Lifestyle Companies

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.