It?)

Just as we were getting accustomed to the idea of the multiverse (or at least Marvel’s version of it), another blockbuster “verse” hit the headlines. Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms (FB), and as part of the social media company’s attempt to rebrand and reinvent itself, announced it would be focusing on the next “next big thing”: the metaverse.

What is the metaverse? Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a lengthy post about it, but one paragraph sums up his ambitions:

“The next platform will be even more immersive – an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”

It’s a grand vision, and a growing number of Wall Street executives have a similar vision or want to at least find a role for their companies in these new platforms. But where will the actual investing opportunities in the metaverse lie?

Let’s dig into the technology itself, then talk about the potential players.

What Is the Metaverse?

At its highest level, the metaverse is a virtual, online world. A digital space. It mirrors real life, but it isn’t restricted by the rules of the real world.

You would interface with the metaverse using hardware such as your PC or smartphone, along with accessories such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and controllers. As a person with a presence in the metaverse, you would have an avatar (some sort of animated character) that visually represents you. Expect to be able to pay to “upgrade” that avatar, with virtual clothing and other options. The real world doesn’t apply here, so you may be able to shell out for working wings, or that impossible physique. There will be virtual neighborhoods with virtual homes and virtual cars.

You won’t just be chatting up your social media friends in the metaverse. You’ll be shopping, visiting global attractions, and attending concerts. It’s also possible you could be attending classes and even interacting with co-workers, like Zoom (ZM) on steroids. At some point, you may actually make your living in the metaverse, selling digital services or products.

Still having trouble visualizing the metaverse? In terms of where this could ultimately go, think of movies like Ready Player One that envision a future where people primarily interact with each other online, in a virtual world.

The real world is still there, but many people prefer to spend as much time as possible in the metaverse.

When Will the Metaverse Arrive?

It’s already here; Meta is merely trying to take the metaverse to the next level.

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You might remember Second Life. This online world, where users can interact with each other and the world around them, launched in 2003 and still boasts hundreds of thousands of users. Second Life even was name-dropped by The Office, when it turned out that Dwight Schrute’s Second Life alter ego was also a paper salesman named Dwight – but he could fly.

There have been many subsequent proto-metaverse offerings including Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, World of Warcraft, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Several of these are already hosting online concerts.

The list is heavy on video games but more recently we’ve seen expansion into other areas. For example, Nvidia (NVDA) created Omniverse, a shared virtual universe with virtual versions of real-life factories and buildings that’s being used for design collaboration. Microsoft (MSFT) is preparing to roll out Mesh for Microsoft Teams, a combination of its mixed reality Mesh platform and Teams remote collaboration software. The company calls this “a gateway to the metaverse.”

The metaverse as the platform envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg and others is not going to simply arrive one day. The foundations are already here and being built upon constantly. Instead of a launch, expect the metaverse to evolve from existing and future services.

A multiverse of metaverses, if you will.

As they become more capable and then begin to interconnect, the true metaverse will become reality.

How Can You Invest in the Metaverse?

These are early days, and that makes it difficult to divine which companies might strike gold with the metaverse.

We’ve created a list of top early stock picks in the metaverse space, but if you want to know broadly where to keep your eyes peeled, consider these possibilities.

  • Retail, believe it or not, could find a place in the metaverse. “The next Amazon?” Maybe not. But a company selling virtual goods, or offering a killer virtual shopping experience for real-life products, could make hay. (And before you go thinking about that viral Walmart VR shopping video, know that it’s actually from 2017!)
  • Clothing and style brands are already staking out territory. Nike (NKE) has filed a series of patents aimed at making it the king of virtual sneakers and clothing in the metaverse.
  • Tech companies will be working hard on accessories that take the metaverse experience to the next level. Think next-gen VR headsets, controllers and other equipment. Among current players with affordable, consumer-focused sets are Meta and its Oculus Quest, Sony (SNE) and its PlayStation VR, and HP (HPQ) and its Reverb.
  • No matter who ends up driving development of the metaverse and what form it ultimately takes, we know that the No. 1 requirement is going to be unprecedented computing power – power that will largely have to come from the cloud. That means potential opportunities for Amazon.com’s (AMZN) AWS and Microsoft’s Azure, among others.
  • You could go a level deeper and look at the companies producing the high-powered silicon needed to power those servers, such as Nvidia.
  • The other given in the terms of the metaverse is that access will need high internet speeds with zero latency. Nothing will torpedo a metaverse experience more than low resolutions and lag. Broadband and  5G network providers are part of the equation; however, the critical piece of the puzzle is likely to be content delivery networks (CDNs). Companies such as Fastly (FSLY) and Akamai Technologies (AKAM) operate data centers across the globe that cache frequently accessed content. Local users are able to access this content much faster than if they were connected directly to a service like Netflix (NFLX) or Amazon from halfway across the globe. CDNs saw their business explode during the pandemic as everyone went online; that might prove to be a blip compared to the demands of the metaverse.

