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Huge Deal: Get Up to 75,000 JetBlue Points (No Credit Card Required!)

This is a really great deal that will help a lot of people. Here’s the one-minute, short version:

  1. JetBlue will GIVE YOU up to 75,000 points, just for sending them a screenshot and taking a single round-trip flight before the end of August
  2. If you have any number of Virgin America points, you’ll get them matched simply for completing the above (up to 75,000 points in total; more on that in a moment)
  3. If you don’t have any Virgin America points, it’s not that hard to get them—and then you can get all those free JetBlue points
  4. The 75,000 JetBlue points are easily worth $900, so it’s definitely worth doing if you can. And even if you can’t get the maximum, well, it’s free points!

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4 Travel Hacking Tricks for Domestic Trips

I received a note from a reader who wanted to know about traveling domestically. I admit that most of what I get excited about in the world of travel hacking relates to international travel. I like flying around the planet and changing as many as twelve time zones at once, only to do it again a few days later.

But not everyone feels the same way, and besides—even if you travel far and wide, you still probably need to travel shorter distances from time to time too.

How can you benefit from travel hacking when planning relatively simple trips? Here are four very helpful tricks.

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8 Easy Actions to Kickstart Your Way to Free Travel

When you’re just starting to learn about free travel or travel hacking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a deluge of information and recommendations.

But fear not! Here’s a current and highly practical list of things you can do right now to kickstart your way to the trip of your dream.

Bonus: most of these actions are very simple to complete, and almost all of them are FREE.

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Limited Time: Earn Up to 170,000 Delta SkyMiles through Improved Signup Offers

Link: New Delta Offers Earning 50,000-60,000 Miles Each

As part of a limited-time offer, American Express has increased the bonus for several of their Delta Airlines cards. There are now three different options, each with a higher signup bonus than usual.

For the next few weeks (or less, depending on when you’re reading this), you can earn an improved signup bonus on any of them.

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Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Miles and Points: June 2016

Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. Although about 250,000 of them come through actual travel, the rest come through travel hacking: the art of seeing the world on a budget.

One of the easiest ways to earn a lot of miles all at once is through credit card signup bonuses. This post contains the best current card offers as of Friday, June 3rd. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn more than 175,000 points or miles. Happy travels! In this edition:

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Limited Time: Get 60,000 Points (Worth at Least $750!) on the Best Small Business Card

Link: 60,000 Points for Chase Ink Plus Card

Great news! A huge 60,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus is back, on the very best all-around card for Small Business spending. These are very valuable (and flexible) points that can be used with many different airlines and hotels.

I have this card myself and use it every day, along with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I put personal charges on Sapphire and business charges on Ink Plus. You don’t have to use the cards this way, though—since many people are self-employed or otherwise have some kind of small business, you can just list your name as the business name when applying.

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The Easy Way to Earn Extra Points on Everything You Buy (No Annual Fee!)

What if you like the idea of travel hacking, but don’t want to pay an annual fee? There's a new way to earn cash-back or points—your choice—on a card that never has a fee.

The new Chase Freedom Unlimited card will give you $150 Cash Back just for getting the card (remember, there's no fee). You can "cash in" your free money at any time by applying it to your statement balance.

Alternatively—and often a better choice—you can transform your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points, as long as you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or another Ultimate Rewards-earning card.

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Limited Time: Use Southwest Airlines Points to Fly a Companion Free (For an Entire Year)

Link: 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points (Limited Time)

I almost never fly Southwest Airlines. When flying in the U.S., I usually prefer American Airlines (and sometimes Delta). However, Southwest has millions of loyal fans who love their point-to-point service, unassigned seating, and general friendliness.

For those fans—or anyone who appreciates free travel—you may want to take a look at the improved signup offer for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card. Instead of just 25,000 points (the usual offer), for a limited time you can earn 50,000 points after completing a $2,000 minimum spend in the first three months.

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Dream Trip Student Earns 21,000 Points from Taking Free Surveys

Last year I co-taught a 28-day course on how to make your dream trip a reality. Throughout the course we heard story after story of people earning hundreds of thousands of miles and points. That was great, but what’s happening now is even better: we’re hearing lots of great stories of how students are using their miles and points.

As I say often, earning miles is great, but putting them toward free travel is much better. 😃

Today I saw a great example of how someone earned a significant number of points without applying for credit cards. The headline says it all: she earned 22,000 Hilton HHonors points by completing online surveys.

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Ending Soon: 100,000 Hotel Points Bonus Offer (+ Another 75,000 Points Offer)

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with annual fee)

I recently highlighted the largest current signup bonus in the travel world: 100,000 points with the new Hilton HHonors Surpass card. This is a limited time offer, meaning that the travel companies only put it out for a brief window of time before pulling it or lowering the bonus to a much lower amount.

There’s also an offer to earn 75,000 points, another limited-time promotion, without paying an annual fee. Both of these offers are legit and worth considering, even if you don’t usually stay in hotels.

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It’s Raining Points and Miles! Earn Up to 382,500 in the Next 2 Weeks

While I’ve been on the road for my tour, the travel hacking world has been busy. We usually see this phenomenon toward the end of the year, but apparently this time it’s happening much earlier.

I recently mentioned the 100,000 points offer for an all-new card from Hilton, along with an increased offer for another Hilton card. A couple weeks before that, I mentioned the increased signup bonus for the Marriott card.

Since then, two additional new cards have come out, and two other signup bonuses have been increased for a limited time. It’s been hard to keep up with all the new offers that have been flying in, so I’ve compiled the information on the available opportunities below.

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New Offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Points (Enough for 25 Hotel Nights!)

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with annual fee)

Link: Get 75,000 Hilton Points (with no annual fee)

There have been a bunch of great hotel points deals recently. First, the IHG card went up to 70,000 points before dropping back to 60,000, which is still great. Second, the Marriott card is offering 80,000 points. Those deals are solid and I have both cards.

This week another hotel points offer has just landed, this one from Hilton. To be precise, there are actually two offers, one for an increased signup bonus amount (from 40,000 points to 75,000, which is great), and an all-new card that gets you a whopping 100,000 Hilton points. Yeah, no kidding!

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What Time Should You Arrive at the Airport?

I’m unusual in that I love airports. I'll regularly arrive 2-3 hours in advance of my flight, sometimes even at a small airport without a lounge. There’s just something about being around the bustle of people in motion and aircraft on the tarmac that I find reassuring.

But let’s say that you’re a normal person. Assuming you don’t want to live as I do, when should you arrive at the airport before a flight?

Two simple guidelines will help.

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A Better Way to Think About Traveling for Nearly Free

16572590216_0d1b6a2665_z Readers who are learning about travel hacking tend to have lots of questions about what their miles and points are worth. I’m the first to say that I’m not the best at determining a specific valuation. I have a CPA to help with my taxes, I hardly ever check website statistics or any other analytics, and math isn't my strong suit.

So when it comes to valuation, I tend to look to some general rules instead of getting hyper specific. By far the most important rule is: travel hacking helps me have amazing experiences.

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