Money Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Money

5 Ways To Use Frequent Flyer Miles (Other Than Flying)

air force one replica

You might not be flying as much lately – global pandemic or otherwise – but your accumulated frequent flyer miles don’t have to go to waste. Although many airlines have extended frequent flyer programs so your miles won’t expire any time soon, you can put the miles you have now to good use.

Here are 5 ways to use your frequent flyer miles for everything that’s not a flight.

1. Shopping

Most airlines have online malls with a number of retailers including Apple and Best Buy. You’ll find these online malls through the airline mileage website and can use any miles you have for discounts or to purchase items outright. Additionally if you’re using a credit card with mile perks, they most likely will have an online store as well.

sydney australia mall

2. Take A Road Trip

Frequent flyer miles can be used for car rentals or hotels so don’t limit yourself to the sky. As a general rule you’ll get more bang for your mile using points in the travel industry as opposed to a new iPad (see point 1 above).

3. Convert To Cash

You can trade in frequent flyer miles for cash, especially if they’re accumulated through a credit card. NerdWallet breaks down Marriott’s award program (.3 cents per point) but according to Alex Miller, the CEO of Upgraded Points, you want to aim for conversions of a cent per mile.

trove wallet

4. Donate

You’re a good person, I’m sure but just so you know, unless you bought your frequent flyer miles donating them won’t be a tax deduction in most cases. You can though donate your miles, in case you didn’t know that. (Works for random currency you’ve accumulated traveling too.) There are a number of good causes most mileage programs have partnered with and your miles can help others escape political violence or make ends meet (by converting miles to cash).

sunset flight

5. Give To Friends And Family

There’s often a fee to transfer miles to another account (if you’re married though maybe not so contact the airline) but for those people who need to fly, your miles might help them get what they need for a free flight. Like many of the points already mentioned, the best way is through the airline’s online mileage program site, then call to see what better options they might offer you.

While You Wait

Most people haven’t checked up on the miles they have recently or when they might be expiring. If that sounds like you, check your frequent flyer miles right now to make sure they aren’t (or haven’t) vanished. Contact the airlines to see what extension plans are in effect since when travel does resume, you’re likely to get some great deals with the miles you have. So, unless you have a good reason not to, it’s best to stash your miles until you’re ready for sky time since they can protect you from flight cancellations as well.

Trove Wallet Might Convince You On Minimalist Money Carrying

The Trove Wallet is a slim wallet that differs itself from the competition buy going for a small and soft aesthetic that might entice you to finally leave the fold.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Trove’s Minimalism

Like most slim wallets, the Trove Wallet cuts down on pockets by giving you space for the stuff you actually use. Unlike most slim wallets however, the Trove is made of an elastic material, not hard plastic or metal. The flexibility of the design, which primarily uses two fabrics stitched together results in a wallet that’s only as big as it needs to be.

trove wallet

The first elastic fabric comes in a variety of colors you can choose from with a single piece of material (reflex, carbon-fiber, or leather) used to hold the form together. (Reflex and carbon fiber are vegan options.) All of the components can be configured with the colors you want from the reflex to the stitching or you can choose from Trove’s default selection.

Additionally, you can add a “Swift” tab which let’s you pull up your cards out of the front pocket of the Trove. Honestly, I couldn’t see using this wallet without it.

Fabric Design

Although the Trove Wallet is physically small, it’s also physically diverse and inconspicuous. There are three compartments, two on the top and one on the bottom formed by the tension between the two top pockets coming together. The best way to use the Trove is to put your 2 or 3 most used cards in the front pocket, less used cards in the rear pocket, and cash in the “underneath” pocket. You could also use this underneath pocket for receipts or miscellaneous items like a coin or two but you won’t be able to carry much change at all.

Who’s The Trove For?

Read this part first, react, then give it a second to sink in: the Trove Wallet holds up to 10 cards and a few bills of cash, maybe a receipt. Your gut reaction might be “there’s no way I can reduce my wallet to all of that!” But if you check your current wallet, that’s probably all you’re carrying as it is. (Plus that membership card you haven’t looked at in 5 years.)

