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All Posts By Sam Allcock

Matched Deposit Bonus in Slots Explained

Avatar By Posted on 3 m read

These are commonly known as deposit bonus offers, which are available when online players fund their slot site account. So, you will get a match up bonus for the deposited amount in your casino account, but it is restricted up to a certain value – deposit at today. For example, if you deposit $100, you will get another $100 as a match up bonus that you can spend on playing slots.

Restricted Funds with Matched Deposit Bonus

As the name indicates, a matched bonus purpose of matching the deposited amount in your account. It means that your casino amount will reflect another sum of credit that you have deposited. For example, if you transfer $200 to your account then with this bonus offer, your casino account will reflect another $200 that can be used to play any game on the site. However, there is an upper limit for availing this offer, as let’s suppose if your playing site offers maximum $300 match up bonus and you deposit $400 then the matched up amount will be $700 instead of $800.

Widely Available Matched Up Bonuses

You will find that there are variations for matched up bonuses, and they start from 50% match up, 100%, 150%, 200% match and much higher. For the new players, these are offered with the welcome bonus package. However, the existing players can avail it from time to time in their daily, weekly, or monthly bonuses. Moreover, these bonuses may often come with free games on specific slots, which doubles the fun and increases winning chances. Below are mentioned widely available match-up bonuses:

  •         Reload Bonus: It is a 100% bonus that works as a welcome offer.
  •         Deposit Method Bonus: This bonus is rewarded in correspondence with the payment method you choose to deposit. Generally, you may get 5% extra for your selected payment method.
  •         Multiple Deposit Bonus: Normally awarded in three to four deposits. With this offer, your first deposit is matched up after you sign up while offers the rest bonus after the next three to four consecutive deposits.
  •         VIP Bonus: It is also known as the ‘high roller’ bonus, and it is highly suitable for the high stake players. Players who deposit high can avail 50% match up that goes as much higher as $1,000 or more.
  •         Free Spins: Apart from credit value, some casinos offer free spins with the matched-up bonus and these are used to play specific online slots.

How to Claim?

Almost all the slot sites follow the same procedure to reward match up bonus and here are the steps you should follow in general.

  •         Signup at a slot site.
  •         Fill in the required information and complete your first deposit.
  •         Claim your bonus and see if it is slot specific or not.
  •         Play the slots, and complete the rest of the deposits and wagering requirements.

Final Thoughts

Before depositing your money for the bonus, make sure that the slot is authentic and register which can pay you back all your winnings once you have completed all the conditions. Therefore, spend some time looking for the seal of authentication, license and certification before completing the signup procedure.

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Hospitality Venues Should Warn that Public Wi-Fi May Not Be Safe

Avatar By Posted on 4 m read

We’re going to take a trip down memory lane to when we used to get excited about hearing that “dial-up” sound. So, let’s go back to around 1997… when we were first introduced to a hard-wired internet connection. For us, it is now super difficult to imagine life without the internet. You don’t know an answer? You can jump straight on to Google or ask Siri to help.

It’s hard to think of a time before internet connection – and now the miracle of Wi-Fi. Now don’t get us wrong; some people are still off the grid. However, there’s the rest of us, who always seemed to be glued to a device.

Think about it, how are you reading this article? We’re going to hazard a guess and say that it’s via your smartphone, laptop or even your tablet, and probably by Wi-Fi. And if that Wi-Fi is in a public place like a hotel, café or a pub, where you might be enjoying a honey-infused gin, have you ever thought about your security? What we mean is do you know who can see your data. Or are you really clever because you have already implemented a VPN while you out in public?

If so, you can be keeping reading to learn how to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi in hospitality venues. Circa 2004 when Wi-Fi started being introduced for “free”, and we all rushed to the restaurant that offered this wonderful thing. However, since then, cybercriminals are lurking on public Wi-Fi.

The Dangers of Using Free Wi-Fi in Hospitality Venues Like Hotels

Yes, we all love free things, but is anything really free? Well, yes and no. There are certain things that you can get for free to entice you to buy a service. Think about it, have you ever been to a bad restaurant because you needed to get on their Wi-Fi? Well, we recommend that you first check the hygiene rating. Second, we recommend using a VPN (virtual private network) while you’re out in public.

People have the misconception that VPNs are for hackers or people wanting to access dodgy sites. In reality, a VPN is actually one of the safest pieces of kit you can have, and it should almost be like your flu jab for all of your devices. It means that you don’t have to worry about a hacker gaining your information because you rushed to use free public Wi-Fi.