Other opportunities might evolve over time, just as the metaverse itself does. The key to investing in this space will be to remain nimble, but also realistic.

Because the metaverse has become an instant buzzword, scores of companies are going to try to hop on board and connect their names with this emerging technology. But only some will actually execute and provide shareholders with tangible returns.

Source: kiplinger.com

The 25 Best-Performing Stocks of 2021

The best stocks of 2021 reflected pretty much all of the market’s major themes from throughout the year. 

From the emergence of meme stocks to a huge rebound in oil prices to the continuing saga of COVID-19 and the recovery trade, 2021’s top stocks all rode a wave bigger than themselves. (Just scroll down to the table below, which lists the Russell 1000 index’s top performing stocks on a price basis for the year-to-date through Dec. 30.)

The biggest winner? GameStop (GME, $155.33), which soared to ridiculous heights thanks to sometimes unhinged chatter on social media platforms, most notably Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets (WSB) subreddit. 

As you might have heard, volatility in GameStop was insane. At one point in January, GME stock was sitting on a year-to-date gain of 1,740%. Shares have since cooled off and then some, tanking about 23% in the past month alone. Yet GameStop still leads the best stocks from the Russell 1000 with a price performance of +725% for 2021.

As noted above, the energy sector was a big winner this year, and we have the stocks to prove it. Devon Energy (DVN, $43.67), Continental Resources (CLR, $44.61), and Marathon Oil (MRO, $16.35) all cracked the top 10. 

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Meanwhile, an accelerating global economic recovery was good for cyclical stocks. For example, in the highly economically sensitive materials sector, shares in Alcoa (AA, $59.21), Olin (OLN, $57.41) and Nucor (NUE, $113.85) all more than doubled this year. 

And then, of course, there’s the pandemic. True, COVID-19 introduced extreme bouts of volatility at times, but it also helped Moderna (MRNA, $251.60) stock rise more than 140%. 

Although chances are slim that this year’s winners will repeat as the best stocks to buy for 2022, investors shouldn’t automatically count them out as potential market beaters. They would do well, however, to take a closer look at analysts’ top stock picks for the new year. 

But for 2021, at least, the stocks listed below reigned supreme:

A table of the best Russell 1000 stocks of 2021A table of the best Russell 1000 stocks of 2021

Source: kiplinger.com

17 Online Jobs You Can Do With No Experience

Whether you want to make a little extra money on the side, or you’re looking for an opportunity with the potential for a full-time income, it’s never been more possible than now.

There are so many jobs online that don’t require previous experience and allow you to work from anywhere with internet access, all you need is your laptop!

Regardless of the level of education or work history, anyone can find an online job if they know where to look.

We’ll show you some of the best online jobs with no experience required, as well as action steps to point you in the right direction.

Online Jobs with No Experience

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3. Freelance Writer

Income Potential: $20/hr – $100/hr

Working as a freelance writer is one of the best ways to make money online, and you don’t need any specific experience. Of course, you’ll need to have strong writing and grammar skills, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. 

Most freelance writing gigs today are for online publications, and many websites and blogs prefer to publish conversational and informal content. Don’t think that you can’t work as a freelance writer because you struggled with term papers in school. The writing is entirely different and much more natural for most online publications. 

As far as grammar and spelling skills are concerned, tools like Grammarly can help immensely. 

There are writing opportunities in just about every industry and niche you can imagine. Some freelance writers take a general approach and write about anything the client wants, but it’s more lucrative to specialize in one industry or topic. 

