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Chris Dong

Editor & Content Contributor

88 Published Articles

About Chris Dong

Chris is an obsessive traveler with an eye for luxury hotels and local, authentic experiences. He loves sleeping in opulent five-star suites (in the air or on the ground!) just as much as he enjoys eating at hole-in-the-wall noodle joints.

As a freelance travel writer and editor, he focuses on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Ultimately, he believes luxury travel, local experiences and loyalty programs can all go together.

Formerly full-time at The Points Guy, his work can now be found at AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, Insider, and Lonely Planet, among others. When he’s not traveling, Chris calls Los Angeles home after nearly ten years of living in New York City.

You can follow Chris on Instagram and Twitter.

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Chris's Latest Articles

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Limited-Time Referral Offer: Get 10x Points at Restaurants on Select Amex Cards

Limited-Time Referral Offer: Get 10x Points at Restaurants on Select Amex Cards

One of the best ways to boost your points balance is to take advantage of large welcome offers, but there is another overlooked option available with a handful of cards: referral bonuses. American Express has a limited-time referral program to…

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Breeze To Become an All-A220 Airline By End of 2024

Breeze To Become an All-A220 Airline By End of 2024

Breeze Airways, the upstart low-cost carrier launched in 2021 by David Neeleman, has announced its full fleet transition to the passenger-friendly Airbus A220 by year’s end. In addition, the airline has ordered 10 more of this aircraft type. Here are…

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How To Watch This April’s Total Solar Eclipse Onboard a Delta Flight

How To Watch This April’s Total Solar Eclipse Onboard a Delta Flight

Total solar eclipses don’t come around too often, especially over North America. This April, a solar eclipse will fall over the U.S., encompassing parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Delta Air Lines has announced a rare opportunity to watch the…

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Discounted Singapore Airlines Award Flights for March and April 2024

Discounted Singapore Airlines Award Flights for March and April 2024

It’s time once again for Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to update its Spontaneous Escapes promotion. This round features significant discounts on redemptions for travel in March and April. The monthly offer from Singapore allows members to book select flights at a…

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Skip the Line: Capital One Now Offers a Digital Waitlist for Airport Lounges

Skip the Line: Capital One Now Offers a Digital Waitlist for Airport Lounges

Travelers love a good airport lounge, but waiting in line for them diminishes its value. The increased popularity of premium travel rewards credit cards has come at the expense of sometimes overcrowded lounges. Capital One is now making it easier…

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Hyatt’s Newest Thompson Hotel Opens in Houston

Hyatt’s Newest Thompson Hotel Opens in Houston

Hyatt’s marquee luxury lifestyle brand, Thompson Hotels, continues to expand with the latest opening in Houston. It marks the fourth Thompson property to open in Texas. Here’s what you can expect from this 172-key hotel in the heart of Space…

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American Adds New Winter 2024 Routes, Including Dallas to Brisbane

American Adds New Winter 2024 Routes, Including Dallas to Brisbane

Next winter, American Airlines is going “all in” on warm and sunny destinations. The Dallas-Fort Worth-based carrier is boosting frequency to destinations like Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean and inaugurating brand-new service to Brisbane, Australia (BNE) from its Dallas-Fort Worth…

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Delta Amex Cards Get a Major Overhaul With Increased Annual Fees, New Statement Credits

Delta Amex Cards Get a Major Overhaul With Increased Annual Fees, New Statement Credits

Delta Air Lines loyalists have faced several challenges in the past few months, including changes in status requirements and limitations on lounge access. Now, there’s more mixed news: A complete revamp of Delta’s lineup of Amex credit cards. First, the…

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Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club With Etihad Airways at New York JFK Now Open

Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club With Etihad Airways at New York JFK Now Open

In 2015, Etihad Airways unveiled its first class and business class lounge at John F. Kennedy International (JFK). However, ever since the onset of the pandemic, Etihad’s exclusive space has remained closed — along with all of its U.S. lounges….

