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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

134 Published 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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You Can Now Choose How To Convert Your Rollover Delta MQMs

You Can Now Choose How To Convert Your Rollover Delta MQMs

One of the best things about the former Delta SkyMiles program was that Medallion members could roll over Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) that they earned above their Medallion tier into the next year of earning. This would give elite members a boost…

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Delta Adding New Routes to Hawaii and Miami

Delta Adding New Routes to Hawaii and Miami

Delta Air Lines is adding new routes to popular vacation destinations, including Hawaii and Miami, giving flyers even more options for accessing some of the country’s most sought-after spots. “Over the past decade, Delta has been dedicated to refining our…

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Delta’s Highly Anticipated Premium Lounges Will Open in 3 Airports This Year

Delta’s Highly Anticipated Premium Lounges Will Open in 3 Airports This Year

Delta’s Sky Club network has long been considered the standard bearer when it comes to airline lounges. But, one area in which the airline’s lounge network has been lacking is dedicated lounges for premium passengers, similar to United’s Polaris Lounges…

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[Expired] New Delta Promotion Awards Bonus MQDs for Pacific Northwest Flights

[Expired] New Delta Promotion Awards Bonus MQDs for Pacific Northwest Flights

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. By now, everyone is well aware of the sweeping changes Delta made to the way flyers now earn Medallion status within its SkyMiles program. In the new normal, the…

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Huge Welcome Offers for Capital One Venture X Business and Spark Cash Plus Cards [300k Miles!]

Huge Welcome Offers for Capital One Venture X Business and Spark Cash Plus Cards [300k Miles!]

Capital One is currently offering massive welcome bonus offers on 2 of its popular business credit cards: the Capital One Venture X Business Card* and the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card*. *(Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)…

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United Airlines Will Launch a New Route to Alaska and Resume Another

United Airlines Will Launch a New Route to Alaska and Resume Another

United Airlines has shared that it will be increasing service to Alaska from its hubs in the continental United States. The addition comes in the form of an entirely new route, as well as the resumption of a suspended route….

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WestJet Announces Nonstop Service From Calgary to Seoul

WestJet Announces Nonstop Service From Calgary to Seoul

Canada’s WestJet has shared in a press release that it will start nonstop flights between its hub in Calgary, Alberta to Seoul, South Korea. “It is with great pleasure that WestJet will serve as Alberta’s only direct link to South…

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Hawaiian Airlines Bolsters Route Network With Additional Summer 2024 Flying

Hawaiian Airlines Bolsters Route Network With Additional Summer 2024 Flying

Hawaiian Airlines has shared the details of capacity increases for the Summer 2024 travel season. While the airline isn’t adding any new destinations to its route map, it will offer additional frequencies on routes to key destinations within the carrier’s…

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[Expired] Last Chance: Earn 90k Miles With the United Club Infinite Card

[Expired] Last Chance: Earn 90k Miles With the United Club Infinite Card

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. The United Club℠ Infinite Card issued by Chase is a high-end pick for frequent United flyers, offering plenty of airline-specific perks designed to enhance any journey taken with the…

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Free Browser Extension Tells You Whether to Book Flights With Cash or Points and Miles

Free Browser Extension Tells You Whether to Book Flights With Cash or Points and Miles

For those of us who like to travel with points and miles often, the question always remains whether it’s a better value to pay cash for a flight or use points and miles. Typically, the process involves taking note of…

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[Expired] American Airlines Offering Award Tickets From Just 5,000 Miles One-Way

[Expired] American Airlines Offering Award Tickets From Just 5,000 Miles One-Way

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. American Airlines has sent emails to members of its AAdvantage loyalty program alerting them to a sale the airline is running on select award flights. With the sale, you…

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Here’s How You Can Get a Chase Ink Card, Even if You’re Over 5/24

Here’s How You Can Get a Chase Ink Card, Even if You’re Over 5/24

Chase’s 5/24 rule was implemented several years ago and has since become a well-known quantity within the points and miles world. It’s not an official policy formally published by the issuer, but data collected over the years indicates its existence….

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Frontier’s New Revenue-Based Loyalty Program Is Here

Frontier’s New Revenue-Based Loyalty Program Is Here

Low-cost Frontier Airlines has shared that the new Frontier Miles loyalty program is live. “The wait is over,” said Tyri Squyres, vice president of marketing, Frontier Airlines. “Now is the time for consumers to ‘Get it All for Less’ by…

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Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park in Thailand [In-Depth Hotel Review]

Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park in Thailand [In-Depth Hotel Review]

My journey around the world had its final stop in Thailand, a country that had long been on my list but had eluded me for years. Bangkok, its buzzy capital, was the final destination on the trip before I headed…

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China Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class Review [TPE to SFO]

China Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class Review [TPE to SFO]

Airline: China Airlines (CI)Aircraft: Airbus A350-900 (B-18907)Flight #: CI16Route: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)Date: December 10, 2023Duration: 10 hours, 49 minutesCabin and Layout: Business class, 32 seats, 1-2-1 configurationSeat: 15LCost: 91,500 Air France-KLM Flying…

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[Expired] Get Up to 40% Off Aegean Flights [Great for Greek Intra-Island Hops!]

[Expired] Get Up to 40% Off Aegean Flights [Great for Greek Intra-Island Hops!]

Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available. Greek carrier Aegean is offering a sale on economy tickets for all international flights to, from, or through Greece. With this promotion, you can get 20% to 40% off…

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Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai in India [In-Depth Review]

Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai in India [In-Depth Review]

Visiting India for a friend’s wedding was the main reason behind a monthlong trip around the world that I recently returned from. While the wedding took place in Jaipur, Rajasthan, I wanted to spend a little more time in India…

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Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates [In-Depth Hotel Review]

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates [In-Depth Hotel Review]

Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, has become world-famous in recent decades for its rapid population growth, its glitzy skyline (which includes the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building), the lavish lifestyle it offers many of its…

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Flydubai Boeing 737-800 Economy Class Review [IST to DXB]

Flydubai Boeing 737-800 Economy Class Review [IST to DXB]

Airline: Flydubai (FZ)Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 (A6-FEG)Flight #: FZ756Route: Istanbul Airport (IST) to Dubai International Airport (DXB)Date: November 14, 2023Duration: 3 hours, 55 minutesCabin and Layout: Economy class, 162 seats, 3-3 configurationSeat: 7FCost: $227 Earlier this month, I flew from the…

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Air France Boeing 777-300ER Business Class Review [DTW to CDG]

Air France Boeing 777-300ER Business Class Review [DTW to CDG]

Airline: Air France (AF)Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (F-GSQE)Flight #: AF377Route: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport (DTW) to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)Date: November 12, 2023Duration: 7 hours, 2 minutesCabin and Layout: Business class, 42 seats, 2-3-2 configurationSeat: 5LCost:…

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Buy American AAdvantage Miles With up to a 35% Discount

Buy American AAdvantage Miles With up to a 35% Discount

American Airlines is no longer offering its best deal on miles, but if you need to top off your account in a pinch, there is still a discount available. Right now you can get up to a 35% discount when…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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