Ideally, you can specialize in something you already know well so you can hit the ground running. Maybe you have knowledge from a previous job or a hobby that you can monetize by writing for clients. The rates of freelance writers are all over the place, but specialized writers tend to earn more due to their expertise.

Like working as a VA, freelance writing is equally well suited to be a side hustle or a full-time job. You can start small and scale up by adding new clients as you go.

Getting Started: Holly Johnson’s Earn More Writing is an excellent course that has helped many successful freelance writers launch their careers.

4. Blogger

Income Potential: Unlimited

If you like the idea of freelance writing but you don’t want to work for clients, another option is to start your blog. Blogging is also an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to run an online business part-time or full-time, especially if you happen to have some writing skills.

You can start a blog on any topic you like, but if you want to make money, it’s best to stick with niches that are proven to be profitable, like:

  • Business
  • Finance
  • Health and Fitness
  • Wellness
  • Family and Parenting
  • Travel
  • Fashion and Beauty

Since these are all very competitive niches, it’s a good idea to choose a sub-niche to specialize in, like Vegan recipes instead of general health.

Blogging is something you can do part-time, as it fits your schedule. However, it’s also possible to grow it into a full-time income. Many successful bloggers earn an outstanding income from their blogs. 

The downside to blogging is that it takes time to grow. Most new bloggers don’t make much, if anything, during the first six months. You’ll probably start to make a little something later in your first year, but it doesn’t usually pick up until the blog is at least a year old. It requires patience to keep putting in work when you do not see much in terms of results. However, it can pay off in a big way if you stick with it.

Getting Started: See How to Make Money Blogging as a Side Hustle for a guide to getting started. 

5. Proofreader

Income Potential: $20/hr – $50/hr

Working as a proofreader is an excellent option for someone with solid spelling and grammar skills, as well as a strong eye for detail. You don’t need previous work experience to start, but you will need the skills to do the job. 

Several websites and online platforms offer proofreading work. Still, the best way to maximize your income potential is to work on your own as a freelancer rather than looking for an employer.

Getting Started: Proofread Anywhere, a course taught by Caitlin Pyle, is the best resource if you want to learn how to make money as a proofreader.

6. Transcription

Income Potential: $10/hr – $30/hr

If you’re able to type fast and accurately, working as a transcriptionist is an ideal way to make money. It’s highly flexible work, with most online transcription jobs allowing you to set your schedule. And it’s also a skill you can develop. You can fine-tune your typing skills by taking online typing tests until you’re ready to start working.

Transcription work can be done part-time or full-time. Some jobs do require transcription experience, but many others are open to beginners. 

While many websites offer transcription work, the pay from most of those companies is on the low side. To increase your earning potential, you can offer your services as a freelancer.

Getting Started: Transcribe Anywhere offers the best training in the industry. You’ll learn to maximize your income by finding freelance work rather than relying on low-paying platforms.

Online jobs where experience is not needed

7. Translation

Income Potential: $20/hr – $40/hr

If you’re multilingual, working as a translator is a natural choice. Translation jobs tend to pay well because only a limited number of people have the skills to perform the job, and there is plenty of work available. 

As a translation specialist, you could be translating books, blog posts, audio files, and more. Many jobs do not require previous translation experience, but of course, you’ll need excellent language skills to meet the qualifications. The more languages you know, the better.

Getting Started: Many companies hire translators, including Lionbridge and Gengo. You could also find clients as a freelancer.

8. Social Media Manager

Income Potential: $15/hr – $50/hr

If you have a strong understanding of popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, you could offer your services to businesses that need help. As a social media manager, you would manage your clients’ social profiles and keep new content coming to help boost their presence and influence. If you have some design skills, you can also create images and graphics for social media posts.

Some social media managers also manage ad campaigns for clients to promote their products or services. Many business owners want to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but they don’t know how to set up or manage those ads. Working as a social media ad specialist is one of the best entry-level online jobs, as you’ll be able to demand more money than a social media manager who doesn’t deal with ads.

Getting Started: To get started, choose the platforms you want to focus on (ideally the ones you already know well). Next, you’ll create a simple website with the details of the services you offer and begin reaching out to potential clients. Businesses in your local area are an ideal starting point.

