Joe Cortez

Published Freelance Travel, Finance, and Lifestyle Writer | Award Winning Journalist | Content Manager

Location icon United States of America


Featured Works

USA Today GO ESCAPE Summer 2019 Special
Perk Up! The Deal on Credit Card Travel Rewards

With a travel rewards card, you earn points or miles every time you use the card, but you can often earn more points per dollar in select categories. But not all points and miles earned on travel credit cards are the same. How do you determine which card is best for you?

Business Insider
What happens if you stop paying back student loans? Nothing good.

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

FlyerTalk Says Goodbye to the TWA Flight Center

FlyerTalk gathered with TWA staff one last time to remember the joys and tragedies of working inside the famed Flight Center at JFK. In 1976, Jamie Hogan and Anna Montella entered into Terminal Five of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as flight attendants of the airline Howard Hughes built - Trans World Airlines.

New York Post
Boeing wants to make airplane bathrooms even smaller

Just when you thought planes couldn't get any more cramped, Boeing has announced a new plan for helping boost sales of its 777-300ER. The Chicago Tribune reports that Boeing is looking at ways to make their aircraft more desirable to airlines by increasing their passenger capacity.

Obama Administration Announces New Actions on Delayed Baggage, Airline Reporting

Moves by Department of Transportation to address delayed luggage, protect travelers with disabilities and review current airline practices. The Obama Administration announced a set of new policies on Tuesday geared towards holding airlines more accountable to their passengers. The goal of the new regulations is to improve the flyer experience from the moment passengers purchase [...]

Travel and Lifestyle

The Points Guy
Is Basic Economy Really a Good Deal for Travelers?

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Whether American travelers like it or not, basic economy fares are here to stay.

FlyerTalk Exclusive: A4A Explains Why It Opposes Raising PFCs, Calls Airports' Funding Solution a...

While all parties involved agree that improving airports should be a top priority for American travel infrastructure, industry groups are torn on how to go about funding their improvements. With the anticipated increase in air passenger traffic over the next two years, airports and airlines are at odds on determining the best way to fund future facility improvement projects.

Delta CEO: Gulf Carriers Are the Greatest Challenge to Airline Industry, "They're Governments"

Delta's CEO calls Middle Eastern carriers the "greatest challenge" to the airline industry and decries privatization of air-traffic control in the U.S. Comparing the ongoing Open Skies situation to trade inequities that the auto industry faced in the 20th century, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson called Middle Eastern carriers one of the greatest challenges to the airline industry.

TSA Screening Partnerships: The Reason Why Some Airports Don't Have Long Security Lines

Although the Transportation Security Administration is responsible for ensuring American air passengers remain safe, it doesn't directly screen every passenger. That means that every airport isn't subject to government shutdown-induced delays. Here's why you might want to start flying through or out of San Francisco, Orlando, Florida or Kansas City, Missouri.

The Points Guy
7 Best Places Around the World for Plane Spotting

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Personal Finance and Money Savings
The Student's Guide to Scholarship Application Safety |

Scholarship information and applications are more accessible than ever to students seeking financial aid to help pay for college. In fact, the College Board reports that around two-thirds of students used scholarships and grants to help pay for college in 2014-2015.

You're Not Using Your Credit Card Travel Insurance (But You Should)

Traveling over the holidays doesn't have to be an ordeal. In this series, we're sharing expert advice to help you use your credit cards to travel smarter and focus on having fun. The holiday season can derail even the best-laid travel plans very quickly.

The Best Cities for the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass represents a lot of potential travel. After achieving the requirements to earn it, Southwest regulars have the opportunity to bring a friend with them for only taxes and government fees. But can you really get your money's worth out of it without being a frequent flyer?

The Credit Solution Program
What is a Credit Score?

No matter where we go and what we do, credit scores continue to follow us around throughout our financial lifetime. At every turn, even sometimes without our knowledge, credit scores help determine when we qualify for credit cards, when we can open accounts, purchase a cell phone, or even continually access the regular credit lines we already have.