The main point that we need to stress is that hackers are ruthless. Although you might be staying at a hotel and using their “free” Wi-Fi, if you’re on an “open network”, your data (anything that’s on your device) will be fully visible. Nowadays, it’s almost obligatory to stay in hotels, bars, cafes, airports that we expect there to be some form of “free” Wi-Fi.

However, after that event, did you noticed that your junk mail has suddenly been flooded with random messages, links? Or has your Facebook on Instagram account been hacked? Honestly, we cannot stress enough how easy it can be for a hacker to steal your information. Most of the best VPNs are reasonable too in cost, it’s a one-off payment, but it means your protected for as long as it’s active.

You could lose a lot of money, which can be easily be prevented by using a VPN. If we haven’t got your alarm bells ringing, here are three reasons why you need to be using a VPN. Thus, you should try to keep up to date and see the latest cybersecurity news.

First, even big companies like Adobe fall victim to these attacks. According to Restore Privacy, Adobe found that scammers breached their security system. Although it was on the “Creative Cloud” suite, apparently, over seven million users were exposed to the hackers. Moreover, they continue to highlight that the average financial costs of these data breaches have increased too.

For instance, a report report recently explained how the average data breaches cost corporate victims $3.92 million. Therefore, we felt that we needed to inform or warn you about the dangers of using public Wi-Fi without protecting yourself. One thing that might help is if hospitality venues tried to inform the public of the dangers of using public Wi-Fi.

This article aimed to illustrate the importance of using a VPN on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Why? Well, several individuals are willing to go to any lengths to get to your data. Sadly, if the hacker gets your information, you will regret not having put precautions in place.

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Bordeaux Wines: How Many Varietals Are There?

Avatar By Posted on 3 m read

Bordeaux wines are arguably the most sought-after wine blends in the world. Located in the central region of France that is renowned for its wine-making history that dates back to centuries, Bordeaux has a peerlessly beautiful landscape, with its soil and climate is ideal for viticulture. The most unique thing about Bordeaux wines is that they are made from a blend of a variety of grapes that have different aromas and flavours.

Various Grape Varieties of Bordeaux

The Bordeaux region is divided into two by the Gironde Estuary, creating two wine-making regions: the left bank that is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and the right bank region known for its Merlot. The various wine appellations represent a palette of grape varieties, climates, and soil types. There is also a wide variety of structured or supple wine profiles in red, sweet white, dry, and rose to suit different preferences. Here are the main grape varieties in Bordeaux:

Red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenere.

White grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Merlot Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Muscadelle, Mauzac, Semillon, Colombard.

Different Flavour Profiles of Bordeaux Wines

  1. Red Wines

They are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grape varieties. Their aging potential is 5-50 years and should be served at 59 to 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Supple, full-bodied fruity wines with pronounced strawberry, violet, and strawberry flavours.
  • Red, structured red wines that are intense with complex aromas of raspberry, violet, blackberry, and cherry.
  • Powerful and intense refined red wines whose character and currant, black currant, roast coffee, blackberry, and licorice aromas linger on both the nose and palate.
  1. White Wines

The wines are made from the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle grape varieties. The aging potential is 1-2 years and should be served at 7 to 11 degrees Celsius.

  • Dry white sparkling wines with lemon, acacia, and hazelnuts aromas that are very refreshing
  • Crisp & fruity dry white wines with explosive Sauvignon aromas of peach, lemon, and acacia aromas. Mellow & fruity sweet white wines that are rich and smooth, with acacia, grapefruit, and pineapple fruit aromas.
  • Structured & generous dry white wines have great aromatic persistence in grapefruit, peach, hazelnut, and broom.
  • Unctuous & intense sweet white wines that have unique aroma richness, and elegant golden color. They come in mango, honey, candied orange, acacia, and quince aromas.
  1. Rose Wines

These wines come from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties. Their aging potential is 1-2 years and should be served at 44.6 to 51.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Fresh and fruity rose wines that have a clear pink color. Their fruity strawberry, currant, and grapefruit aromas are wonderfully refreshing.
  • Fresh & full rose wines have a deep, raspberry colour, that comes in strawberry, rose, and blackcurrant aromas. They have this combination of red wine light tannings and rose’s refreshing character.
  • Sparkling & fruity rose wines are lively, with fine bubbles and red berries aromas of strawberry, currant, and raspberry.


It is worth noting that while the Bordeaux region is famous for its red wines, originally, the region was revered by wine lovers for its high-quality sweet white wines. The region’s fortunate climate and rich wine-making history have seen the winemakers use different grape varieties to forge wines that are famous the world over.