Many social media managers offer package-based pricing rather than charging by the hour (effectively turning your service into a product). For example, you may charge the client a flat monthly rate for a specific number of posts per month.

9. Graphic Designer

Income Potential: $20/hr – $50/hr

Working as a freelance graphic designer is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has design skills. You don’t need past work experience, but you’ll probably need a portfolio to start landing clients. 

If you have some design skills, chances are, you already have some completed projects to include in your portfolio. And if you don’t, you can do some personal projects or offer discounted work to family and friends to gather a few work samples to create a portfolio.

Getting Started: Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are options for beginners, but building up your profile on these platforms takes time and effort. 

Many freelance designers get started by finding clients through their personal networks. Talk to your friends, family members, co-workers (as long as there is no conflict of interest), neighbors, and other colleagues and tell them about the services you offer. Some may be interested in hiring you, or they may know other people who need a designer. Once you get started, word-of-mouth will become the best way to build your client base. Of course, you could also look for an employer offering entry-level design jobs, but you’ll sacrifice the flexibility that comes with freelancing.

10. Microtasker

Income Potential: $100 – $1,000 per month

Microtasks are small jobs that are very quick, usually just a few minutes or less. There are platforms that companies can use to hire individuals to complete these microtasks, and they present an income opportunity for just about everyone. 

The jobs may include things like:

  • Taking short surveys
  • Organizing data
  • Create or correct text
  • Basic research

Working as a microtasker is somewhat similar to taking online surveys. Your income potential is limited, and your hourly rate will be pretty low, but it’s exceptionally flexible, and anyone can do it. If you need to start making money right away, microtasking is an option. Microtasking isn’t ideal for a full-time income, but it’s a way to make a small amount of extra money without disrupting your schedule.

Getting Started: Many websites pay users for microtasks, including Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, and Swagbucks. All you need to do is create an account and those sites and start working.

11. Data Entry

Income Potential: $10 – $15 per hour

You don’t need any previous experience to work in data entry. This is one of the easier jobs available, and while it may not be the most exciting work, it does offer a way to make money without specific skills. 

Most online data entry jobs are part-time, but it’s probably not the best option for anyone who wants to earn a full-time income anyway. So those part-time hours are ideal for the job and for someone looking to make a few hundred dollars per month on the side.

Getting Started: Companies like Axion Data and Clickworker are ideal for someone looking to get started with data entry.

12. Customer Service 

Income Potential: $12 – $25 per hour

Customer service is another flexible online job with no experience required. You don’t need many specific skills to work as a customer service rep, but you will need strong people skills and excellent communication skills. 

There are several different types of customer service jobs available, including phone-based, email-based, and chat-based. While customer service jobs aren’t especially high-paying, you can earn a decent hourly rate for a job that’s open to beginners. 

Getting Started: Several companies like LiveOps, NexRep, and Arise offer customer service jobs.

13. Search Engine Evaluator

Income Potential: $12 – $15 per hour

Did you know it’s possible to get paid to do online searches and evaluate the results? A few companies hire search engine evaluators, but the demand for the jobs is stronger than the supply, so openings are not always available.

Working as a search engine evaluator is not the highest-paying job, but it is extremely flexible since you can do the work whenever it fits into your life. Also, this job is only part-time, so if you’re looking for a full-time income, you’ll need to choose something else.

Getting Started: Appen and Lionbridge are among the companies that hire search engine evaluators, although the positions are not always open. If you hope to work in this flexible part-time role, you’ll need to check the job listings frequently and complete an application whenever an opening is listed.

14. Research

Income Potential: $50 – $500 per month

Another simple online job that can be done with no previous experience is research. If you’re good at searching and finding specific nuggets of information, you may be very effective as an online researcher. 

Like some of the other jobs on this list that involve simple tasks, you’re not going to make a ton of money as a researcher, and it’s not ideal if you need a full-time income. But if you’re looking for a flexible way to make some extra income in your spare time, it could be an ideal option.

Getting Started: Several companies hire researchers, including Wonder and Clickworker. Create your profile, and you may be able to start earning money quickly.

15. Moderation

Income Potential: $12 – $25 per hour

Moderation is similar to customer service, and the income potential is about the same as well. You’ll be moderating a forum, Facebook Group, or some other online community. You don’t need specific experience, but you’ll need to be able to communicate and interact with people virtually. 