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Oneworld Alliance Opens Its First Branded Lounge in Seoul (ICN)

Oneworld Alliance Opens Its First Branded Lounge in Seoul (ICN)

The Oneworld alliance’s first-ever branded lounge is now open at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN). Premium cabin travelers on a Oneworld alliance flight (or those with select frequent flier statuses) now have a swanky new lounge option — here’s what…

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Delta Bumping Up Elite Status for Select SkyMiles Members

Delta Bumping Up Elite Status for Select SkyMiles Members

Late last year, Delta Air Lines outraged frequent fliers by increasing status requirements and restricting lounge access, among other modifications. Although Delta CEO Ed Bastian publicly acknowledged that the airline had gone too far and (slightly) rolled back the changes, many…

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Here’s What’s New With the American AAdvantage Program in 2024

Here’s What’s New With the American AAdvantage Program in 2024

Change is coming to the AAdvantage program. But no need to panic: American Airlines isn’t making any modifications to reach elite status for the upcoming qualification year (unlike other carriers). After completely revamping its AAdvantage elite status program in 2022…

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Marriott Debuts Riviera Maya EDITION, the Brand’s First Mexico Property

Marriott Debuts Riviera Maya EDITION, the Brand’s First Mexico Property

Marriott is set to expand the luxury EDITION brand significantly; its footprint will double to 30 properties by 2027. Travelers to Mexico’s Riveria Maya will now have a new 5-star option starting today. Here’s what you need to know. The…

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These Are the 35 New Hotels Set To Join Hyatt’s Luxury Portfolio by 2025

These Are the 35 New Hotels Set To Join Hyatt’s Luxury Portfolio by 2025

From the timeless luxury of Park Hyatt to the wellness-focused Miraval, Hyatt is expanding its portfolio over the next several years. Here are the high-end properties that you can expect to be open by 2025. New Hyatt Hotels Planned While…

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Chase Will Have a New Luxury Hotel Program in 2024: Here’s a First Look

Chase Will Have a New Luxury Hotel Program in 2024: Here’s a First Look

Come early 2024, there will be a whole new way to book luxury hotels. Historically, Chase has offered the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC), a selection of 1,000 high-end properties around the world that offer exclusive benefits to select…

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United To Invest $2.6 Billion in Houston (IAH), Including New Gates and Its Largest Lounge in the World

United To Invest $2.6 Billion in Houston (IAH), Including New Gates and Its Largest Lounge in the World

United Airlines is upping the ante at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). With 400 daily departures, United’s hub at IAH is set to grow by 40% in passenger volume by 2026. Here’s what you can expect from the $2.6…

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[Expired] [Award Alert] Delta One to Asia or Europe From 85K SkyMiles Each Way

[Expired] [Award Alert] Delta One to Asia or Europe From 85K SkyMiles Each Way

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. Redeeming SkyMiles can be a tricky endeavor, as in most instances, it requires a massive number of them to redeem for a premium cabin flight. However, with occasional Delta SkyMiles…

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[Expired] Transfer Amex Points to Avianca LifeMiles With a 15% Bonus

[Expired] Transfer Amex Points to Avianca LifeMiles With a 15% Bonus

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. If you have a stash of American Express Membership Rewards points lying around, there’s an opportunity to maximize their value. Right now, you can leverage a 15% bonus when…

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Marriott Opens Newest Luxury Collection Hotel, Paragraph Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia

Marriott Opens Newest Luxury Collection Hotel, Paragraph Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia

Eastern Europe is upping the luxury quota with the newest hotel opening from Marriott. Paragraph Freedom Square, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tbilisi is now open in the rich cultural city of Tbilisi, Georgia. Here’s what you need to know about…

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Renaissance New York Harlem Opens, the First Full-Service Harlem Hotel in 100 Years

Renaissance New York Harlem Opens, the First Full-Service Harlem Hotel in 100 Years

With the Renaissance New York Harlem opening, Marriott’s ever-growing portfolio in New York City has increased by one. Here’s what you should know about the first full-service hotel in the neighborhood in over 100 years. Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel…

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Dutch Government Pauses Plan To Cap Amsterdam Flights in 2024

Dutch Government Pauses Plan To Cap Amsterdam Flights in 2024

A protracted, years-long battle to cap flights at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) has taken an interesting turn. Dutch government authorities had planned to press forward with an “experimental” scheme limiting the number of flights, which would effectively stop smaller carriers…

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Find out about other members of the team

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Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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Andrew Kunesh

Former Content Contributor

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City.

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Ashley Onadele

Content Contributor

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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Brandon Brunner

Former Content Contributor

Brandon was born and raised in California and really didn’t travel much growing up, even outside of his own state. While attending college, he was constantly looking to find the cheapest fares to any destination abroad, and quickly learned about the motto- “Chase the fare, not the destination”. Luckily, his first international flight was to Costa Rica (under $300 roundtrip) where that “Pura Vida” lifestyle (and Imperials) hit him hard, and he knew he had to see more.

