3 perks I’m finally investing in for 2022






Upgrading my travel game: 3 perks I’m finally investing in for 2022





















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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Book through Visa Signature Hotels for elite-like perks






Book through Visa Signature Hotels for elite-like perks – The Points Guy




















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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Canada seeks to attract U.S. frequent flyers with perks on Air Canada


Air Canada planes are parked at Toronto Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada April 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

MONTREAL, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Canada is trying to use the lure of travel perks to convince America’s frequent-flying elite to fly north on Air Canada (AC.TO), as the country steps up efforts to revive crucial traffic from the United States, a Canadian official said.

COVID-19 has battered travel from Canada’s largest tourism market. During the first half of 2021, Canada had only about 178,000 overnight arrivals from the United States, compared with 6.8 million during the same period in 2019, according to government data.

To help reverse that decline, government tourism body Destination Canada on Monday rolled out its first campaign targeting U.S. frequent flyers, in partnership with the country’s largest carrier.

It is part of broader, C$14 million ($11.2 million) efforts by the tourism commission to boost traffic after Canada recently opened its borders to vaccinated travellers. It is not clear how much the specific frequent flyer campaign will cost.

“This is super-focused in terms of our ability to reach frequent flyers,” Gloria Loree, Destination Canada’s chief marketing officer told Reuters, ahead of the launch.

Under the plan, up to 20,000 U.S. frequent flyers with carriers like American Airlines (AAL.O), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) could get matching status when flying Air Canada north of the border.

Delta declined to comment and American Airlines did not immediately respond.

Southwest, which does not serve Canada directly, said by email that the government arm’s support contributes to the industry’s collective efforts “to restart substantive air travel.”

Frequent-flyer status gives travelers perks like priority boarding that would normally cost a premium fare or a fee.

While status-matching is common among airlines, Destination Canada said this is the first time a tourism organization has used the practice to attract tourists to their country.

“This is the push to get them coming to Canada,” Loree said.

Eligible U.S. frequent flyers who book and travel north on AC before Jan. 15, 2022, will keep their status with the carrier for all of 2022, she said.

It comes as countries ease restrictions on international travel, with the United States set to reopen in November to vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries. read more

Loree said funding frequent-flyer status matching is no different from other incentives paid for by Destination Canada, such as a separate campaign this year with Air Canada’s rival, WestJet Airlines.

Loree said the goal is to restore routes from the United States, while trying to attract travelers who will return to Canada.

In April, hard-hit Air Canada received an estimated C$5.9 billion ($4.7 billion) government aid package with the country gaining a stake of roughly 6% in the carrier. read more

While Canada’s high vaccination rate could reassure tourists, the cost of the country’s COVID-19 PCR test requirements for arrivals could dissuade some travelers, said Frederic Dimanche, director of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University.

Loree said targeting U.S. frequent flyers is a plus because they are largely accustomed to those requirements.

“They’ve figured out how to travel,” Loree said. “So we want them to consider Canada as their next trip.”

Air Canada shares closed up 3.48% in Toronto trade.

($1 = 1.2652 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal. Additional reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago
Editing by Denny Thomas, Lisa Shumaker and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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As Travel Rebounds, Credit Cards Can Unlock Perks From Bygone Golden Age | Business


As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, travel appears poised to bounce back in a big way. According to a 2021 NerdWallet study, more than half of Americans (56%) plan to take their next vacation involving air travel and/or hotel/resort stays in 2021.

This demand harks back to the so-called Golden Age of Travel of the mid-20th century, when a surge of Americans took to the skies. The introduction of jets heralded higher levels of speed, comfort and efficiency than had ever existed before, and travelers eagerly climbed aboard.

Today’s travel reality, though, conjures up few images of roomy seating, elaborate meal service and fashionable passengers dressed to the nines. Instead, Americans may be rushing right back to long lines, cramped quarters and precious few amenities — unless they have a travel credit card that can unlock a few “Golden Age”-esque perks and create a more luxurious experience.

Here’s what the right credit card lets you do as you travel.

Skip the security line

Even infrequent travelers have likely encountered daunting, snaking airport security or customs lines. Federal programs like TSA Precheck or Global Entry can speed you through those lines more quickly — if you’re willing to apply and pay for them.