Getting Started: Companies like ModSquad, LiveWorld, and Crisp hire moderators. Check those sites for openings and apply for any jobs that interest you.

16. Website Tester

Income Potential: $300 per month

Many companies rely on data and feedback from users to perfect their websites and mobile apps. User tests can help to identify improvements that need to be made to the design or user experience.

As a website tester, you’ll earn money for each test you complete. The tests often take 5-30 minutes, but the details will vary. You don’t need specific skills or be highly tech-savvy (companies want testers who accurately represent real users). Most tests involve recording audio and video, so you’ll need a webcam and microphone, but a basic laptop is enough to get the job done.

The downside to this opportunity is that there are more workers than jobs, so the possibilities are somewhat limited. If you want to make money, you should take the available tests because they’re usually only available for a short time. You can make some extra money on the side as a tester, but it’s not going to turn into a massive income because there are only so many tests available.

Getting Started: Create a profile at websites like UserTesting, Userfeel, and Userlytics. Joining more programs will allow you to find more tests that are available and make more money.

17. Tutor

Income Potential: $10 – $30 per hour

Online tutoring jobs have become very popular in recent years. This is because there are a growing number of students worldwide who need teachers and tutors, which presents an opportunity to make money.

Many tutoring jobs involve teaching English as a second language, but there are tutoring opportunities in many other subjects as well. 

Some jobs for online tutors require teaching or tutoring experience, but others do not require experience. In most cases, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to work as a tutor.

Getting Started: Cambly, italki, and VIPKid offering tutoring positions with no teaching experience required. The details of the jobs vary, but in all cases, you’ll be working with students virtually. 

Remote Online Jobs Are More Available Than Ever

There are many ways to make money online, and you might be surprised by some of the entry-level remote jobs that don’t require specific work experience.

Many of the opportunities covered here are ideal for making some extra money in your spare time, and other options are better income potential if you’re willing to freelance.

It’s just a matter of deciding what the best fit for you is.

Online jobs with no experience needed

17 Online Jobs You Can Do With No Experience

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

A Guide to MekaVerse NFTs

One of the most talked-about and hyped new non-fungible token (NFT) collections of the past year recently hit the market: The MekaVerse NFT collection.

Curious about this new NFT collection? This guide will explain what MekaVerse NFTs are, their history, and everything else you need to know.

Recap: What Is an NFT?

NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” a type of digital asset that typically takes the form of some sort of artwork. One way to think of it is that they’re much like a digital version of a baseball card.

NFTs have unique, identifiable metadata codes, meaning that they cannot be copied, and as such are one-of-a-kind. On the other hand, fungible tokens, like bitcoins, have many copies—they are all the same.

What Is MekaVerse NFT?

The MekaVerse NFT collection (which you can view here on OpenSea ) is a project that launched in October 2021, and it features 8,888 NFTs. The NFTs themselves feature a very specific artwork style, each boasting robots that are commonly known as “Mekas.” These Mekas are inspired by Gundam-style robots, which is itself a fictional Japanese anime franchise that features giant military robots called “mechas.” Each individual Meka has its own, unique story, or lore, that comes with it.

Since NFTs hit the mainstream over the past few years, the MekaVerse collection is perhaps the most-hyped collection release to date. Its Discord server has nearly 180,000 members, and it has more than 250,000 followers on Twitter .

History of MekaVerse

How does a collection of mecha NFTs become one of the most-followed digital asset drops in history? Here’s a brief rundown of the project’s history.

The two main people behind the MekaVerse project are “Matt” and “Mattey,” two European digital and graphic artists. They teamed up with Julien van Dorland, a veteran of the NFT landscape, and in late August 2021, MekaVerse opened social media and Discord accounts to the public to get a look at the NFT artwork.

From there, the hype took off. MekaVerse also started a public raffle that was held in early October, with the winners getting a chance to mint NFTs featuring either one or two Mekas. Those NFTs were then made public on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace. There was massive demand, too, as users registered nearly 173,000 wallets for the raffle.

On October 13, 2021, the complete MekaVerse NFT project was revealed . Sales for MekaVerse NFTs commenced, with sales averaging well into the thousands of dollars, and more than 5,000 individuals becoming MekaVerse NFT owners in the months since.