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Herbal Health Benefits

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Recreational use of marijuana has been banned for a very long time and has had a stigma around it, being seen as dangerous, and even detrimental to your health. Since marijuana was legalized for recreational use in 2012 in countries around the world, many people have either been in full support of marijuana or just totally against it. Still, there are also many people in-between because they don’t know all that much about it, or the benefits or side effects it may have.

Historically, marijuana has been used in many cultures for medicinal purposes, and this is because it contains a component called CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid found within the marijuana plant and is one of the two most commonly known components of marijuana. The legalization of recreational marijuana has also created an entirely new industry, along with a secondary industry as well; the sale of CBD products. There are many places to get CBD, such as supermarkets, online retailers like Smoke Cartel, or even vaporizer stores. This is because CBD has no psychoactive properties meaning that it is impossible to get high from using it, making it legal to be sold anywhere. If you want to learn more, here are a few benefits of marijuana and CBD.

Helps with many conditions

Marijuana and CBD has always been a way for people to manage various terminal and short term conditions. This dates way back before any modern research was done into the its properties and what exactly made it helpful.

Now that the use of marijuana is legal, it is far more accessible to scientists and researchers, which has allowed them to understand individual components within the herb, to learn how and why they can help. This research has shown strong evidence that marijuana and CBD can help with a variety of conditions such as seizures, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and Parkinson’s, and reduces the effects of them drastically.

Help to manage pain

Pain bothers everyone at some point in their life and people always turn to some form of pain killer or anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain. While they are great and will help most of the time, CBD is a natural substance found in a plant that doesn’t almost the exact same thing and more. For a very long time, medicinal cannabis was used to relieve pain, and it’s only been understood in recent years why this works. Just like a pin killer, CBD block the pain receptor, stopping the user from feeling any pain. This does not mean that the problem is fixed though, it is just a temporary solution.

Helps with depression and anxiety

In recent years, people have become more in tune with their bodies and emotions, and so many have discovered that they actually have some or other form of depression and anxiety. While some people use marijuana itself to treat these disorders, most people opt for the option with no psychoactive effects so as not to make any of the symptoms worse, and to allow them to function normally throughout the day. CBD is typically the option that moist people will move towards for this.

Marijuana is said to release the hormone, serotonin, which is known as a happy hormone. By releasing this hormone, it alleviate the affects that one might feel from depression and anxiety. On top of this, CBD has a calming effect which allows users with anxiety to take a breather and gather themselves, and lets the stray away from a panic or anxiety attack as much as possible.

Is it safe to use?

There I much speculation as to whether the use of marijuana and CBD is safe, especially when treating symptoms of disorders and conditions. Research has shown that for the most part it is definitely safe to use, although with CBD one might feel a bit fatigued, nauseous, notice a change in weight, and a few other smaller things.

However, research has allowed us to discover that the use of marijuana before the legal gave it can have lifelong side effects such as reducing brain function and IQ. Beyond this, marijuana and CBD have so many beneficial factors and can help with so many different things from sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, pain, PTSD, and chronic diseases and disorder that it seems as though the risks are far outweighed by the benefits and it seems to be far more beneficial to use a medication that is more natural.

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How to get the most out of your dry herb vaporizer

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Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012, in America, the cannabis industry has become an almost overnight success, with many countries looking to follow suit. The methods of consumption related to marijuana has come a long way over the last few years, and it is not uncommon to find anyone using primarily traditional methods of consumption, like bongs or blunts.

Due to the changes in lifestyle people have been making, there has been a growing push to be healthier, and one product has helped with that; dry herb vaporizers. Many companies, both physical and online retailers continue to push for healthier dry herb vaporizer, like this one, the Mighty Plus, to make the experience better for customers. These vaporizers have become incredibly popular, not only because they offer a cleaner way to consume marijuana, but also because of the convenience they provide.

If you have a dry herb vaporizer, or are looking to buy one, here is how to get the most out of it.

Fresh herb is the best

One of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of your dry herb vaporizer is by using fresh herbs. The reason for this is because marijuana is still a plant, and naturally, it degrades over time. The good news is that it doesn’t mean that you will get sick if you vape it, since it doesn’t spoil in the same way that dairy products do. However for your vaping experience it’s best to use it when fresh.

When marijuana degrades, or is old, it loses THC levels; in other words, it becomes much less potent, which means there is no point in even vaping it. Another unfortunate result of marijuana getting old is that the terpene oils begin to disappear, and this causes a drop in flavor.

