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Best credit cards for Airbnb

Many of us are avoiding travel during the pandemic.

But if you have to shelter in place under quarantine once you get to your destination, wouldn’t you rather do it in an environment that at least seems more within your control?

If the choice is between a hotel where you must trust your experience to a faceless corporation or a local host you can talk to through homestay sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, the latter may be the better option for these times (provided you don’t violate their party guidelines).

Whatever option you choose, credit card issuers now reward homestays with points and cash back in the same way they’ve long doled out rewards for hotels and other travel expenses.

These are the best cards on the market for homestays like Airbnb.

See related: Strategies for planning 2021 travel

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best no-annual-fee, high rewards option

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best introductory bonus
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: Best for bonus rewards
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best flat-rate miles card
  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card: Best for online shopping
  • Discover it® Miles: Best no-fee option
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best no-annual-fee, high rewards option

    The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card includes arguably one of the highest rates of return on points for some of the most popular redemption categories out there, including homestays like Airbnb and Vrbo.

    The greatest advantages of this card – besides earning 3 points per dollar spent on some popular spending categories – are that there’s no point limit or expiration, no annual fee and no rotating categories that you constantly have to remind yourself to activate. You get three times the points in the relevant categories all the time without restriction, with travel – including all homestays – and transit being one of those prominent categories.

    The card also charges no foreign currency conversion fee, so buying things abroad is less expensive. If that weren’t enough, here’s what you also get:

    • 3 points per dollar spent on travel and transit purchases
    • 3 points per dollar spent on eating out and ordering in
    • 3 points per dollar spent on gas and rideshares
    • 3 points per dollar spent on select streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Sirius XM and Spotify Premium
    • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else
    • No annual fee
    • No points limit or expiration
    • Premium access to presale tickets, offers and protections from American Express
    • 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months

    ProudMoney.

    Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best introductory bonus

    Before the Wells Fargo Propel card debuted, Chase Sapphire Reserve was the go-to credit card option for Airbnb fans. It offers a 50,000-point introductory bonus when you spend $4,000 in your first three months of membership. Those points are worth up to $750 when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    Though equipped with fewer spending categories offering 3X points and carrying a large annual fee of $550, the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are more specifically geared toward frequent travelers.

    At the same time, that large annual fee is offset by a $300 annual credit that will reimburse any travel expense – including Airbnb. And from June 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, gas station and grocery store purchases count toward the travel credit.

    Add to that a $100 credit covering the application to Global Entry/TSA Precheck every four years and the annual fee is almost completely offset in the first year.

    Meanwhile, there are even more travel benefits:

    • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months (worth up to $750 in travel)
    • 3 points per dollar spent on travel (excluding purchases covered by the $300 travel credit)
    • 3 points per dollar spent on dining (including delivery and takeout) and travel; $1,000 in grocery purchases, including eligible pick-up and delivery services, from Nov. 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021
    • Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select Membership
    • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • Primary car rental insurance
    • Lost luggage reimbursement

    Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: Best for bonus rewards

    While the points per dollar offered by Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card on travel and Airbnb are fewer than the credit cards above, the sign-up bonus and up to $200 in annual statement credits make it a decent option, even with less flexibility on what qualifies as a credit than the credit cards above.

    This card should absolutely move to the top of your list if you are already a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client. That designation automatically increases your return even higher than what the other credit cards above offer on travel and dining – you can get a rewards bonus of up to 75%.

    Combine that with a generous sign-up bonus and the Bank of America Premium Rewards is one of the most potent rewards cards for Preferred Rewards clients.

    The card includes:

    • Introductory bonus: 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days (worth up to $500 in free travel)
    • 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel purchases, including Airbnb and Vrbo
    • 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else
    • Get up to $200 in travel statement credit rewards, including $100 for incidental spending per year and $100 toward a TSA Precheck/Global Entry application every four years
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients earn up to 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points per dollar on all other purchases
    • $95 annual fee

    Travel loyalty programs offer extended perks in pandemic

    Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best flat-rate miles option

    The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is remarkably similar to Bank of America’s Premium Rewards card, right down to the $95 annual fee, but without the additional benefits afforded to Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients.

    However, Capital One Venture Rewards offers 2 points per dollar spent on every purchase, not just travel and dining.

    • Earn 60,000 travel miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months – equaling $600 in travel credit
    • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, every day
    • Points can be redeemed for statement credit on travel purchases, including Airbnb
    • $95 annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees

    Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card: Best for online shopping

    You may be wondering why the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is on a list highlighting the best credit cards for AirBnb, Vrbo and other homestays.

