Katie fell in love with travel during a semester abroad in college spent in Nottingham, England. During that time, she got to see Scotland, Ireland, London, and Amsterdam and knew she wanted to see more of the world.
Fast forward to 2015 when Katie discovered the world of points and miles. She jumped in full force and hasn’t looked back. After starting her own blog, Zen Life and Travel, in 2016, she began freelance writing in 2017. In addition to being a contributor to Upgraded Points since 2018, she also writes for Forbes Advisor and has previously written for Million Mile Secrets.
Over the years she’s collected and redeemed millions of points and miles and currently has 16 cards in her wallet. Hyatt is her hotel brand of choice because the value you can get using points is tremendous. Because of that, her Chase cards get a lot of use since Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer directly to Hyatt. Her favorite cards are the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for travel and dining, Chase Freedom Flex℠ for bonus category spending, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® for everything else.
As for flying, Southwest has been her go-to airline in recent years, primarily because she’s in her sixth year as a Southwest Companion Pass holder. Katie and her family get thousands of dollars of value from the Companion Pass each year. More recently, she has become a fan of American Airlines, mostly because the new Loyalty Points program makes elite status simple and achievable through non-flight activity.
When she’s not traveling, Katie spends her time at home in Ohio with her husband and 9-year-old daughter, probably planning her next getaway.
Katie is active in the points and miles community on social media and even helped organize a “Women in Points and Miles” meetup in San Diego.
You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram where she loves sharing her travel experiences and showing how to use points and miles to make luxury travel affordable.
Countries Visited: 24
U.S. States Visited: 26
Highest Hotel Status: IHG One Rewards Diamond, World of Hyatt Explorist
Highest Airline Status: Southwest Companion Pass, American AAdvantage Platinum
Best Redemption Value: Lie-flat business class seats between the U.S. and Africa for $75 round-trip using United MileagePlus miles on Ethiopian Airlines — it wasn’t the most luxurious business class but it was a great deal for such long flights!
Favorite Type of Points: Chase Ultimate Rewards
Top 3 Cards in Wallet: Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The World of Hyatt Credit Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express