Easy ways to identify if the marijuana is old is if it has lost its aroma, since marijuana usually has quite a strong smell. Another way to know, if your nose isn’t what it used to be, is that it becomes quite hard, or crumbles rather easily.

Pack properly and use a smaller bowl

Something that many people fail to do, is to grind the marijuana evenly. If this isn’t done, the vaping experience won’t be as pleasant. The reason the marijuana should be ground evenly is because you want to increase the surface area which allows the heat to properly vaporize all of the contents in the bowl.

The next step is to pack the bowl properly, and this is influenced by the heating method that you are using. If you are using a convection vaporizer, you have a little more leeway and can pack the bowl a little tighter, since the warm air will still circulate. If you are using a conduction vaporizer, you might want to pack the bowl so that it is loose, since this method require direct contact, and if the bowl is too tight then not everything will be vaporized.

Similarly, you should not be packing the bowl so that it is completely full, because this will make it difficult to draw and some of the contents might be wasted.

Keep it clean

In order to get the most out of your vaporizer, you have to keep it clean. The chamber where the marijuana is packed can quickly become dirty, or have left over bud, which will not only affect the taste, but also the efficiency at which the marijuana is vaporizer. This is even more important for conduction vaporizers that require direct contact, because if anything is left over that interferes with the heat produced, then the marijuana won’t vaporize properly.

The first step to cleaning your dry herb vaporizer is to disassemble it, then to clean the heating chamber. It is advised to use a q-tip without any liquid, and do this over a soft surface, in case you drop the device which could be expensive to replace. The next step is to clean the mouthpiece; this is often where there is a lot of buildup. You should use something that is thin with length to dislodge anything trapped inside, which clears the vapor path, and then use a cloth just to wipe it all off.

The last step is just to ensure that the battery is all clean and free of residue, or anything disrupting the connection between the heating element and the battery.

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Cooking In Video Games (Yes, It’s a Thing)

Avatar By Posted on 4 m read

Of course, the restaurant industry is cutthroat and highly-competitive, so why not relax and unwind after a busy day or busy night (or both), by playing some video games? 

In fact, why not play games that actually celebrate the very culinary world you have given so much of your energy towards? Shooting games are mostly what people think of when they hear ‘Online multiplayer’, but there are plenty of games out there where cooperation is key, meaning you can yell at coworkers at work, and then yell at them again for screwing up an order at play. 

Some adventure games have deep cooking mechanics where you would least expect, and others completely revolve around making a recipe perfectly, and within a set time limit.

It’s not the sort of success that will earn you any Michelin stars or give you the cachet to spend your evenings searching through Central London escort reviews so you can have a wild time on the town, but it might be a good start at strengthening your supervisory and delegation skills.


It might be hard to believe, but this game does a great job in simulating the chaotic work environment of a busy restaurant kitchen. Thankfully the stakes are much, much lower…unless the people you play with are extremely competitive and want to crank out the dishes at super high speed. 

The story of Overcooked involves one or more cooks in a small kitchen to assemble the ingredients, place it all in a pan on a stove or tray for the oven, and then put it out on a plate to be delivered off-screen by the wait staff. Each level can have a different restaurant theme (sometimes you’re making burgers, sometimes it’s sushi), there could be specific orders arriving (this one is a cheeseburger, this one has fries on the side), and you might run out of plates so you have to wash some of them.

To make matters worse (or more fun, depending on your perspective), it’s not just a normal kitchen where you’re doing this. Sometimes the floor is ice and slipping all over the place, sometimes two halves of the kitchen are being held up by hot air balloons, and you have to throw the half-finished meal back and forth. 

While there is a single-player mode, it is not recommended because it’s a hell of a lot of work switching characters mid-way through each recipe. Playing with friends (or co-workers) is plenty of fun, and Overcooked was so successful that the developer released a sequel two years later.

Cooking Mama

What Overcooked does for team-building, Cooking Mama does for a single-player mission mode. While the graphics are even more cartoony than the previous game, Cooking Mama is a much more serious taskmaster in getting the recipe right, in a set period of time. The first game was on the Nintendo DS, which had a touchscreen, so you could mimic the cutting, slicing and flattening actions with your fingers. 

Sometimes, you are playing against a timer, having to prepare a dish in under two minutes, sometimes there is a rhythm game element where you have to flip the food in a pan to a certain beat. In the end, your overall performance and the resulting meal will be graded, a disappointing Cooking Mama herself could really ruin your day.

The game was so successful with over ten more titles released, with Mama leaving the kitchen from time to time, to see how well you fare at camping, gardening and babysitting. There is also a bakery-focused title, Cooking Mama Sweet Shop.