    Shouldn’t this card be limited to the “best credit cards for online shopping” list? Not when Amazon offers Airbnb gift cards and the Amazon Prime Rewards card gives you 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases as long as you have a Prime membership, which essentially acts as the annual fee ($119).

    Just purchase an AirBnb gift card from Amazon with the card, and it’s as if you are getting 5% cash back for your AirBnb stay when you apply the gift card towards it. It’s the highest rate on this list, Amazon or not.

    You’ll receive the following additional benefits:

    • 5% cash back on Whole Foods and Amazon purchases (with Prime membership)
    • 2% cash back on purchases at drugstores, gas stations and restaurants
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • A $100 Amazon gift card upon credit card application approval
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $500,000 travel accident insurance
    • $3,000 per passenger lost luggage reimbursement
    • Baggage delay insurance of up to $100 a day for three days
    • Extended warranty coverage for an additional year

    See related: How to pay off Amazon purchases over time

    Discover it® Miles: Best no-fee option

    Though the points per dollar on this card are lower than any other credit card on the list, Discover it Miles gives you much more freedom in how you can manage your points and account.

    You can redeem miles in any amount, your miles don’t expire even if you close your account and 1% of your miles can be converted directly into cash for your bank account.

    Discover it Miles offers:

    • 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on every purchase (matched at the end of the first year)
    • Points can be redeemed for statement credit on travel expenses, including Airbnb, gas stations and restaurants.
    • Miles can be converted into cash at rate of 1 cent per mile and transferred directly into your bank account
    • Redeem miles in any amount
    • Miles never expire and you don’t lose them even when you close your account
    • No late payment fee or penalty APR on your first late payment, up to $40 thereafter
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • No annual fee
    • 0% APR on purchases for 14 months (11.99% to 22.99% variable APR after that)

    creditcards.com

    The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You

    The less you own, the less that owns you. Minimalist living has changed my life for the better. If you are interested in having a minimalist house and life, then you must read this!I haven’t always been a minimalist, nor have I always been interested in minimalist living. I used to purchase crazy amounts of clothing, random items for my home, wasn’t interested in becoming a minimalist, and so on.

    I hoarded lots of items, hoping that one day I would find a use for them. I often thought that I needed things, so I would purchase crazy amounts of them even though I should have put my money to better use.

    Then, around two years ago, I realized that I had too much stuff and that I had an unhealthy relationship with material things.

    Over the past two years, I have donated or given away the majority of my belongings. I now pretty much only have the things I need to get me through the day or week ahead. There is no extra, and before I purchase anything, I always think about what use I’ll get out of it.

    After all, I travel full-time and there’s only so much I can carry. Plus, getting rid of the majority of my belongings has been hard, stressful, and tiring, and I definitely don’t want to experience that ever again!

    I know that not everyone wants to be a minimalist. And, I’m not pushing it on anyone. I know that buying stuff isn’t all bad, and there are many material things that make life easier and better.

    Instead, I want to introduce people to the idea of minimalist living, especially since the average person has lots of extra stuff in their lives that they don’t need. This can lead to debt, buying things just to impress others, wasting time, and so on.

    Plus, being a minimalist has changed my life for the better, and I believe that it can help others as well.

    I used to spend a lot of time thinking the things I bought and spending all of my money on new things, but I am far from that now.

    It’s easy to get lost in the idea of spending money on things to fill your life, and the average home size has changed to make it only easier to feel like you have to buy more than you need. Consider this, the average home size in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to 2013, the average home size has increased to nearly 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Clearly, we used to make due with less, and there are still many reasons for minimalist living:

    • Minimalist living can help you save more money. Minimalist living most likely means that you’ll be buying less stuff. Instead, you’ll only buy what you want and what you truly need.
    • Minimalist living means less clutter. Clutter can take over a person’s life. You may feel stressed out, tired, like your things are taking over your life, and more.
    • Minimalist living can give you more time. By living with less stuff, you can spend less time on cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. The more things you have, the more things that you’ll need to clean, maintain, and repair. Just think about what you could do with all of that extra time!

    Here is how minimalist living has changed my life:

     

    Clothing doesn’t define me.

    By being a minimalist, I’ve definitely realized that I don’t need much in order to be happy. Before, I thought that I needed all the clothing in the world in order to be happy, but now I know that I really don’t need much.

    In fact, I hardly ever purchase clothing, and I’ve been wearing nearly the same things for several years.

