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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

156 Published Articles , 777 Edited Articles

About Nick Ellis

Nick was born and raised in West Michigan and caught the travel bug after a last-minute decision to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina after his sophomore year at the University of Michigan. After that, he got into the points and miles game to help fund subsequent spring break trips to Europe.

Nick has now traveled to 35 countries, largely thanks to travel rewards. Some of his favorite places include Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Tokyo, Japan, and Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Next on his travel bucket list is a trip to the Middle East where he’ll visit Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Nick now lives in Michigan and most recently worked for The Points Guy where he was a writer and editor for more than 5 years.

You can follow Nick’s adventures on Instagram.

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Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite

Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion

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Emirates A380

Qatar Qsuite

Using Marriott Bonvoy points to cover the cost of 3 rooms at the St. Regis Punta Mita over the New Year’s holiday when rates were close to $2,000 per night

American Express Membership Rewards

Nick's Latest Articles

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JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes [In-Depth Hotel Review]

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes [In-Depth Hotel Review]

During a recent trip to Florida, I found myself in Orlando for a few days. I wasn’t in town to visit Walt Disney World Resort — or any other theme park — so proximity to parks wasn’t a concern when…

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You Can Now Book AutoCamp Properties With Hilton Points — And It Can Be a Great Deal

You Can Now Book AutoCamp Properties With Hilton Points — And It Can Be a Great Deal

At the start of this year, Hilton announced a first-of-its-kind relationship with AutoCamp. This outdoor-focused hospitality company aims to provide boutique lodging experiences among incredible natural landscapes. Now, the relationship has taken a huge step forward, as you can now…

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Earn Delta MQDs on Hotels, Vacation Rentals, and Car Rentals [Book by June 24]

Earn Delta MQDs on Hotels, Vacation Rentals, and Car Rentals [Book by June 24]

Earlier this year, Delta made sweeping changes to how travelers can earn Medallion status within its SkyMiles program. In the new normal, the only way to qualify for elite status with the airline is to earn certain amounts of Medallion…

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Book a Hawaii Flight and Earn a Promotional Southwest Companion Pass [Register Now!]

Book a Hawaii Flight and Earn a Promotional Southwest Companion Pass [Register Now!]

Southwest is out with another new promotion that allows Rapid Rewards members to earn the coveted Companion Pass for a limited time. Perhaps the best thing about this promotion is that it involves going to Hawaii — a big win…

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Finally: You Can Search for Southwest Tickets With Google Flights

Finally: You Can Search for Southwest Tickets With Google Flights

We’ve got some great news for flyers everywhere: Southwest Airlines flights finally appear on Google Flights. Previously, Southwest’s fares were not visible within the flight search tool and could only be found directly on the airline’s website or, recently, via…

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Now Live: Alaska Visa Signature Cardholders Earn 3x Miles on Rent With Bilt

Now Live: Alaska Visa Signature Cardholders Earn 3x Miles on Rent With Bilt

Starting today, May 15, travelers with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card will be able to earn 3x points for every dollar spent on rent, up to $50,000 annually. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know…

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Salterra, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Turks & Caicos, Opening February 2025

Salterra, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Turks & Caicos, Opening February 2025

Turks and Caicos is a Caribbean archipelago that boasts some of the most magnificent beaches in the world. It’s long been popular with the well-heeled, but in recent years, it’s become a little more accessible to those looking to redeem…

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[Expired] [Award Alert] U.S. to Italy in Business Class From 48.5K Virgin Points

[Expired] [Award Alert] U.S. to Italy in Business Class From 48.5K Virgin Points

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. No matter the time of year, a trip to Italy is always a great idea. From some of the world’s best cuisine to ancient sights, cutting-edge design and fashion,…

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How Long Does It Take My Chase Sapphire Preferred Welcome Bonus Points To Show Up?

How Long Does It Take My Chase Sapphire Preferred Welcome Bonus Points To Show Up?