Breath of the Wild and Other Adventure Games

As video game technology progressed, so did the ability to make the ways you play them more realistic. Now of course the most popular of them are still completely fantastical where you have superhuman strength and are slaying monsters by the truckload (or in the eternal strategy of Super Mario, jumping on their heads), but there are subtle changes to make the way you keep your character healthy more interesting. 

Before you might just have a power-up or heart or potion that you found while exploring or maybe bought from a merchant in a town. After a tough battle and you are low on health, you could simply eat or drink the potion to get back to full strength.

Nowadays, you can collect different items (by picking them or buying them) and combining them with a cooking mechanic, to make all sorts of different recipes that have unique and specific powers. Maybe one will give you bonus health, another might improve your defensive stats, another might help you swim in water easier. 

One of the most best-selling games of recent memory is Breath of the Wild, and in it you play the heroic swordsman named Link, tasked with saving a medieval kingdom against a giant pig monster (the same old story). It’s not just apples and meat you can find, but rice, wheat, mushrooms, sugar, spices, and a host of different plants. 

When you combine them in various ways at cooking spots throughout the world, it really does feel like you’ve opened up a restaurant. Some of the options include mushroom risotto, salmon merengue, fruit cake, omelettes, and spicy meat skewers. The game is so popular that people have tried cooking the recipes in real life.

Of course, not all experiments pan out, and if you mix and match so disparate items, you will get the lowly ‘dubious food’, which doesn’t give much of a health boost, and is intentionally blurred out so you can’t see how disgusting it is. There is also a nauseous animation of Link not looking too happy about it as he (still) chokes it down.

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How to make your restaurant COVID-19 secure

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The hospitality industry has been hit incomparably hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the UK having now entered its third lockdown and no clear end in sight, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we’re in this for the long haul and must adapt to survive.

Since the government’s last briefing on restaurant, café, and food service opening, it seems that the route out of lockdown can be found in decreased capacity and stringent measures to curtail any possible spread of the virus. This means that businesses in the hospitality sector will need to adopt even more sweeping changes to their usual operations if they’re to be allowed to reopen.

Much of the industry has already taken steps to mitigate the risk of virus transmission to guests and staff, but for those with work still to do, here are some of the best ways to get your restaurant ready for a post-lockdown reopening.

1.    Offer contactless payment options

Contactless payments have taken off in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part due to fears that physical money could act as a transmission vector for the virus. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to switch over to contactless payments and many venues already have the capabilities in place.

The benefits of contactless are also well worth exploring, and the transaction speed and ease of use you’ll get out of a contactless card reader will make it much easier for you to stick with this technology even after the pandemic subsides.

2.    Restrict employees and guests

Since interpersonal contact is one of the biggest risk factors for the spread of coronavirus, it will be necessary for most hospitality venues to restrict their guest count and run at a lower capacity than usual. By allowing fewer people to enter the restaurant, you’ll stand a better chance of spacing covers out far enough for them not to become a risk to one another.

The prospect of fewer diners also means that you may need to cut down on staff numbers. For those who are working, it’s important to make sure that they are adequately spaced out in line with a social distancing risk assessment – which could get tricky if you have a particularly cramped kitchen or service area.

3.    Take a strict line on hygiene

Even without the added pressures of a pandemic, you should be enforcing strict hygiene practices across your entire premises. This means ensuring that employees are washing their hands with soap and water regularly, whilst also requiring all guests and staff to wear facemasks whenever they’re walking around the communal areas of the premises.

Hand sanitiser has become a staple of the retail world since the pandemic began, and it must now be adopted across the entirety of the hospitality industry. Provide sanitation stations, and be prepared to offer customers masks and cleansers if they don’t have their own.

4.    Operate a virtual queue

Queues are not ideal when you’re trying to keep customers further apart. Of course, you want to be doing a roaring trade, but having people hang around outside will not help you to stick to hygiene best practices.

By taking names and sending alerts to mobile phones as tables become available, you can keep guests happy whilst ensuring that your premises are safe and COVID-secure.

5.    Clean more often

It goes without saying that cleaning is an essential part of keeping coronavirus at bay, but restaurants have been put under a particular spotlight and so must up their game if they want to avoid future closures.

By wiping down and disinfecting surfaces and counters on a constant cycle, you’ll be able to keep your premises clean whilst putting the minds of consumers and health officials at rest.

6.    Deploy temperature tests

A high temperature is among the most common symptoms of the novel coronavirus, and any customer that appears to have a fever should be asked to request delivery and leave the premises.

