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)
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.
Senior Contributor and Chief Compliance Officer
Jess joined the AwardWallet team in early 2016 as a member of the writing team. Hailing from New Zealand, Jess discovered points and miles while traveling full-time with his wife and son, utilizing rewards to reduce travel costs and relying on credit card perks to make travel more comfortable.
His extensive knowledge of frequent flyer programs was acquired through hands-on experience, research, and many hours behind the keyboard helping design and implement AwardWallet’s backend tools and compliance systems.
When not immersed in his work at AwardWallet, you can find Jess running trails, cooking up a storm, wakeboarding, and traveling with his family. Jess is currently based in the idyllic Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Ryan is a writer and editor who first wrote for AwardWallet team in 2021 but has been around points and miles for several years. He has previously written at Miles to Memories and The Points Guy, as well.
After someone at his hostel in China said “I flew here for free using points,” Ryan was hooked. Ryan is on a mission to visit every country in the world and has less than 10 countries remaining. He will visit his final country in late 2023.
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.
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 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.
Ian has had a passion for award travel ever since he discovered the miles and points world over a decade ago. He enjoys using points and miles to see the world, whether traveling solo, with friends, or with his adopted kids. Well versed in frequent flyer programs, he loves exploring their intricacies and figuring out how to maximize his miles to see as much of the world as possible. More than anything, Ian wants to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.
Carissa joined the AwardWallet team in 2023 as an editor and writer, though she’s been around the block a time or two when it comes to award travel.
Since first learning that there was such as thing as ‘free travel,’ she’s made her way to 60 countries and all 7 continents, though the last was a little bit frigid for her taste. She’s redeemed millions of miles and made more stupid mileage runs than one should ever hope, but all her friends and family love her anyway.
With a double handful of hotel and airline elite statuses (including United 1K and Hyatt Globalist), you can frequently find Carissa waxing lyrical about complimentary upgrades and free food.
When she’s not writing about points and miles, you can find her reading about points and miles or traveling using points and miles.
Andrew joined the AwardWallet team in February 2023. Having a British father and a Greek mother, experiencing different cultures has been in his blood since before birth.
Like Erik, Andrew attended the University of Michigan and received a Bachelor of Arts while focusing his studies on Pre-law with the goal of crushing law school. But in the summer of 2010, Andrew took a 3-month backpacking trip around Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, and his life was changed forever.
From that moment forward, Andrew knew that he wanted to live a life of travel. He has since traveled to 51 countries while living in 12 of them. Andrew has since slowed his roll and is now living in Athens, Greece.
When Andrew isn’t traveling the world and creating new experiences, you can find him playing a game of football or tennis with friends, winning tons of money playing poker, bumbling his way through new languages, supporting Detroit & Michigan sports teams, and helping out with stray dogs in and around Athens.
Brooke Dougherty began working for AwardWallet in 2023 as a freelance editor. A recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, Brooke has experience writing for The Daily Tar Heel, INDY Week, UNC’s Media Hub, and The Mountain Xpress. When she’s not writing or editing, Brooke can be found creating music, listening to Led Zeppelin, or attempting to knit something from scratch.
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.
Jenna Hansen began working for AwardWallet 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!
Jerod started down the rabbit hole of points and miles when he and his wife, both adventurers at heart, wanted to make travel affordable even after starting to grow their family with children. Four kids later they still haven’t found out how deep it goes.
Jerod both enjoys crossing the Atlantic in business class, but also has no problem hopping a cheap Spirit flight to Orlando or Chicago (after a stop at a lounge of course).
He loves helping people figure out how to optimize their travel and is part of the team of moderators for the Award Travel 101 Facebook Group. Find him posting there and in the comments, or on Instagram at @letsgotraveldad.
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.
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 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.
Kennedy Miller is a hard-working teenager who enjoys drawing, theater, writing, and being creative. She hopes to use her inevitable financial independence to one day pursue an artistic life.
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.