How Do MekaVerse NFTs Work?

The project’s collection of nearly 9,000 NFTs is designed to capitalize on the “scarcity” aspect of NFTs, and therefore, increase their value. Each individual Meka in the project is a unique, three-dimensional creation, further adding to its perceived value.

How to Buy MekaVerse NFTs

The NFT collection is open to traders, collectors, and NFT investors. It’s housed on OpenSea, which is one of the world’s largest NFT marketplaces.

To browse or buy, you can simply go to the MekaVerse NFT collection on OpenSea , and take a look at all of the NFTs that are available. The marketplace has data related to pricing, bidding, and more.

When someone becomes a holder of a MekaVerse NFT, they become a part of the Meka’s corresponding “faction,” and can then gain access to exclusive events on Twitter and Discord.

You can make an offer or buy NFTs on OpenSea, but it’ll require that you use Ethereum, or ETH, to do so. So, before you can actually make the purchase, you’ll need to create an account, get an Ethereum wallet, and attach it to your OpenSea account, so as to facilitate the transaction.

How Much Do MekaVerse NFTs Cost?

Since NFTs are commodities and traded on a marketplace, their prices are in flux. But if you’re looking for a straightforward answer as to how much MekaVerse NFTs cost, here’s one: They aren’t cheap.

As of mid-to-early December 2021, the median price for a MekaVerse NFT was more than $4,500 (although they’re priced in ETH). But some have sold for much more. Around the time the project launched, some NFTs were selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Negative Sentiment Around MekaVerse NFTs

Every project has its issues and detractors, and the MekaVerse project is no different.

For instance, there were some delays in revealing some of the NFT images, which led to some lost momentum prior to launch. But those concerns were seemingly dwarfed by allegations of fraud, which surfaced on Twitter after the project launched.

In short, some people allege that certain buyers had early access to metadata, giving them an inside look at what images would be contained in certain NFTs — information that wasn’t available to everyone. That means that some buyers could have gotten their hands on high-value NFTs at lower prices, only to see their values shoot up later on.

Finally, there’s also been some criticism of the project due to the seeming lack of uniqueness among the NFT images. Some of the images appear to simply have colors swapped, rather than be a completely different Meka.

The Takeaway

As arguably the most anticipated NFT drop to date, the MekaVerse NFT collection has become very popular, very fast. The MekaVerse team does have a roadmap in place, which includes bringing the MekaVerse into the physical world with clothing and toys. There are also plans to airdrop free NFTs to current holders, which may include “weapons” and “companions” in future online games or events.

The NFT market is still new and full of potential for creators and investors. However, before investing in cryptocurrencies, NFTs, or any other digital asset, it’s important to research and understand the market.
One way to get started investing in digital assets is with SoFi Invest®. Members can trade cryptocurrency online from a selection of dozens of coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Solana, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Cardano, and Enjin Coin.

Get started investing using SoFi Invest.

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12 Best Hotel Booking Apps of 2021 – Get Cheap Deals on Rooms

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My family and I recently stayed in a two-bedroom apartment for the same cost as cramming into a dull corporate hotel room. I don’t have an in with the owner or know someone who knows someone. I just used a booking app. 

A hotel booking app can help save you time, hassle, and money when planning your next trip. And these hotel booking apps could help you find a deal just as good as the one they found me.

Best Independent Hotel Booking Apps

Independent apps aren’t affiliated with a specific hotel brand. They aggregate options across a range of hotel chains and independent lodging to provide you with an abundance of choices and travel deals. To get the best deals, download the heavy hitters and check them all before you book.

1. Booking.com

Arguably the most popular website for reserving accommodations, Booking.com has a robust, easy-to-use app that deserves a spot on your smartphone. One of the best things about this app is the sheer number of options it offers, including accommodations in off-the-beaten-path locations around the world.

If you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, the app makes it easy to view the address of your hotel in the local language. If you need to show a taxi or rideshare driver where you’re headed, you can simply pull it up in the app and point.

Finally, the interface makes it easy to see all past, current, and future trips, and it highlights any loyalty discounts you’re eligible for at properties across the globe.

