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Jarrod West

Senior Content Contributor

442 Published Articles , 1 Edited Article

About Jarrod West

Jarrod has been writing about the ins and outs of credit cards and loyalty programs, along with airlines and hotels, for over 6 years. He is regularly called upon to share his expertise on the latest news within the space, and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, RetailMeNot, and Yahoo! Finance.

Jarrod has over 20 credit cards in his wallet and has tested out dozens more in order to vet the very best card options for readers. As he is constantly sampling new cards, Jarrod also earns (and redeems) over 1 million points and miles each year. This allows him to book luxury travel experiences the world over, and save tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

He first became fascinated with the world of travel rewards as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences.

He holds a B.S. in Economics from Northern Kentucky University and now calls New York City home. Jarrod also runs his own website, the Freequent Flyer Blog, where he has helped readers earn over 20 million points and miles (approx. $200k+ in travel savings) through his free credit card consultations. Outside of writing and traveling, he loves trying new restaurants, reading, and cheering on Liverpool F.C.

Follow Jarrod on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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World of Hyatt Globalist

American AAdvantage Platinum Pro

Oneworld

Emirates A380

Qatar Qsuite

3 months of full-time travel for 2 throughout 18 cities in Europe, with all flights and 70% of hotel stays covered thanks to points and miles

American Express Membership Rewards

Jarrod's Latest Articles

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Marriott Bonvoy Business Card: 5 Free Night Award Welcome Offer Is Back!

Marriott Bonvoy Business Card: 5 Free Night Award Welcome Offer Is Back!

The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card has an increased welcome bonus offer that should entice those who frequent Marriott hotels. Here is a look at the details of the card’s limited-time welcome offer and the benefits to help you decide…

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Purchase Flying Blue Miles With a 70% Bonus [Through June 10]

Purchase Flying Blue Miles With a 70% Bonus [Through June 10]

While there’s no shortage of ways to earn a large number of points and miles quickly via credit cards, on occasion, it may make sense to strategically purchase miles for an upcoming redemption if it gives you added flexibility or…

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The 11 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in May 2024

The 11 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in May 2024

The points and miles we earn on credit cards are great for booking travel, but cash-back is king when it comes to flexible rewards that boost your financial bottom line. While earning and redeeming can be simple, there are plenty…

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The 14 Best Hotel Credit Cards in May 2024

The 14 Best Hotel Credit Cards in May 2024

If you have a preference for one hotel brand over another — and many travelers do — you’ll find immense value in carrying that hotel’s branded credit card. A hotel rewards credit card is the fastest way to earn hotel…

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Citi Strata Premier Card — Full Review [2024]

Citi Strata Premier Card — Full Review [2024]

Great Card If Don’t Get If Citi Strata Premier℠ Card — Is It Worth It? The Citi Strata Premier card is a fantastic option for those who are looking to rack up as many points as possible on their travel…

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Purchase World of Hyatt Points With a 20% Bonus [Until July 1]

Purchase World of Hyatt Points With a 20% Bonus [Until July 1]

If your stash of World of Hyatt points is running low, the latest purchase promotion presents a good opportunity for you to replenish your stockpile — but you’ll need to do so before July 1, 2024. Here are the details…

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Wells Fargo Rewards Transfer Partners and How To Use Them [2024]

Wells Fargo Rewards Transfer Partners and How To Use Them [2024]

Wells Fargo is the newest entrant to the world of flexible transfer partner award programs. This is great news for those who hold a card that earns Wells Fargo Rewards, as the value of those rewards just became significantly more…

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The 18 Best Credit Card Welcome Bonus Offers in May 2024

The 18 Best Credit Card Welcome Bonus Offers in May 2024

Since credit card welcome bonus offers are constantly changing, and the value of certain point programs can vary drastically, we’ve put together this monthly guide to keep you up to date on which cards currently offer the best welcome offers….

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Buy Avianca LifeMiles and Get up to a 160% Bonus [Targeted]

Buy Avianca LifeMiles and Get up to a 160% Bonus [Targeted]

Though many are unfamiliar with it, Avianca LifeMiles is a useful program to leverage when booking award tickets with Star Alliance carriers such as United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and more. And while you wouldn’t ordinarily want to purchase Avianca LifeMiles…

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Earn 70K Miles After 1 Purchase With the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Card

Earn 70K Miles After 1 Purchase With the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Card

Usually, credit card welcome bonuses come with minimum-spend requirements that require you to spend a few thousand dollars on the card to receive the bonus. However, this is not the case for the latest welcome bonus on the Hawaiian Airlines®

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Travel Points & Miles Valuations – How Much Are They Actually Worth? [May 2024]

Travel Points & Miles Valuations – How Much Are They Actually Worth? [May 2024]

Credit cards, airlines, and hotels don’t publish their own point and mile valuations, so there are no official answers on what points and miles are actually worth. Therefore, it’s up to you to make your own conclusions on that value….