But first, check your travel credit card’s terms. Many will reimburse you for the application fees for those programs, a perk that can help defray a travel card’s annual fee:

  • TSA Precheck membership costs $85 and lasts for five years. It speeds up security screenings domestically.
  • Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership. It helps expedite the customs line when you return home, weary from an international flight. Bonus: Global Entry includes TSA Precheck and its benefits.

Clear offers a similar “velvet rope” experience at select domestic airports, and even at some sporting and concert venues. It uses biometrics to verify your identity. Unlike the above programs, though, it’s administered by a private company, and it’s a good bit more expensive at $179 per year. But American Express has a credit card that offers an annual statement credit toward Clear membership.

Enjoy creature comforts

A “Golden Age” travel experience doesn’t have to stop once you’re through security. The right credit cards can provide extra perks on the other side of that line, even for those who aren’t frequent travelers.

  • Free checked bag(s): Many airline credit cards offer this perk, and its value alone can more than justify the annual fees found on such cards — even if you fly only once a year. If a checked bag costs you $30 one way, then you’ll save $60 round trip. If you’re flying with a companion, that could be a total of $120 in savings. And from a comfort perspective? You can avoid lugging heavy bags all around the airport or fighting for cramped overhead bin space.
  • Lounge access: Don’t want to wait in a hard, plastic seat at a noisy, crowded gate? If you hold certain credit cards, you may have complimentary access to an airport lounge — where you can enjoy a plush seat and nosh on snacks that aren’t just of the tiny pretzel variety.
  • Priority boarding: Even if you don’t have status with the airline, certain airline credit cards let you head to the front of the line — or close to it — for early boarding. So if you like to get settled in your seat before the rest of the plane gets packed, or you want a head start on finding overhead bin space, this perk can help.

Sit in style

Even if you’re not a seasoned jet-setter, scoring better seats on the plane could be more accessible than you think, especially if — in the wake of a pandemic — you’re sitting on a large pile of unused travel rewards points. NerdWallet’s 2021 travel study indicates Americans with travel rewards cards have close to 65,000 rewards points or miles, on average, saved up.

If you’re among those with such a rewards stockpile, consider using them to splurge for that business class seat during the impending, crowded travel boom.

If you don’t have enough points to book premium seats outright, some credit card points programs, like American Express, offer the option to use your points to upgrade your economy ticket.

Get the red-carpet hotel treatment

Elite hotel status — and the perks that come with it — may once have been reserved for true road warriors. But many co-branded hotel credit cards now offer automatic elite status to cardholders, conferring benefits like special check-in lines, early check-in, late checkout, free breakfast and even occasional room upgrades.

Do the math for the travel you have in mind: Even if you don’t travel all that regularly, having a credit card that gives you these perks could be well worth paying an annual fee.

For example, a midtier hotel credit card tends to charge a yearly fee of about $95. But if that card also grants you automatic status with the hotel, and you and your family stay with that chain even a couple of times a year, then the money you save with a breakfast perk could outweigh that fee.



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COVID vaccine passes could grant travel perks in the EU | News | DW


The European Parliament has suggested that EU governments should not impose quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures on people holding COVID-19 vaccine certificates.

The proposal was one of several agreed in a vote about the certificate, the results of which were announced on Thursday. The Parliament has now finalized its negotiating position with member states and the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission.

It brings the EU a step closer to launching a document that would open up travel within the 27-member bloc during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

What is the vaccine certificate?

The certificate, currently dubbed the “digital green certificate,” was proposed by the Commission earlier this year.

The document would show whether a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has a recent negative test result or has recovered from an infection.

The EU wants the certificate to be recognized across all 27 EU member states.

But details about the document are still being debated.

EU lawmakers want to make these key changes

EU lawmakers have suggested a name change for the document, calling it an “EU COVID-19 certificate.” They argue this will avoid any implication of it becoming a “vaccine passport.”

The document should not be a travel document or a “precondition to exercise the right to free movement.”

They said holders should be able to use it for 12 months.

The parliament also called for EU countries to offer COVID-19 tests for travel free of charge, so that the document would not end up discriminating against people who cannot afford the test or who are unable to get vaccinated.

The Commission had said that this issue should be left up to member states.

Lawmakers agreed with the Commission’s proposal that all vaccines rubber-stamped by the European Medicines Agency should be automatically recognized.

The reaction so far

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the result, while ignoring the proposed renaming of the certificate.

“The (European Parliament) adopting its position on a Digital Green Certificate is a key step towards free and safe travel this summer,” she tweeted.

What happens next?

