Sam Helmy

Staff Writer

Sam joined the AwardWallet team in late 2016. He discovered points miles while planning trips in pursuit of his other passion scuba diving when he started using points and miles to get to some of the world’s best diving destinations. Eventually, he became a bit of an expert on how to use points and miles to get to diving destinations across the globe.


Over the years, Sam has lived in 6 countries and enjoys discovering new places and meeting new people, discovering new cultures, and learning new languages.


Sam currently lives in Spain, and when not working on points and miles he enjoys scuba diving, traveling, cooking, DIY, hiking, and walking with his wife and two dogs.

American Airlines Drops Close-In Booking Fees!

Last month, American Airlines dropped its $75 close-in booking fee for awards ticketed less than 21 days from the date of travel. At this point, this seems to be a genuinely positive change, without any obvious downside. Still, the lack of fanfare from American’s PR team leaves us wondering if the other shoe is still waiting to drop.

Up to 50% off Fiji Airways Awards With Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has announced a partner award flash sale, with a discount of up to 50% on awards from the US and Hawaii to Australia, New Zealand, and the south pacific with Fiji Airways. The promotion applies to awards in economy and business class and must be booked by February 29, 2020.

Chase Freedom 5X Categories for Q1 2020

Activation is now open for the Chase Freedom 5% rotating quarterly bonus for Q1 2020. For the first quarter of 2020, the categories are gas stations, internet, cable and phone services, and select streaming services. To earn 5% cashback on the first $1,500 of spending, you need to activate your bonus by March 14, 2020.

Discover Announces 5% Cash Back Calendar for 2020

Discover has announced its 2020 5% bonus categories. Each quarter, cardholders can receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases at select retailers. Retailers on the 2020 list include Lyft, Uber,, Gas stations, restaurants, and PayPal.

Last Chance to Register for Q4 2019 Chase Freedom 5% Categories

Remember, you have up to December 14, 2019, to activate your Chase Freedom 5% bonus category. Activating before the deadline means that you will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in select bonus categories, even if you have made the purchases before activating the bonus. This quarter the bonus categories are Department Stores, Chase Pay, and PayPal, with the latter two meaning you can earn 5% back on a huge array of spending.

JetBlue Rolls Out New Fares Including Basic Economy

JetBlue has introduced a lower-cost Blue Basic fare for price-sensitive travelers. While we’ve been skeptical about the long-term savings we’ll see from basic economy, the JetBlue offering is less restrictive than the competition—especially for those with a cobrand credit card or Mosaic elite status.