    For me, it’s all about buying things that are more “classic,” won’t go out of style, things that I actually like instead of what’s trendy for that month, and so on.

    It feels great when you realize that you don’t need all of that extra stuff in your life.

    Instead, purchase what you want and need, rather than thinking about keeping up with others all the time or thinking that emotional spending is something that will help you.

     

    Minimalist living gives me more time.

    Minimalist living allows me to have more time to spend on other things.

    Just think about it: The more things you have, then the more time you have to spend on using it, maintaining it, repairing it, cleaning it, and so on.

    I would much rather live with less than think about all of the things that I own that need work done to them!

    Related blog posts about minimalist living:

    • What I Learned By Donating And Giving Away Nearly All Of My Stuff
    • Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV
    • Minimalism 101: One Thing a Day
    • Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe
    • How I Live in a 400 Sq. Ft. House – My Minimalist Home
    • How I Live On A Sailboat
    • Why Paying For A Storage Unit Is A Waste of Money

     

    With minimalist living, I’ve realized that I don’t need much.

    Before I was a minimalist, I kept a lot of things because I thought I needed them for the future. On a regular basis, I probably only used around 25% of the things I had in my house.

    In reality, it was probably even less than the 25% figure that I just said above.

    I know I’m not alone, and many people keep items because they think they might need them in the future. You know the feeling– you buy something, don’t use it right away, and years later you find it but just can’t throw it away in case there is some circumstance where you need that exact item.

    If this is you, then you should put a timeline of no more than one year on the item. If you don’t use it in that timeframe, then there’s a big chance that you’ll never need it or will even miss it that much.

    Instead of buying items that you rarely use, you may want to think about renting or borrowing them from someone else.

    When I think about how much stuff we gave away, I honestly can’t even remember half of the things. I realize now how little we really needed, and those things definitely did not make me happy if I can’t even remember them!

     

    I save more money by living with less stuff.

    Now that we live with less stuff, we are able to save a great deal of money. Instead of thinking that we need everything that exists, we are now much more realistic about our needs and realize that there’s a lot of clutter in the stores that no one really needs at all.

    Plus, now that I realize how much money I’ve wasted over the years, I am able to say “no” at the store when debating about whether or not I should purchase a certain item, especially one that might create clutter.

    I can also walk into a store and only buy exactly what I need, even if that store is Target!

    I have so much more control over my spending and that has saved me a lot of money.

    Related:

    • 30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month
    • How To Save Money – My Best Money Saving Tips
    • 8 Things To Sell To Make Money
    • Are You Making Your Life Difficult? 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life
    • How To Reach Your 2018 Goals

     

    I understand now that I don’t need things to make me happy.

    Having more things doesn’t make you a happier person. Things don’t make you a better person, they don’t make you more successful than others, or anything else.

    In fact, in many circumstances it’s far from that.

    I know this because I have less stuff than I have ever had, and I am happier than ever.

    Plus, when was the last time you heard someone say “I’m so glad I bought all those pairs of pants 35 years ago!” or “I’m so glad I had all of those things decades ago!”

    You should only own something if you truly want or need it. Who cares about what everyone else has!

     

    A minimalist house allows me to travel.

    Unless I maintain my minimalist lifestyle and house (well, RV), then I wouldn’t be able to travel full-time. It would be quite hard and not nearly as enjoyable if I had a bunch of things holding me back.

    I really, really love and enjoy being able to travel full-time, and it is one of the best benefits of living minimally.

    Do you think minimalist living could change your life? Why or why not?

     

    The post The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

    Source: makingsenseofcents.com

    International travel: Is it time to dust off the passport?

    I’ve been laying low the last five months, my passport safely tucked into my desk drawer awaiting the world’s re-opening.

    Like you, I’ve missed travel. Especially as summer winds down, and the sun sets a few minutes later every night, I’ve found myself daydreaming of returning to the proverbial road.

    Sure, I’ve been road tripping, camping and entertaining myself domestically as far as my imagination can take me over these months. But there’s nothing that feeds my soul quite like crossing a border.

    While most borders across the world are still closed to U.S. passport holders, I’ve not only started to seriously think about when an international trip might be right for me, but I also did something a little crazy this week.

    I booked a trip to Mexico for September.

    Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

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    What is and isn’t possible

    Let’s be honest, Mexico was never high on my list of places to travel for 2020. Before COVID-19, my wandering sights were set on exploring much more exotic destinations this year like Uzbekistan, Guyana and the Apulia region of Italy, from which my family migrated.