So, you’ve just applied for a shiny new Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and got approved. Congratulations — you’re well on your way to earning tons of super-valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points! But, when will that stack of bonus points hit…

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Wells Fargo’s New Autograph Journey Card and Points Transfer [Details]

Wells Fargo’s New Autograph Journey Card and Points Transfer [Details]

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has introduced a brand-new credit card offering. “Autograph Journey is Wells Fargo’s best travel rewards card to date, designed to help cardholders build journeys as unique as they are by earning points wherever they book travel,”…

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The Detroit EDITION To Become Brand’s First in the Midwest

The Detroit EDITION To Become Brand’s First in the Midwest

Marriott’s buzzy EDITION brand is expanding again — this time to the Motor City. In a press release, Bedrock, a real estate company founded by billionaire Dan Gilbert, announced that it had reached an agreement with EDITION to bring a…

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Everything You Need To Know About Etihad’s Chauffeur Service

Everything You Need To Know About Etihad’s Chauffeur Service

Booking a premium cabin flight with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is a treat. Whether you choose the over-the-top 3-room The Residence or a business class “Studio,” rest assured that you’ll have access to some of the very best perks in…

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Italy Is Now Issuing Special Visas for Digital Nomads — What to Know

Italy Is Now Issuing Special Visas for Digital Nomads — What to Know

While workers around the world are returning to the office on a more regular schedule, plenty of workers globally have completely untethered from a physical workspace, opening up the possibility for these people to — in theory — work from…

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[Expired] JetBlue Offering Discount on Pet Fares for Summer Travel [Book Today!]

[Expired] JetBlue Offering Discount on Pet Fares for Summer Travel [Book Today!]

Today is National Pet Day, and to celebrate, JetBlue Airways is offering discounts on pet fares for small dogs and cats flying on eligible flights throughout the summer. Here’s what you need to know about this sale for your furry…

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Earn Bonus AAdvantage Miles When You Make Dining Reservations With OpenTable

Earn Bonus AAdvantage Miles When You Make Dining Reservations With OpenTable

The American Airlines AAdvantage Dining program is out with a new promotion that provides an easy way to earn bonus AAdvantage miles the next time you dine out. Dining programs are typically among the best ways to earn extra airline…

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Here’s Why the Hilton Aspire Card Stays in My Wallet Year After Year

Here’s Why the Hilton Aspire Card Stays in My Wallet Year After Year

Each year, I do a “self-audit” of my credit card inventory to decide which cards I’m going to keep, which ones I’ll consider for downgrading, and which I’ll cancel. That includes an annual assessment of my Hilton Honors American Express…

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United Rolls Out New Feature To Match Wheelchair Users With the Appropriate Aircraft

United Rolls Out New Feature To Match Wheelchair Users With the Appropriate Aircraft

Airlines are constantly looking for ways to make journeys more accessible for all types of travelers. Now, United has introduced a new feature on its online channels that will make it easier for those who use wheelchairs to find flights…

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You Can Now Book Southwest Flights Through Chase Travel

You Can Now Book Southwest Flights Through Chase Travel

Southwest Airlines has long been a favorite choice for flyers across the U.S., but one of the frustrations with the domestic carrier is that its flights were only visible and available for booking through its own website. Now, however, Chase…

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Here’s Where You Can Fly Etihad’s Exquisite Airbus A380 Superjumbo Jet

Here’s Where You Can Fly Etihad’s Exquisite Airbus A380 Superjumbo Jet

During the initial waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines worldwide quickly began pulling their gigantic Airbus A380s out of service. Demand for flying was at historic lows, and there was no need for the largest commercial jet ever created to…

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Points Path Expands Functionality With Addition of JetBlue

Points Path Expands Functionality With Addition of JetBlue

Points Path, the browser extension that instantly tells users whether to use cash or points and miles for a given flight, has added a fourth airline to its roster: JetBlue Airways. In addition to adding another frequent flyer program to…

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MGM Collection With Marriott Bonvoy Is Live; Participating Properties Bookable With Marriott Points

MGM Collection With Marriott Bonvoy Is Live; Participating Properties Bookable With Marriott Points

After several months of anticipation, the new MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy partnership is ready for primetime. As of today, March 6, 2024, the 16 MGM properties that participate in this new tie-up are now bookable with cash or Marriott…

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Find out about other members of the team

Andrew Kunesh Picture

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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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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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

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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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 Picture

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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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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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 Picture

Stephen Au

Former 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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