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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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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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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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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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If You’re Getting This Month’s Bonus Offer, Don’t Forget Your 5,000 Extra Points

1842795224_7f8576904a_z Link: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

Last week I mentioned the new-and-improved bonus offer for the travel rewards card I use every day, no matter where I am in the world. For a limited time, you can earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points instead of the usual 40,000.

Extra points are always great! Depending on how you use them, 10,000 points can be halfway to a plane ticket, or even two hotel nights.

But I almost forgot something: you can actually earn an additional 5,000 points just by adding an authorized user to your account. You can do this anytime in the first three months of having the card, and the points should automatically post up.

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Limited Time: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points (Usually 40,000) toward Free Travel

Travel Link: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

My longtime favorite card for earning miles and points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, has just raised its signup bonus offer. For a limited time you can earn 50,000 points (usually 40,000, which is also good) upon getting the card and completing a minimum spend.

As I’ve explained before, different cards are good for different reasons. Some cards are great for big bonuses, but after that it’s best to put them in the drawer and reserve your spending for other cards. Other cards are good for category spending, where you can earn 5x points at office supply stores or other particular merchants.

But if you can only get one card and not worry about keeping up with a bunch of stuff, this is the best overall recommendation—and now you can earn extra points just for getting it.

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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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Limited Time Offer: 100,000 Points Bonus for British Airways Card Returns!

4629626628_e35f145495_z Link: 100,000 Points for British Airways Card - Limited Time Offer

Breaking news: one of the best (and certainly one of the biggest) miles & points offers is now back. For a limited time, you can earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after applying for their signature card and meeting a number of spending requirements.

The first 50,000 points are easy—you'll get them after completing a $2,000 minimum spend in three months. This is worth it on its own, even if you can't earn the additional 50,000 points for spending more.

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Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Miles and Points: June 2015

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 Friday, June 5th. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn 215,000 points or miles. Happy travels!

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Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Miles and Points: May 2015

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 Tuesday, May 5th. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn 215,000 points or miles. Happy travels!

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When Next in Australia, Don’t Pay for Those Expensive Domestic Flights

10467388874_9b481ec233_z Greetings from my favorite country! I’m in Australia for a few days (no public events this time—just writing and enjoying paradise).

And here’s a tip: my favorite country can be a little expensive. Consider it a tax on paradise, but just about everything you purchase may seen a tad high if you’re coming from the states. Oh, and many parts of the country are still waiting for the internet to arrive—but presumably that’s improving.

Domestic flights within Australia can be pricey too, but there’s a great alternative option: redeem American Airlines miles for flights on Qantas.

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Giveaway: Qatar Airways First Class Amenity Kit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Every Friday is giveaway day. Comment to win!

  • This kit comes with Armani moisturizer, lip balm, sleep mask (good for napping on the road AND at home), fancy floss, and cozy black socks
  • Okay, technically this is a men's kit—but ladies, you can win too! It's a super snazzy kit for anyone
  • The Giorgio Armani travel case is pretty nice too
  • This giveaway is available to readers worldwide. Anyone can win!
  • Our cats and biased judges will pick someone on Sunday night at 6pm PST

Enter this week’s giveaway by posting a comment. Check back Sunday night when we announce the winner!

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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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My Favorite Part of the Qatar Airways A380 Flight Was the First Class Lavatories

I joke about this with my friends: “Oh my God, travel is so hard. Sometimes the Business Class flights attendant brings still water instead of sparkling! Sometimes the hotel forgets the chocolates on the pillow during turn-down service!"

That’s why I was so excited about the A380 on Qatar Airways. As soon as I boarded the flight, I was impressed right away. The cabin is gorgeous, the seat is fantastic, and from the way I was greeted I could tell that the service would be flawless.

Qatar-A380-first-class-bathroom And it was. Still, though, I've had many experiences like that. These days I’m earning and spending more than one million miles a year (more than 2 million last year, actually), so if I’m flying more than three hours, I’m almost never in the back of the plane anymore.

Much of the time, I go through life jaded. But not on this flight—and you know my favorite part? The washrooms.

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