    In a world without a pandemic, my autumn travel plan was to spend late September in the Marquesas islands of French Polynesia, celebrating a big 50th birthday of one of my dearest friends and fellow points collectors.

    As things have begun to slowly open up over the last months, my friend and I have had a million conversations discussing if there might be somewhere other than a Zoom birthday party where we could safely celebrate half a century. As you might remember, I have high expectations for celebrating milestone birthdays.

    As we’ve contemplated if it’s safe and smart to actually think about international birthday travel right now, we set a few guidelines on our planning:

    • Places far away where we wouldn’t want to get stuck are off limits.
    • Any plans we make have to be fully cancelable.
    • There must be sunshine and water at the destination.
    • We must be able to pay with points.
    • Destinations with a 14-day arrival quarantine won’t work.
    • The Caribbean isn’t an option (if your birthday falls in the middle of an extremely active hurricane season).

    With the big birthday getting closer each week, I’ve been paying more attention to possibilities as well as all the deals that keep filling up my inbox. Then, when Hyatt announced their new Work from Hyatt deal this week, it got me thinking: let’s plan a trip to Cabo.

    See related: Can we safely return to sleeping in hotels?

    How we’ll get there

    From Portland, Oregon (my COVID-19 home base), Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is an easy flight. There is plenty of sun and a lot of options to plan a refundable trip on points.

    A large percentage of Cabo’s resorts have reopened since June, both requiring mask-wearing in public areas and limiting occupancy to 30%. And while the ban for land crossings at the Mexico-U.S. border has been extended to Sept. 21, air travel between the two countries is not (and has never been) restricted.

    The birthday trip is still a month away – and in 2020, almost anything could happen in the next four weeks – but here’s what we’ve got planned:

    • One beautiful week looking at the Pacific Ocean from an oceanfront room at The Cape (a Thompson Hotel).
    • Flights to and from Portland’s PDX to Cabo San Lucas’ SJD (one way on American Airlines miles and one way on Alaska Airlines, using a cash credit from a different trip canceled due to coronavirus).

    We picked The Cape because it’s a small boutique resort known for its secluded location, ocean views and amazing copper-plated freestanding tubs in the majority of its rooms. (OK, this wasn’t actually a deciding factor, but I do get very excited about a room with a good bath tub since resort spas are still closed.).

    While not a Hyatt property, Thompson Hotels is an independent brand affiliated with Hyatt, meaning you can use your World of Hyatt points for a stay in a smaller, upscale property.

    At 25,000 points per night, the five-night reservation came to a total of 125,000 points earned on my World of Hyatt Credit Card. In non-pandemic times I would likely consider that to be a ton of points for a single trip to Mexico, but since I haven’t used a Hyatt point in months (besides for one quick hotel experiment) and because it’s a big birthday celebration, it seems a reasonable redemption. The reservation is also refundable up to 24 hours before arrival.

    American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest and United are all currently operating flights into SJD. From Portland’s PDX, I found a good redemption via Phoenix (PHX) on American for 17,500 points and $31 in taxes. As an American Airlines Executive Platinum elite member, I can cancel this award ticket at any time without penalty or fee, so booking it now was pretty risk-free.

    Taxes flying out of Mexico back to the U.S. are considerably higher (to the tune of $100-plus), so on this end I opted to book a paid Alaska Airlines flight via San Jose using the balance from this year’s travel refunds. Alaska Airlines has also extended its travel waiver, allowing you to cancel any ticket booked before Sept. 8 for a full credit. Again, I felt like I had nothing to lose.

    See related: How to change your travel plans when you booked with rewards

    Final thoughts

    Am I certain it will be safe to travel to Cabo San Lucas in September? I honestly have no idea. I have, however, future-proofed my plan from the outset, and I know that even if Icho ose to cancel this big birthday booking the day before, I have very little to lose.

    I’ll be keeping my eyes on the news in Cabo and make a final decision if I feel comfortable to travel closer to departure. For now, I’m excited to at least have a plan to use my passport again and hope for some September sunshine and horizons.

    Source: creditcards.com

    What is an International Credit Card?

    When you have an international credit card, you can use it both in your home country and abroad. It’s not uncommon to come across businesses abroad that only accept native currency. That’s when an international credit card comes in handy. If you want to avoid the hassles of carrying cash or traveler’s checks everywhere you go, these types of credit cards are the perfect solution.