The EU Parliament will now start negotiations with the EU Council, made up of the heads of the bloc’s 27 member states, the European Council president and the president of the European Commission.

The European Commission hopes the documents can be rolled out in the next few months.

kmm/rt (Rueters, dpa, AFP) 





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Make sure you have this most useful of credit card perks


If you’re like many Americans, your cellphone has essentially become another appendage. And if you’ve ever broken — or shattered — that appendage, you know full well the panic that can set in.

That might be why you decided to pay extra for insurance from your wireless carrier, typically at a cost upward of $20 each month, on top of your bill. But what if you could get similar peace of mind free? If you have an eligible credit card, you can.

Cellphone protection used to be a rare side perk found on only a select few credit cards. But in recent years, it’s begun to show up as a standard benefit for many customers.

Here’s why, and how it can help.

Phones over showering?

It’s hard to find an American who doesn’t own a cellphone these days. According to the Pew Research Center, a staggering 97% of Americans have a mobile phone, with 85% owning a smartphone — up from just 35% of Americans carrying a smartphone in 2011.

Read: 7 things you really shouldn’t be buying with that $1,400 stimulus check

And our phones aren’t just something we carry around cavalierly. We have become positively attached to and dependent on them. One in three millennials would rather give up showering for a month than spend a day without their cellphone, per an American Express
AXP,
+0.46%

Trendex survey in early 2021.

Yet while many have experienced cellphone damage, like water logging or cracked screens, Americans are waiting longer to replace their phones. According to Daniel Research Group, which offers market research services, Americans wait an average of 3.17 years to get a new one, 25% longer than they waited in 2015.

Part of that reluctance may be the cost involved, especially if a phone is uninsured. A new iPhone 12 might set you back $800 out of the box. So if your current phone has a few screen cracks? You can maybe live with those until your next scheduled device upgrade.

Nerd tip: If you have an iPhone, you can pay for Apple
AAPL,
-0.42%

Care protection, but pricing varies depending on coverage, and you’ll still be on the hook for any applicable deductibles.

A credit card trend that’s a ‘win-win’

Up until a few years ago, cellphone insurance was not a common perk for cardholders. You could find it on several Wells Fargo
WFC,
+1.86%

credit cards and a smattering of individual products from other issuers, and that was about it.

But in 2019, Mastercard
MA,
-0.32%

unveiled cellphone protection as an added benefit for World and World Elite cardholders. Mastercard does not issue credit cards; it’s a payment network that services many, many credit cards, regardless of what bank issues them. As such, this change had far-reaching effects, from old-guard cards to fresh products rolled out by new startups.

American Express — which is both a card issuer and a payment network — followed suit in early 2021, announcing the addition of cellphone insurance to many of its premium credit cards. Terms apply.

Experts say it’s a trend that makes sense. “Promoting these benefits to cardholders can encourage spend on the card, and provide a win-win for the issuer and the customer,” says Megan Cipperly, senior director of insights at Competiscan, a firm that analyzes how companies communicate with customers. “The customer gets access to free cell protection by using their card to pay their monthly cellphone bill, and the issuer ensures their card is used monthly.”

More: 7 credit card perks you should insist on this year

Even several retail credit cards are starting to offer the perk, which Cipperly says can help encourage customers to use those cards outside those store brands. It might also serve as a differentiator among travel credit cards, too.

“Many of the ancillary benefits associated with credit cards are tied to travel,” Cipperly says. “Cellphone protection provides a way for the issuer to diversify their benefits, especially since during COVID-19, travel benefits may not have felt as attractive to customers as they once did.”

What to know about credit card cellphone protection

All credit cards and benefits are not created equal. Often, details of the cellphone protection perk can be buried deep in the terms and benefits pages of your credit card.

Also read: 8 tips for maximizing your credit card rewards

“This can be a great cost savings for consumers if it is offered by their credit card, and if they understand the terms,” says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, a national nonprofit advocacy and education organization. “Make sure you understand what exactly is covered and the requirements for coverage, like loss, theft and damage.”

Here’s what you should know:

  • You’ll need to pay your cellphone bill with the credit card: In most cases, just holding a credit card that offers cellphone protection isn’t enough.

  • You’ll owe a deductible: That amount varies by card, usually ranging between $25 and $50 per claim. Plus, each card has limits of how much it’ll cover for each claim, and how many claims are allowed.