Although customer service still stands as an incredibly important feature of the restaurant trade, you simply can’t put your staff and reputation at risk by allowing potentially infected diners to attend your premises. For that reason, it makes sense to invest in a temperature test gun that allows staff to identify any diners who present a cause for concern.

A new normal for the hospitality industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated footfall and continues to cause serious problems for restaurants and hospitality businesses across the UK.

When the current lockdown is lifted, it seems that hospitality venues will be able to reopen – but only with measures in place to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Naturally, many businesses cannot afford to be investing in social distancing aids at this time, but there are other options available. With just a few clicks, you could get a £1000 loan for your business – helping you to purchase all the equipment you need to protect your livelihood.

Moving forward, the UK’s vaccine programme has provided a glimmer of hope that we may one day return to business as usual. For now, though, social distancing truly is the order of the day.

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American Express OptBlue Program: What is it? What are its Benefits?

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Have you ever heard of the American Express OptBlue program? Many people say that this program easily allows small business owners to accept payment cards from American Express.

Is that true, and is the OptBlue program the right way to accept American Express? Well, the answer is yes. Accepting American Express is essential for small businesses. If they do not, then it might decrease their valuable customer base.

It is true that customers nowadays make purchases on storefronts that accept a variety of payment methods. And American Express is one of them. American Express is already one of the most popular payment options in the United States. Ignoring this can cost a lot of your money.

The OptBlue program of American Express was started to help business owners who have small businesses. It helps them to add American Express as one of the payment options for their customers.

Keep reading this article post to explore more about the OptBlue program of American Express and its benefits.

OptBlue Program by American Express – What Is It?

The OptBlue program of American Express is a program that allows small businesses to have a contract with third-party payment processors. These third-party payment processors in turn enable the businesses to accept credit/debit cards of American Express at a POS system.

Often small business owners do not accept credit/debit cards from American Express. The reason behind this is the number of merchant fees they have to pay for processing. But the American Express OptBlue program is different. It is more affordable as compared to other payment processing options. Also, it offers various other opportunities for customers and business owners.

The rates of the credit card processing with the OptBlue program are set by merchant service providers. Business owners will receive service contracts and single statements for accepting credit cards. Also, the rates might vary depending on the service providers, but it will ultimately save money for small businesses.

What Are The Benefits Of The OptBlue Program?

  1. The OptBlue Program Is Cheap

All new pricing model of OptBlue program offers the merchants a reduced AmEx transaction fee and discount rate. Previously, the businesses were automatically assigned by American Express to a set rate. However, with the OptBlue program, businesses have the flexibility of taking benefits of AmEx discount rates. These rates can potentially save a lot of money in terms of payment processing annually.

Here are the discount rates under the OptBlue model:

  • A discount rate of 2% for a transaction under $400
  • A discount rate of 2.40% for a transaction in the range of $400 – $7,500
  • A discount rate of 2.70% for a transaction under $7,500
  1. Transparency

The pricing model of the OptBlue model by American Express is way more transparent as compared to other models. It allows the merchants to get well-versed with the actual costs of the AmEx transactions. They do not hide any charges from the merchants and business owners anymore.

  1. It Allows Consolidation Of Customer Support And Billing

American Express’ OptBlue program allows merchant service providers to consolidate customer support and payment processing of the merchants. They can handle the payment processing of American Express in-house. If there is an issue with processing, you have to get in touch with your merchant service provider. No more calls to American Express for billing or customer support. Merchant service providers will give you full assistance if you have any inquiries.

  1. Transfer Of Funds On The Next Day

The AmEx OptBlue program comes with a major fix. The problem that was going on for many years, has now been solved. This problem was related to the transferring of funds. Previously, it took around 5 business days to get the funds transferred. But today, the OptBlue program allows the merchants to get their funds for all AmEx transactions on the very next day. It is highly beneficial for businesses who want their daily operations to be smooth and easier.

Who Should Opt For American Express’ OptBlue Program?

Obviously, the OptBlue program is best suitable for small business owners. So, if you want to make your credit/debit card transactions affordable, then opt for the OptBlue American Express program. Additionally, it will allow your customers to select American Express as a payment method at the POS system. Ultimately, it will benefit both customer relationships and business.

Also, is there any chance of you advertising your business as an acceptor of American Express credit cards? If yes, then it might boost the overall sales of your business. A recent survey says that 61% of consumers only purchase at a storefront when a preferred payment option is available.

What Are The Qualifications For The OptBlue Program?

