Not traveling? You might want to put these subscriptions on hold
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Along with almost the entire world, we aren’t flying during the coronavirus pandemic. In many ways, it feels like our lives are on hold — so it might be time to consider putting certain travel subscriptions on hold, too.
Some, like Clear’s expedited airport security, are billed once a year. But other tools and services come with a monthly fee, making it easy to avoid paying for them until it’s time to start traveling again. Here are the five subscriptions you might want to freeze until this crisis has passed.
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Since everyone should be staying home, there’s no need for CLEAR’s expedited security. This membership costs $179 a year (but you shouldn’t pay more than $79), which is pretty pricey if you’re not able to utilize its benefits.
If your CLEAR membership is set to expire soon, you may be able to get an extension. Your Mileage May Vary is reporting that you may be able to get a three-month extension. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s definitely worth a shot if your annual fee is set to hit soon.
If you aren’t flying right now, this one’s a no-brainer. Road warriors can ordinarily save a tremendous amount of money by purchasing an inflight internet subscription, either directly through the airline or with a service like Gogo, which offers a variety of plans depending on how many devices you want to connect and where you typically fly. Be sure to confirm that your plan isn’t set to auto-renew, or you could get stuck paying for a service you simply can’t use.
They can vary drastically from one employer to the next, but generally, these plans let you use pretax funds to pay for subway fares, shared rides and even parking. If you’re currently set up to receive a fixed amount each month, you could choose to continue paying into the program now, and scale it back to balance things out later in the year, but you will want to put unlimited transit cards on hold, especially if they’re only valid for a specific month.
As many people are doing their best to stay isolated, there isn’t as much need for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft right now — after all, for many of us, the usual crosstown commute has been replaced by a walk between the sofa and the bed. Uber Ride Pass, a $25 monthly program, and the $20 per month Lyft Pink are two that come to mind, but there may be a local program you’re subscribed to as well. Also, keep in mind that Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can activate a year of Lyft Pink for free — so you might want to wait until travel resumes to get that done.
ExpertFlyer has long been a favorite expert-level travel search tool among the TPG team, even before it was acquired by our parent company, Red Ventures. In fact, I was an ExpertFlyer member prior to joining TPG, and I’ve even used the resource as recently as this week to search for award availability (for travels much later in the year, of course). My favorite feature — setting alerts so I see when the best seats open up — hasn’t been necessary while I’ve been grounded, but it’ll definitely be a go-to as soon as I get back in the air. Still, if you aren’t taking full advantage of ExpertFlyer right now, it could be worth setting your service to not renew, or downgrading to the $4.99 per month Basic plan. You can always upgrade when we’re all able to travel again.
Plenty of casual travelers now take advantage of the $10 per day plans provided by a number of top carriers. But those of us who travel abroad often may also have a secondary subscription — which, ordinarily, results in significant savings. For several members of the TPG team, that’s Google Fi, which lets us connect all around the globe for a fraction of the price. Fortunately, it’s easy to put this service on pause — either online or via the app — and suspend billing for a period of up to three months.
As with frequent flyers all around the world, we’re hopeful the coronavirus pandemic is soon brought under control. In the meantime, it’s essential to avoid unnecessary travel — after all, when dinner at your favorite local restaurant isn’t even a possibility, it’s hard to imagine chowing down on the other side of the world. Still, we’ll eventually return to the skies and, when we do, we’ll restart our favorite subscriptions, too.
Featured photo by Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images.
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