For frequent travelers, the trade offs for a slim wallet will be worth the switch. The Trove Wallet is slim, light, and so much more convenient although it takes a week to get used to the new form factor. Traditionalists who don’t like change probably aren’t reading at this point but if you’ve been on the fence about slim wallets, the Trove brings a lot of the best from folding and slim wallets.

How To Rent An Office Anywhere In The World

Renting an office most anywhere in the world can be an expensive commitment. Often on trips longer than a few days (or just pandemics in general) you need a quiet place to work outside of your home or rental accommodation. Regus Spaces is a service that let’s you rent temporary space in over 3,300 locations worldwide with agreements as short as one month. Here’s how it works.

Regus Rentals

Regus is a company with a network of 3300 work spaces worldwide and includes other brands like Spaces, which is focused on temporary or short-term rentals. There are a number of options using Spaces but it basically breaks down into two basic categories: time and type.

The first general option with a Spaces subscription is the duration. You sign up for a monthly or year subscription (discounts if you do the latter) and can cancel with one month’s notice. If you only need temporary office space for a month, simply cancel the day you sign up. Options to rent are 5, 10, or unlimited days in a month with some restrictions. Most notably the days of the week (business days only) and hours (typically from 9am-5pm). Otherwise you’re free to use your office days as you please and can book at any of the 3,300 locations the day before.

regus spaces office

The second option is type.

  • Lounge Access – Similar to an airport lounge, this levels gives you access to Regus business lounges. These are open spaces with free high-speed (I’ve tested, it’s fast) wifi and common facilities like a printer, scanner, and photocopier.
  • Co-Working Option – Includes all the Lounge Perks but guarantees you a desk with rates (varying worldwide) starting at a little over $100.
  • Private Office – Gives you a dedicated private office space, including access to all of the perks and spaces in the other plan types.

The private office option usually runs about double the price of a co-working monthly membership.

Not Renting A Single Space

It’s important to note that in all of these Spaces plans you’re not renting a single co-working desk or private office in say, Berlin. Your subscription gives you access to all of the 3,300 Regus locations. Working one day in Berlin then flying to London for a business trip? You can split your days in between them or simply try a new office across town from another Regus location.

Every office has a different design, some are open plans with large windows while others are more traditional four walls and a desk. You can visit any of the locations as a member or set one up to see what nearby options are before you sign up. Take a look in my video here of a look inside a Regus/Space temporary office. For those of you who travel frequently or simply need a quiet place to get some work done outside of the house or hotel, Spaces has a number of flexible places in a location that might be close to you.

How To Overcome Your Travel Fears In The New Year

foxnomad podcast michael wigge

The thought of traveling around the world seems daunting but add in the challenge of doing it with no money and it sounds downright scary. Michael Wigge though is someone who did just that in 2013, among other travel challenges. Now, he’s has taken those lessons from the road to teach you how to overcome your own fears. I spoke with Michael on a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast and asked how he’s teaching others what fear is and how you can conquer it. Techniques Michael’s had to use himself as he talks in front of large groups as a motivational speaker.

You might remember Michael from this live chat from several years ago when he answered your questions on what it was like to barter his way around the world. In this episode you can listen to here, we spoke about traveling the world for free, Michael’s work as a motivational speaker in Germany, and what it was like getting paid to be a human couch in Las Vegas.

It was nice to catch up with Michael after a few years and glean the lessons he’s teaching others from a life of travel challenges with the accompanying highs and lows that comes with the journey. Whatever your goals may be using your fear as a guide rather than an obstacle can make any plan a reality.

How To Get A Refund For Canceled Flights From Any Airline

The best way to get a refund from an airline who’s canceled a flight on you is to protect yourself at purchase. There are however other ways you can get your money back, even if you haven’t taken some airfare precautions. With flight cancellations being so common lately and the airlines adapting their policies to let themselves off the hook, here’s how you can get a refund for a canceled flight from any airline.