But you can book more than just hotel stays. The app searches for private vacation rentals like those listed on Airbnb and Vrbo. It also displays the hotel’s or host’s cancellation policy, noting the date range for free cancellation. 

2. Hotels.com

Another major search engine in the online booking space, Hotels.com includes hundreds of thousands of properties in more than 200 countries and territories. 

Hotels.com’s best perk is the free night you get for every 10 nights you book through it. But you have to use the app to book your reward night at no charge. If you use the website, it costs $5. 

The app also lets you view or modify current reservations and view your reward progress toward free nights.

3. Priceline

Priceline rose to fame for its name-your-own-price feature. While it phased out that feature starting in 2016, Priceline replaced it with two new features called Pricebreakers and Express Deals. 

Pricebreakers show you a price quote and the names of three hotels in your destination city, and you book without knowing which hotel you’ll land. You get a deal in exchange for flexibility. 

Express Deals also involves a bit of dice-rolling. They quote you a price, the approximate location, the hotel star rating, and the hotel amenities and bed size. You also see three possible hotels on a map, one of which is the real one. 

With a bit of online detective work, you can often sleuth out which hotel they’ve quoted you. But even if you can’t, the deal you get may still be worth it.

The only drawback is that there’s no free cancellation when you book through these programs.

Or you can use Priceline’s more common features, such as booking hotels, flights, rental cars, and even cruises at retail pricing. It includes exclusive deals and promotions on hotels you can’t get on the website. 

Priceline also now offers a loyalty program called Priceline VIP. Once you complete two trips with Priceline, you start seeing discounts up to 50% on over 15,000 properties on their platform. 

After five completed trips, you reach VIP Gold and start seeing discounts on over 30,000 properties. And at 25 completed trips, the number of discounted properties rises to 45,000. 

4. Expedia

If you enjoy playing the travel rewards game and want to see just how steeply discounted a rate you can find, Expedia is the app for you. It often features exclusive app-only deals. Plus, you get double rewards points on everything you book through the app. 

Like other hotel booking apps, Expedia hosts a wealth of hotel reviews from real guests to help you find the best stay.

You can also use the app to book other Expedia services, like flights, car rentals, tickets, and tours. Expedia offers mobile-only discounts of up to 30% on hotels and says you can save an additional estimated 43% when bundling a hotel with your flight.

Plus, the app alerts you about important travel information like flight updates, delays, and gate changes before it causes a problem.   

Expedia also offers a convenient buy-now, pay-later service for hotel deals so you can pay at the hotel rather than upfront. 

5. HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined sets itself apart from the rest in a few ways. It offers tons of pictures of potential hotels, which appeals to people who want to know exactly what they’re getting into when booking a room. 

It also has a price alert feature that lets you sign up for an email notification when a room you’re interested in drops in price by 10% or more. If you can plan ahead to get the specific hotel you want, this feature can help you score a great deal.

HotelsCombined also offers a best-price guarantee. If you find a better deal elsewhere within 24 hours of booking, HotelsCombined matches it and refunds you the difference. 

The app also says it can unlock “secret deals” exclusive to users. Try it to see how much it can actually save you. You can always invoke their best-price guarantee if you spot a better deal later. 

6. Travelocity

The Travelocity app does everything you’d expect. You can book flights, hotels, and rental cars and bundle them for discounts. You can also browse and search activities to fill out your trip. 

Beyond hotels, the app also includes private vacation rentals like you’d find on Airbnb. That helps you find the best accommodation at the lowest price regardless of the property type.

Travelocity offers free cancellation on most hotel bookings. You can even filter search results to list only hotels that let you reserve now and pay later. 

Travelocity offers its own price guarantee. It not only matches the better offer but gives you a $50 coupon toward your next booking. But the window only lasts 24 hours after booking. 

In addition to their price guarantee, Travelocity guarantees excellent and timely customer service. That includes 24-hour customer service through email, phone, chat, and social media channels. 


Best Hotel Booking Apps for Last-Minute Deals

Most hotels have loads of unused rooms that go unused on a given night. And some apps take advantage of that by offering these vacant rooms for far less than their list price. 

If you enjoy the thrill of a last-minute hotel search or need a place to stay in a strange city on the fly, these apps have you covered.

