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

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

I almost never fly Southwest Airlines. When flying in the U.S., I usually 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.

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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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New Offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Points (Enough for 25 Hotel Nights!)

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with annual fee)

Link: Get 75,000 Hilton Points (with no annual fee)

There have been a bunch of great hotel points deals recently. First, the IHG card went up to 70,000 points before dropping back to 60,000, which is still great. Second, the Marriott card is offering 80,000 points. Those deals are solid and I have both cards.

This week another hotel points offer has just landed, this one from Hilton. To be precise, there are actually two offers, one for an increased signup bonus amount (from 40,000 points to 75,000, which is great), and an all-new card that gets you a whopping 100,000 Hilton points. Yeah, no kidding!

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“3 Encounters That Changed My Life”: How a Corporate Employee Gained a New Perspective through Travel

Clelia3 After enduring a life of “glamor and nonsense” (her words) for six years, Clelia Mattana decided to follow an inner calling and travel the world solo.

Imagine this typical scene on the London Underground: A business man reading a newspaper, a teenage boy damaging his eardrums listening to loud music on his headphones, a girl painting her nails while playing on her phone. They all regard conversation as a contagious disease.

When I was London, I was exactly like them — and I didn’t even know it until I started traveling. On the road, I learned that travel doesn’t necessarily make me a better person. We've all read touching stories on how traveling helps you find your true self, opens your mind, and changes you. This is certainly true some of the time, but I’ve learned that traveling can also bring out the worst parts of my personality.

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What Time Should You Arrive at the Airport?

I’m unusual in that I love airports. I'll regularly arrive 2-3 hours in advance of my flight, sometimes even at a small airport without a lounge. There’s just something about being around the bustle of people in motion and aircraft on the tarmac that I find reassuring.

But let’s say that you’re a normal person. Assuming you don’t want to live as I do, when should you arrive at the airport before a flight?

Two simple guidelines will help.

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I Flew in an Apartment in the Sky… and It Was Awesome!

EYapt - 1 Earlier this year I identified a new travel goal: to fly in the Etihad "Apartment,” a full-on suite that’s included on their A380 aircraft on certain routes.

Well, as of last week I can now say “mission accomplished”—I flew in The Apartment from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, a 15-hour journey. The short version of the flight is: it was amazing.

Here’s how it all went down.

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How to Be An Unsuccessful Backpacker (and Succeed Anyway)

Claudia Tavani was inspired to travel Latin America after seeing The Motorcycle Diaries. She admits she doesn’t always travel by following best practices, but that doesn’t stop her from having an amazing time.

Travel bloggers enjoy “bragging rights” of a sort, especially when it comes to showing off their ability to travel on an extreme shoestring budget, to be hyper-local while getting off the beaten path, and to tout how many countries they’ve explored. If this is what it takes to become a good traveler, I may be on the wrong journey because I don’t think I fit into any of that.
Claudia3

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Should You Earn Hotel Points if You Don’t Usually Stay at Hotels?

7916189566_7ffe197494_z Recently I’ve published a couple of posts about how to get free hotel nights. Among others, you can learn:

A lot of readers have taken advantage of these deals and are busy earning lots of free stays. Others, though, question whether it’s “worth it” if you don’t usually stay in hotels.

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New Offer: Earn 80,000 Marriott Points (Enough for 8 Hotel Nights!)

9565462783_bd249dae0a_z Link: 80,000 Marriott Points (!)

Last week I mentioned how to earn free hotel stays year after year. But here’s something new—a big bonus to earn at least 80,000 Marriott Points.

Until a few days ago, the bonus was 50,000 points, so this is basically a 60% bonus for doing nothing different. Of course, Marriott isn’t just being generous here. They want to compete with other offers! But since the requirements to earn the points haven’t changed, there’s not really any downside for you.

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Why the Best Way to Earn Miles & Points Still Hasn’t Changed

3489951440_7edeebd79e_z Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred (50,000 Points Bonus)

I’m always on the lookout for new travel hacking opportunities. Even though I don’t need to earn as many miles & points as I used to, it’s still fun.

This year I’ll be flying in The Apartment at 30,000 feet. I’ll be going back to my favorite country, Australia. And I’ll be heading out on a 30-city book tour. (You can come, too.)

… and I’m sure there will be many other adventures along the way. For all of these experiences and more, I’ll be using the same credit card.

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