There are some eligibility conditions for the American Express OptBlue program. The main one is that only small businesses (US-based) who process less than 1 million dollars American Express card transactions annually can opt for this program.

If you want to learn more and apply for the American Express OptBlue program, visit the website of Amex OptBlue and get in touch with the participating provider. Also, you can directly contact American Express for more info. Business owners who do not qualify for this program can opt for other programs of American Express and start accepting their credit/debit cards.

Final Words

As a small business owner, are you hesitating to accept credit/debit cards from American Express? Is it about the fees and rates that are concerning you? Well, worry no more because the OptBlue American Express program is here to help you! It is an affordable and efficient solution through which you can accept payment card transactions from American Express. With simple contract terms and deposits, you can start reaching new customers and increase your sales.

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Brands now consider email signatures a marketing tool

Is using an email signature software an efficient way to promote your company and generate brand awareness? A report made by Newoldstamp on the current state of business email marketing takes a closer look at the issue of using email signatures. How many marketers regularly update email signatures and how it affects their efforts?

Does your email marketing strategy include using email signatures? According to Newoldstamp’s recent business email marketing report, it should. With 62% of respondents saying they do use email signature marketing, you might be wondering: “What’s the deal with it?” How much useful can that space at the end of an email really be?

It’s all about email marketing

Email generates the highest ROI among all other channels. 66% of business professionals send emails to communicate with their customers. There’s no magic in that actually, as this channel lets you make sure the message gets delivered.

On top of that, HTML helps you craft that marketing message in a way you find the best. But do you always use sophisticated email templates? With up to 25 email messages sent every day by an average mid-size company employee, it’s hardly a ‘yes’.

Making a simpler, less cluttered email is often a better decision. Whether it is a cold outreach or a message for a potential partner, you don’t want to strike them with your branding right away. But maintaining the integrity of your brand is important nonetheless. So, what do you do?

Use email signature marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool to establish long-term relationships with customers. When people leave their email address subscribing to your newsletter, not only do they become leads. It’s the first sign indicating your efforts pay off.

However, personalization is often neglected in promotional emails. Trying to advertise their features and investing in lead conversions, marketers tend to forget about what marketing is all about. The feeling. Associating your brand with the positive emotion of being special is what email marketing lacks.

Email signature marketing is the kind of addition promotional messages and outreaches need. A branded signoff helps unobtrusively incorporate brand identity elements into emails. These elements include a company logo, branded colors, or even fonts.

Moreover, when you send a non-promotional email, you can’t add any CTA elements or eye-catching banners to it. That’s where an email signature comes useful. You can add any marketing elements to the email footer without being too pushy or salesy.

Pro tip: Add a font signature to your email footer to make it look even more personal. This simple addition can really differentiate your emails and make them look simply better.


Do people really utilize email signatures for marketing?

This is actually a much more interesting question than everything mentioned before.

The report states that those who use email signature marketing (ESM) usually implement it to increase brand awareness only. And people who don’t have signatures installed usually say that they don’t know how to run ESM campaigns.

Moreover, only 23% of respondents evaluate the performance of their signature marketing. The essential KPIs here are intuitive: clicks, impressions, and emails sent.

With all that said, one thing is really clear. Email signature marketing is an unexplored essence that many professionals don’t know how to use. Generating leads or setting distinct KPIs are found the most difficult tasks when learning how to use ESM campaigns. No matter what’s the reason for this tendency, find some useful insights below.

How to make your email signature marketing truly efficient

Just like for any marketing channel, you should know the basics to make things work. So, don’t expect to generate tons of leads as soon as you start using corporate email signatures. You ought to master simple things first.

Perfect your email signature design

If something doesn’t look appealing to customers, they won’t consider it worth their time. So, you should make sure the signatures you and your colleagues use look professional.

Make sure you have branded email signatures installed for all employees. These signatures must have the same style. If they do, your recipients will easily recognize what company reaches out to them. Which means your signatures will serve as email ads.

Even if you have only five people in your company, managing their email signatures might be hard and time-consuming. Martech is what can help companies of any size spend less time on signatures while getting the most benefits.

Automating both email signature management and marketing efforts is what seems to be the problem for many companies. However, there are many marketing technologies that can help in both.

In addition, we have covered the issue of making data-driven decisions in email signature marketing before. If you find this whole topic a bit confusing, check it out.

Email signature management

Since we’ve started on that, modern email signature generators have a lot of features to help administrators manage employees’ sign offs.

The rookie mistake is thinking that you don’t need any management at all. Once you let people create their email signatures completely on their own, you can forget about brand consistency in email.

