Totally unrelated to markets, but lots of interesting lifestyle companies popping up. I am inherently skeptical about most of these (Groupon and sites like it are my worst nightmare – ie buying more things I don’t want). However, there are a lot of sites that simply reduce the costs or improve what you are already doing. A few of my favorites below – I use all of these.
Tripit: Tracks travel, updates flights, and tracks reward balances.
Taxi Magic: I don’t have cell service at my house, so this app lets you summon or schedule a cab and pay with credit card info stored on your phone. Uber is similar for a private driver (but not in LA).
FoundersCard: I was highly skeptical of this card, as I am for anything that charges a fee ($295) and especially for something that has “exclusive” invites that happens to be open to everyone. However, it has a few benefits that right off the bat pay for the card and more. I upgraded/booked an enormous hotel room in NYC for a week that probably saved me a few thousand dollars alone. Other benefits:
10% off AT&T bill, 33% off UPS shipping
Send someone $20 every month through Giftly (for free somehow. Reminds me of the old X Card Paypal bought)
$40 credit on Gilt
TaskRabbit 15% off and $20 credit (used this last wknd to unclog my sink)
All sorts of benefits on American, Virgin, Quantas, Hertz etc.
Refferral Code: FCFABER11 (I get reward points if you use my code)
Savored and BlackBoard Eats: These two are similar and focused on restaurants. BBEats gives you a code to give the waiter (a pain and has the downside of feeling like you are using a coupon), usually good for 25-33% off food at a restaurant, and they generally have about 2 or so offers per month that expire in a few month’s time. Savored is a much better offering where they give you 30% off all food AND drink if you book your reservation through the site (read: no coupons or codes to give the waiter, it’s automatic). That is a big deal if you like wine, etc. The catch is that it is $10 to make a reservation, but if you are a FoundersCard member they are all free.
Jetsetter and Hotel Tonight (phone app only): Jetsetter curates hotels and then offers discounts. Hotel Tonight gives you a choice of a hand full of hotels each nite highly discounted. In both cases they solve some problems for me – narrowing the list of possible hotels, and then giving a nice discount. FoundersCard members get a free $50 credit and 15% off Hotel Tonight bookings.
Any other cool sites or apps I’m missing?
Updated with a few readers sent in:
GrubHub: Online food ordering.
Seamless: Online group food ordering.
AutoSlash: Books you with cheapest car and automatically rebooks if fares go down.