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Brian Graham

Former Content Contributor

Brian’s first ever airplane ride was in a private turbo-prop jet. He was merely an intern boy trying to make a good impression, but it turns out the plane made an impression on him.

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Carissa Rawson

Senior Content Contributor

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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Caroline Lupini

Former Content Contributor

Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels. 

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Charlie Page

Former Content Contributor

Charlie is a Senior First Officer and has been an airline pilot for nearly 15 years. He currently flies long-haul on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after 10 years buzzing around Europe on the A320. He got into travel and aviation from an early age, fortunate enough to be taken on some great family holidays.

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Cherag Dubash

Content Contributor

Cherag was born in a family associated with aviation and was hooked on to planes since the age of 3, the time he undertook his first flight on an Airbus A310 from Mumbai to Dubai.

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Chris Hassan

Social Media & Brand Manager

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a passion for making content catered toward family travelers.

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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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Christy Rodriguez

Travel & Finance Content Contributor

After having “non-rev” privileges with Southwest Airlines, Christy dove into the world of points and miles so she could continue traveling for free. Her other passion is personal finance, and is a certified CPA.

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David Slotnick

Former Content Contributor

Born and raised in New York, David still remembers his first flight when he was only four years old: a U.S. Airways trip from New York-La Guardia to Palm Beach, Florida. He formed his love of travel around that and other family vacations, including to England at age eight and Namibia when he was 13. During college, a four-country trip around Europe with a friend cemented his passion for seeing the world.

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Erin Miller

Content Contributor

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.

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Greg Stone

Content Contributor

Greg got bitten by the travel bug at a young age while traveling with his Dad on business trips to Asia. He took over the family business in 2012 and uses it to maximize his loyalty points earning. His obsession with earning and burning loyalty rewards points allows him to travel over 100 days every year.

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James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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Jarrod West

Senior Content Contributor

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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Jeff Brownson

Former Content Contributor

Since discovering miles and points in 2010, Jeff has traveled to over 35 countries, flying in first class, business class, and sometimes even in coach. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star hotel, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible.

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Jessica Merritt

Editor & Content Contributor

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.

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Lindsey Olander

Former Content Contributor

Currently based in New York, Lindsey spent her childhood in Connecticut dreaming of far-off places. Her first flight was to Disney World at age 11. Her second flight was for a high school field trip to Italy, though travel as a career didn’t stick until she studied abroad in London during college and discovered the true power of her passport. Since then, she’s worked as a travel editor at Jetsetter and Travel + Leisure, where she reported on everything from African safaris to hot hotel openings to, yes, Disney World.

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Lori Zaino

Senior Content Contributor

Lori is an intrepid traveler who loves creating itineraries that exude “luxe on a budget.” She’s written for CNN, NBC, The Infatuation, and more, and loves to muse about points-fueled trips to Sri Lanka, Sicily, and Myanmar.

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Lukas Picton

Former Content Contributor

Lukas escaped his hometown south of Sydney and moved to the big smoke immediately after high-school, but the bright lights of the city weren’t enough, and he soon set his sights on more exotic international destinations and has been in love with travel ever since.

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Michael McHugh

Former Content Contributor

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn’t travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since.

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Michael Y. Park

Editor

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and queen of Malaysia, tramped around organic farms in Cuba, ridden the world’s longest train through the Sahara, and choked down gasoline clams in North Korea.

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Ryan Smith

Content Contributor

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.

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Spencer Howard

Former Content Contributor

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience.

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Stephen Au

Senior Content Contributor

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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Susan Wright

Former Finance Contributor

While writing about finance and insurance isn’t something that keeps most people awake at night, it is what Susan Wright has focused on for more than 25 years. As a financial copywriter, Susan has an eye for money-related details such as credit and savings, and she loves to pass along helpful information to consumers. Susan holds 11 financial industry designations (including CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, ADPA, CITRMS, CIPA) as well as several licenses.

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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to leverage the perks of each.

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Ehsan Haque

Content Contributor

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

With years of experience in corporate marketing and with a nonprofit, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and reviewing thousands of UP articles in the process.

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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s compliance operation.

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Victoria M. Walker

Senior Content Contributor

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Travel With Vikkie” newsletter.

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Juan Ruiz

Compliance Editor & Content Contributor

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in-Chief at Money Under 30.

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Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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