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May 2024 Buy Points Promotions and Bonuses

May 2024 Buy Points Promotions and Bonuses

There is no shortage of ways to earn points and miles. From credit card welcome offers to bonus categories, shopping portals, and dining programs, the list goes on and on. Given the numerous options, travelers are often conflicted about purchasing…

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The Best Current Amex Offers [Travel, Dining, Entertainment, Shopping]

The Best Current Amex Offers [Travel, Dining, Entertainment, Shopping]

It can be easy to forget about Amex Offers on your various American Express cards, but keeping an eye on these deals is a fantastic way to save money or earn additional points on products or services you were planning…

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Purchase JetBlue TrueBlue Points With a 75% Bonus [Ends June 28]

Purchase JetBlue TrueBlue Points With a 75% Bonus [Ends June 28]

JetBlue’s latest promotion allows you to purchase TrueBlue points and receive a 75% bonus, as long as you purchase by June 28, 2024. Let’s take a look at the details of the promotion to see if it makes sense for…

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The Best Current Chase Offers [Travel, Dining, Entertainment, Shopping]

The Best Current Chase Offers [Travel, Dining, Entertainment, Shopping]

It’s no secret that Chase has some of the best rewards cards on the market. With premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, cash-back cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex℠, and small business…

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May Credit Card and Loyalty Program Transfer Bonuses [Up to 50%!]

May Credit Card and Loyalty Program Transfer Bonuses [Up to 50%!]

It’s a new month once again … and with a new month comes a new round of transfer bonuses to take advantage of. Today, we’ll dive into all of this month’s newest transfer bonuses for the top transferable rewards programs…

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30% Transfer Bonus From Citi ThankYou Rewards to Qatar Airways

30% Transfer Bonus From Citi ThankYou Rewards to Qatar Airways

Great news for those looking to boost their balance of Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios, as Citi is now offering a 30% transfer bonus to Qatar for a limited time. Here are the details of the transfer promotion, along with…

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[Expired] Buy Air Canada Aeroplan Points With up to a 100% Bonus [Targeted]

[Expired] Buy Air Canada Aeroplan Points With up to a 100% Bonus [Targeted]

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. Throughout the year, numerous promotions — across many travel providers — allow you to purchase points or miles with a bonus or discount. However, not all of them represent…

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[Expired] [New Card Alert] Wells Fargo Launches Signify Business Cash Card

[Expired] [New Card Alert] Wells Fargo Launches Signify Business Cash Card

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. Wells Fargo has just announced a new credit card option to the market for small business owners. Let’s take a look at the details of the Signify Business Cash℠ Card to…

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Save 15% on IHG Reward Nights Through Early June [Book by April 27]

Save 15% on IHG Reward Nights Through Early June [Book by April 27]

IHG One Rewards is back with its popular discounted award night promotion. Through June 10, 2024, members can save 15% on award stays of up to 3 days. Let’s review what you need to know about the newest promotion so…

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30% Transfer Bonus From Amex Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

30% Transfer Bonus From Amex Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

American Express Membership Rewards and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club have a partnership that’s allowed travelers to unlock incredible value in exchange for their points. And now, the duo is back with a new promotion that can help you book these…

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Find out about other members of the team

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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 Picture

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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Brett Holzhauer Picture

Brett Holzhauer

Content Contributor

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he’s had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards. He learned the tricks of the trade from his mom, and has taken many steps forward. He wasn’t exposed to much travel as a kid, but now has a goal of reaching 100 countries in his life. In 2019, he sold all of his possessions to become a digital nomad, and he says it was one of the best decisions he ever made. He plans to do it again at some point in his life.

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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 Dong Picture

Chris Dong

Editor & Content Contributor

Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full-time at The Points Guy, his work can now be found at AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, and Lonely Planet, among others

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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 Picture

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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Daniel Ross Picture

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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Dan Miller Picture

Dan Miller

Content Contributor

Realizing that it wasn’t all first class flights and 5-star hotels, Dan started the Points With a Crew blog in 2014, with the aim of helping families (especially large families) to use miles, points and credit card rewards to take that trip that they might have thought they couldn’t afford. He has spent over 10 years covering developments in the travel rewards credit card space. His expertise extends to all things personal finance, including student loans, budgeting and real estate, and his work has been featured in sites all over the Internet, including NerdWallet, Forbes, Business Insider, Rocket Mortgage, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Turbotax, Credit Karma and Intuit Mint.

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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 Picture

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 Picture

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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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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Julian Kheel

Content Contributor

Julian Kheel first learned the ins and outs of credit card rewards and travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment. With over 15 years of professional experience studying travel loyalty programs, Julian has served as CNN’s Senior Editor covering travel and credit cards, as well as the Editorial Director of The Points Guy, and has worked as a consultant for the Big 3 U.S. airlines.

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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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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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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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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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Senitra Horbrook

Writer

Senitra Horbrook is a frequent solo traveler who began using points and miles in 2012. Formerly credit cards editor at The Points Guy, Senitra has also contributed to Forbes Advisor, AwardWallet, Insider, among others.

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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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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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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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Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been featured in various prestigious publications, such as USA Today, CNN Underscored, Forbes and The Points Guy. Juan is the visionary behind JetBetter, a premier award booking concierge service.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 “Carrying On with Victoria M. Walker” newsletter.

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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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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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