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The Best Travel Hacking Advice for People Who Can’t Get Credit Cards

13043841253_43b3e37e81_z I write about travel hacking a lot on the blog (and much more in the Cartel), and I always try to point people to the best available deals and opportunities. Some of these opportunities are for credit card signup bonuses, something I’ve been experimenting with for years, ever since first applying for 13 cards of my own on the same day way back in 2009.

Of course, not everyone is able or eligible to get these bonuses—so what else is out there? There’s actually a ton. Credit cards are an easy way to earn a big boost of miles and points in many different programs, but they aren’t the only way.

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Travel Hacking in Early 2013

Every year when the calendar rolls around to January 1, it's time for me to get back out on the road. I love travel and I love doing events—I've been in eight cities in the past ten days—but I also have to get back to work on requalifying my elite status with all my favorite airlines and hotels.

Last year I hit the mark for the highest status with American Airlines, Hyatt, and Hilton hotels. This year I'm hoping to requalify for each, with the addition of more Starwood stays to earn the highest status with them as well.

Why bother? Because it makes my traveling life easier, and also because it's fun.

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Travel Hacking Anywhere Without Credit Cards

Since posting the 2012 Frequent Flyer Challenge, I've fielded a ton of queries from people about how it works, which cards are best for their needs, and the occasional complaint from someone who feels like this information is too good to be shared. The short response is: it works very well. I'll be receiving more than 200,000 miles from my recent applications, in addition to several million miles over the past few years. These opportunities aren't going away anytime soon, so you might as well get in on them if you can.

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The Frequent Flyer Challenge Returns!

In the early days of this blog, I conducted a public experiment. Over the course of 45 days, I applied for every credit card I could find that offered a sign-up incentive of Frequent Flyer Miles or hotel points. I had been applying for cards for years with success, earning 200,000+ miles every year with little effort and no adverse effect on my credit score, which remained in the 90th percentile or higher. However, I had never applied for so many cards all at once. Would it work? Would my accounts be shut down?

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Adventures in Travel Hacking

Greetings from LHR Terminal 3, soon to be departing to San Francisco after a weekend in London for the U.K. launch of The $100 Startup. We've had a lot of new readers join our community over the past month (hi, everyone!) and I thought it would be good to provide an overview of travel hacking: the means of seeing the world in style while on a budget. For the past five years, I've been to at least 20 new countries a year on my quest to go everywhere. In addition to overland travel by bus or train, I get to many of them through a variety of paid and almost-free plane tickets ...

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The Latest in Travel Hacking: Earn Free Airfare in 2012

Happy New Year!

On Sunday's long run, I pushed it to 12 miles in honor of 2012. I then tried to eat 12 pieces of nutella pie as a reward, but that plan fell through after piece #2.

As you're thinking about a new year, here's a free tip: forget resolutions; think about living intentionally instead.

What matters to you this year? Do that.

What do you hope to build in 2012? Work on that.

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The Latest in Travel Hacking: November 2011 Edition

Last Thursday afternoon, I approached the registration desk at a Radisson hotel near the airport in Portland, Oregon.

“Checking in, sir?” the clerk asked.

“Yes,” I said. “And checking out.”

I was there to take advantage of a new miles-and-points adventure: in this case, staying for one night (or at least checking in) in order to receive another night free. Why do that? Because my paid night cost $74, and I'll use the free night for a property that runs $300 or more.

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One-Hour Travel Hacking Class Now Available

Friends and readers, greetings from Johannesburg airport, where I've just arrived from a week of gorilla trekking in East Africa. Life is good. By popular request, you're invited to join me for a one-hour online class on the basics of travel hacking: how to see the world on a budget. We'll discuss at least 8 ways to earn a free plane ticket in the next 60 days. Update: the class is now sold-out.

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1 Hour of Travel Hacking = $3,400

People sometimes ask if travel hacking is worth the hassle. Doesn't it take away time you could spend on other projects? Is that time investment really worth it? Truth be told, once in a while I wonder the same thing ... I've got no shortage of opportunities to pursue these days, with a book to write, a summit to host, twenty countries a year to visit, etc. But when I sit down and do some work on my travel accounts, I realize, yes, I'm pretty sure this is worth my time. After traveling around the world (Cambodia, East Timor, numerous transit stops, etc.) for the past few weeks, I returned home and spent some time getting my travel world in order. Here's what I did to catch up on things in one hour ...

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