    Several established hotels, restaurants and retail outlets you encounter during your travels will accept your international credit card. That card offers many of the same features as a standard version and can also be used at ATM machines. Thus, no matter where you are, you can get cash from your bank account. You can also check your account balance from an ATM, so you can keep track of your spending and make sure you’re sticking to your budget.

    Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fees

    A foreign credit card transaction fee is charged when you make a payment in a different country with your card. The sale also includes a fee because you’re paying in a foreign currency. Typically, foreign transaction fees are equal to 3% of the total cost of the transaction. They are also set in U.S. currency. If you purchase an item or souvenir in another nation’s currency and the total bill comes to $100, with 3% in foreign transaction fees tacked on, you pay a total of $103.

    Foreign transaction fees can be charged on different types of transactions, including withdrawing money from ATM machines, reserving hotel rooms, or even booking your flights. The terms and conditions that apply to foreign transaction fees are usually included in the fine print of your international credit card’s cardholder agreement. So, make sure you review this information and are fully aware of the terms before using your card for purchases.

    The International Chip and PIN

    The international chip and PIN are part of a system being integrated into a number of credit cards. Many foreign merchants no longer accept standard magnetic strip credit cards, claiming they’re unsafe and outdated. The point of an international chip and pin is so that you won’t end up at an unattended kiosk unable to use the card because it requires a PIN to complete your transaction. This specifically applies to retailers in Europe.

    Top 4 Brands of International Credit Cards

    There are many different international credit cards, but four in particular offer better benefits and interest rates than others.

    1. Capital One Venture Rewards Card

    Capital One Venture Rewards Card

    The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is another credit card you probably want to consider. The Capital One Rewards card also gives you a solid introductory rate and travel rewards points. It also provides you with a sign-on bonus of up to 50,000 miles or $500 in travel when you spend $3,000 in your first three months from account opening. The only downside is that this card comes with a  an annual fee after the first year.

    2. Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

    Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

    If you enjoy the Capital One brand but prefer to avoid the annual fee, consider the Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card. The card gives you all the advantages of Capital One without an annual fee. This card also gives you major perks—you’ll get 20,000 miles if you $1,000 in the first three months.

    3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    Apply Now

    on Chase’s secure website

    Card Details
    Intro Apr:
    N/A


    Ongoing Apr:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable


    Balance Transfer:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable


    Annual Fee:
    $95


    Credit Needed:
    Excellent-Good

    Snapshot of Card Features
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

    Card Details +

    Lastly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card has low introductory rates for purchases and balance transfers, though its rewards offerings are somewhat weaker by comparison. This is another card that gives you a major bang for your buck—you can earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

    Do Your Due Diligence Before Traveling Abroad with Your New Cards

    Even with an international means of payment, your credit card may not be accepted at all locations. Recently, a Credit.com staffer who traveled to Amsterdam tried to use his World Elite Mastercard at some locations and found that local merchants didn’t always accept a Mastercard branded card.

    Before going on your trip, check either with stores or the credit card network (Mastercard, Visa, Discover or American Express)  to see if any conditions exist that might prevent your card from being accepted by foreign merchants. Alternatively, you can take a few different brands with your or have some cash or traveler’s checks on hand.

    Check Your Credit

    Before applying for an international credit card, it’s important to check your credit score to see what you qualify for. A low score or no score at all could get in the way of your goals of traveling with an international credit card in hand. Be sure to check your score before you apply. Most credit card companies that offer cash-back or miles require a good or even excellent score.

    Checking your credit is easy and free depending on the site you use, and checking doesn’t hurt your score. You can get your free Experian credit score by visiting Credit.com. Instead of a hard inquiry, Credit.com does a soft inquiry without harming your credit score.

    Using Credit.com for Your Travels

    Traveling overseas with a credit card is convenient, but it can also be tricky. If you’re planning a trip abroad, it’s important to research which international credit cards will serve you best. Having a credit card that can be used anywhere in the world is a great tool to have in your pocket. But the terms and conditions of each card vary depending on several factors including your credit history, your spending habits and the places you visit.

    Credit.com offers travelers just like you the opportunity to check their credit scores and apply for cards that will benefit them on their international journeys. If you’re interested in learning more about credit cards, check Credit.com

    Editorial disclosure: Reviews are as determined solely by Credit.com staff. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewers and aren’t reviewed or approved by any advertiser. Information presented is accurate as of the date of the review, including information on card rates, rewards and fees. Check the issuer’s website for the most current information on each card listed.

    Some offers mentioned here may have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned here.

    The post What is an International Credit Card? appeared first on Credit.com.

    Source: credit.com

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