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 Austin, Texas with his wife Gabriela. 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.
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.
Skye can most often be found working diligently in a cafe somewhere in the world. So far he’s been to 51 countries and counting. He travels the world in a van, never content to stay in the same place for long (unless it’s at the top of a mountain overlooking a beautiful sea).
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.
His wife joins him on many of his trips, and they enjoy snowboarding, diving, and seeing animals in the wild. When not traveling, Ryan is probably answering questions from his family about how he travels so much and whether all of this is illegal.
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.
Richard Kerr is a veteran naval officer and founder of the Award Travel 101 Facebook community. He’s one of the foremost experts in points and miles strategy, featured in Forbes, US News, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance and presented at #SXSW 2017. Richard has visited over 45 countries, lived in England and Japan, and spends his spare time dissecting loyalty program award charts to maximize the value of points and miles. Richard holds a BBA in International Business and has his wife and two small children in tow for his travels as often as possible.
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.
Pam Iorg and her daughter, Alex Payne, write for the blog Travel Hacking Mom. They have earned millions of points through travel hacking and travel the world on those points. Their mission is to teach beginners how to travel hack in a simple and concise way.
When Pam isn’t applying for a new credit card or planning a trip, she is hanging out with one of her 20 grandchildren, yes 20! She looks forward to taking many of them with her on trips – paid for by points of course!
Mary Helen Law is an independent travel agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Her specialties include Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney. When she isn’t planning trips for others, Mary Helen enjoys organizing her own Disney vacations. Her 2018 travels included five trips to Walt Disney World and a trip to Disneyland Paris. She and her husband are expecting their first child and can’t wait to show her Disney parks across the world.
JT is a freelance writer and editor who joined the AwardWallet team in early 2020 but 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 that 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 joined The Points Guy’s team in 2015 and has 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. In the past four years, JT has flown over 1 million miles on 67 airlines, visited 43 countries, and maintains elite status with 4 airlines and 6 hotel loyalty programs.
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.
Elina began working for AwardWallet in 2019. She became obsessed with the miles and points game in 2011, after applying for 3 American Airlines credit cards that netted her 225,000 miles. Since that time, she has been an avid points collector and has earned and redeemed hundreds of thousands of miles. She currently has over a million miles & points and has been flying for free for the past 8 years. Elina graduated from Fordham University with a BSc in Public Accounting and has an MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Elina worked in the banking industry in NYC until 2017 when she moved to London to attend graduate school. Since leaving the world of finance behind, Elina has been working remotely and living all over the world as a digital nomad. Her favorite countries include Brazil, Colombia and the Ukraine.
Caroline joined the AwardWallet crew in 2019 but has been mastering the points and miles game for years. She is a digital nomad who has visited 86+ countries and taken 500+ flights. Her love for travel doesn’t just include stamp collecting and country-hopping; she’s also passionate about making travel more affordable and accessible to everyone by sharing her insight into the travel hacking universe.
When she’s not visiting her roots in Michigan and Colorado, you can find Caroline trekking through the Peruvian The Andes, cycling through Vietnam, exploring hidden temples in Cambodia, dining at Michelin Star restaurants in France, marveling at mosques in Iran, beating carsickness in Tajikistan, chasing waterfalls in Iceland, or snowshoeing through the Spanish Pyrenees. She brings her work with her wherever she goes, and she’s excited to use the AwardWallet medium to help you turn your traveling dream into a reality!