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Christy Rodriguez

Travel & Finance Content Contributor

81 Published Articles

About Christy Rodriguez

Christy lives in San Diego with her husband and daughter. Her study abroad to Italy in college ignited her passion for travel.

Luckily, her husband worked at Southwest Airlines, so they were introduced to the exciting world of “non-rev” travel. This allowed her to visit over 30 countries – mostly on standby. After he left that role, she dove into the world of credit card rewards points so that they could keep traveling for free!

The card that started it all was the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which she still has to this day. 2-3 other cards round out her wallet (currently in rotation is The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card).

Having a baby hasn’t changed much – she can’t wait to show her daughter this beautiful world! (She also has no clue how lucky she is to only fly in business class so far.)

Besides travel, Christy’s other passion is personal finance. She holds a B.A. in Accounting and an M.S. in Finance, both from Texas A&M University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

She knows it’s absolutely achievable to have an “exceptional” credit score while earning tons of rewards on your card. In fact, her credit score has consistently stayed above 800 since beginning this journey in 2009.

You can follow Christy on Instagram.

Countries Visited: 36
U.S. States Visited: 31
Highest Hotel Status: Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum Elite
Favorite Airline Alliance: Star Alliance
Favorite Business Class: Singapore Airlines
Best Redemption Value: 2 seats in Singapore business class from SFO-Singapore nonstop (17 hours!) to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary
Favorite Type of Points: Chase Ultimate Rewards
Top 3 Cards in Wallet: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express

Countries visited icon

Countries Visited

US states icon

U.S. States Visited

Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum Elite

I have no allegiance, however I current have a Southwest Companion Pass

Star Alliance

et to be discovered!

Singapore Airlines

2 seats in Singapore business class from SFO-Singapore nonstop (17 hours!) to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Christy's Latest Articles

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Can I Pay My Car Payment With a Credit Card? [Pros and Cons]

When considering the best ways to maximize your earnings on your credit cards, you might think about what you spend the most on each month. For example, rent, groceries, or utility bills might come to mind. But what about your…

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When Is the Best Time To Pay Your Credit Card? [Helpful Tips]

Have you ever wondered if there is a “best” time to make your monthly credit card payment? For most people, simply paying your credit card by the payment due date is sufficient to avoid late fees and avoid damage to…

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When Were Credit Cards Invented? A Brief History of Credit Cards

As you swipe your credit card repeatedly throughout your day — at the grocery store, gas station, or to grab a coffee — you might not think much about it. Credit cards offer a secure and quick way to pay…

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Do Credit Cards Have PINs? How To Protect Your Money in 2023

When you use your credit card, you generally don’t need a PIN (personal identification number) to make a purchase. But there are a few instances where you might need a PIN for your credit card, such as getting a cash…

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How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

Bankruptcy is a process that helps individuals or a business eliminate all (or a portion of) debt. While bankruptcy might give you relief from debt, including credit card debt, you’ll face some pretty severe long-term impacts due to this action….

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Can You Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card?

Most money orders are purchased using cash or debit cards. But what if you don’t have the cash in your account and need to send your family member money or pay for something on Craigslist? You might be wondering if…

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What Does a Negative Balance on a Credit Card Mean?

If you’ve logged on to your credit card account and been surprised by a negative balance on your card, you might be wondering what it means. The good news is that you have nothing to worry about — a negative…

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Safe and Legal: The Complete Guide To Flying With a Gun [2023]

If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of traveling on an airplane with a gun, you might be surprised to know that it’s actually quite simple to travel with a firearm if you take the time to plan ahead. As long…

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What Is a Cash Advance on a Credit Card? (And How To Get One)

If you’ve ever wondered if you can withdraw cash from your credit card, you might be interested to learn more about cash advances. While there are significant fees associated with a cash advance and we generally don’t recommend taking one,…

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Can I Get Cash-back From My Credit Card?

You might be wondering if there’s a way to get cash-back from your credit card. Many credit card companies offer cards that allow you to earn a small percentage back on every purchase you make. These rewards build up over time,…

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TSA PreCheck: Everything You Need To Know [Application, Benefits, Costs & More]

Anyone who’s been through airport security knows how much of a hassle it can be to simply reach your departure gate. But, as many of you probably know, having TSA PreCheck can make the airport-security experience much more tolerable. For…

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The Best Ways To Get Out of Credit Card Debt [Detailed Guide]

If you’re carrying credit card debt, you’re not alone. In fact, over 50% of all open credit cards have a balance¹ and among cardholders with these unpaid balances, the average amount of outstanding debt was $6,569.² Obviously, the main goal…

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Ultimate Guide to Service Dogs on Planes [2023 Airline Rules]

Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) overhauled the rules regarding assistance animals on planes. The good news? Both service animals and psychiatric service animals (PSDs for short) are still protected and therefore are allowed to accompany their handlers on the…

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TSA Rules for Food in Your Carry-on & Checked Luggage [2023]

Whether you like to plan healthy meals while you’re traveling, you have small children, or you have medical reasons for needing access to food during your flight, questions related to what food you can bring in your carry-on are extremely…

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Average Credit Card Interest Rates – Statistics by Issuer, Card Type & More

Here at Upgraded Points, we’re firm believers in not carrying a balance on your credit cards. Interest charges can easily outweigh rewards, so paying your balance can maximize the benefits you receive. But if you’re like 25% of rewards credit…

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What Not To Pack In Your Carry-on Luggage per the TSA [Ultimate List]

For travelers, it can often be confusing which items to pack in your carry-on luggage. For example, are you allowed to bring that jar of jam you just purchased on your travels? Not likely. Unfortunately, unless that jam is less…

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U.S. Credit Card Market Share by Network & Issuer – Facts & Statistics

When you think of popular credit card networks, Visa and Mastercard probably come to mind first. But are there other major companies that dominate the credit card market? What are the most popular credit card issuers? Are Americans choosing general-purpose…

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Credit Card Ownership Statistics & Facts – By Income, Credit Score, Education Level & More

Credit cards are a useful tool for many cardholders. Some people use cards as a convenient way to pay for expenses while earning rewards — and pay balances in full each month. Others pay steep interest fees to defer expenses…

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Where Can Americans Travel Internationally Right Now? [Requirements by Country]

The coronavirus pandemic caused international travel to grind to a halt in 2020. In March 2020, the U.S. Department of State imposed a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory instructing Americans “to avoid all international travel due to the global…

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APR vs. APY: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters

You may have heard of both APR and APY, but not been sure what each means. It’s also easy to understand why someone might confuse the terms APR and APY since both are used to calculate interest and both significantly…

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The Ultimate Hawaii Travel Guide to Oahu, the Big Island & Lanai

Are you planning a trip to Oahu, the Big Island of Hawaii, or Lanai? Or maybe you’re just trying to decide which island is the best choice for your next vacation? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve put together an…

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Find out about other members of the team

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.

He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt. Andrew formerly worked for The Points Guy and is now Senior Money Editor at CNN Underscored.

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