Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road

Topline: BMW rolled out its first vehicle painted with “vantablack”, known as the world’s blackest black⁠—and although the company claims it would like to see the car on the road, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  • The BMW X6 was selected as the first vehicle to receive the inky-black paint job and will debut in September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Vantablack in its purest form absorbs all light, without reflecting any back.
  • To make sure the X6 didn’t appear completely two-dimensional, the vantablack paint used on it reflects back 1% of light.
  • Although X6 designer Hussein Al Attar said he “absolutely” could see vantablack joining BMW’s lineup of color options for car buyers, the automaker has no immediate plans.
  • According to Ben Jensen, CTO of vantablack developer Surrey Nanosystems, “The limitations of vantablack in respect of direct impact or abrasion would make this an impractical proposition for most people. It would also be incredibly expensive.”

Chief critic: Auto enthusiasts. They question why a car needs to be painted with vantablack, especially since it won’t be for sale anytime soon. And safety studies show that regular black cars are already more dangerous to drive over lighter-colored cars⁠—chances of crashing a black car at dawn and dusk are 47% higher than that of a non-black car.

Key background: Developed by Surrey Nanosystems in 2014, the pigment in vantablack is made from tiny bits of carbon. Originally designed to be used in outer space, vantablack can be applied at temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing. It has also been used in space cameras to block out light from the sun, letting the devices take clearer photos of distant stars and galaxies.

Surprising fact: The “vanta” in vantablack stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road


How to Pay for Airbnb and Uber with Rewards Points – Johnny Jet


Airbnb and Uber are two of the most popular and semi-unconventional travel services for those that don’t want to spend the extra money on a regular hotel room or taxi fare. The one problem is that while you can earn points by paying for your reservations with a credit card, it can be difficult to redeem your rewards points. This guide will help show you how to pay for Airbnb and Uber with rewards points.


There are a couple different ways to help pay for your Airbnb purchases.

EDIT: You can longer directly link your Airbnb account with Amex Membership Rewards

American Express

If you have an American Express credit card that earns Membership Rewards, you can redeem those points directly through Airbnb at 0.7 points per dollar. This means a $100 stay would cost approximately 14,285 Amex points. While it’s nice to have the option of directly redeeming your points for a full or partial payment, the better deal with Amex is to redeem your points for an Airbnb gift card.

You may also be able to redeem your points for 1 cent each (1,000 points=$1) for an Airbnb gift card of $100 or $250. For a $100 gift card, you will only need 10,000 points to redeem a gift card instead of $14,285 point by redeeming directly from Airbnb. As a forewarning, Amex doesn’t always offer these gift cards.

Statement Credit

Another option is to pay for your Airbnb stay with a rewards credit card that gives you a statement credit for travel purchases. Two examples are the (currently unavailable) Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture cards. You will have pay for the Airbnb statement with your qualifying credit card, because the credit cards count Airbnb stays as a travel purchase, you can redeem your points for your stay. With this method, redeeming 10,000 points will give you a $100 travel reimbursement credit. The Arrival Plus also gives you a 5% rebate on all miles redeemed, and you 120 days from your purchase to make the redemption.


Uber is a little more flexible when it comes to redeeming points than Airbnb.

American Express

Once again, American Express has a direct relationship with Uber. By opting into their special offer, you can earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Uber fares and you can also redeem your Membership Rewards points at 1-cent-apiece. This means a $50 Uber ride would cost 5,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.

Capital One Quicksilver

If you own the Capital One Quicksilver card, you also have the opportunity to earn a $15 Uber credit after paying for your first 9 rides with your Quicksilver card. You will need to link your card on the Capital One website to take advantage of this offer. Plus, you earn 1.5% on every purchase.

Statement Credits

Once again, another flexible way to pay for your Uber rides is with a statement credit from a travel rewards credit card. Most Uber rides won’t cost $100, but a possible way around this limit is to buy Uber gift cards through the United MileagePlus (over $100) X App. 

Starwood Starpoints

You can’t redeem Starwood Starpoints for Uber rides, but, you can earn bonus SPG points and that might be more valuable as a free hotel night could be more valuable than a free taxi ride.

By linking your SPG & Uber accounts, you earn 2 Starpoint for every $1 spent on Uber rides during a Starwood stay & 1 Starpoint for non-stay rides. This can also be in addition to earning the 2 points on an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points like the American Express Premier Gold Rewards card.

Is it possible to pay for Airbnb and Uber with rewards points?

After reading this article, you have realized that the easiest way to pay for Airbnb and Uber with rewards points is by having an American Express Membership Rewards credit card, or through a statement credit from a qualifying travel rewards credit card.




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