Protecting Your Purchase

Before booking plane tickets you should know that the airlines in general have changed their policies to make re-booking easier in the event they cancel but refunds more difficult. That’s great if you know you’re going to take a trip regardless of a delay but sometimes once a flight is canceled so is that trip. You’d like to get your money back but the airline policies usually won’t help you.

But there is one area where airline policies could still be on your side: frequent flyer miles. Assuming you have enough miles for a given flight, using them to book airfare can protect your wallet against cancellations. Most of the major mileage programs you should be using have different refund policies than regular airfare purchases meaning if an airline cancels a flight, typically they refund your miles back within 30 days.

In case you don’t have quite enough miles for a given flight, if you’re close, consider purchasing the remaining amount. Typically that’s not a good deal but if it’s only a few miles, consider it insurance against losing your entire airfare.

Get Travel Insurance

As the airlines have adapted to an increasing number of flight cancellations, so have insurance companies. Using the insurance aggregator SquareMouth you can search through policies and filter by cancellation refunds (in the case of Covid or otherwise). Once you’ve narrowed down your choices you can choose the coverage that works best for you. An obvious bonus is that you now have travel insurance too if your trip does go as planned.


Check Your Credit Card

Many of you might be relying on protections your credit card might come with if you purchase airfare. Most people though don’t check what those policies are and end up losing money when a flight doesn’t happen. Always verify with your credit card company if you’re going to rely on it for insurance but if a flight is canceled you might be able to dispute the charge. This doesn’t always work and often has to be done within 30 days of the original purchase but something to consider if you don’t have other options.

Keep in mind though your chances of success will be much higher if you call your credit card company rather than using their online tool. It might be more time consuming but could make the difference for you successful dispute.

Ekster’s Aluminum Cardholder Brings Minimalism To Their Slim Wallet Line

Ekster’s line of slim wallets and cardholders has elegantly retained a classic wallet look, while ditching the traditional fold. Those small steps toward a truly minimal, modern slim wallet were a good introduction for those not wanting to make a major change to the way they carry credit cards. For everyone else though, wanting a modern look with a modern design from Ekster, the Aluminum Cardholder is a solid step in the right direction.

Sleek And Slim

The Aluminum Cardholder isn’t marketed as a wallet but its three components give you everything you’d need to carry cards, some cash, and like most wallets… no coins. Slimmer than even Ekster’s other slim wallets, the Aluminum holds 4-6 cards in its 7.4 millimeter main compartment. The exterior space-grade 6061-T6 aluminum does scuff a bit from the included money clip but it’s certainly useful if you carry cash often.

ekster aluminum cardholder

Around the back of the Aluminum is a “backpocket plate” to hold even more cards (up to 6) if the 4-6 in the main compartment won’t be enough for your needs.

Minimalism In Metal

For many, this might be too minimal a design, particularly if you’re coming from a traditional wallet. Keep that in mind for your gift buying ideas as well, someone who’s more traditional will probably be happier with one of Ekster’s more classic looks. Those other cardholders have elements – leather, folds, pockets – from traditional wallets.

But the jump into minimalism here for the Aluminum will appeal to everyone wanting to travel light. The sleek aluminum is unassuming, fits (and doesn’t stick out) of most jean front pockets, and can be expanded with the additional plate if needed.

Right Steps

The Ekster Aluminum falls more inline with competing slim wallets – the metal look, thin profile – while keeping the cardholders signature switchblade card release design. (It’s definitely a strong selling point once you try it.)  On its own Ekster’s Aluminum is a nice cardholder but put into the other options Parliament, Senate, and now you’ve got a broad spectrum to choose from. From modern wallet to ultra-slim, the Aluminum is one traveler’s should take a close look at.


About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

YouTube Twitter Instagram Facebook


Image Map


Image Map

The best of travel in your inbox!