7. HotelTonight

Perhaps your Airbnb host cancels your reservation the day of your arrival or you miss your flight and the first available connection isn’t until the next day. With HotelTonight on your phone, you can book a hotel reservation for the same evening or up to seven days in advance.

HotelTonight aggregates a city’s empty hotel rooms in one place, and you can book one for up to 50% off the full price. The app’s express deals go live at noon each day, and in some cities, you could have thousands of hotel rooms to choose from across multiple price points. 

The app is user-friendly and has a tiered loyalty program called HT Perks, which can net you even better rates the more loyalty credits you accrue. Even better, those loyalty points never expire.

8. One Night

If flying by the seat of your pants when you travel sounds appealing, One Night is the app for you. You can only book a reservation after noon for the same night in a select number of cities, usually at an enticing discount to sweeten the deal. 

Once you book a night, you can extend your accommodations for up to seven days.

The thing that sets One Night apart from other last-minute booking apps is that when you select your hotel, the app gives you hour-by-hour suggestions for fun things to do in your destination city. If you like to travel like a local, this is the app for you.


Best Hotel Chain Apps

If you take advantage of travel loyalty programs, it’s smart to have the app of your preferred hotel on your smartphone. With these iOS and Android apps, you can skip the line, choose your room, and unlock other member perks with ease.

9. Marriott

Marriott boasts more than 6,700 hotels in 130 countries. That means Marriott group owns 1 in 15 hotel rooms in the world. So you definitely won’t be starved for choices if you book accommodations on the Marriott app.

Once you book, you can request upgrades and late checkouts right from your phone. You can also request extras for your room, like a hair dryer or extra towels. 

If you frequently stay at any of Marriott’s 30 brands of hotel properties, join Marriott’s Bonvoy rewards program and keep this app on your phone. The app’s Eat Around Town feature lets you link a credit card and pay for meals directly, earning up to six Marriott points per dollar spent. 

Marriott Bonvoy also keeps you posted about hotel promotions all over the world, helping you save money wherever you visit.

10. Hilton Honors

If you’re a Hilton Honors devotee, you’ll love the app feature that everyone raves about: getting to choose your exact room ahead of time. 

At many hotels, you can see a map of the property and pick the room you want via the app. That’s especially popular with travelers who have a particular preference, such as a high floor with a view or distance from the elevator, or those who want to be near a specific amenity like the pool or fitness center.

The app also has a digital key feature that lets you use your smartphone to unlock the door to your room at select properties. Finally, being able to check out of your room at the end of your stay via the app means you won’t be stuck in line at the front desk during checkout.

The Hilton Honors app particularly helps you manage and optimize your Hilton rewards, finding exclusive promotions and stretching your reward points further.

11. Hyatt

Hyatt’s mobile app is called World of Hyatt after their rewards program. 

Through the app, you can stream personal entertainment content through the TV in your room with Chromecast, unlock your door with your phone, and contact the hotel directly in real time through a chat function both before and during your stay. Best of all, you can skip the front desk check-in entirely.

You can also view your progress toward rewards, tap into exclusive promotions, and see any points you’ve earned with previous stays at a Hyatt property.

12. IHG

Shorthand for InterContinental Hotels Group, IHG has almost 6,000 hotels worldwide. 

Its app encourages customers to book travel directly with the chain instead of using a third-party site. It does so by offering a member-exclusive rate with savings of 3% on average if you book directly.

The app also features special rewards offers and discounts and lets you view your points balance toward a free or discounted stay. 

In addition to a user-friendly interface, the app has a travel tools section with neighborhood guides and maps. Finally, it offers a white noise feature in case you don’t sleep well in hotels.


Final Word

If you enjoy hunting for the best hotel deal to save money on vacation or racking up loyalty points you can trade for free nights and other perks, it pays to download the best travel apps to your smartphone. 

From skipping the line at check-in to finding the lowest hotel prices to simply being able to view the property beforehand, using hotel booking apps is an easy, free way to be a savvy traveler.

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G. Brian Davis is a real estate investor, personal finance writer, and travel addict mildly obsessed with FIRE. He spends nine months of the year in Abu Dhabi, and splits the rest of the year between his hometown of Baltimore and traveling the world.

Source: moneycrashers.com