Bonus Points

Erik Paquet

Director of Marketing

Erik joined the AwardWallet team in 2018. He attended the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. During school, he discovered points and miles as a way to fund frequent international trips and a semester abroad in Santiago Chile.

 

Following school, he began traveling full time and co-founded Abroaders.com, a startup that helps travelers earn and redeem rewards points for maximum value.

 

Erik first connected with AwardWallet while looking for a tool to manage complex award bookings for clients. With the help of the AwardWallet booking platform, he and his team have redeemed over 49 million points for 2.2 million in airfare savings.

 

Erik lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When not obsessing about points and miles, his hobbies include cooking, photography, learning languages, exploring national parks, watching Michigan athletics (Go Blue!) and of course, travel.

Jess Farley

Senior Contributor and Compliance Team Lead

 

Jess is a long-time member of the AwardWallet family, joining the team in 2016. Hailing from New Zealand, Jess studied frequent flyer programs in-depth to reduce costs while traveling full-time with his wife and young son.

 

Interested in adventure and experience-based travel, he primarily uses points and miles to transport his wife and kids between family in New Zealand, his home in Australia, and whatever adventure he can dream up in Asia. His favorite travel experiences include traveling through the highlands of Tibet with his wife and son, and an extended winter stay in a cabin in the mountains of Nagano, Japan.

 

When he’s not banging pen and paper together for AwardWallet, you’ll find Jess nerding out on Forex charts, running trails, competing in Ironman, cooking up a storm, doing yoga, or traveling with his young family. Jess is currently based in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Elina

JT Genter

Editor-In-Chief

JT is AwardWallet’s Editor-In-Chief. JT originally joined the AwardWallet team in early 2020 as a freelance editor and writer, but he has been part of the points and miles ecosystem since 2014. Looking for a way to reduce the cost of a trip to China (back when it was expensive to fly to China), he found he could sign up for just one credit card to get enough miles to book the flights.

 

That experience prompted him to dive headfirst into the world of airline, hotel, and credit card points and miles. After working for a decade as a tax accountant, JT focused his analytical skills on writing about points, miles, and credit cards. He started contributing at The Points Guy in 2015 and published over 2,000 articles on the site.

 

In June 2017, Katie and JT sold or donated nearly all of their possessions to become digital nomads, proving firsthand how points, miles, and credit card rewards can drastically reduce the cost of travel. JT has logged over 1.6 million miles on 96 airlines, visited 64 countries, and maintains elite status with 8 airlines (including American Executive Platinum, Air Canada Aeroplan 75K, Asiana Diamond, and Malaysia Gold) and 6 hotel loyalty programs (including IHG Diamond, Hilton Diamond, and Marriott Titanium Elite)

Miguel Rueda

Miguel joined the AwardWallet team in 2022 as an editor/content updater. Miguel got into award travel after his first trip to an airport lounge in March 2020. He began researching the best card to get for airport lounge access and never stopped learning.

 

In his first two and a half years in the award travel space, he’s earned and redeemed over 3 million points and miles. He enjoys using award travel for bucket list travel experiences such as running with the bulls in Pamplona, visiting Chernobyl, and gorilla trekking in Uganda. In addition to writing for AwardWallet, Miguel shares his travel experiences and how he spends his points and miles on his Instagram account, @travelsergeant.

 

When Miguel is not traveling, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, watching movies, & dining out.

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.

Skye Class

Staff Writer

Skye joined the AwardWallet team in 2019. After leaving his full-time job in 2014 to travel the world, he created his own website SkyeTravels.com to make traveling a reality for everyone, no matter their financial means. He’s a big fan of reward programs for maximizing points and traveling for less. He can most often be found working diligently in a cafe somewhere in the world. So far he’s been to over 60 countries and counting.

Max Prosperi

Max Prosperi is a lifelong aviation geek and avid frequent flyer. He became interested in traveling in premium cabins using points and miles while in the eighth grade. In high school, Max began contributing to various travel blogs. It was during this time that he also learned how to use points and miles to travel cheaply, even in premium cabins.

 

His travels took off as he continued to contribute to various travel blogs throughout his time in high school and college. In 2020, he joined the AwardWallet team while studying at Saint Louis University. Max graduated in January 2022 with a Bachelors in Entrepreneurial Studies and a minor in Marketing.

 

Today, Max splits his time between Miami, FL, and his hometown of St. Louis. MO. He continues to find new and exciting ways to redeem his points and miles for travel across the globe.

Jenna Hansen

Jenna Hansen began working for Award Wallet in 2022. She and her husband homeschool their four kids and spend a lot of their time traveling and learning through experiences. Jenna discovered points and miles in 2020 when she was looking for a way to be able to afford more expensive trips for her family. Once she came across other moms who were points and miles pros, she took the leap and has been hooked ever since.

 

Jenna and her family live in California and like to spend time visiting the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains and the Central California coast. You can also catch them at Disneyland as often as possible!

Elina

Ross Denkin

Points and Miles Number Cruncher

Ross joined the AwardWallet team in 2019 and is a relative newcomer to the points and miles world. Introduced to award travel by his older brother in 2014, Ross dove headfirst into earning and burning points and miles currencies for his travels, both domestic and international. A frequent OneWorld traveler, especially within the U.S., Ross built his own tool to optimize mile redemptions using all OneWorld frequent flyer programs for travel on American Airlines.

 

Accompanying Ross on his points and miles journeys is his wife Elizabeth, an enthusiastic award traveler herself. Together they have redeemed over 1 million points and miles for travel to Ireland, Indonesia, Portugal, and the Maldives, as well as countless trips within North America. When not globetrotting, Ross is most likely found playing or watching sports, enjoying the outdoors, and searching premium cabin award inventory.

Michelle Molloy

Michelle first started writing for AwardWallet in 2019. Her interest in points and miles started years ago when business travel led to some easy points and miles accruals. Today, with business travel behind her, she’s focused on ways to keep making travel dreams come true for her family of four. Currently on her wish list is Scandinavia to see the northern lights and Peru to hike the Inca Trail.

 

Most days Michelle is teaching, coaching, and writing. In her free time, she’s planning the next big trip, getting pulled around the neighborhood by the giant family dog or cheering on her two kids in all of their pursuits.

Patrick Stouffer

Patrick Stouffer

Staff Writer

Patrick is a freelance musician, writer, and travel consultant currently based in Los Angeles. He joined the AwardWallet team in 2019.

 

For the last ten years, Patrick has been living on the road full-time as a musician for various Broadway musical theatre tours and cruise ship productions. He met his wife, Patricia, while they were both working on a cruise ship in the East China Sea. Since then, their mutual love for travel has been a driving force in their relationship. Between work and leisure, Patrick and his wife have visited over 50 countries together, using points and miles to finance and elevate all of their experiences.

 

When he’s not playing trumpet, writing about points and miles, or traveling, Patrick enjoys going to the gym, trying craft beers, and spending time at the lake with his family.

Ian Snyder

Ian Snyder

Staff Writer

After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. Through the use of points and miles, he wants to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.