  • You’ll have to file paperwork: Terms may vary, but be prepared to submit documents like a claims form, a billing statement from your wireless provider, a copy of a receipt for any repairs, etc.

  • Coverage may not be primary: In some cases, cellphone protection from your credit card is supplemental to other insurances, like home insurance, car insurance or cellphone insurance you might have purchased separately. That means it doesn’t kick in unless all other insurance options have been exhausted.

  • Typically, a “lost” phone doesn’t qualify for coverage: Theft or damage? You’re generally covered. But if you just misplaced it? Probably not.

  • The definition of “damage” varies: While most smartphone holders have had the misfortune of dealing with a dreaded cracked screen, screen repair is not universally covered with this perk.

  • Even cards that appear similar may not share the same benefits: Chase,
    JPM,
    +0.70%

    for example, has a popular family of Ink Business credit cards, but only one of these similarly branded cards comes with cellphone protection.

  • The perk may come from different places: Payment networks, like Visa
    V,
    +0.04%

    and Mastercard, can make coverage available on certain card types. Mastercard, for instance, says cellphone protection is a core benefit that it will provide to all eligible World and World Elite cardholders, no matter the issuer. On the other hand, while Visa makes cellphone coverage an option on all its Signature cards, it’s up to the card issuer (the bank) to decide which cards it applies coverage to.

More From NerdWallet

Erin Hurd writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]



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Make sure you have this most useful of credit card perks


If you’re like many Americans, your cellphone has essentially become another appendage. And if you’ve ever broken — or shattered — that appendage, you know full well the panic that can set in.

That might be why you decided to pay extra for insurance from your wireless carrier, typically at a cost upward of $20 each month, on top of your bill. But what if you could get similar peace of mind free? If you have an eligible credit card, you can.

Cellphone protection used to be a rare side perk found on only a select few credit cards. But in recent years, it’s begun to show up as a standard benefit for many customers.

Here’s why, and how it can help.

Phones over showering?

It’s hard to find an American who doesn’t own a cellphone these days. According to the Pew Research Center, a staggering 97% of Americans have a mobile phone, with 85% owning a smartphone — up from just 35% of Americans carrying a smartphone in 2011.

Read: 7 things you really shouldn’t be buying with that $1,400 stimulus check

And our phones aren’t just something we carry around cavalierly. We have become positively attached to and dependent on them. One in three millennials would rather give up showering for a month than spend a day without their cellphone, per an American Express
AXP,
+0.75%

Trendex survey in early 2021.

Yet while many have experienced cellphone damage, like water logging or cracked screens, Americans are waiting longer to replace their phones. According to Daniel Research Group, which offers market research services, Americans wait an average of 3.17 years to get a new one, 25% longer than they waited in 2015.

Part of that reluctance may be the cost involved, especially if a phone is uninsured. A new iPhone 12 might set you back $800 out of the box. So if your current phone has a few screen cracks? You can maybe live with those until your next scheduled device upgrade.

Nerd tip: If you have an iPhone, you can pay for Apple
AAPL,
+1.87%

Care protection, but pricing varies depending on coverage, and you’ll still be on the hook for any applicable deductibles.

A credit card trend that’s a ‘win-win’

Up until a few years ago, cellphone insurance was not a common perk for cardholders. You could find it on several Wells Fargo
WFC,
+0.60%

credit cards and a smattering of individual products from other issuers, and that was about it.

But in 2019, Mastercard
MA,
+2.16%

unveiled cellphone protection as an added benefit for World and World Elite cardholders. Mastercard does not issue credit cards; it’s a payment network that services many, many credit cards, regardless of what bank issues them. As such, this change had far-reaching effects, from old-guard cards to fresh products rolled out by new startups.

American Express — which is both a card issuer and a payment network — followed suit in early 2021, announcing the addition of cellphone insurance to many of its premium credit cards. Terms apply.

Experts say it’s a trend that makes sense. “Promoting these benefits to cardholders can encourage spend on the card, and provide a win-win for the issuer and the customer,” says Megan Cipperly, senior director of insights at Competiscan, a firm that analyzes how companies communicate with customers. “The customer gets access to free cell protection by using their card to pay their monthly cellphone bill, and the issuer ensures their card is used monthly.”

More: 7 credit card perks you should insist on this year

Even several retail credit cards are starting to offer the perk, which Cipperly says can help encourage customers to use those cards outside those store brands. It might also serve as a differentiator among travel credit cards, too.

