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Earn 430,000 Miles from the Best Current Travel Card Offers

Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, but 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. When managed carefully (i.e., you pay your bills on time), there's no downside and you can keep the miles coming for a long time.

We've had a bunch of new offers recently, and it's been a while since I've done a roundup. This post contains the best current card offers. If getting each one, you'd earn 430,000 miles!

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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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Get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points ($1,000+ Value) from a Brand-New Offer

Link: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

Long, long ago, I wrote about my adventures in buying gift cards at Office Depot. It took a lot of schlepping back and forth, but I earned at least 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the effort. (I was then able to fly Business Class to South Africa and Switzerland from this points, so it was well worth it.)

As of this week, you can now earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points with a lot less effort. Chase has debuted an all-new card, the Ink Business Preferred, which offers the 80,000 points as a signup bonus.

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7 Ways to Get Started Earning Points & Miles for Free Travel

Hey everyone! Lots of new people are reading the blog lately, and I’ve been getting a bunch of questions about some travel hacking basics.

Here are a few notes for everyone who’s just started.

I originally started travel hacking as a means to see the world without spending a lot of money. I didn’t have a lot of money, and I also had a long list of places to go. Over the next decade, I had countless adventures all enabled through the world of miles and points.

I could have seen the world without ever using Frequent Flyer miles, but it definitely would have been much more expensive, and probably a lot less fun.

Here are seven things you should do to get started.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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