A simple dashboard dedicated to email signature management specifically can save you hours worth of time.

Make email signature marketing your regular activity

35% of the report respondents say they update their email signatures once a year or never. Imagine updating your email newsletter with such a daunting frequency!

The first thing you can do as a marketing manager is to schedule a banner campaign in your colleagues’ signatures. In this way, you can promote your blog posts, case studies, new landing pages, etc.

Maybe spend some extra time once to make all your email signatures look perfect and resonate with a certain idea. Then you’ll start getting benefits from ESM in no time.

Always treat that space at the end of an email as a huge marketing opportunity. Email signature marketing is arguably the most cost-effective way to get new leads. It only depends on how many emails you actually send. So, don’t waste the chance to become one of the first email signature marketing professionals.

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Chestnut Feasts On Hot Dogs

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Joey Chestnut is a major league eater. As a matter of fact, Chestnut is the undisputed kind of Major League Eating, the governing body over professional eating competitions.

Now, cramming as many hot dogs down your gullet as fast as you can might not seem like the ideal way to earn a living, but it’s proven to be a very lucrative pursuit for Chestnut. The 37-year-old from Vallejo, Calif. Is reported to have a net worth of $1.5 million.

Hot dogs have proven to be his meal ticket to fame and fortune. He’s won the annual July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest five years in succession and in 13 of the past 14 years. His feats of gastric feasting can also pay dividends for you. Already, online sportsbook BetOnline is offering odds on how many hot dogs Chestnut will consume during the 2021 Nathan’s competition. The bar is set at 74.5 hot dogs eaten. Last year, Chestnut gobbled down 75 wieners and buns to establish a new world record.

It’s All About Mom’s Home Cooking

Chestnut, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 230 pounds, is nicknamed Jaws and is the No. 1 in the world in the MLE competitive eater rankings.

He credits his mother’s home cooking, combined with the absence of money during his college days at San Jose State, for enabling him to develop the skills that turned him into the world’s greatest eater.

As with most college kids, finding the funds to afford sustenance was a daunting task for Chestnut. When he’d come home for visits, he did so with a warmth in his heart and the pangs of hunger in his belly. And nothing filled up that void in his stomach like the meals prepared by his mom.

A second helping? Sure, bring it on. Thirds? Fourths? Well, you get the picture.

It was Chestnut’s brother who encouraged him to enter his first competitive eating competition, though Chestnut admits on his personal website that not much arm twisting was required to convince him to do so.

“A free hotel stay at a casino and all the lobster I can eat?” Chestnut said. “Sure, I’ll give it a shot.”

He first gained fame when Chestnut devoured 12 pounds of deep-fried asparagus at the Stockton Asparagus Festival on Apr. 26, 2014. The mark still stands as a world record.

He first entered the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2005 and finished third behind perennial champion Takeru Kobayashi. Two years later, Chestnut ended Kobayashi’s six-year reign as Nathan’s title holder and he’s been devouring the competition ever since.

Hot Diggity Dog

During his 2007 Nathan’s victory, Chestnut also set a world record by downing 66 hot dogs. In essence, he is to weiner eating what Babe Ruth was home runs and Wayne Gretzky was to goals, assists and points, because the records that Chestnut continues to break are his own.

He upped his mark to 68 in 2009, equaling it in 2012 and making a solemn vow after the competition. “I will not stop until I reach 70,” Chestnut told the Boston Globe. “This sport isn’t about eating. It’s about drive and dedication, and at the end of the day, hot dog eating challenges both my body and my mind.”

Chestnut finally ascended to the 70 hot dog plateau in 2016. He upped his mark to 72 in the 2017 and 74 in 2018. At last year’s competition, Chestnut broke his record yet again.

He consumes hot dogs as if they were his oxygen. Chestnut does to his Nathan’s opponents what Secretariat did to the field at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. He distances them, leaving all others to eat his dust.

In the 2020 event, second-place finisher Darron Breeden downed just 42 hot dogs.

Joey’s Record Consumption

While best known for scarfing down hot dogs, Chestnut in fact is the current holder of 43 world eating records. Among the many standards he has established include marks for the most Twinkies, shrimp cocktail, tacos, tamales, poutine, pulled pork, pierogies, Philly cheese steaks, meat pies, jalapeno poppers, pastrami, ice cream sandwiches, gyros, funnel cakes, gumbo, apple pie, eggs, chicken wings and burritos eaten in one sitting.

Chestnut trains for his competitive eating feats by fasting and by stretching his stomach with the aid of milk, water and protein supplements.

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