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Brand New: Get 50,000 Southwest Airlines Points with the Just-Announced “Plus” Card

Link: 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points (Brand New Offer)

Out of the blue—we just heard yesterday—Southwest Airlines has introduced an all-new awards card, the Southwest Airlines Plus.

This card offers a a 50,000 point bonus after a low $2,000 minimum spend. Southwest also promises that these points will count toward Southwest's always-popular Companion Pass, where you can take the companion of your choice with you on every trip for an entire year.

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“If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something out of it.”

Ediza Ferris is serious about travel hacking, and it pays off. A recent trip took her and her husband from the States through Sydney to Dubai—where they were whisked from the presidential hotel suite to the First Class lounge via private chauffeur. Ediza is truly hacking her way to incredible experiences thanks to the world of miles and points.

I started traveling when I was young, around age 5 or 6. My parents immigrated to the States from the Philippines and we've always made steady trips back and forth to go back and see family.

I took the opportunity when I was 16 to study abroad for the summer in a theater program. It wasn't until then where I realized the world was so much bigger than myself, and so much older than how it's described in the history books.

Since then, I've wanted to see more, eat differently, and discover anything new so that I can piece together for myself what this world is actually made of.

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Midnight Sky Notes from Jakarta to Tokyo

Sometimes it’s good to live for the moment. Case in point: you’re flying JAL from Jakarta to Tokyo. It’s an overnight flight, but a short one. When a flight like this is blocked for 7 hrs, you know it’s probably more like 6. Then when you factor in takeoff and getting settled and at least having a snack before sleeping and a cup of coffee before landing, you’re looking at a 5-hour maximum sleep window.

But then the friendly flight attendant offers another glass of Syrah. This being a Japanese airline, she's already apologized four times for asking you to change your seat upon boarding.

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How to Travel to Random Places and Work on a Project

Greetings from the sky, on board Cathay Pacific’s longest flight. There are 16 hours scheduled for my “air world” time today, although it looks like we may arrive one hour early.

I love flights like these. I’ve already taken a three-hour nap (hey, I was tired) and am now up to work for several hours while I drink espresso and Perrier. It’s dark outside now, but eventually the sun will come up in-flight. A few more hours later I’ll land in Hong Kong, a full 12-hour time difference from where I left. Travel is life.

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Get 175,000 Points + $500 in Travel Rewards from Business Cards

Link: Enhanced Business Platinum Card

Link: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card

Link: SimplyCash Plus Business Card ($500 Credit)

Once again, it’s raining points and miles—a bunch of new travel hacking offers have hit the market all at once, offering you the chance to earn up to 175,000 miles (or more depending on how you count it) and an additional $500.

There's been some confusion about all these AmEx offers, so I thought I’d break down the most attractive ones and also clarify something. Let’s start with the clarification: these are marketed as business card offers, but if you’re eligible for U.S. credit cards, you’re probably eligible to get at least one of these.

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How to Buy Plane Tickets on the Same Day of Departure

Have you ever been frustrated when looking for an award ticket with your frequent flyer miles, only to be thoroughly disappointed that almost nothing is available? Chances are, you were looking during the same time period that most people do.

The traditional advice of booking “far, far in advance”—sometimes even 330 days out or whenever the airline releases seats into inventory is incomplete. This does work in some cases. Most of us, though, have absolutely no idea where and exactly when we want to fly an entire year from now. I mean, I don’t even know where I’m flying next week … and even if you’re not as bad as me, planning for specific flights a year into the future is tough.

That’s why you need different ninja skills.

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New Opportunities in Travel Hacking: Free 30-Minute Presentation

Link: Free Travel Hacking Presentation

My inbox has been crowded with a lot of traveling readers asking the same questions. Some people are worried and others are just confused. Why?

Well, if you’ve been travel hacking for a while, you know that a few things have changed recently. There’s a big 100,000 point offer, but a) it’s expensive, and b) a lot of people can’t get it. One of the main card issuers now has a “5/24” rule, meaning that you can’t get any new cards if you’ve applied for more than 4 in the past two years.

At the same time, there are a lot of promising new offers—so what should you do? In a free upcoming presentation, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know.

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Another Bonus Offer: 50,000 American Express Points Now Available

Link: 50,000 Points Up for Grabs

Last week I mentioned an upgraded bonus offer in the world of travel hacking. There’s one more that I left out while I was doing some travel hacking myself, flying off to Barcelona, Doha, and London.