How to Earn Extra Miles on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

If the only overnight you're willing to take is on an airplane instead of in line for a big ticket item, then Black Friday may not be for you. The good news is that if you would rather rack up frequent flyer miles, there are still plenty of ways to save money and get rewarded during the shopping holiday.

Contributions and Quotes

These Are The Most Common Travel Insurance Mistakes

It's peak season for travel insurance claims, a time of year when vacationers are sending their reimbursement requests for their year-end holiday getaways. If you're one of the unlucky travelers who are about to file a claim, be careful to not make one of several common travel insurance mistakes.

Los Angeles Times
The promise of better airline seating may hold an uncomfortable truth

You might automatically go into a stupor when the talk turns to legislation involving the Federal Aviation Administration, and no one would blame you. If you had any interest in the recent discussion about the reauthorization act, it probably died when you realized that airline fees would continue to be what they are.

Los Angeles Times
Your U.S. chipped card will work just fine abroad, until it doesn't

Question: I recently spent three months in France. I went armed with my Visa credit and debit cards from my financial services company. Every time I used the card, I had to sign a sales slip/receipt. This was merely an inconvenience as long as there was a human on both sides of the transaction.

US News & World Report
Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2017

Travel credit cards are rewards cards that help users earn free travel, achieve elite member status with hotels and airlines and enjoy many other travel-related perks. Although travel credit cards can often be used for cash back too, consumers receive better value when using them to collect and redeem points for travel.

Bravo TV Official Site
8 Critical Tips for Tourism in the Age of Terrorism

Picture it: You have planned a beautiful trip to the South of France. You plan to spend a week on the stunning beaches of the French Riviera, drinking too much wine and bragging endlessly about every moment of it on social media. And then, something horrific happens.

The Weather Channel
Best Outdoor Adventure in Every State (PHOTOS)

Across America, there is an abundance of natural wonders to explore and experience: majestic mountains to climb, wilds rivers to paddle or state and national parks to explore. Check out the slideshow above for the best adventure in every state, from hiking Washington's Mt.

Startup will let you pay for flights in monthly installments

Sometimes the price tag on an plane ticket to your dream destination just has too many digits. But new startup Airfordable will allow you to pay for that ticket in monthly installments, just like you're putting a new stand mixer on layaway.

Credit Karma
The best hotel credit cards | Credit Karma

We generally make money when you get a product (like a credit card or loan) through our platform, but we don't let that cloud our editorial opinions. Learn more about how we keep this compensation from affecting our editorial views.

The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards According to Experts

The New Year's resolutions "spend less money" and "travel more" seem to contradict each other. But travel experts know there are certain tricks to make these two goals align. One is to put your everyday purchases on a credit card with great rewards.

What's the real deal on air travel in 2016

Joe Cortez, travel expert and contributing writer for FlyerTalk, the Frugal Travel Guy, and others, took ExpertFlyer for a deep dive on hot topics and predictions that are generating buzz in the airline industry and among consumers. It's still early in the year and travel experts are still making predictions on where the airline industry is heading in 2016.

5 Must-Have Apps for Frequent Flyers - Upside Travel - Medium

We turned to a few of the travel industry's trusted experts and rounded up the top five must-have airport apps for frequent flyers like you! Here are the top five apps to download and keep in your back pocket for your next flight: 1.
Travel Health Insurance

At the end of last year Heather Leikin travelled from Los Angeles to Mexico for a birthday and New Year's celebration. But what was planned as a pleasant getaway turned sour when she became ill. The emergency room required payment with a credit card before treating her.

Travel bargains galore on Cyber Monday

More than half of all Americans will spend much of Monday swiping through flash sales and clicking "buy now" on virtual carts brimming with clothing, big screen TVs and toys.

Road Warrior Voices
How to best use Twitter for customer service when traveling

It's no surprise that disgruntled, frustrated or confused customers are contacting brands through social media channels. Asking a question on Twitter or Facebook is easier - and can be faster - than pacing in circles while you wait for an operator to answer your phone call.

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