United Airlines Will Let You Trade in Your Unwanted Gift Cards for Airline Miles

KarinaUvarova/iStock via Getty Images
KarinaUvarova/iStock via Getty Images

For people who are hard to buy for during the holiday season, gift cards are usually the solution. It’s the gift that tells them they’re free to figure things out on their own. But if you’re the recipient and don’t care for a gift card, what can you do? United Airlines is offering one possible solution.

The airline has announced a MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange program that will accept unwanted gift cards and apply their value to award miles. If you’re not already enrolled, you can fill out an online form to join the MileagePlus program. After a 90-day waiting period, you can begin trading in gift cards for miles. The airline accepts over 100 gift cards from retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, food franchises, and other outlets. They’ll even accept cards for rival airlines like American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They won’t field Amazon cards, however.

The actual card-to-miles conversion rate will vary, but according to the Points Guy website, it works out to roughly 26.6 times the balance of the card. A $50 card could net you 1330 miles or so. The airline will give you a chance to review the exchange before committing to it.

Is there fine print? Naturally. The gift cards need to have at least a $15 balance. United reserves the right to impose a maximum individual balance redeemed, though they don’t specify what that might be. A 7.5 percent federal excise tax will also apply.

[h/t lifehacker]

Dream Job Alert: Irish Island Is Hiring a Couple to Run Its Local Café

twstipp, iStock via Getty Images
twstipp, iStock via Getty Images

Resolving to spend more time unplugged isn't easy in 2020, but if you'd like to replace the gaming, binge-watching, and social media in your life with silence, nature, and solitude, consider moving to Ireland. As The Guardian reports, Great Blasket Island, off the country's west coast, has a job opening for two caretakers to manage a café and accommodations that are straight out of the 19th century.

The position comes with free food, lodging, and an undisclosed salary. Duties include maintaining three cottages and serving tea, coffee, and snacks to up to 21 guests. Such luxuries as Wi-Fi, hot showers, and electrical lighting are missing from the island. Instead, caretakers will depend on candles for light and stoves to boil water.

Great Blasket isn't completely off the grid. A small wind turbine there produces enough power to charge a smart phone, but with the spectacular views of the 1100-acre island and the Atlantic coast, you may not want to return to a life of nonstop scrolling.

Whether you apply for the job with a romantic partner or a close friend, it's important that the two caretakers get along well. Alice Hayes, the person behind the job listing, also stated that they should be friendly, talkative, and in good shape.

The gig starts on April 1 and runs through October 1 of this year. If you're interested in leaving the modern world behind for a few months, you can contact Alice Hayes for more information at info@greatblasketisland.net.

[h/t The Guardian]

A Cheese-Themed Hotel Room Is Popping Up in London

Cafe Rouge
Cafe Rouge

Winter is the perfect time to lock yourself indoors with a stockpile of cheese to keep you company. You could clear out your local cheese shop and do this at home, or, if you're the winner of a new contest hosted by Café Rouge, you can do it in luxury.

Between January 29 and February 6, the UK-based French bistro chain will put up nine winners and their guests in what it claims to be the world's first cheese-themed hotel. The Cheese Suite is designed to promote Café Rouge's cheese-heavy winter menu.

Concept art for cheese suite.
Cafe Rouge

The accommodations in Camden, London, have all the amenities of a typical hotel, plus plenty of special features for fromage fanatics. Upon arriving, guests will be greeted by cheese wallpaper, cheese bedding, and giant cheese art installations. Even the board games and toiletries in the suite are cheese-themed.

If the dairy-centric decor works up their appetite, guests can nibble on the cheese and crackers in the room or call the cheese hotline to get more substantial dishes delivered to their door. Items on the menu include halloumi frites, a camembert and raisin chutney baguette, and a beef bourguignon burger stuffed with raclette and comte cheeses.

Concept art for cheese suite.
Cafe Rouge

The on-demand cheese, as well as the suite itself, are complimentary. At the end of their free stay, guests will have the option to donate to Café Rouge’s charity partner, the Prince’s Trust, an organization dedicated to vulnerable young people.

To make your funky dreams come true, enter for the chance for you and a friend to win a one-night stay at the Cheese Suite through Café Rouge's website. The competition, open to UK and Channel Island residents only, closes on January 21. Here are some cheesy facts to brush up on in the meantime.

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