For a limited time, the American Express Gold Card is offering a 50,000 point signup bonus. Last week, if you applied for the card, you’d get 40,000 points. Not bad… but this week, you’ll get 50,000 points from the same offer. Hint: this one is better. 😃

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What’s In Your Carry-On? 6 Things That Keep Me Comfortable and Productive on the Road

Nate wrote in to ask me about my travel packing strategy:

My burning question for you right now is what are your essential items that keep you comfortable and productive while you travel (virtual or real)? How has this list changed over time - or has it even changed since you published your first book?

My answer is that it’s changed a little over time, but not by much. When it comes to travel, I’m a creature of habit and routine. I take the same things with me everywhere I go, and everything fits in a single carry-on bag + my laptop bag (never check luggage!).

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17 Travel Hacking Tips for People Who Value Their Time and Sanity

This is a special post from Austin Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Check out his free 10-lesson course called “Better Credit in 10 Days.”

After reading the Frequent Flyer Master guide in December 2010, I scored two $20 tickets to Honolulu. Travel hacking was amazing, and I was hooked.

But a lot has changed since then. My wife Megan and I now have two children. During working hours—which is to say waking hours—I split my time between a startup called Closeup.fm, and the marketing consultancy that pays my bills, Wunderbar LLC.

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Special Offer: Get a $500 Travel Rebate for Hotels, Airfare, & More

Link: Special Offer: Get $500 in Travel Credit

For a limited time, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard is offering a $500 travel rebate after spending $3,000 in the first three months of having the card. The annual fee of $89 is waived for the first year.

This card is a bit different from some of the other ones I write about. It’s a travel rebate card, meaning that you’ll earn “credit” toward travel purchases. Once you’ve earned credit, nearly anything you charge on the card that relates to travel can be refunded. “Travel” is a big, all-encompassing category, including airfare, hotels, Airbnb, trains, car rentals—basically however you like to travel.

If it sounds complicated, it’s not: all you need to know is that you’ll get $500 to spend on travel however you’d like.

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“Freedom is the ability to travel”: Creating Multiple Sources of Income as a Millennial

evan3 Evan Tarver is a location-independent entrepreneur who, through multiple income streams and careful business growth, has the freedom to travel nationally and internationally. Right now he’s in Austin, but who knows where he’ll be next month!

Fresh out of college, I tossed aside a degree in Finance and Economics to take a retail management job with Target because it paid well (mistake!). Well, you guessed it, my happiness quickly waned and I decided to pull up roots, quit my job, and travel Europe until my bank account ran dry. And so I did, traveling to more than 7 countries and maxing out my last credit card to change flights from Geneva to Paris to make it home in one piece.

These days I'm a San Francisco-based millennial-entrepreneur who faces constant success and failure. I’m passionate about both writing and entrepreneurship for the collective freedom they afford. While a lot of my contemporaries in Silicon Valley are caught up in the "scale or die mentality," I focus on building my businesses very carefully so that they give me the freedom I covet. For me, freedom is the ability to travel.

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How to Earn 250,000 Frequent Flyer Miles in a Year: An Action Plan

In a previous post I explained how to kickstart your experience with miles and points that can be used for free travel. A lot of new readers (hey, new readers!) said this was helpful, so I wanted to delve into some more details.

As mentioned in that post, you don’t have to spend hours upon hours tracking deals and immersing yourself in forums. By setting aside just a few minutes each month, you should be able to earn more than enough miles to go anywhere in the world within a year or less.

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Travelers: 100,000 Point Signup Bonus Is Now Available

Link: 100,000 Point Bonus (!): New Chase Sapphire Preferred Reserve Card

Big news: my favorite credit card for travelers has been upgraded and now offers a huge 100,000 point bonus. The original card is still available (and it’s still great), but for many people, this new one is even better.

You'll receive the 100,000 points bonus after completing a $4,000 minimum spend in four months. There’s a $450 annual fee, but this is offset by a $300 credit for anything you spend on travel—and you can earn the credit every calendar year, meaning that in the first year you'll essentially get a $600 credit.

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The 12 Most Common Questions I Get About Traveling the World (Part III)

I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.

As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.

This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.

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