“Many of the ancillary benefits associated with credit cards are tied to travel,” Cipperly says. “Cellphone protection provides a way for the issuer to diversify their benefits, especially since during COVID-19, travel benefits may not have felt as attractive to customers as they once did.”

What to know about credit card cellphone protection

All credit cards and benefits are not created equal. Often, details of the cellphone protection perk can be buried deep in the terms and benefits pages of your credit card.

Also read: 8 tips for maximizing your credit card rewards

“This can be a great cost savings for consumers if it is offered by their credit card, and if they understand the terms,” says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, a national nonprofit advocacy and education organization. “Make sure you understand what exactly is covered and the requirements for coverage, like loss, theft and damage.”

Here’s what you should know:

  • You’ll need to pay your cellphone bill with the credit card: In most cases, just holding a credit card that offers cellphone protection isn’t enough.

  • You’ll owe a deductible: That amount varies by card, usually ranging between $25 and $50 per claim. Plus, each card has limits of how much it’ll cover for each claim, and how many claims are allowed.

  • You’ll have to file paperwork: Terms may vary, but be prepared to submit documents like a claims form, a billing statement from your wireless provider, a copy of a receipt for any repairs, etc.

  • Coverage may not be primary: In some cases, cellphone protection from your credit card is supplemental to other insurances, like home insurance, car insurance or cellphone insurance you might have purchased separately. That means it doesn’t kick in unless all other insurance options have been exhausted.

  • Typically, a “lost” phone doesn’t qualify for coverage: Theft or damage? You’re generally covered. But if you just misplaced it? Probably not.

  • The definition of “damage” varies: While most smartphone holders have had the misfortune of dealing with a dreaded cracked screen, screen repair is not universally covered with this perk.

  • Even cards that appear similar may not share the same benefits: Chase,
    JPM,
    +0.63%

    for example, has a popular family of Ink Business credit cards, but only one of these similarly branded cards comes with cellphone protection.

  • The perk may come from different places: Payment networks, like Visa
    V,
    +1.94%

    and Mastercard, can make coverage available on certain card types. Mastercard, for instance, says cellphone protection is a core benefit that it will provide to all eligible World and World Elite cardholders, no matter the issuer. On the other hand, while Visa makes cellphone coverage an option on all its Signature cards, it’s up to the card issuer (the bank) to decide which cards it applies coverage to.

More From NerdWallet

Erin Hurd writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]



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Enjoy the perks of travel without leaving home


While major travel is off the table this spring, there is a way to bring the taste of some of your favorite American cities to your dining room table.

Goldbelly, founded in 2013, is a website where you can order food from 800 legendary restaurants and bakeries across the country.

A spokesperson told us business has doubled since last year when the pandemic started. It’s also given a boost to small businesses like Texas Inn in Lynchburg.

General manager Rhonda Rankin said they joined Goldbelly in September of last year. Now, with six months under their belt, the restaurant has had nearly 200 orders. Those orders were delivered to 43 out of 50 states.

“Where we can only do 50% (capacity) and we’re such a small restaurant as well, it kind of brings in a little extra revenue to keep things going,” said Rankin. “If you live in California who is going to drive across the country to get Texas Inn when you can have it right to your door.”

Ad

Rankin preps the orders and said they are delivered as kits, frozen.

If you want to keep it local, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge is the place for a little inspiration.

Catherine Fox, vice president of public affairs and destination development said there’s a 30% increase in locals visiting their website looking for things to do.

She also mentioned outdoor recreation has really been sustainable throughout the pandemic. In fact, now that spring is here and the weather is warming up Fox said a lot of people have been asking about waterfall hikes and local baseball seasons.

From restaurant tours to museums, you’d be surprised at the different ways you can explore the region, even if you’re a local.

“Whether it’s going to Smith Mountain Lake or going to Natural Bridge or going to the D Day Memorial, these are just things that people are not naturally having on their radar and are starting to see as great places to visit,” Fox said.

Ad

The visitor’s center is open seven days a week if you want to stop in and have questions.

They update their events calendar daily and have a page just for spring outdoor adventure.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.



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Amex unveils full slate of limited-time perks on Delta, Hilton and Marriott cards





Amex unveils full slate of limited-time perks on Delta, Hilton and Marriott cards











Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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10 credit card perks we’d like to see in 2021





10 credit card perks we’d like to see in 2021 – The Points Guy











Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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