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Ending Soon: Last Chance for 70,000 IHG Hotel Points

Link: 70,000 IHG Hotel Points

A while back I mentioned a limited-time offer for 70,000 IHG hotel points (normally 60,000 or fewer). The deadline for the big bonus is coming up, and this is one that’s definitely worth looking at if you're eligible.

70,000 points in the IHG network can be used for at least two nights at nicer properties, or up to a week or longer at budget properties. Personally, I’m in the “life is short” department—I have plenty of points these days and would use this bonus at the nicer places. But I used to be a very low-budget traveler, and the idea of essentially getting a week’s worth of free hotel nights in exchange for a single credit card application will be appealing to a lot of folks.

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Earn Miles by Paying Your Taxes with a Credit Card

Link: Discover Card 3% Bonus

Speaking of paying taxes, for years people have asked me about earning Frequent Flyer miles or points by paying your taxes with a credit card. Wouldn’t it be great if you could receive a travel bonus for all that money you have to pay?

Generally speaking, this isn’t usually a great idea, because the companies that process tax payments are smart. They charge a fee, typically 1.87%, in exchange for passing along your money. At 1.87%, you’re paying $467 for every $25,000 in tax payments.

Fortunately, there's a new opportunity that greatly improves this calculation.

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Can You Visit Bora Bora on a Budget? Sort of—Here’s How.

This is a free excerpt from Upgrade Unlocked: The Unconventional Guide to Luxury Travel on a Budget by Stephanie Zito.

Bora-Bora

Bora Bora is a dream destination smack in the middle of the South Pacific. The French Polynesian island is famous for its crystal waters in 50 shades of blue, and luxury accommodation in over-the-ocean bungalows that come complete with a private balcony stepping straight into the sea.

It’s a popular destination for honeymooners and just about anyone who likes to be pampered on an island while never being more than 10 steps away from tropical waters.

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The Single Best Credit Card for Travelers: Earn 40,000 Points Now and More Everywhere You Go

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Last year we had a celebration for Tyler, our Adventure Czar, when he came home from running a marathon on Antarctica. At the end of the night, I went to pay my tab, and the bartender said, “What is this card that all of you guys have?!”

It turned out that of the dozen or so folks that had an open tab at the bar that night, at least half of us were using the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

There’s a good reason for that! Our readers are smart. :)

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Last Chance for $250 Statement Credit on SimplyCash Card (Ends February 24)

Link: AmEx SimplyCash Card

Years ago I earned a lot of different bank signup bonuses, running around to multiple banks to open accounts in exchange for a $100 (sometimes more) credit. It was essentially a $50/hour job, only limited by the number of available offers. My only problem was remembering where all the accounts were, and if there were certain requirements I had to meet before receiving the credit.

There’s essentially another opportunity like that now—and it’s more than $100, and you don’t have to run around to banks for it. The SimplyCash Business Card from American Express is offering a $250 statement credit with no annual fee.

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AmEx Centurion Lounge: The Airport Oasis that Makes Domestic Flying Comfortable

AMEX-Centurion-Lounge

Personal Link: The Platinum Card from American Express

Business Link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

A couple of years ago, American Express made an unexpected move: they decided to create their own series of domestic airline lounges that are actually nice.

See, most lounges in the U.S. (and Canada, and honestly much of Europe as well) feature lounges that are better than being stuck in the terminal when your flight is delayed, but not by much. You often have a choice of stale cookies (American Airlines) or stale pretzels (United Airlines).

It wasn’t until I started travel hacking overseas that I discovered the lounges that are truly noteworthy, like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Heathrow, and others.

Some of these lounges are destinations, in the same way that Bora Bora is a dream trip. You’d go well out of your way to spend a morning or afternoon in one of these spots.

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United Launches Business Card Offer with 50,000 Mile Signup Bonus

9406576675_914d5b67fa_z Link: New 50,000 Mile Business Card Offer

(Click the application link on that page, then click "Are you a business owner?" at the top-right of the application page.) ***

A new challenger has entered the ring: United just launched a 50,000 mile *Business* Card offer. This goes hand-in-hand with their longstanding 30,000 miles personal card offer.

Finding the actual offer is a bit convoluted. You have to click the personal application link from the Cards for Travel page (or directly on Chase.com if you prefer), then select “Are you a business owner?” at the top-right.

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Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Miles & Points: February

Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, and 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 Wednesday, February 4. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn 215,000 points or miles. Happy travels!

In this edition:

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

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

Confession: I almost never fly Southwest. When flying in the U.S., I much 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.

In addition to the improved signup bonus, the card also offers the following benefits:

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